#AceNewsReport – Nov.27: Jennifer, aged 33, and Stephen, aged 36, were formally identified earlier today: Post-mortem examinations concluded they both died from multiple stab wounds.
#AceDailyNews UPDATE Report: A man has been charged with murders of Jennifer and Stephen Chapple: Collin Reeves, of Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, remains in police custody and is due to appear at Taunton Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning (Thursday, 25 November).
Detective Inspector Neil Meade, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said:
” Specialist officers are providing support to Jennifer and Stephen’s families and our thoughts remain with them this evening.
“We’ve been keeping them fully updated on the progress of our investigation and they’re aware of this latest development.
“It is undoubtedly an extremely difficult time for them and I’d ask their privacy is respected as they continue to come to terms with what has happened.”
He added: “I’d like to remind both the media and the public that criminal proceedings are now active and Collin Reeves has a right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
#AceNewsReport – Nov.24: James Dean Clark, 31, of Warmley, South Gloucestershire, inflicted injuries on his young baby, Sean Clark, which resulted in his death. On the morning of 14 January 2018, the child’s mother found the victim unresponsive in his cot.
#AceDailyNews Court of Appeal Report: Father who murdered his 39-day-old baby has sentence increased: A post-mortem examination concluded baby Sean had sustained a total of 74 fractures to his ribs which had been inflicted on at least three separate occasions. The injuries were consistent with the baby having been shaken violently shortly before his death. While some of the injuries were recent, there was evidence others were not and had begun to heal.
On 24 September, at Bristol Crown Court, Clark was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 15 years.
The Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC MP, referred Clark’s sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.
Today (Friday 19 November) the Court of Appeal found his original sentence to be unduly lenient and increased it to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years.
Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC MP said: “This was a deeply upsetting and disturbing case, involving an extremely vulnerable victim. Clarke grossly abused his position of trust and his actions stole the life of an innocent child he should have been protecting. It is only right the sentence has been increased to reflect the severity of the crime.”
Det Supt James Riccio, the Senior Investigating Officer, who attended the Court of Appeal earlier today, said afterwards:
” This increase in sentence better reflects the gravity of the heinous crime this man committed against his own 39-day-old son.
“It’s hard to put into words how devastating the loss of a child is, especially when it’s as a result of such a cold and callous act.
“Our thoughts are very much with all those who loved Sean and I hope they feel a greater sense of justice now the sentence against his murderer has been increased.”
#AceNewsReport – Nov.24: A murder investigation led by the Major Crime Investigation Team was launched following the deaths at a property on Dragon Rise on Sunday evening.
#AceDailyNews Avon & Somerset Police UPDATE Report: On the Norton Fitzwarren murder investigation as Magistrates today granted an extension to the custody time limit in relation to a 34-year-old man while the 67-year-old man has been released under investigation to allow further enquiries to take place.
While formal identification has not yet taken place, the victims are believed to be 36-year-old Stephen Chapple and 33-year-old Jennifer Chapple.
Their children, aged five and six, were found by officers asleep upstairs and are now being looked after by family members.
Specially trained officers are providing support to the families of both Stephen and Jennifer and our thoughts continue to be with them at this awful time.
A post mortem examination has confirmed Jennifer died from multiple stabs wounds. The post mortem examination to determine Stephen’s cause of death is ongoing.
Two men, aged 34 and 67, were arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday.
Cordons remain at two properties on Dragon Rise as officers continue to examine them.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Neil Meade said:
” What happened to Stephen and Jennifer is utterly heart-breaking and I can’t begin to imagine the impact their deaths will have on their two children.
“Family liaison officers are supporting both families and keeping them updated on the progress of our investigation.
“I appreciate there is significant interest in what happened and I’d ask people not to speculate and to think about the impact it may have on the families.”
He added: “This is a tragic incident which has shocked the community and neighbourhood officers are patrolling the area to provide reassurance. Should anyone have any concerns about what happened I’d encourage them to talk to them.”
Anyone with information which could help our investigation is asked to phone 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5221274497.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.18: The man we’d like to identify is described as black, in his twenties, of large build, with short collar-length hair. He was wearing a white t-shirt, light blue trousers and was carrying a black backpack with a black coat or jumper draped over his shoulders.
#AceDailyNews Avon & Somerset Appeal Report: CCTV footage issued in serious sexual assault inquiry in Bristol: A man in his twenties was sexually assaulted by another man in a yard off Church Road in St George, at around 2am on Monday 30 August…..
Posted at 12:29 on 15th November 2021:
The victim is being given access to any specialist support he needs.
If you can help identify the man from the clip we’ve released, or if have any other information which could help, please call us on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5221200621.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.14: The boat, which was carrying a load of fruit juice, had previously sailed from Santos in Brazil, and was due to continue on to the Netherlands: Those involved included Bristol Border Force officers, specialist NCA search officers, and divers from Avon & Somerset Police: Around 46 kilos of cocaine was recovered from what investigators believe was a specially adapted hide attached to the hull of the vessel: If cut and sold in the UK, the haul would have had an estimated street value in excess of £4 million: An international investigation into the source and intended destination for the drugs is now underway, involving the NCA and partners in Brazil and the Netherlands.
#AceDailyNews NCA Report: As part of an investigation involving the joint international network, officers with Border Force & Avon & Somerset Police moved in to commence a search of the vessel on Tuesday 9 November and found around £4-million in cocaine
NCA Branch Operations Manager Dean Wallbank said:
“Disrupting the international networks involved in drug trafficking is a priority for the NCA, and I’m grateful for the assistance provided by partners in Border Force and Avon & Somerset Police on this operation, as well as those overseas: While we don’t believe the entire load was destined for the UK initially, it is likely that at least some of it would have ended up back here in the hands of UK criminal gangs, being sold on UK streets: Making this seizure has prevented them from profiting further and re-investing in further criminality.”
Inspector Will Barlow from Avon & Somerset Police said:
“We are pleased that our experienced dive team were able to play a significant role in recovering a large quantity of suspected class A drugs: The officers involved reported facing extremely challenging conditions during this operation, in particular very poor visibility: We are all acutely aware of the damage cocaine and other illegal substances can have on our communities and we are delighted to have been able to support the National Crime Agency and Border Force with their investigation and stop harmful drugs from making their way on to our streets.”
Although the number has been declining in recent years, there were still more gambling sites in Britain than shops run by the big eight supermarket chains put together, said the study, which is supported by the Standard Life Foundation.
The research highlights a disproportion between the amenities available on local High Streets for people living in deprived communities, compared to the amenities available in more affluent areas.
For instance, just 10% of all food stores are located in the poorest areas, yet these places were home to as many as 34% of amusement arcades, 30% of bingo venues and 29% of adult gaming centres.
In contrast, more affluent towns and cities had a much more even spread of services like libraries and supermarkets, the research showed.
And half of UK gambling treatment centres can be found within a five-minute walk – 250 metres – of the nearest gambling premises, while nearly 10% of schools have a gambling venue within a five-minute walk – affecting 742,000 school pupils in more than 2,000 schools across the country.
“The research highlights the clear mismatch between the amenities available in ‘left behind’ areas, compared with those that are more affluent,” said Jamie Evans, senior research associate at the University of Bristol.
“Rather than having greater access to the facilities, services and opportunities that help people to improve their lives, those in more deprived communities are disproportionately faced with choices that can often prove harmful. While the gambling industry may offer some much-needed employment in these areas, it usually takes much more than it gives, leaving a legacy of greater hardship and increased social problems.”
‘Local communities have so little say’
Liz and Charles Ritchie started the Gambling With Lives charity after they lost their son Jack to suicide in 2017.
They say that currently at least 500 young people die every year, having had a gambling addiction.
Liz and Charles Ritchie’s son Jack took his life in 2017. He began visiting betting shops during his school lunch break at age 17
“Predatory gambling companies target the poor and the young. We know the tragic cost of this targeting – at least one death per day,” Ms Ritchie told the BBC.
“Many of the young people we have lost… were enticed into gambling premises very near schools or on their bus routes home.”
Mr Ritchie is concerned that the government is “putting business before lives”.
“At the moment, local communities have so little say in opposing any planning,” he said.
“We’ve been contacted by local communities who have had a terrible problem with this. People don’t want betting shops.”
The couple want to see local authorities and communities given much greater power to veto licences for betting shops, particularly if they are close to schools and other facilities used by young people.
However the Betting and Gaming Council stressed that betting shops and casinos have made a “huge economic contribution” to the UK.
A spokesman for the Betting and Gaming Council said: “BGC members support 119,000 jobs, generate £4.5bn in tax to pay for vital public services and contribute £7.7bn to the economy in gross value added.
“Betting shops alone employ around 46,000 people across the country, pay £1bn in tax to the Treasury as well as £60m in business rates for local councils, while casinos employ 11,000 staff and pay £500m a year in tax.”
The BBC understands that the government requires gambling premises to conduct local area risk assessments and explain how they are able to mitigate the risk of underage gambling.
But Mr Evans says this is not good enough: “While gambling premises may provide jobs, we know that gambling can lead to a wide variety of financial, social and health problems, with problem gambling affecting not just the gambler themselves but many of those closest to them as well.
“These are problems which simply add to the many challenges that our most deprived communities already face.”
#AceNewsReport – July.28: Officers have since been contacted multiple times by stores who have recognised the signs of customers being coerced into buying gift cards by fraudsters….
#AceDailyNews reports that a new partnership has been setup that helps police protect victims targeted by fraudsters in ‘GIFT CARD SCAM’ …….
Fraud Protect Officers launched the initiative back in April after seeing a noticeable rise in scam cases where victims were being asked to purchase gift cards instead of sending money in the more typical ways……..
Posted at 08:47 on 20th July 2021 in Prevention:
What are scams involving gift cards?
In most cases the requests for gift cards have been a part of a bigger scam where victims have unwittingly handed over thousands of pounds to criminals over a period of time.
It normally starts by fraudsters trying to gain the trust of their victim, and this process can happen over a period of weeks or months. It can be via the internet with someone posing as a person they are not, often involving an element of romance, or over the phone with a fraudster who is lying, claiming to be working for a reputable organisation, such as the police or HMRC.
Having gained the victim’s trust, they will ask them to purchase gift cards for them and will typically invent a time-critical reason as to why they need the victim to help them.
Once the victim has bought the gift cards they are then asked to provide the individual number on the vouchers. The fraudsters may drain the value of the card, but typically sell the gift cards on. They will usually then ask the victim to go and buy more for them.
Fraud protect officer Amy Horrobin said: “In a large number of these cases, sadly, the victim is taken in by the scam because they are trying to help others, whether that be someone they believe to be a love interest, or a reputable agency.
“These fraudsters are unscrupulous and are only interested in taking people’s money.
Amy Horrobin, fraud protect officer
“It is brilliant that people are increasingly wary that they shouldn’t hand over banking information or transfer money to people they don’t know, but it means these fraudsters are coming up with more elaborate ways to steal innocent victims’ cash. People don’t tend to associate gift cards so readily with scams.
“If you have been a victim, please report it.”
What are Avon and Somerset Police doing?
We approached several supermarkets in the spring and encouraged them to make their staff aware of these scams and provided them with three simple steps to follow:
If a transaction seems suspicious, don’t be afraid to challenge the customer and what the purchases are for
Look out for anyone who appears to be nervous or anxious about what they are doing
Report it to the police if you think someone is in danger, or a crime is being committed
Fraudsters in years gone by have asked victims to buy iTunes or Amazon vouchers, but we have seen an increasing number of crimes involving the purchase of Steam cards. Steam is an online platform where people can download and play games.
Our proactive work has led to staff at Sainsbury’s stores across the force area – or at Argos stores based within the supermarkets – to recognise several customers as a potential fraud victim. They have referred those incidents to us, allowing us to investigate and support the victim by firstly helping them to realise that they are a victim of fraud, and then providing them with advice and the tools to keep themselves safe in the future.
The incidents reported to us include:
Sainsbury’s in Taunton contacted us in May amid concerns for a shopper who had made several purchases of Steam cards totalling £140. When we made contact with the victim, it transpired they had been contacted by several people via a gaming app claiming to be single mothers unable to feed their children. In total, he parted with approximately £2,000.
That same month, a customer who had bought a number of Steam gift cards over a period of weeks then tried to buy a £500 voucher. When approached by staff at Argos in Street, she said she had been asked to buy them for a man living in America who wanted to marry her. We made contact with the victim and established she was the victim of romance fraud. She had been in conversation online with someone with a fake profile and had sent a total of £4,000 to the fraudster.
And in June a shopper in Bridgwater attempted to purchase two £500 Steam gift cards. They had been phoned by someone claiming to be a police officer, claiming a car had been found in Wales with paperwork linking the vehicle to them and that it also contained drugs and guns. The fraudster said that unless gift cards were bought then the woman could be arrested. We’re continuing to support the victim with advice to help them deal with any future phone scam attempts.
We have contacted other supermarkets too and hope to extend this initiative further in the future to prevent more people being scammed.
Fraud protect officer Jordan Coates said: “We’re really grateful for how seriously Sainsbury’s have taken this issue and supported our fraud prevention work. Their staff have allowed us to intervene and almost certainly prevented victims losing out on large sums of money.”
How to spot the signs of gift card scams
Key signs of a gift card scam are:
Someone you don’t know, or haven’t met in person, asks you to buy gift cards for them
Often they will claim it is an emergency
They will often pull at heart-strings and say you are the only person they can turn to
Our advice to anyone who is asked to buy gift cards is to remember that they will never be a legitimate form of payment under any circumstances, so these requests will certainly be part of a scam. Payment in the form of gift cards is convenient for the fraudster, less likely to be intercepted, and difficult to trace back to them, compared with bank transfers.
Amy continued: “Victims often feel pressurised into buying the gift cards by the situation the fraudster places themselves in. This is a deliberate ploy to prey on the victim’s emotions and seek them to make a decision that rationally they would not make otherwise.
“We would urge anyone who finds themselves in this situation to take a step back and think ‘could this be a scam?’ and to ask someone else’s opinion if unsure. If contacted by an organisation saying they need you to buy gift cards, it’s safe to assume it’s a scam.”
Jordan added: “The police, bank or other reputable organisation will never ask you to obtain gift cards for them, in the same way they will never ask for your PIN number or you to withdraw money for them. If unsure, find a phone number for them – don’t use any number provided by the suspect – and call them to check.
“If you are asked to obtain gift cards by someone you have been speaking to online, you are likely a victim of romance fraud.”
Advice from victims
Some of the victims we have helped in recent weeks and months have offered the following advice to people.
One female victim said: “Tell someone else about what is being asked of you. I have a carer who could have helped me but the fraudster told me I could not tell anyone. I felt very isolated and frightened.”
A male victim advises checking how many profile pictures a new request has and look at their biography or description. He said if he’s never met them, they only have two or three photos and minimal personal details he will not engage with them online.
He added: “The language my scammer used was fractured and often did not make sense.”
He went on to praise the work of Avon and Somerset Police fraud protect team, saying: “Thank you Amy and Jordan for everything you have done and continue to do. You saved me a lot of money and I hope by speaking out it helps others.”
How to report scams
Under-reporting is a real issue with these sorts of crimes as victims wrongly believe they would be wasting our time, there’s nothing that can be done or they feel embarrassed by what has happened.
#AceNewsReport – June.26: With the support of international law enforcement partners, NCA officers were able to view a folder labelled ‘Incest’ which contained hundreds of indecent videos of children – ranging from Category A, the most serious, to Category C.
#AceDailyNews reports that following an NCA investigation into a Dark web paedophile who moaned about access to children in lockdown and told ‘PedoPub’ chatroom that working from home stopped his walks past school last year Phillip Nutt, 53, of Horfield, Bristol, who had almost 300 indecent images and videos on his phone and computers, when officers arrested him at a holiday home in Cornwall last year……
25 June 2021
Further searches that identified that he also used cloud based accounts overseas where he allowed videos to be accessed by others. The accounts hosted 18,641 files across 445 folders.
Some of the videos lasted up to two hours and showed the torture and rape of babies and young children.
NCA digital forensic analysis found that Nutt frequently accessed the dark web, and had a secure image storage facility on his phone disguised as a calculator.
He was careful about hiding his content and described having ‘a scare’ when pictures accidentally transferred onto his main hard drive.
In one chat with another user he stated – “I have everything secured and no one can see unless I leave it unlocked by accident. I have a false camera storage as well so if someone asks to see my photos it shows normal people photos. The good ones are hidden.”
In another conversation, in a chatroom called ‘PedoPub’, Nutt discussed his frustration with the lack of access to children during lockdown.
“I usually walk past a school on the way to work and I can’t even do that!”
He added: “I am of the view that you have to be so careful and disguise your true self….
“Any little ones around me I treat as friends and gain their confidence.”
Nutt appeared before Bristol Crown Court yesterday, where he was sentenced to 16 months in prison, having pleaded guilty to possessing, making and distributing indecent images at an earlier hearing.
Derek Evans, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said: “The conviction of Nutt serves as a warning to all – that we will work with partners across the globe to safeguard children and bring offenders before the Court: “ This investigation identified the horrendous rape of babies and very young children, which was being distributed by Nutt, who attempted to conceal his methods through sophisticated means and his knowledge of IT systems: For as long as the demand for this material remains in depraved people like Nutt, it will continue to be supplied. This investigation has broken part of that cycle and the NCA have succeeded in disrupting someone who posed a significant threat to children.”
#AceNewsReport – May.26: The investigation team believe the Golf, registration HG57 YHT, was left parked in a nearby street immediately after the shooting, before being moved to a small car park off Bishport Avenue the following day (Thursday 20 May), where it was recovered by the police and is now undergoing a full forensic examination’
Images of car released as investigation into shooting in Hartcliffe continues:
The car we want information on is a dark blue/black VW Golf, believed to have been involved in the shooting in Hareclive Road at about 5.15pm on Wednesday 19 May, in which two men suffered wounds consistent with shotgun pellets.
DI Mark Newbury said: “We’re asking the local community in Hartcliffe to check their home CCTV systems, doorbell cameras and Dash Cam footage, to see if this vehicle can be seen within this 24-hour period. Was it driven down your street, or parked outside your house overnight before being moved? It also appears as if the VW Golf has had its nearside rear wheel tyre changed – did you see a tyre being changed on a car matching the one on the images we’ve released today during the same timeframe? So far six arrests have been made in this investigation and we’re confident the continuing forensic examination of the car will lead to more people being linked to it, so we’re appealing for anyone who may have been involved in moving the vehicle the following day to come forward to speak to us. It’s possible they weren’t aware of the severity of the incident that the vehicle was involved in.”
If you think you have footage of the vehicle, please call 101 and quote ref number 5221110044.
#AceNewsReport – May.21: Officers have since established the disorder took place prior to the shooting incident: While our inquiry is in its early stages, we understand a number of people with bladed weapons were involved in a disturbance on Hareclive Road and Moxham Drive:
BRISTOL: Investigations into a disorder and shooting in the capital yesterday (Wednesday, 19 May) are continuing today: Specialist firearms officers were deployed to the Hareclive Road area or Hartcliffe at 5.20pm following reports a man had been shot and subsequent reports of a disorder.
Posted at 14:29 on 20th May 2021:
CASE NOTES: Shortly afterwards, a shotgun is believed to have been discharged from within a car on Moxham Drive and then a second time on Hareclive Road in the direction of a number of people running from the area: Two men, aged 18 and 20, sustained wounds consistent with shotgun pellets and were taken to hospital by ambulance. The 18-year-old man has since been discharged while the 20-year-old continues to receive treatment for what is believed to be a punctured lung: Five men aged 21, 24, 25, 30, and 39 and a woman aged 36 have been arrested for offences including attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. They all remain in police custody: Four vehicles and a number of bladed weapons have been seized as part of the inquiry.
Chief Inspector Oliver Cosgrove, area commander for south Bristol, said: “Incidents involving firearms are extremely rare in Avon and Somerset but when they do happen we take them extremely seriously: “ We fully appreciate this incident is likely to cause concern to the local community and we’d like to reassure them we have put significant resources into investigating it and bringing those involved to justice: “ There is a large cordon in place around the parks off Hareclive Road and Moxham Drive as we continue to carry out enquiries and we’d like to apologise if this causes people disruption: “ Those whose homes are inside the cordon can be reassured they are still able to access them but there are number of scenes we need to protect while we examine them for evidence: “ He added: “Six arrests have so far been made and efforts to locate others involved are ongoing, as is the search for the outstanding firearm: “ We continue to keep an open mind as to the circumstances surrounding these incidents and to whether they are directly linked: “ What we can say with some certainty is that we believe those involved are known to each other and as such, there is no threat to the wider community: “ As ever, we’re grateful of the support we’ve received from local residents so far who have demonstrated great pride in their community and who are understandably shocked at what has taken place.
“Anyone who has information about what happened last night who hasn’t yet spoken with police is asked to contact us on our non-emergency number 101 or by approaching an officer at the scene: “ Similarly, anyone with mobile phone footage, CCTV or dashcam footage of the incidents is urged to get in touch.”
If you can help, please call 101 and provide the call handler with reference 5221110044………You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.
No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.
• Aaron Cooper, 35, of King George Road, has been charged with theft and fraud by false representation. • Christopher Cooper, 63, of King George Road, has been charged with acquire, use, possess criminal property. • Jason Croker, 44, of Elm Grove, has been charged with two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of possession with intent to supply a class A drug (heroin).
#AceNewsReport – May.11: Their operation was discovered after a roads policing officer stopped Grigore and his brother-in-law, Alexandru Dita, on Broad Weir, Bristol, in the early hours of 28 July last year, suspecting they were driving without insurance.
BRISTOL: ‘Four sentenced following human trafficking and sexual exploitation inquiry: ‘Marin Grigore, 29, of Tudor Road, Bristol, trafficked a woman from abroad and along with his wife and brother-in-law, arranged for women to sell sexual services from their rented homes in Easton, Bristol as well as other locations across the South West’
In the backseat of their BMW the officer, PC Matt Boiles, found a 19-year-old woman wearing nightwear sat next to a suitcase, which raised his suspicions.
Checks on the Police National Computer revealed Dita had previous convictions for human trafficking offences and both men were arrested.
The woman subsequently provided a statement to officers in which she told how Grigore had arranged for her to travel from Germany to work as a sex worker.
As Grigore was booked into police custody, officers attended a property on Bloy Street, Bristol, which he gave as his home address. There, they found his wife, Mirela Mincu, his sister Adriana Dita and three women who told the officers they were sex workers.
Evidence found within the property suggested it was being used as a brothel while investigators later found adverts online offering sexual services for each of the other three women.
Enquiries into the adverts found they had been set up using Mincu’s email address while classified adverts in Romanian publications were also found with Mincu’s mobile number provided for people to contact.
Officers also attended another address on Tudor Road which had been rented by Grigore after the woman found in the car told officers she lived there. In the property were two other sex workers leading officers to believe the property was also being used as a brothel.
Financial investigations were subsequently carried out by detectives. These revealed more than one hundred thousand pounds had passed through the bank accounts of Mincu and Alexandru Dita in the preceding 12 months while significant sums were also deposited into the accounts of Grigore and Adriana Dita during the same period.
All four entered guilty to pleas to various offences at Bristol Crown Court earlier this year and were sentenced at the same court today:
Marin Grigore, was jailed for 21 months for controlling prostitution for gain, arranging or facilitating travel of a person with a view to exploitation and acquiring, using and/or possessing criminal property.
Alexandru Dita, 30, of Burchells Green Road, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire was jailed for two years for controlling prostitution for gain and using and/or possessing criminal property.
Mirela Mincu, 32, of Roman Road, Bristol was jailed for 23 months, suspended for two years for controlling prostitution for gain and using and/or possessing criminal property. She will also be subject to a three month curfew and have to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work
Adriana Dita, 26, also of Roman Road, was given a 12 month community order requiring her to do 50 hours of unpaid work for using and/or possessing criminal property.
Senior Investigation Officer Detective Inspector Mark Newbury said: “As a result of some great work by one of our roads policing officers who recognised there was more than met the eye when he stopped a suspicious car, we have successfully dismantled a prostitution ring which saw at least one woman trafficked from abroad to work in brothels.
“While we didn’t uncover evidence any women had been forced into prostitution, there was no shortage of proof they were being exploited and clear evidence at least one had been manipulated and coerced into becoming a sex worker.
“In her statement, the woman found in the car revealed Marin Grigore had lured her to the UK with the promise he would leave his wife so they could begin a relationship. He used her feelings for him and desire to move to the UK to manipulate her into working for him at his brothels.
“Grigore and Alexandru Dita were clearly the ring leaders of the operation which saw them make huge sums of money from women selling sexual services.
“Playing an equal role in the setup was Mincu – who we established through her text messages and the online adverts, coordinated most of the women’s appointments.
“None of those involved were able to account for their bank balances with only Grigore apparently having a job – cleaning cars for £50 a day.
“It is totally unacceptable they should benefit from their activities and we will seek to confiscate their illegal earnings through the Proceeds of Crime Act.”
DI Newbury added: “We care about the safety and welfare of sex workers and the woman found in the car in her dressing gown, along with those found at Grigore’s home address and several others connected with the inquiry were spoken to by specialist officers and offered support.
“I hope this case shows how committed we are to ensuring those who exploit vulnerable people are brought to justice.”
If you have been affected by this inquiry or would like to report concerns but don’t want to talk to police you can speak to the independent charity Unseen.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.10: Road closures have been put in place in St Nicholas Road and at its junction with Grosvenor Road. A diversion route has been set up via Ashley Road but we’d please ask people to avoid the area at this time while emergency services are at the scene:
‘Emergency services attend incident in St Paul’s investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the incident but at this early stage we are treating it as suspicious’
Posted at 10:41 on 8th April 2021:
Emergency services are currently dealing with an incident in St Paul’s, Bristol: Firefighters and paramedics were also called to the scene, and gas and electric engineers have also attended.
There have been no reported injuries at this time. People in a number of neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution.
Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call 101 and give reference number 5221074539.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.09: With the new images added to the gallery there are currently 23 people we want the public’s help to identify:
Three more people were arrested over the Bank Holiday weekend in connection with the incident – two men aged 23 and 36 and a 25-year-old woman: More images released in connection with violent disorder in Bristol: Posted at 16:23 on 6th April 2021 in Appeals There are 3 related updates to this story & the images have all been added to our online gallery.
The total number of people arrested is now 32.
Anyone who has information about any of the people in the images is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the letter associated with the person/people.
You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.31: Ramadan, of Balance Street in Bath, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual touching. He was jailed for nine months at Bristol Crown Court on Monday 22 March. Ramadan has been put on the sexual offenders register and has received an indefinite sexual harm prevention order too:
Man jailed after sexual offences against women in Bath
Esmail Ramadan, 35, intimidated a number of women late at night and in some cases inappropriately touched them:
On Thursday 10 October 2019, Ramadan followed two women as they left Mandalyns nightclub. He grabbed one and told her he loved her, but she pushed him away. The pair reported what happened to a member of door staff who made sure they were kept safe.
In mid-October 2019, Ramadan approached a woman to ask her for details in the Savile Road area. He then proceeded to follow her before grabbing her and kissing her. The victim managed to free herself and run to a place of safety.
During the early hours of Friday 1 November 2019, Ramadan hugged a woman who was on a night out before then inappropriately touching her from behind. He then began kissing her, grabbed her breasts and inappropriately touched her in an intimate area, as she desperately tried to push him away.
Officer in the case PC Andrew Macmillan said: “These women were out in Bath city centre enjoying a night out when they were subjected to horrendous sexual attacks: “ Ramadan’s victims were understandably left upset and in a huge amount of distress by the sickening assaults he committed: “ What happened to these victims is unacceptable and I commend their bravery in speaking out and reporting what happened to police. Without them coming forward, Ramadan’s criminality could well have continued and more women may have been a victim of his predatory behaviour: “ Our message to victims is simple – you will be believed, we will investigate and we will make sure you have access to any support services you may need.”
If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, recent or non-recent, you don’t have to speak to the police. You can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.27: Specialist protest liaison officers attempted to engage with those who had gathered to remind them of the current coronavirus restrictions and urge them to go home.
Arrests made following violent disorder in Bristol: ‘More than 1,000 people gathered at College Green from 4pm for a protest’ However, at approximately 5pm the crowd began marching through the city centre: At around 6.30pm a significant number of protestors congregated on Lewins Mead, in front of a police cordon:
Posted at 03:43 on 27th March 2021:
Officers were instructed to use protective clothing after ammonia was smelt in the crowd: Shortly after 10pm officers moved to disperse people as items, including eggs and glass bottles, began to be thrown at them and attempts were made to pull their shields:
Mutual aid from neighbouring forces was brought in to ensure the crowds were dispersed as safely as possible: Specialist resources including dogs, horses and the police helicopter were used in the policing operation which concluded at approximately 1am.
A total of 10 people of were arrested: One has since been issued a fixed penalty notice while the other nine remain in police custody:
Superintendent Mark Runacres said: “The majority of people acted peacefully however there was a minority who once again showed hostility to officers: “ Items, including glass bottles and bricks were thrown at officers, fireworks were launched at our mounted section while one of our horses was also covered with paint: “ This violent conduct is not acceptable: “ Officers repeatedly encouraged people to disperse but once the atmosphere changed and people became physical it was necessary to take action: “ Ten people were arrested for offences including violent disorder, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of Class A drugs: “ Three of those arrested were also detained in connection with the violent disorder which took place in Bristol on Sunday.”
Supt Runacres added: “All the officers policing the incident are specially trained and accredited in public order and showed exceptional patience in the face of a significant disorder: “ At times reasonable force had to be used – this is not something we ever want to do but we have a duty to uphold the law, prevent crime, and protect people and property.”
#AceUKNews – WALES (Rumney) – June 30 – Detectives investigating slavery and kidnap allegations have arrested four men.
An operation involving three police forces saw warrants executed at five addresses in Bristol and Cardiff this morning.
Four men from the Rumney area of the Welsh capital were arrested, Gwent police said.
Police working on Operation Imperial are probing alleged offences of slavery, forced labour, false imprisonment, kidnap and assault.
Lead officer Detective Superintendent Paul Griffiths said: “The alleged offences we are investigating are extremely serious and we would urge anyone with any information which could assist to contact the Imperial team directly by dialling 01633 647174.
“Alternatively if someone has information and would rather not pass this directly to the police then I would urge them to contact Crimestoppers, which is independent of the police and guarantees complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.”