(en) Scotland Yardies part 1 (long)

Martin Howard (Martin.howard@qnet.org.uk)
Fri, 28 Nov 1997 20:08:49 -0800

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This is the first part of an article from Black Flag 212, which looks at police involvement in so called Yardie drug gangs in Britain. Neither Black Flag nor the article's author have any illusions about the reformability of the police, but we do believe that they should be exposed to as much scrutiny as possible.

Part 2 will follow.

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Scotland Yardies

On 10th July 1997 a Jamaican national, Eaton Green, lost his battle to av= oid deportation to Jamaica. Green's counsel, in seking to resist a depor= tation order, had argued that Green, a polic informer serving six years f= or armed robbery, had been told by a Metrolpolitan Police intelligence of= ficer that he would be "protected". The High Court judge, Mr Justice Jarrett, ruled that the Home Office was = not bound by any such undertaking. Eaton Green's original trial, for a ro= bbery in Nottingham, attracted a flurry of media attention because of the= revelation that he had carried out the robbery and dealt crack and run a= South London protection racket, whiole operating as an informer, and fur= hter, that Green's handlers (in particular PC Steve Barker) had full know= ledge of his activities and attempted to protect him from arrest and pros= ecution by Nottingham police. The line adopted by the media in relation t= o this, and subsequent reveltations about "Yardie" informers, was that go= od "street cops" under pressure, under resourced and unsupported, had ben= t rules to try to effectively tackle a "Yardie" crime wave. The main pro= ponent of this line is a Guardian journalist, Nick Davies. "How the Yardi= es Duped the Yard" was the headline of an article he wrote on 3/2/97. =

Whether Davies believes what he writes is open to question. The articles = themselves read like a damage limitation exercise drafted by Scotland Yar= d's press office. Their central proposition, though, does not stand up to= examination. They do not fit with the facts. =

In his 3rd February article, Davies opens with "Ten years ago, Scotland Y= ard realised that organised criminals from jamaica - the Yardies - were m= oving into London. By 1987 they wre pumping crack cocaine into black hous= ing estates and establishing their control with terrifying violence. The = response from police was chaotic and pathetic. A 1993 official report war= ned that "unless there is a consistent, aggressive and long term strategy= ", drug related crime would soar." In fact, Scotland yard's "yardie" stra= tegy stems froma meeting in 1989 between UK police officers and Robert S= tutman, then head of the New York office of the Drug Enforcement Administ= ration, in which he warned that most crack dealing in the US was controll= ed by two ethnic groups - Dominicans and Jamaicans - and that these gangs= were determined to engineer a "crack explosion" in the UK. Up until 1989= , Yard policy had been in the hands of Roy Ramm, who stated soon after hi= s appointment in 1987 "I'm absolutely convinced that there is no such thi= ng as a black mafia or black Godfather operating in this country". =

In 1988 armed police raided the New Four Aces club in Dalston to target s= uspected Yardie gang dealing in cocaine. The raid netted =9C6,000 worth o= f cocaine - not a significant quantity given that a kilo of coke carries = a street value of about =9C160,000. Further Metrtolpolitan Police fiugure= s for 1989 show 58 grams of crack being seized in the whole year, compare= d to 331 kilos of heroin, 424 kilos of cocaine and 50,000 kilos of cannab= is. In consequence of this, for all the apocalyptic proclamations of the = likes of Stutman, police units like Operation Lucy were in fact wound do= wn. The journalist Jim Davison, a former Sunday Times writer, and like Ni= ck Davies, a propoonent of the "Yardie" myth, reports a dscussion with Ro= y Ramm at the time as follows: "It is a loose association of violent crim= inals bent on making profits from drugs and then spending them as quickly= as possible", he (Ramm) said. Unlike the Mafia or the Colombian cartels,= the gangs opted for a "little and often" method of importation rather th= an large scale smuggling operations."The end result of this is, as Davie= s reports, a Yardie Squad set up and killed off within six months in 1990= , and the establishment of Operation Dalehouse in 1991, to target what th= e Squad Commander DS John Jones (who I'm sure would throw his hands in th= e air in Hendon-shaded outrage if numbered as a racist) called "a fairly = wide-based criminal fraternity of black British people." So successful we= re they that this squad also wound up in November 1992. Davies throws up= a smokescreen around the reality of Operation Dalehouse. He writes that = it "made 274 arrests often for attacks on black victims. John Jones feare= d tgat part of the problem was that black victims of crime attracted less= press attention, and therefore tempted the policy makers at Scotland Yar= d to ignore them. And all the time that the generals at Scotland Yard we= re ordering their footsoldiers to retreat, there were more Yardies flowin= g into London." In truthOPeration Dalehouse did make 274 arrests, but of = these only 25 were chraged with serious criminal offences, and the Sunday= Times journalist Davison concedes the squad met with a "lack of co-opera= tion from the local community." The end result was that by 1993, according to Davies, his heroes were red= uced to "a hrad copre of half a dozen detectives and immigration officers= who were still trying to tackle the Yardies. They had no office and no f= acilities and were reduced to using the bar of a small pub in Southwark w= here.. they swapped intelligence and tried to cobble together a strategy.= =2E.. oficers had been forced to spend their won money to fund operations= =2E" It's here that Davies' argument begins to fall apart. Soon after ple= ading poverty on the anti-Yardie squad's behalf, he revelas that the Drug= Related Violence Intelligence Unit (which Davies snidely notes was so na= med to avoid triggering complaints of racism) ran an informer code-named = Andrew Gold who was able to live a life of indulgence, driving around in = a Golf GTI, eating expensive meals, drinking fine wines, playing golf, ma= king endless transatlantic phone calls and sleeping in a luxury furnished= flat with a view of the Thames - all supplied at the British taxpayers = expense." Not bad for an outfit that Davies had earlier told us was reduc= ed to running its operations form a pub back room at its own expense. =

Davies provides details of 3 Yardies informers run by one SO11 linked DRV= IU. Andrew Gold, we are told, produced a report on the Yardies in London = which contaied no useable new intelligence, at a cost of more than $45,00= 0, before returning to Jamaica in January 1994. =

Eaton green carried out armed robberies and ran protection rackets inder = the proetection of the unit. The DRVIU cannot deny that they protected Gr= een. Cecil Thomas and Rohan Thomas came into the UK on March 28th 1993 on= false passports, to work qwith Green. An immigration officer who wroked = with the DRVIU, Brian Fotheringham, secured residence rghtts for Green af= ter he married a British national whose child he claimed he'd fathered, e= ven though tyhe child's date of birth made clear that the women in questi= on had been pregnant for four months before she met Green. At Green's rob= bery trial, DRVIU officers made illegal approaches to both the Crown Pros= ecution Service and the trial judge to try to protect Green. From May 199= 4, Fotheringham and PC Steve Barker ran another informer, Delroy Denton, = who had agreed to work for the SO11-linked team following his arrest afte= r a raid on the Atlantic pub in Brixton. Immigration's initial assessment= iof Denton was as a "dangerous Jamaican criminal, given 16 years in Jama= ica for firearms/aggravated burglary offences." Following the interventio= n of Fotheringham and Barker, Denton was back on the streets. On 19th Dec= ember 1994, Denton raped a 15 year old schoolgirl. On 1st February 1995 t= he CPS dropped a rape charge against him on the grounds of insufficient e= vidence. Fotheringham and Barker continued to run Denton, who byis stage = had acquired a reputation as a psychotic, who Davies concedes fantasised = about "how he would like to tell a man and a woman that hje was going to = kill them, then order them to stay and have sex, and then when the man wa= s too scared to perform, he would rape the woman himselfbefore he blew ou= t both their brains". In April 1995, Denton entered a flat in Brixton and= raped and stabbed to death a 24 year old mother of 2, Marcia Lawes. Dent= on was charged with murder on 29th June 1995. On 29th October 1995 the CP= S again dropped the charge because iof "insufficient evidence". The Number Five Area Major Investigation Pool detectives investigating De= nton contacted Fotheringham and advised him of the informers' status as a= n illegal immigrant. Fotheringham refused to act. Barker, with full know= ledge of senior SO11 officers, continued to meet Denton. In July 1996, fo= llowing further AMIP work, Denton was jailed for life. Nick Davies argues= that the DRVIU was starved of "power and leadership" and in consequence,= front-line officers, with falling morale, committed errors in the field.= "In the background, Scotland Yard's policy makers blocked a series of an= ti-Yardie initiatives which had been proposed by front-line officers." Th= is is bullshit. =

Whatever Davies and the media management teams at Scotland Yard are tryin= g to conceal, the chronology of their cover story makes no sense. The DRV= IU was, we are told, set up following recommendations from Detective Chie= f Superintendent (now deputy Assistant Commissioner) Ray Clark. Clark mad= e 35 recommendations and delivered a report which concluded "It has been = made abundantly clear by all I have spoken to that unless there is a cons= istent, aggressive and long term strategy to deal with Jamaican criminals= in London, there will be ever and sharply increasing incidents of murder= , violence, drug related crime and crack availability." Davies would have= it that "the policy makers at Scotlasnd Yard then sidelined a substantia= l number if Clark's 35 recommendations", and things then began to go wron= g. But Eaton Green was arrested on July 8th 1993, only 2 days after Clark si= gned his report and BEFORE the DRVIU was officially established. Both Ea= ton Green and Andrew Gold (with his $45,000 budget) were being run by Sco= tland Yard officers efore Clark delivered his report. Green and Gold were= only able to remain in the UK due to the manouevres of immigration offic= ers like Brian Fotheringham. If Scotland Yard policy indded led to the "a= lmost complete breakdown of the Metroplotan Police strategic response (to= Yardie crime) and of the formal intelligence gathering and development s= tructure" and if the anti-Yardie squad was really reduced to a Southwark = frinking club how and why were the resources to run Gold and Green obtain= ed? If Barker and Fotheringham had already overseen Eaton green's crime s= pree of their own initiative, and with a PR disaster and the souring of r= elations between the Yard and Nottingham CID the chief results, why accep= t Clark's report at all?



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