Wednesday, 3 June 2009

International fugitives come from other countries, Mail finds

Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for the most absurd, point-missing headline of the day:

World's most wanted violent criminals on the run in UK (and guess what, none of them are British)

The Mail here has caught wind of a list of fugitives announced by Crimestoppers, looked down the list of dudes wanted in the UK, and noticed that they're all have foreign-sounding names and come from places like Poland, Hungary, and Albania. And not a single Brit is on the list! Astonishing!

It's almost shocking until you realise that the list of 16 is taken wholesale from Operation INFRA, a list dedicated to finding international fugitives; that is to say, alleged criminals from one country who are suspected of having fled to another. By its very definition, no British man would be included in that sixteen, because our fugitives have to, you know, leave the fucking country.

It's pretty standard foreigner-bashing distortion, and that headline with its crude hell-in-a-handcart-ism isn't doing anyone any favours. The great part about this though, for me, is the impeccable timing with which the Mail delivered it's story. Just yesterday, the BBC reported Crimestoppers' announcement that they'd just captured a British man on the run in Malaga, who was wanted in connection with charges of attempted murder, wounding with intent and possession of a firearm. His arrest came as part of the Spanish Crimestoppers operations, which are dedicated to finding the numerous British (alleged) criminals who they're hunting in Spain. If you go to that site, you will find that he was on the list of NINETEEN British men believed to be hiding in Spain.

Indeed, you don't even have to go to the Spanish site to do this; if you go to the UK Crimestoppers Most Wanted page, and under the drop-down 'Showing' menu select 'Operation Captura', you get the same list; 19 British men wanted in connection with serious crimes who are thought to have fled to Spain. The Mail has skewed the stats in its headline by selecting a list which by definition excludes British men, and smugly pointing out that none of them are British. The article does briefly mention these operations in Spain, but it's all rendered toothless by that gormless fuck-up of a headline and the biased tone of the article.

The other amusing aspect of the timing of this 'dirty murdering Poles'/'criminals are mostly foreigners' nonsense is that it comes in a week where one of the major news stories has been the hunt for and subsequent arrest of a British man who has been on the run for several days after his rich wife was found brutally murdered in a Paris hotel room. His Polish wife, no less!

The comments make inevitably depressing reading, although there is some amusement in seeing comments like this:

The dumping ground and criminal hideout of Europe. And with the UK's Human Rights bill these people will be untouchable.
- Gary, Barcelona, 1/6/2009 12:45

Yes, that's right, a British ex-pat in Spain, whose Costa del Sol is notorious as a haven for fleeing British wrong-'uns, and a country where 19 Brits are currently wanted, suggesting that Britain is the 'criminal hideout of Europe'. You couldn't make it up!!!


  1. Will you be looking into the storm that that tabloids appear to be tryig whip up about the latest MRSA and C-Diff figures in hospitals?

    '1 in 10 have increased numbers of MRSA cases'

    So that's 90% of hospitals reducing their outbreaks then?