Tim Minns – columnist of the year

The award-winning columnist who knows things better than anyone

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Greater Manchester Police have blundered once again in letting an armed gang of criminals escape the scene of a crime and further threaten the public at large. How many times do we see this happen? Time and again these lawless scumbags are allowed to ride roughshod over law-abiding members of society completely unchallenged, most likely because police officers are too busy filling in forms as opposed to upholding the safety of the British public. This is yet another example of the police force being stifled by unnecessary levels of bureaucracy, something which I myself know better than anyone, having previously worked in an advisory capacity with the police.

I don’t know the full facts of this particular case, but in my understanding it appears that a video has been released showing 3 men armed with crowbars attempting to rob a security van before running over a police officer as they fled the scene in a black BMW. The officer in question fortunately only sustained a suspected broken leg and ankle, though the case is now being treated as attempted murder.

How the police managed to let this situation escalate to the point where a simple robbery has now become an unsolved attempted murder is completely beyond me. Where was the backup? Why was this policeman only flanked by two CSOs and not by proper trained officers? Why didn’t they block the path of the BMW with the patrol car instead of trying to apprehend these armed suspects on foot? These are all basic flaws which I know better than anyone having observed alongside the police on numerous occasions.

I know better than anyone about the spiralling rate of crime in this country. The statistics on violent crime are a damning indictment on the state of modern Britain and show a staggering rise in cases year-on-year. Just how many officers do we have on our streets nowadays? I suspect it’s a lot less than before the New Labour administration – it’s obvious when you look at all the crime statistics, really.

Det. Supt Geoff Wessell of Greater Manchester Police was apparently reported as saying about the need “…to catch these men as clearly they have no problem in using violence to get what they want.”

I disagree. Of course they need to catch these lowlife scumbags – that’s just stating the obvious. What they should have done was not to allow them to escape in the first place. Now I wasn’t at the scene, but I know better than anyone about the need for greater police presence at the scene of a violent crime and I would have made sure there was adequate backup in place to prevent this from happening. I haven’t seen the video yet, but it seems clear to me that certain protocols weren’t followed correctly at the scene of the crime. How else would these thugs have escaped otherwise?

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Having watched Whitney Houston’s performance on X-Factor last Sunday, I think it’s pretty clear she must have been on something, as she just didn’t look right to me. I don’t know the facts surrounding her rehabilitation from the dangerous world of hard drugs, but I do know better than anyone about the high levels of drug use in showbusiness, having been witness to much of it myself. I know how difficult it can be for showbiz performers to tear themselves away from the seedy underworld of class A drugs, which are always so readily available to them in plentiful supply.

Whitney gave a reasonable vocal performance despite a “wardrobe malfunction” midway through, but I think anyone could see from her confusing interview with host Dermot O’Leary that her troubles are far from over. To me, it looked like she was on cocaine because she was fidgety and unable to focus her eyes. These are tell-tale signs of cocaine use, which I myself know better than anyone having seen numerous media professionals use this substance over the years. Her heart must have been racing throughout, as this is another known side-effect of cocaine use – this would also explain why her dress-strap broke loose during the performance.

Now I’ve never met Whitney before, but having witnessed several newspaper articles detailing her struggles over the last few years it looked as though she’d go the way of countless celebrities who have died through their seedy and debauched lifestyles. You only have to open a newspaper and you will see the likes of Robbie, Britney and Amy live out their constant struggles in the public eye. It’s only then that it really hits home just how close to death these people really are. If Whitney continues down this perilous path, which I suspect she has, it won’t be long before her untimely death – and the world will once again be robbed of another shining beacon of talent gone to waste…

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