Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ravensthorpe Ravers

In my last update on the New Wave of British Jihad (NWOBJ), I noted that Ravensthorpe, in the heart of the former Heavy Woollen District of the West Riding, and the home of the young chap charged with trying to blow up BNP members, seemed to have enough racists to be going on with.

Mr Gentles said: “I think this is all because we are black. My two children are frightened of this gang - they are too scared to go outside. The oldest can’t go anywhere in Ravensthorpe – he can’t go to the park.” Mr Gentles said his car had been smashed up and shot at with pellet guns twice in the last two weeks, and he had seen the gang running away. He said: “They have thrown stones through the window and smashed everything up. They are young Asian boys from about 13 up – there are about 20 of them. At night they all linger in the park.

It turns out that Mr Gentles ain't the only one.

"Two men were badly beaten in an ambush by a 30-strong gang of Asian thugs, known as the Ravy Terror Squad. The two Dewsbury men, aged 37 and 41, were out digging for old bottles when they were attacked by a gang hiding in woodland. The random attack happened last Thursday night in fields off Park Road, Ravensthorpe.

Both men were beaten, kicked and punched ... Over the summer The Press reported how the so-called Ravy Terror Squad had been responsible for a number of attacks in and around the Spen Valley Greenway. Last week The Press was told that a 15-year-old, who had walked his girlfriend home to Ravensthorpe, had been attacked and beaten.

Dewsbury’s police commander, Chief Insp Jon Carter, said the Ravy Terror Squad was believed to be responsible but denied it was a real ‘gang’. “This is not a gang as such, more a peer group which has got involved in crime and anti-social behaviour,” he said. “They hang out together and one or two have become misguided and unlawful. “We have just got a positive lead on who they are and what they are about and we aim to lock them up.”"

Be fair. C.I. "Jon" may not know the definition of a gang, and he's obviously treading on diversity eggshells, but he's been as good as his word.

Shortly after 8am today, Tuesday 16th October, officers from the Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Policing Team attended at seven addresses in the Ravensthorpe area, one in the Earlsheaton area and one address in the Mirfield area. A total of 5 men aged 16, 17, 19, 22 and 25 have been arrested on suspicion of assault and robbery and are being questioned by police. Searches have been carried out at the addresses and property has been seized.

The operation follows reports of robbery and assault and postings on the internet by a number of individuals claiming to be from the Ravensthorpe Terror Squad. Chief Inspector Jon Carter who is leading the operation said: "This operation marks the culmination of behind the scenes work to identify the individuals we suspect of being involved in criminal offences. We are listening to local communities and we are taking positive action to address their concerns.

I don't want you to get the idea that Asian gangs are the only problem in Heavy Woollen Country. There are plenty of native horrors - and the whole area, within living memory a respectable though hard-drinking network of working class communities, is now a bit of a disaster zone.

Yobs went on a three-night rampage in Mirfield as weeks of anti-social behaviour exploded in alcohol-fuelled violence. Seventeen youths aged between 15 and 18 were arrested after disturbances in and around Mirfield town centre and on London Park Estate. Fighting broke out between rival gangs in the town centre on Saturday night as up to 50 youths clashed in the street. Bottles were hurled at passing cars and shop windows in the town centre were smashed as yobs ran riot. Fighting had also erupted between gangs near the town centre on Thursday night and a children’s play area in the park next to Moorlands cricket ground in Huddersfield Road was set ablaze on Friday evening ... Police quelled the worst of the violence at 11pm on Saturday but later sparked anger from local residents by dismissing the trouble as “low level disorder.”

Low level disorder, eh. Not C.I. Carter abusing the dictionary again ?

The local Intelligent Weekly Press seems a rather good paper - and it's run by locals. So often local rags are emasculated by the simple economic fact of the local authority being the largest advertiser. I wonder how much advertising they get from the council ?

My respect for them grew when I read this.

A trial date has been set for Labour MP Shahid Malik’s £100,000 lawsuit against The Press and former Tory councillor Jonathan Scott. The five-day trial, to be held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, will start on November 12.

Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Malik launched his libel action last October over a letter from Mr Scott published in both The Press and the Reporter. The letter described what happened outside a polling station in Savile Town at the local elections in May 2006. Malik threatened to sue both newspapers but only took action against The Press, which immediately vowed to vigorously defend the case. Press editor and managing director Martin Shaw said the trial had been expected in April next year but the November date became available this week. “We are ready for this trial, we are ready to win and we decided to get it on,” said Mr Shaw. “This is not something we have entered into lightly and there are serious principles at stake. “Our defence is very strong, we have some respected and high profile witnesses and we will see Mr Malik in court in eight weeks.” The Press and Mr Scott will be represented by top media barrister Jonathan Crystal and Leeds-based law firm Fox Hayes. Stephen Taylor Heath, a partner at the firm, said: “All the hard work in preparing the case has been completed and we are ready for trial.” Mr Scott said he was ready for the battle and added: “This trial has been a long time coming but now it is here at last and we are all confident, fully committed and ready to fight hard in court for what we believe in.”

After news of Malik’s lawsuit became public knowledge, the Freedom of Speech Campaign was launched to help fund defence costs. Last Saturday Press director Danny Lockwood organised the biggest and most ambitious event yet, the Freedom Ball, a black tie dinner at Dewsbury Town Hall. The sell-out event, attended by some of the district’s leading businessmen, was a huge success and raised a staggering £7,000. Mr Lockwood said: “The amazing response to the Freedom Ball showed that the people of Dewsbury and Mirfield and the wider business community are right behind us. “We thank them for their support and hope they will continue to back us between now and the trial.”

Hmmm. Mr Malik dropped action against the Dewsbury Reporter, owned by the UK-wide conglomerate Johnston Press, and chose to concentrate on a small local paper, one of the few that's still locally owned and run. One to watch I think - and does anyone know what happened outside that Savile Town polling station ?