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Hero first officers on scene talk about harrowing London Bridge Attack

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One of the Met’s first officers on the scene at the London Bridge terrorist attack has spoken of his harrowing experience of rushing to the scene to help the innocent people caught up in the incident.
Southwark Safer Neighbourhoods officer Inspector Jim Cole’s shift on Saturday, 3 June started out like any normal weekend. But just after 22:00hrs, Inspector Cole experienced his most challenging moment yet in his 18-year policing career by being one the first responders on the scene of the attack.

Inspector Cole, 41, had been on reserve duty in central London and had just arrived back at Peckham Police Station. He was getting ready to finish his shift and go home to his family when the call came in.

“My colleague had been listening to the police radio channel and he came running in to tell me a van had ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge. I instantly knew it was serious and I feared the worst,” explained Inspector Cole.

“It was all hands to the pump, it was like something out of a Battle of Britain film. Everyone went running and every available police vehicle was filled with officers. My lot got into a police carrier and we went up to London Bridge.”

He continued: “We pulled up in Borough High Street by the war memorial and we made our way on foot to Borough Market. We had some updates on the radio about at least three men attacking people with knives, but it wasn’t really a clear situation and we were not really sure what to expect. 

“When we got there, there were a number of armed officers and there were casualties on the pavements. I asked my officers to form a cordon to stop the public from going into the market, and that’s when the shooting started just behind us. We had no idea what was going on, we didn’t know if it was us shooting or if the bad guys had guns.”
Inspector Cole’s first priority was to help those injured and to keep the petrified members of public safe during the pandemonium. Inspector Cole spotted a nearby pub in Southwark Street and decided it was the safest place for people to shelter.
“We got the door open and I instructed my medic to set-up a triage area downstairs,” explained Inspector Cole. “There was a casualty on the pavement near me. I saw a marked police car. I flagged it down and I got the driver to get the casualty out of there. 

“I then saw a few injured people who were bleeding, including a man who had been stabbed in the stomach and we got them to safety in the pub. I then heard more shouting and a stream of people came out of the market screaming and panicking. I got them to go into the pub’s basement as a place of hard cover.”

He added: “It then started to stabilise a bit. It felt like that had only been a few moments, but it had actually been about 10 or 15 minutes.
“I then checked in with my medic who told me no one he was treating was immediately critical and they were stable at that point.
“On my radio I could hear officers on London Bridge desperately calling for ambulances, they were doing CPR on people. I decided I had to get my medic up there to help, but I didn’t know what the threat was to their safety. I managed to grab a couple of armed officers and they escorted my medic, and another police medic, up to London Bridge.
“I then went outside to find help for the man who had been stabbed in the stomach. I found a police car and I instructed some officers to get him to hospital.”
After getting the news that the immediate threat had been dealt with, Inspector Cole went to relay the information to the members of public sheltering in the pub.
He said. “I spoke with the 200 frightened people in the basement and told them that there were armed officers outside, we were safe and we would evacuate them as soon as we could and I got a big round of applause. That was a really nice, unexpected moment. It was a nice touch.
“It then started to calm down and we started to evacuate people from the area.

“All the first responders then went back to Southwark Police Station and other police units took over.”

Inspector Cole said his autopilot took over that night as he dealt with the unfolding situation.

“You have no time to think about anything, it’s almost robotic,” he said. “It’s really automatic, it just kicks in. You don’t really have time to consider your own safety. It was just a case of making sure everyone was doing their bit. It wasn’t really until the next morning that it sunk in and I thought ‘crikey, that was pretty major.
“It all feels very surreal, it almost feels like it isn’t real.”

Inspector Cole said it was the most challenging moment in his 18-year-career in the Met.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, it was the most challenging, most intense situation I’ve dealt with. I’ve dealt with a lot of death and I’ve been to some pretty horrific scenes in my career, but nothing has ever been on that scale. It’s going to stick with me for a long time.”

Inspector Cole said he was proud of his colleagues and his team on the night. He added: “The team there was brilliant and all the officers working to me did everything I asked them to. Everyone showed courage. No one thought about themselves, everyone was busy helping other people. It really brings home what a great organisation the Met is.”

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Man attacked staff with a traffic cone at petrol station

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Police are appealing for information after a man was assaulted with a traffic cone at a petrol station in Newcastle.

At around 12.05pm on Monday afternoon police received a report that a staff member at the Shell garage on the Great North Road in Gosforth had been assaulted with a traffic cone.

The male offender had filled up a motorcycle with fuel but was challenged by staff when it appeared that he would not pay for the fuel.

He became aggressive and then assaulted the staff member with a traffic cone before fleeing the scene on foot in the direction of The Three Mile Inn.

The victim of the assault was later taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose and cheekbone. It is also believed the motorcycle the offender left at the garage was stolen.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and police are now appealing for help from the public to identify the offender.

He is described as wearing all black with a white motorcycle helmet that had the visor down.

Officers also want to speak to any witnesses to the incident as there were a number of people on the garage forecourt who police have still not spoken to.

They are also keen to speak to any motorists who may have dash-cam footage showing the motorcycle in question.

Anyone who knows the man, or witnessed the incident on Monday, is encouraged to contact police on 101 quoting log 423 13/08/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also email the OIC on [email protected] or report online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.

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Women takes wrong turn at level crossing sparking police response

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A woman has brought Metro trains to a standstill after a woman took a wrong turn at a level crossing and drove on the tracks.

How on earth she managed to do that we will never know, despite the bumpy journey and being on a train track she continued her journey, Maybe she was taking a shortcut?.

Police raced to the scene and Trains were suspended causing delays between Newcastle Airport and Regent Centre after the car was spotted on the line at Kingston Park.

Nexus Rail worker Danny Usher has told Police Hour that an 89-year-old woman got confused and took a wrong turn and made a mistake,

“The lady was 89 years old the poor women got confused and made a mistake luckily nobody was hurt and the police have taken her licence off her for her own safety”

Police have said the driver had gotten lost and took a wrong turn onto the railway and was heading towards Bank Foot station before she stopped at the platform.

Police responded to the incident at 8.30pm and helped get the woman out of the car to safety.

The track has also been checked for any damage before trains resumed at 9.15pm.

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Sunderland Doctor secretly took pictures of woman at stages of undress while seeing the DR

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A trusted doctor in Sunderland has been sentenced to 14 months in jail after secretly taking of pictures and videos of his patients.

Last month (July), Dr Thair Altaii, 55, was found guilty of three counts of voyeurism between 2008 and 2014.

The GP, of White Rocks Grove, Whitburn, was found to have more than 19,000 images of women on his laptop, some clothed and others in various stages of undress, after one of his patients raised concerns to police. A number of videos were also found on Altaii’s laptop and other equipment.

After being found guilty of all charges by a jury, Altaii was today (Tuesday, August 14)  back at Newcastle Crown Court as the judge sentenced him to 14 months’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Lee Boys, of Northumbria Police, said: “Thair Altaii clearly abused his position of trust and caused inevitable distress to his victims, who were totally unaware of what he was doing.

“He must now deal with the consequences of his actions, having destroyed his own professional career and reputation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank his victims for the courage, determination and dignity they have shown throughout this investigation, and for their assistance at every step of the process.

“It is their bravery and willingness to inform police of Altaii’s suspicious behaviour that has resulted in his conviction, ensuring no more of his patients can become unwilling and unknowing victims.”

Altaii was arrested in August 2014 after a patient noticed two propped up mobile phones – one on his desk and another on a shelf overlooking the examination table – during an appointment and subsequently alerted police.

His laptop, along with other equipment, was subsequently seized by officers.

The doctor, who was suspended from his role after the allegations came to light, claimed the images were captured for his own assessment and training purposes.

He initially denied recording any of his patients without consent when first spoken to by police.

But during a later interview, he accepted recording nine medical consultations without permission of the patients or making them aware.

When shown some of the images recovered from his laptop, Altaii said they may have been produced automatically after filming appointments “for training reasons”.

The doctor pleaded not guilty to all charges at court and denied any of the images or videos were taken for sexual gratification.

Any patients who have concerns are asked to call 0800 464 0386 or 0330 041 2186.

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