14/07/2017 Newsnight


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14/07/2017

How the fire service response to the Grenfell Tower fire compares with services across the UK, a murder trial held in secret and why acid attacks are on the increase.


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Why did it take so long for the London Fire Brigade

:00:00.:00:07.

to deploy a tall ladder on the Grenfell fire?

:00:08.:00:11.

It's a more awkward question for the Brigade tonight,

:00:12.:00:13.

as most other Fire Services tell us they would have sent a tall

:00:14.:00:16.

ladder out automatically. Vital minutes were lost before that

:00:17.:00:25.

tall ladder arrived, but its delay appears to be a sign

:00:26.:00:29.

of a haphazard patchwork of inconsistent policies and plans

:00:30.:00:31.

among the Fire Services across the country.

:00:32.:00:33.

The same fire in the same tower block elicits wildly different

:00:34.:00:37.

responses from Fire Services across the country.

:00:38.:00:42.

Also tonight: The killing of an elderly and reclusive man in 2006.

:00:43.:00:46.

The conviction of a Chinese man for the murder in 2009.

:00:47.:00:50.

I'm the first journalist to interview Wang Yam.

:00:51.:00:56.

Over the past year, I've spent 25 hours speaking with him by telephone

:00:57.:01:00.

And we do our bit to kick off the Proms...

:01:01.:01:38.

Last week, we reported on the often heroic response of the fire fighters

:01:39.:01:56.

to the Grenfell Tower blaze, and the failings in

:01:57.:01:58.

The biggest surprise was that no tall ladder was dispatched

:01:59.:02:04.

to Grenfell until half an hour after the initial call.

:02:05.:02:08.

This, it turned out, was London Fire Brigade policy,

:02:09.:02:11.

to wait and see before sending an aerial platform.

:02:12.:02:15.

Well, we've been doing some follow-up work with the other

:02:16.:02:18.

Fire Services of the UK, and it turns out that the bulk

:02:19.:02:21.

London was in a minority in not sending a tall ladder automatically

:02:22.:02:26.

London has adapted its policy since Grenfell as an interim measure,

:02:27.:02:34.

but there are still nine other services that don't deploy.

:02:35.:02:39.

And we've found other differences in plans of different Fire Services.

:02:40.:02:44.

In other words, this is yet another area where, post-Grenfell,

:02:45.:02:47.

you examine national policy closely and find it wanting.

:02:48.:02:52.

A month after the horrifying events of the 14th of June, and a clearer

:02:53.:03:06.

picture of how the London Fire Brigade responded to the Grenfell

:03:07.:03:11.

Tower fire has begun to emerge. Last week, Newsnight reported that the

:03:12.:03:15.

first high ladder, or are real, arrived 31 minutes after the first

:03:16.:03:21.

fire engine. -- or are real. London has now changed its predetermined

:03:22.:03:24.

attendance, what it would automatically send to a high-rise

:03:25.:03:29.

fire, to include a high ladder as an interim measure. But how would other

:03:30.:03:33.

Fire Services have reacted to a similar fire in a high-rise

:03:34.:03:37.

building? We contacted every Fire Service in the country to ask what

:03:38.:03:41.

their predetermined attendance was to a fire in a tower block. We found

:03:42.:03:46.

that 70% of Fire Services would have sent an aerial ladder. This is

:03:47.:03:49.

before Grenfell, remember, to any high-rise fire. However, nine Fire

:03:50.:04:05.

Services, including Tyne Wear, Leicestershire, Kent, Lancashire and

:04:06.:04:09.

Cambridgeshire will not send aerial ladder in the first instance. The

:04:10.:04:14.

crux of the problem is this - the same fire in the same tower block

:04:15.:04:20.

elicits wildly different responses from Fire Services across the

:04:21.:04:24.

country. Now, take this building behind me. It's a high-rise building

:04:25.:04:29.

in Essex. And if there's a fire here, the first response of the

:04:30.:04:32.

local Fire Service won't be to send a high ladder. Whereas in

:04:33.:04:39.

neighbouring Suffolk, they will. Lauren Irish is a community nurse

:04:40.:04:42.

who cares for a resident inside a tower block. At the end of the day,

:04:43.:04:46.

it's a tower block. You hear that it is on fire, why wouldn't you send

:04:47.:04:50.

the highest ladder you've got to get them out quicker, rather than just

:04:51.:04:54.

sending a little one? What's that going to do? You know, who is going

:04:55.:04:57.

to reach the top floor? It's not fair. That's my opinion on it. It's

:04:58.:05:07.

not. I wouldn't like to be on the top floor. White Essex Fire Service

:05:08.:05:09.

say that they have inspected all of their high-rise buildings post

:05:10.:05:11.

Grenfell, and that no changes to their response plans are needed.

:05:12.:05:18.

Sally leaves Lee led the review to modernise Fire Services in

:05:19.:05:20.

Queensland, Australia. And aerial ladder is now essential for all --

:05:21.:05:26.

how are fires in this country. The response time has to be arranged so

:05:27.:05:31.

that it is within 15 minutes. Any new policy about aerial ladders must

:05:32.:05:34.

take account of what numbers are needed, because there may not be

:05:35.:05:37.

enough to really adequately provide the risk that we now know is with

:05:38.:05:40.

these buildings throughout the country. The differences in

:05:41.:05:45.

predetermined attendances between various fire rescue services go

:05:46.:05:49.

beyond whether they send an aerial ladder or not. For example, Kent

:05:50.:05:54.

sends up three fire Rangers to report a tower block files. Whereas

:05:55.:06:04.

in neighbouring summary, the same tower block fire gets six fire

:06:05.:06:06.

engines, and aerial ladder and a command support team. A London Fire

:06:07.:06:07.

Brigade spokesman told Newsnight... Few could have foreseen what

:06:08.:06:26.

happened at Grenfell. But after the disaster, questions have to be asked

:06:27.:06:29.

about whether there should be a national minimum attendance to a

:06:30.:06:33.

high-rise fire. Can it be right that your post code dictates what kind of

:06:34.:06:36.

a response of Fire Services will deliver?

:06:37.:06:38.

Now, if you're interested to find out how your local Fire Service

:06:39.:06:42.

would immediately respond to a tower block fire, then you can do

:06:43.:06:45.

so on the BBC's website, where we've created an interactive

:06:46.:06:47.

We asked the London Fire Brigade for an interview tonight,

:06:48.:06:52.

as well as each of the other services whose plans don't include

:06:53.:06:55.

sending a high ladder automatically to a tower block fire,

:06:56.:06:58.

I'm joined instead by Matt Wrack, the General Secretary of the FBU.

:06:59.:07:08.

Good evening to you. Is there any sense in the position that says you

:07:09.:07:18.

don't need to send one? London Fire Brigade say, actually, we deal with

:07:19.:07:24.

these things internally and you assess the situation before you

:07:25.:07:28.

deploy. There's a logic to what London Fire Brigade are saying,

:07:29.:07:34.

firefighters are trained to fight tower block fires internally because

:07:35.:07:38.

of compartmentalisation. We've discussed this before, and using

:07:39.:07:43.

internal tri- rising mains and so on. What Grenfell Tower has

:07:44.:07:48.

demonstrated is that the risk has clearly changed, because that is

:07:49.:07:53.

premised on the basis that the fire will not spread externally.

:07:54.:07:56.

Including we have a case where fire did spread externally and we now

:07:57.:08:01.

find that other tower blocks around the country are feeling similar

:08:02.:08:08.

tests? Should we always be sending high ladders, or now we have seen

:08:09.:08:12.

that we have got dangerous cladding on buildings that we haven't

:08:13.:08:14.

understood and we have seen the risk, it is time to learn from that

:08:15.:08:20.

and sent the aerials? There are two points. The other point you have

:08:21.:08:23.

raised, the number of fire engines, is a key issue. The number of

:08:24.:08:28.

firefighters is crucial. In terms of high reach vehicles, aerial

:08:29.:08:31.

appliances, we would generally have said that they should always be in

:08:32.:08:35.

tower block fires. Your position is that they always go, but especially

:08:36.:08:39.

after Grenfell? Yes. Why would they not send them out? Is it expensive?

:08:40.:08:46.

Aerial ladders and high reach vehicles, the problem that we have

:08:47.:08:49.

had is that they are very specialist. They therefore used

:08:50.:08:53.

rarely. Sometimes people could use them and don't use them. But they

:08:54.:08:57.

are just sitting around. If they are not being taken to a fire...

:08:58.:09:00.

Firefighters can do lots of other things. One of the problems we have

:09:01.:09:05.

identified in our own research is actually, it is also about speed,

:09:06.:09:11.

how quickly do fire engines get that? The majority of aerial

:09:12.:09:14.

appliances in the UK or not permanently crewed. There are even

:09:15.:09:18.

further delays. If you put them on the PDA, the predetermined

:09:19.:09:23.

attendance, you will probably have to have them always screwed up and

:09:24.:09:27.

it might cost them more? That makes sense. The London ones are

:09:28.:09:30.

permanently crewed. Matt, do you trust the people who are running the

:09:31.:09:35.

Fire Services of the UK to be competent at making these decisions?

:09:36.:09:38.

Well, we have raised concerns about this sort of issue for more than a

:09:39.:09:42.

decade. We used to have national standards of fire cover. We now have

:09:43.:09:46.

local so-called risk management plans. What they are in reality is

:09:47.:09:50.

budget management plans. You see that the risk assessments over time,

:09:51.:09:54.

as budgets are squeezed, the response is declined over the past

:09:55.:09:59.

few years. In a way, the Government says, look, we leave this up to the

:10:00.:10:02.

local people because they will make up their mind. Many of them visit

:10:03.:10:05.

the individual buildings were talking about, so they know the

:10:06.:10:08.

buildings. In Kent they said, we don't need to send the aerial

:10:09.:10:14.

initially... At the turn-of-the-century it was

:10:15.:10:17.

Government funded research about what firefighters do a different

:10:18.:10:20.

types of incidents. You could map out how many firefighters you need

:10:21.:10:23.

to fight a fire in a terraced house, a tower block and so on. I have to

:10:24.:10:28.

say, that was Government funded, we've done similar research

:10:29.:10:31.

ourselves. The idea... It depends how many firefighters or on the fire

:10:32.:10:35.

engine, because the number of fire engine itself may not be an adequate

:10:36.:10:40.

clue, how many firefighters are on each fire engine, the idea of

:10:41.:10:47.

sending three in our view is completely inadequate to fight a

:10:48.:10:49.

fire in a tower block. Matt Wrack, thank you. London have at least as

:10:50.:10:52.

an interim measure it changed their policy sets the Grenfell fire. --

:10:53.:10:56.

since the Grenfell fire. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal

:10:57.:10:59.

will examine whether to overturn the conviction of a man

:11:00.:11:01.

who is in jail on a minimum 20-year It's a case that goes back

:11:02.:11:04.

to the violent killing in 2006 of an elderly man in a leafy,

:11:05.:11:08.

prosperous part of North London. It was unique in that

:11:09.:11:11.

some of the subsequent Did that contribute to a potential

:11:12.:11:13.

miscarriage of justice? Well, all such cases of course

:11:14.:11:17.

invite the question - did the man convicted of the crime

:11:18.:11:19.

do it or not? But this one is complicated by

:11:20.:11:22.

an association between the Chinese It means reporting restrictions

:11:23.:11:24.

apply in this case. But the journalist and writer

:11:25.:11:31.

Thomas Harding, who lived in the neighbourhood of the murder,

:11:32.:11:34.

has been intrigued by what happened. He's written a book

:11:35.:11:38.

on it and interviewed He's authored this film for us

:11:39.:11:40.

on the case, and there are some Alan Chappelow was bludgeoned

:11:41.:11:45.

to death in his home in 2006. The man convicted of his killing,

:11:46.:12:08.

a Chinese dissident who was somehow connected to the secret

:12:09.:12:11.

intelligence service MI6. The case has always been shrouded

:12:12.:12:15.

in mystery as the first murder trial in modern times to be held

:12:16.:12:18.

partly in secret. The Court of Appeal is due to decide

:12:19.:12:21.

whether the guilty verdict We've spoken exclusively

:12:22.:12:23.

to the man behind bars, who always claimed he suffered

:12:24.:12:33.

a miscarriage of justice. I knew the victim Alan Chappelow

:12:34.:12:45.

as the eccentric who lived four After he was killed,

:12:46.:12:53.

the house was knocked It's recently been on the market

:12:54.:12:57.

for over ?14 million. I've spent the past year writing

:12:58.:13:00.

a book about this story. I want to get to the bottom

:13:01.:13:02.

of what happened to my neighbour. An author and photographer,

:13:03.:13:09.

who wrote about George Bernard Shaw, Peter Tausig lived two doors down

:13:10.:13:12.

the street from him. Alan Chappelow was part

:13:13.:13:20.

of Downshire Hill. He was one of the

:13:21.:13:23.

original characters. One would always see him wandering

:13:24.:13:27.

up and down the street in his grubby raincoat with his belt tied

:13:28.:13:31.

round his waist or on his old motorbike which he

:13:32.:13:33.

kept in the garden. But he was so incredibly proud

:13:34.:13:41.

of this ramshackle house. You used to see him up on the roof

:13:42.:13:44.

repairing leaks with Sellotape. I felt terribly sad

:13:45.:13:47.

when I heard about his death. Police found 86-year-old

:13:48.:13:53.

Alan Chappelow's body buried under half a tonne of his own book

:13:54.:13:56.

manuscripts after being strangled Over the past year, I've had

:13:57.:14:00.

a number of conversations with Peter Lansdowne,

:14:01.:14:06.

the murder inquiry's senior He is portrayed in our

:14:07.:14:08.

film by an actor. It was a real whodunnit, it took two

:14:09.:14:15.

days of searching his house. Lansdowne believes

:14:16.:14:20.

Alan Chappelow had been the victim of fraud,

:14:21.:14:28.

which led to a burglary gone wrong. You have seen a lot of murders,

:14:29.:14:31.

have you ever seen any bungled burglary with such

:14:32.:14:34.

a high-level of violence? Does that raise

:14:35.:14:36.

questions in your head? I'm still supremely confident

:14:37.:14:46.

we've got the right man. I find it hard to believe that those

:14:47.:14:58.

brutal pictures of Alan were the result of a robbery that

:14:59.:15:00.

had gone wrong. Keri Nixon is an expert

:15:01.:15:03.

in criminal behaviour. This is an excessive

:15:04.:15:06.

use of violence, if it The burglar would likely use some

:15:07.:15:09.

violence to incapacitate the person and they would get out as quickly

:15:10.:15:18.

as they could. What they have done here,

:15:19.:15:20.

they've used an excessive use of violence and they've then taken

:15:21.:15:23.

a long time to bury the body amongst all the manuscripts and rubbish

:15:24.:15:26.

that we can see here. Just days before he was killed,

:15:27.:15:30.

Alan called the Inland Revenue, worried he'd been a victim

:15:31.:15:35.

of mail fraud. This is the audio

:15:36.:15:38.

recording of that call. Within days of finding the body,

:15:39.:16:05.

the police had identified their prime suspect,

:16:06.:16:08.

Wang Yam, a 45-year-old Chinese dissident who lived

:16:09.:16:14.

here on Denning Road. Less than five minutes walk

:16:15.:16:16.

from Alan Chappelow's home. When they arrived at his flat

:16:17.:16:21.

to arrest him they soon discovered that their suspect had

:16:22.:16:23.

fled to Switzerland. The police went through Wang Yam's

:16:24.:16:29.

rubbish and discovered that he had been involved with various

:16:30.:16:32.

suspicious financial dealings. Soon after, they obtained CCTV

:16:33.:16:41.

images of him using Alan's But they found no forensic evidence

:16:42.:16:43.

tying Wang Yam to the crime scene. The police also had audio recordings

:16:44.:16:51.

of a Chinese sounding man calling banks and pretending

:16:52.:16:54.

to be Alan Chappelow. How as a police officer do

:16:55.:16:56.

you then go to the murder, All of the transactions

:16:57.:17:28.

on the victim's account were linked to Wang Yam or an Oriental male

:17:29.:17:34.

with similarities to him, so circumstantially

:17:35.:17:37.

everything adds up. And the answer has to be

:17:38.:17:38.

very, very unlikely. There is no evidence that he'd

:17:39.:17:45.

ever been in the house? No evidence he'd ever

:17:46.:17:48.

touched Chappelow? No evidence full stop.

:17:49.:17:50.

No witnesses, nothing. But no evidence that

:17:51.:17:54.

anyone else had either. Could there be another

:17:55.:17:59.

viable alternative? Wang Yam is currently serving a 20

:18:00.:18:01.

year sentence and is being held He continues to maintain

:18:02.:18:10.

that he's innocent. I'm the first journalist

:18:11.:18:21.

to interview Wang Yam. Over the past year I've spent 25

:18:22.:18:23.

hours speaking with him Following his arrest

:18:24.:18:26.

in Switzerland, Wang Yam Kirsty Brimelow QC has

:18:27.:19:02.

represented him from the beginning. So, Kirsty, why do you think your

:19:03.:19:09.

client was innocent? There was no evidence

:19:10.:19:17.

at all forensically that he had There was no traces of blood found

:19:18.:19:20.

upon clothing and there were no He had no history of violence

:19:21.:19:30.

and to beat someone to death where you have not a violent bone

:19:31.:19:46.

in your body is unusual I've been given exclusive access

:19:47.:19:49.

to correspondence written by Wang Yam's solicitors to the CPS

:19:50.:19:53.

before the murder trial. It is clear from this

:19:54.:19:57.

that his lawyers felt that crucial information was not being disclosed,

:19:58.:20:01.

in particular Wang Yam's His lawyers also attached this

:20:02.:20:04.

letter from the Ministry of Defence which invited Wang Yam

:20:05.:20:13.

in for an interview and thanked him Because of a 2008 court order we're

:20:14.:20:15.

not allowed to learn any more about Wang Yam's work for MI6 or how

:20:16.:20:24.

it relates to his defence. I questioned Wang Yam

:20:25.:20:31.

about whether he'd asked the police to get in touch with MI6

:20:32.:20:33.

after being arrested. You had told them already off

:20:34.:20:51.

the record that you were with MI6? What I can tell you,

:20:52.:21:06.

and this was in open court, is that he was trying to get

:21:07.:21:11.

alongside pretty serious criminals in order to gather information

:21:12.:21:14.

as to their illegal activity. To take that information and report

:21:15.:21:21.

to the appropriate authorities. His defence given in open court

:21:22.:21:24.

was that he was gathering information of illegal activity

:21:25.:21:37.

and was taking that information to report back

:21:38.:21:41.

to appropriate authorities. I can't tell you any more

:21:42.:21:45.

as to who those authorities were and as to why he was in that

:21:46.:21:49.

position in the first place. Because all of that was

:21:50.:21:52.

in camera, in secret. A few weeks after I started speaking

:21:53.:21:58.

to Wang Yam, I received a letter from the Attorney General's Office,

:21:59.:22:02.

letting me know that they were aware of my research and reminding me

:22:03.:22:05.

of the court's press restrictions. It stated, "Breach of this order

:22:06.:22:09.

is a contempt of court". Somebody murdered Alan Chappelow,

:22:10.:22:23.

there was no other option. That is what you have to rely

:22:24.:22:25.

on at the end of the day. There wasn't an alternative,

:22:26.:22:28.

and almost without exception, I think it is without exception,

:22:29.:22:30.

if it looks like a murderer, and smells like a murderer,

:22:31.:22:34.

it probably is the murderer. If there were other people prowling

:22:35.:22:41.

around the streets looking at mail and post beside the suspect

:22:42.:22:48.

Wang Yam, would that begin to undermine the no

:22:49.:22:50.

alternative concept? It begins to nibble

:22:51.:22:52.

away, doesn't it? Yeah, it has to, yes, but there

:22:53.:22:54.

was no intelligence information, Have there been other attempts

:22:55.:22:57.

to defraud in this manner? Yeah, I'm absolutely confident.

:22:58.:23:01.

Absolutely confident. What else do we know

:23:02.:23:11.

about this case? There is very limited information

:23:12.:23:16.

in the public domain, but one of the few sources

:23:17.:23:19.

is the Supreme Court judgment. And it states that Wang Yam claimed

:23:20.:23:24.

he'd been given Alan's cheque-book and credit cards by gangsters

:23:25.:23:27.

and that he was playing along with them as a means of assembling

:23:28.:23:30.

evidence against them But because of court restrictions,

:23:31.:23:32.

there is little more we can And, extraordinarily, we can't even

:23:33.:23:37.

speculate about why parts Freelance crime reporter

:23:38.:23:48.

Duncan Campbell has been He believes the issue

:23:49.:23:52.

at the heart of this case is whether the interests

:23:53.:23:56.

of the British intelligence services were prioritised over Wang Yam's

:23:57.:23:58.

right to a fair trial. The official reason for holding

:23:59.:24:03.

the trial in secret The real reason, I think,

:24:04.:24:05.

was to avoid embarrassment. MI6 were embarrassed that they had

:24:06.:24:13.

been working with someone who was a little bit rackety

:24:14.:24:17.

and as far as they were concerned could possibly be involved

:24:18.:24:23.

in crime and even in murder. Years after Wang Yam was found

:24:24.:24:25.

guilty, a new witness came forward. We wrote an article in The Guardian

:24:26.:24:30.

in early 2014, and a couple of days "Dear Duncan, I read your article

:24:31.:24:33.

today with interest. I lived a few doors down

:24:34.:24:41.

from this back in 2006". This is after Wang Yam

:24:42.:24:47.

was already arrested. "I opened the door and there

:24:48.:24:54.

was a man with a knife What I'm amazed by is the fact

:24:55.:24:57.

that the local police did not immediately pass this on to people

:24:58.:25:01.

involved in the Chappelow case. And I think it's shocking

:25:02.:25:04.

that Wang Yam's defence were not aware of this,

:25:05.:25:06.

and shocking that nothing was done Do you think that Wang Yam should

:25:07.:25:08.

have been found guilty I'm sure if a jury had known that

:25:09.:25:12.

while he was in prison that somebody was carrying out a very similar kind

:25:13.:25:21.

of crime, that the jury This new witnesses testimony

:25:22.:25:23.

was sent to the Criminal Cases Review Commission who took

:25:24.:25:33.

it under review. I asked former senior

:25:34.:25:35.

police investigating officer Peter Lansdowne

:25:36.:25:36.

what he thought about it. Have you heard what happened

:25:37.:25:41.

today at the Criminal They've referred it

:25:42.:25:43.

to the appeals court. Oh my God.

:25:44.:25:57.

No, I didn't know that at all. It says, "The referral is based

:25:58.:25:59.

on new evidence relating to the failure by police to reveal

:26:00.:26:04.

to the Crown Prosecution Service and consequently to deprive Mr Yam's

:26:05.:26:07.

defence of material which might have assisted the defence and or

:26:08.:26:10.

undermined the prosecution case". I don't even know what

:26:11.:26:17.

they're talking about. Sometimes you have problems

:26:18.:26:25.

remembering things, correct? And my question is,

:26:26.:26:27.

is it just possible, when it's late at night and you're

:26:28.:26:35.

lying on your bed in prison, do you ever ask yourself,

:26:36.:26:38.

maybe I did it? I believe there are strong

:26:39.:27:02.

indications that Wang Yam suffered There were no forensics linking him

:27:03.:27:05.

to the scene of the crime. The secret trial may have meant that

:27:06.:27:13.

witnesses didn't come forward. And any failure to disclose

:27:14.:27:17.

potential evidence could seriously If the Court of Appeal does overturn

:27:18.:27:19.

Wang Yam's guilty verdict, the question then, is,

:27:20.:27:27.

who killed Alan Chappelow? Thomas Harding with his take

:27:28.:27:35.

on the Wang Yam case there. Newsnight contacted

:27:36.:27:41.

the Metropolitan Police for comment on that claim that another similar

:27:42.:27:45.

burglary in the same street was not passed by local police onto Met

:27:46.:27:51.

officers investigating the Chappelow murder, or to Wang

:27:52.:27:54.

Yam's defence team. The Met said it was unable

:27:55.:27:56.

to comment given the ongoing A spate of acid attacks occurred

:27:57.:28:00.

in East London last night - five attacks in all,

:28:01.:28:05.

and in each case the victims Two of the victims were couriers

:28:06.:28:07.

for food delivery services, Two teenagers have been arrested

:28:08.:28:10.

in relation to the attacks. There had been reports of robberies

:28:11.:28:18.

of mopeds in Hackney, at the heart of last night's

:28:19.:28:21.

attacks, but not But even before these attacks,

:28:22.:28:23.

there had been concern that acid was becoming a more common weapon,

:28:24.:28:29.

with 458 reported incidents Jaf Shah runs the charity

:28:30.:28:31.

Acid Survivors Trust International. And down the line from Brighton

:28:32.:28:42.

is Dr Marian Fitzgerald, who is a Professor of Criminology

:28:43.:28:44.

at the University of Kent, and was previously a researcher

:28:45.:28:47.

at the Home Office. Start us off on the evolution of the

:28:48.:28:55.

types of crime. As I understand it has gone from being a revenge crime,

:28:56.:29:03.

men and women, to a gang weapon to some degree. The strange thing is,

:29:04.:29:09.

we have returned to how acid attacks were committed 200 years ago in the

:29:10.:29:13.

UK, where there were many more gang-related activities. That has

:29:14.:29:18.

been the case as we have run through this century. In the 20s, 30s, Kwame

:29:19.:29:24.

Green wrote Brighton Rock where the main protagonist carries a container

:29:25.:29:29.

full of acid which he attacks other gangsters with -- Graham Greene. It

:29:30.:29:34.

is not a new phenomenon, that is the first in to point out, but what is

:29:35.:29:38.

different about what is occurring now, the trend is very different,

:29:39.:29:43.

globally it is men attacking women. 75% of victims are women globally.

:29:44.:29:50.

The UK is unique, what we are experiencing here, predominantly men

:29:51.:29:56.

and men attacks. This takes you back to the gang aspect, effectively.

:29:57.:30:02.

Should we view this as a new crime or is this old crimes and there is a

:30:03.:30:07.

new weapon perhaps because we have clamped down on guns and knives and

:30:08.:30:14.

this is the next thing available? Well, I think that we do need to see

:30:15.:30:20.

it in wider terms, the danger is we will get a political knee jerk

:30:21.:30:25.

response which targets acid, targeting the weapon, but we have

:30:26.:30:30.

had many of these initiatives and I think you have to distinguish

:30:31.:30:37.

between these sort of things like lethal weapons which can only be

:30:38.:30:41.

used for that purpose, guns being the most obvious example, which

:30:42.:30:46.

should be made illegal, other than where ownership is justified and

:30:47.:30:51.

licensed, as opposed to a very wide range of things which are not only

:30:52.:30:58.

readily available in most domestic circumstances but which are

:30:59.:31:01.

absolutely necessary. Knives come into that category. Now we have

:31:02.:31:09.

acid. You have got things like sharpened styling cones, people have

:31:10.:31:14.

been killed with sharpened pencils. Someone was killed with a broken

:31:15.:31:19.

bottle. You can't ban those things. If people find it too difficult

:31:20.:31:24.

because there is a lot of focus on one particular weapon, the people

:31:25.:31:28.

who are determined to go up there and cause damage to other people,

:31:29.:31:35.

whether for gain or to perpetrate violence for whatever reason, they

:31:36.:31:42.

will choose whatever weapon is available that they are most likely

:31:43.:31:46.

to be able to get away with. You have got to target the people. Not

:31:47.:31:53.

just keep on endlessly trying to tighten up on the use of everyday

:31:54.:31:58.

objects which can be used for that purpose but there is an infinite

:31:59.:32:02.

variety. Do you agree? I absolutely do. I also believe we should

:32:03.:32:10.

introduce controls around concentrated sulphuric acid which

:32:11.:32:13.

does enormous lifelong damage. A toilet cleaner or something, bleach,

:32:14.:32:22.

that is completely different? It depends on the concentration of acid

:32:23.:32:25.

in any of these household products compared to be concentrated acid

:32:26.:32:29.

which you can purchase without a licence and which does enormous

:32:30.:32:32.

damage was not that is for cleaning drains? It could be for cleaning

:32:33.:32:42.

metals, treatment of some sort, but... That goes into the category

:32:43.:32:47.

of guns? Exactly. I agree with the point that was made. We are talking

:32:48.:32:58.

about it, is there an infection -- infectiousness about it, people will

:32:59.:33:01.

feel this is the thing to do the more we talk about it? If someone is

:33:02.:33:08.

looking whether in the spur of the moment, trying to do damage to a

:33:09.:33:11.

Pardo or whatever, but something to hurt them with, in so far as acid is

:33:12.:33:17.

now being mentioned, and is getting Barber today, it may well be that we

:33:18.:33:22.

see any increase in these things -- is getting publicity. Because they

:33:23.:33:26.

may not have previously thought that under the kitchen think is something

:33:27.:33:30.

that might do damage but now they might, so I think we will see an

:33:31.:33:34.

increase while the focus is on this but then there will be something

:33:35.:33:39.

else. It is a question of, domestic violence is one thing, and what sort

:33:40.:33:44.

of weapons are used and this is an extension of what is used by more

:33:45.:33:52.

criminally minded people. They will always you something. You need the

:33:53.:33:58.

intelligence to know who they are. You have got to target them rather

:33:59.:34:02.

than what they are using. Thanks for joining us.

:34:03.:34:05.

But don't go yet, because it's been the first night

:34:06.:34:09.

It's the last night, with its raucous patriotism,

:34:10.:34:12.

that gets much of the attention, but we thought we'd balance

:34:13.:34:15.

things out over the summer with a Proms playout each week.

:34:16.:34:17.

And to start us off, we bring you the vocal

:34:18.:34:20.

ensemble I Fagiolini, who open the Proms Lunchtime

:34:21.:34:22.

They are acclaimed Monteverdi specialists, and this is the 450th

:34:23.:34:25.

Here they are with Anima Mea Perdona.

:34:26.:34:29.

Good evening. The weather on Saturday isn't looking ideal across

:34:30.:36:34.

the UK. There is a lot

:36:35.:36:35.

A look at how the fire service response to the Grenfell Tower fire compares with services across the UK. Plus a murder trial held in secret and why acid attacks are on the increase.

Evan Davis presents.