Criminal Element Returns to Sark Island

Criminal Element Returns to Sark Island

Sark, the tiny Channel Island with a deeply criminal pirate history is once again “awash” with crooks, according to a police report.

At a mere 2.10 square miles (5.44 square kilometers), with only 500 inhabitants, Sark is part of the Channel Islands in the southwestern English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France. With its own parliament, as an ancient royal fief, it forms part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and maintains Norman law and an island wide car ban renders only tractors and horse-drawn vehicles for locals to get around.

In 2011 Sark was designated the first ‘Dark Sky Island’ in the world, not to be confused with the first ‘Dark Sky Sanctuary’ which is in Elqui Valley in northern Chile. However, because the entire island is almost free of artificial light pollution this apparently helps both astronomers and criminals, if one reads PC Mike Fawson’s recent police report which describes the island as being “over-run with offenders”.

Ancient Imperial Violence

A report in the Daily Mail says PC Fawson has recommend officers on the island need “batons and pepper spray” to deal with the criminals, many of whom drink and drive, even though cars are banned, in their escalating fight against the increasing number of criminals residing on the once peaceful island.

Some places just seem to attract violence and such is the case for Sark, which was occupied by the Veneti, a Cetic seafaring tribe who inhabited the Brittany peninsula (France) and were ‘subdued’ by the Roman Empire about 56 BC. Cleared of Veneti the island became annexed and its history is sparse until 933 AD when it became part of the Duchy of Normandy and then united with the Crown of England after the 1066 AD Norman Invasion of Britain .

Sark Island is the last remaining feudal state in Europe. (Phillip Capper / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

A Crime-Wave Or Tsunami?

Order was maintained on the island by monastic institutions during the Middle Ages and everything went wrong in the 16th century when pirates took over the island, which brings us back perfectly to the modern criminals who are now using the island as a base for their criminal activities . PC Fawson says the offences range from intoxicated violence, drunk driving, and drug trafficking.

An article in the Jersey Evening Post discusses a number of Fawson’s suggestions for combating the crime including compulsory background checks for visitors to the island and all externally recruited seasonal employees having DBS vetting checks performed before they begin employment on Sark. And, he even suggested criminal record checks on anyone attempting to buy property on Sark but as you will now see, this is only the beginning of what needs done for this is more of a crime- tsunami than a wave.

The Charge Sheets Are Endless…

It seems that with changing times, come changing crimes, and while the island’s 16th century pirates bust up alehouses, over 267 crimes were reported on the island in the nine months up to the end of September 2019 including: 60 tractor driving complaints, eight carriage usage issues, three boat issues, and 11 cases of wasting police time.

Automobiles are not allowed on Sark Island. ( Edgar / Adobe Stock)

But on the darker side, the police also dealt with 11 assaults, six criminal damages, 17 safeguarding incidents, a knife crime , an ordeal involving a firearm, three drone incidents, three missing persons investigations, a case of arson, and a narcotics bust. Not to mention three cybercrimes and the discovery of two unexploded bombs.

Is It Time For The Police To Fight Fire With Fire?

Earlier in the article we discussed PC Fawson’s suggested changes which he thinks might help in the police’s fight against crime, but he also thinks a permanent customs and immigration officer located at Maseline and Creux harbors might help in “detecting/preventing” illegal narcotics coming off vessels entering the Sark harbors. Furthermore, he suggested CCTV cameras should be installed at a number of points around the island and he asked for the island's two senior officers and force of special constables to be armed with weapons, which he called “tools to enforce the laws”.

Fawson is standing up and saying what ‘needs’ to be said, and his idea of equipping police officers with the tools required to meet the modern challenges of the job, in this case armed criminals, is a perfect reflection of an incident concerning the island in 1565. The island was so bastardized with pirates and oceanic criminals, Queen Elizabeth I offered Helier de Carteret, Seigneur of St. Ouen in Jersey, the entire island of Sark as a fief in perpetuity (for life).

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Police on Sark Island need tools for defense, once targeted by pirates – Sark Island is now overrun by modern criminals. (U.S. Navy / )

The condition the queen placed upon her hero was that he kept the island free of pirates , and to achieve this he created 40 parcels of land (tenements) and each tenant provided “one man armed with a rifle” for the defense of the island. Arming defenders of the island worked in the 16th century and it will work again today and providing them with “batons and pepper spray” will only serve to tease these criminals.

What these cops need is cold steel, and I don’t mean swords, but big boys weapons - guns - to tackle big-bad-boys - with guns. Fire with fire an’ all that.

Alaska, The Beautiful: 2021 Oceania Club Reunion Cruise

Right around this time next year, I’ll be cruising with my family and many of you as we explore one of my favorite corners of the world – awe-inspiring Alaska – on our 2021 Oceania Club Reunion Cruise. If you are like me, the last several months have given you time to reflect on your most cherished travel memories of the past and a renewed appetite for exploring and seeing the world. Some of my favorite travel moments and family travel adventures have taken place in the 49th state and I can’t wait to return as we look ahead to next year. An Alaska cruise combines two landscapes that I am most passionate about – the mountains and the sea. From the authenticity of the small port towns you visit to the breathtaking mountain wilderness and wildlife that this destination offers, every adventure in Alaska is like a spiritual journey for your soul.

An Unforgettable Birthday in Alaska
Last summer, I celebrated a milestone birthday on an Alaska cruise and one of my favorite experiences was in Icy Strait Point on my actual birthday. A group of us went whale watching in the morning and as a surprise for my birthday, my friends organized a Bloody Mary bar aboard the ship – and hot cocoa for the kids. Though the day was misty, it was the perfect setting for a whale lookout. Everyone had their raincoats on and my three sons loved the feeling of going out in the mist and then taking shelter inside the boat. We spotted wildlife along the shore, with bears being the crowd favorite, and eventually enjoyed the much-awaited sighting of a whale and her calf.

One of the things that left an impact on me was experiencing the glaciers in person. This was really eye-opening – not only are they much larger and vaster in person, you also learn just how vulnerable these glaciers are to drastic changes in the environment. You feel an ultimate sense of responsibility to take care of them. If you were not an environmentalist before going to Alaska, you certainly are one when you leave.

The Perfect Family Cruise
Alaska has also become a special destination because I’ve been able to share it with my three boys. This part of the world has a powerful way of bringing textbooks to life. Being from Florida, my sons are accustomed to a certain type of landscape and vegetation. Our Alaska cruise opened up a whole new world to them. It’s like visiting an exciting new planet that is not flat but has mountains and tall trees that are not from the palm family and wildlife that they’ve only read about in books. It’s important to change their perspective of the world so they know that the world is much bigger than the 4 to 5 city blocks that encompass their village at home.

Future Oceania Club Adventures
I’m really looking forward to experiencing this destination in particular with our Oceania Club members – because our guests are experienced travelers, they know the best parts of Alaska. I’m certain they’ll be able to share some new insights in the ports we’ll be visiting together. There is always something new to see even in destinations that you have visited before and I look forward to discovering those with our guests. I’m also excited to be able to take my sons on a seaplane glacier tour. Last year, we were able to see glaciers and next year, we’ll be able to actually walk on one and explore it. I can’t wait to see their faces!

The other element of Alaska that I’m excited to dive into more deeply on next year’s Reunion Cruise is the state’s multicultural heritage and interesting history. I’m hoping to create onboard and destination experiences that speak to the multicultural heritage of the places we visit. For example, in Sitka, Alaska (or "Shee Atika" named by the Tlingit Indians), they have over two dozen attractions that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including Castle Hill and Building 29, a structure built by the Russians in 1835. The Sheldon Jackson Museum also showcases one of Alaska's oldest native culture collections. These are fascinating places I am looking forward to experiencing with our guests.

Are you joining Oceania Club Manager Neli Arias and me on this special Oceania Club Reunion Cruise next July? Dream and plan with us – we’d love to hear what you’re excited about experiencing on this Alaska cruise. Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

9 Geoffrey Of Mandeville

After Henry I died without a son, the throne was claimed by the Empress Matilda (who was Henry&rsquos daughter and rightful heir) and Stephen of Blois. Law and order broke down as England plunged into a civil war known as the Anarchy.

Perhaps the most notorious outlaw of the period was Geoffrey of Mandeville, a nobleman from East Anglia. Stephen made him Earl of Essex in return for his support, but Geoffrey betrayed Stephen and defected to Matilda, who gave him virtually unlimited control of Essex. Then Geoffrey defected back to Stephen in return for power over Middlesex and Hertfordshire.

In 1143, Stephen felt powerful enough to move against Geoffrey, but he escaped into the marshes of East Anglia. With a base on the Isle of Ely, Geoffrey became an outlaw, raiding and burning his way through the fens. He was killed by an arrow during a minor skirmish in 1144.

Types of Corruption  

Prison Corruption

The FBI’s prison corruption initiative, which began in June 2014, addresses contraband smuggling by local, state, and federal prison officials in exchange for bribe payments. Through this initiative, the Bureau works to develop and strengthen collaborative relationships with state/local corrections departments and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General to help identify prison facilities plagued with systemic corruption and employ appropriate criminal investigative techniques to combat the threat. Prison officials and staff being co-opted, even if unwittingly, betrays the public trust, threatens the integrity of the justice system in the U.S., and threaten national security interests overall.

Schemes to corrupt prison officials come in a variety of forms, including:

  • Testing: An offer of simple items, like prison commissary goods, is made to prison officials. If accepted, the inmate confirms the official’s administrative misstep, then urges the official to smuggle contraband under threat of reporting the official’s misconduct.
  • Active recruiting: Civilian gang members with no prior criminal history are recruited by incarcerated gang members to apply to become correctional officers, with promises of additional income paid by the inmates’ criminal enterprise.
  • Empathy: Prison inmates study corrections personnel working in the facility and determine whether particular staff members are susceptible to exploitation. This ploy typically results in improper interpersonal relationships and the corrupted official’s integrity being compromised to the benefit of the inmate.

Border Corruption

The federal government is responsible for protecting approximately 7,000 miles along the U.S. border and 95,000 miles of U.S. shoreline, and every day, over a million people visit the U.S. and enter through one of the more than 300 official ports of entry into the U.S., as well as through seaports and international airports. The FBI recognizes the very real threat public corruption at our nation’s borders and all other ports of entry pose.

Common acts of border corruption involve drug trafficking and alien smuggling. Throughout the U.S., the FBI has investigated corrupt government and law enforcement officials who accept bribes and gratuities in return for allowing loads of drugs or aliens to pass through ports of entry or checkpoints protecting and escorting loads of contraband overlooking contraband providing needed documents, such as immigration papers and driver’s licenses leaking sensitive law enforcement information and conducting unauthorized records checks.

Border corruption potentially impacts national security as well—corrupt officers might believe they are accepting a bribe simply in return for allowing a carload of illegal aliens to enter the U.S., when they might actually be facilitating the entry of a group of terrorists. Or a corrupt official who expedites immigration paperwork or helps obtain an identification document in return for a bribe or gratuity might actually be facilitating an operation of a terrorist cell, foreign counterintelligence network, or criminal enterprise.

Oftentimes the Bureau brings its expertise to bear on joint investigations with its partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement. Many of these investigations involve FBI border corruption task forces and working groups located in nearly two dozen cities along our borders. Members of these task forces and working groups stand shoulder to shoulder to combat corrupt officials, both operationally and through the sharing of intelligence and information, along with the use of trend analysis, lessons learned, and best practices.

Dark web browser

All this activity, this vision of a bustling marketplace, might make you think that navigating the dark web is easy. It isn’t. The place is as messy and chaotic as you would expect when everyone is anonymous, and a substantial minority are out to scam others.

Accessing the dark web requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor. The Tor browser routes your web page requests through a series of proxy servers operated by thousands of volunteers around the globe, rendering your IP address unidentifiable and untraceable. Tor works like magic, but the result is an experience that’s like the dark web itself: unpredictable, unreliable and maddeningly slow.

Still, for those willing to put up with the inconvenience, the dark web provides a memorable glimpse at the seamy underbelly of the human experience – without the risk of skulking around in a dark alley.

Dodge Charger &aposThe General Lee&apos (1969)

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

’The Dukes of Hazzard’  (1979-85)

There was only one self-assured way to get behind the wheel of your � Charger if you were TV cousins Bo and Luke Duke: You would swing into the front seat of your muscle car (nicknamed “The General Lee”) by leaping over its welded-shut doors like gymnasts vaulting a pommel horse. The General was no slouch in the jumping department itself according to Road & Track, the iconic opening-credits jump spanned 82 feet�hieved only after the back trunk was weighed down with cement so it wouldn’t be top heavy. Cast and crew have estimated that more than 300 � and � Chargers doubled as “The General,” over seven seasons. Stand-ins finally became so tough to source that Warner Bros. later subbed in revamped AMC Ambassadors and used radio-controlled miniatures for long-jump stunts in later years. Could General Lee make it on the small screen today, with a name paying homage to a Confederate hero? Doubtful. Golf pro Bubba Watson purchased “Lee 1,” the vehicle seen in the “Hazzard” intro, at auction in 2012 for $110,000. A few years later, he painted over the rebel flag on the hood of the V8-powered coupe, replacing it with Old Glory.


HSI’s workforce consists of more than 10,400 employees, including special agents, criminal analysts, mission support personnel and contract staff assigned to offices throughout the United States and around the world.

Most of HSI’s 7,100 special agents are assigned to one of HSI’s Special Agent in Charge (SAC) offices or multiple sub-offices located in 225 cities across the nation. HSI’s domestic footprint is supplemented by more than 2,800 task force officers representing key strategic federal, state and local partners in the fight to combat transnational criminal organizations.

HSI’s international force is DHS’s largest investigative presence abroad, anchored by special agents assigned to U.S. embassies, consulates and Department of Defense (DOD) combatant commands around the globe. HSI has one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Transparency. Accountability. Trust.

The law enforcement community, in partnership with the FBI, is working to improve the way the nation collects, analyzes, and uses crime statistics about law enforcement’s use of force. The collection and reporting of use-of-force data will include any use of force that results in the death or serious bodily injury of a person, as well as when a law enforcement officer discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a person.

With the National Use-of-Force Data Collection, data users can view use-of-force incidents involving law enforcement from a nationwide perspective. The goal of the resulting statistics is not to offer insight into single use-of-force incidents but to provide an aggregate view of the incidents reported and the circumstances, subjects, and officers involved.

Total Criminal Convictions by Type

This table organizes nationwide convictions of criminal noncitizens by type of criminal conduct. Because some criminal noncitizens may be convicted of multiple criminal offenses, total convictions listed below exceed the total arrests noted in the table above.

Assault, battery, domestic violence1,007692524299208775
Burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, fraud825595347184143541
Driving under the influence2,4581,5961,1136143641,118
Homicide, manslaughter8332340
Illegal drug possession, trafficking1,7971,2498714493861,413
Illegal entry, re-entry7,0604,5023,9202,6631,2613,836
Illegal weapons possession, transport, trafficking2371731066649221
Sexual offenses1551378058156353
Other 1 2,5441,8511,3648145801,821

Fiscal Year 2021 runs October 01, 2020 - September 30, 2021.
1 “Other” includes any conviction not included in the categories above.

The word, parole, derives from the French “parol” meaning “word of honor” and references prisoners of war promising not to take up arms in current conflict if released. How that concept came to apply to the early release of convicted, often violent, offenders is less clear. The first documented official use of early release from prison in the United States is credited to Samuel G. Howe in Boston (1847), but prior to that, other programs using pardons achieved basically the same outcome. In fact, as late as 1938, parole was simply a conditional pardon in many states.

Alexander Maconochie (England) ran the Norfolk Island prison. During his tenure, he instituted a system whereby inmates would be punished for the past and trained for the future. He believed that inmates could be rehabilitated so he implemented an open-ended sentencing structure where inmates had to “earn” their release by passing through three stages, each stage increased their liberty and responsibilities. Inmates had an open time frame in which to earn the next level. Compliance advanced them infractions resulted in a return to the previous stage, thereby lengthening the sentence. The open-ended sentences (today known as indeterminate sentencing) allowed the administration to ensure that when finally released, an offender’s behavior had been successfully reformed. Eventually, Maconochie was removed from his position under criticism that his program “coddled” criminals.

At about the same time, Sir Walter Crofton was developing a similar program in Ireland using “tickets of leave”. The “Irish System” as it came to be known, employed a similar practice of allowing inmates to earn credits towards early release. However, once the “ticket of leave” was achieved, release from custody was conditional. The releasees were supervised in the community by either law enforcement or civilian personnel who were required to secure employment and to conduct home visits. These “supervisors” represented the forerunner to today’s parole officer.

In the United States, Zebulon Brockaway (Super-intendent) employed elements from both the Irish and Great Britain models in managing the Elmira Reformatory during the 1870s. Brockaway is credited with the passage of the first indeterminate sentencing law in the United States as well as introducing the first good time system to reduce inmates’ sentences. However, releasing the offenders was only part of the problem and initially, the greatest challenge was providing adequate supervision once release had been granted.

By 1913, it was clear some independent body was required to supervise inmates in the community and by 1930, Congress formally established a United States Board of Parole. It appeared, at least for awhile, that initiatives and programs were developing that could make parole a viable and useful tool of the criminal justice system. But unfortunate timing contributed ultimately to its downfall.

In 1929, the Great Depression hit the United States. An immediate result was a sharp increase in prison populations. However, the high cost of maintaining prisons as well as a lack of available personnel to staff them made new construction prohibitive and contributed to the popularity of parole. While alleviation of the overcrowding problem is often cited as a secondary (or latent) goal, the reality is that as a back-end solution, parole is vital to the maintenance of the correctional system.

With the onset of the twentieth century, philosophers began to examine the social and psychological aspects of criminal behavior. This heralded a shift from classicalist thinking towards positivism. Under positivism, actions are believed to be caused by forces beyond one’s control (such forces could be psychological, biological, or sociological in origin). Therefore, parolees were now viewed as “sick” and the parole department was charged with the responsibility of “fixing” them.

Positivism is consistent with a less punitive approach to sentencing and generally involves an indeterminate sentencing structure allowing for the possibility of early release if the offender demonstrates that they have been successfully rehabilitated. As such, it fit well with the Elmira system and the timing afforded officials the opportunity to use parole as a means to relieve the overcrowded conditions that had developed during the depression.

The fact that parole involves some incarceration suggests that the average parolee has committed a more serious crime than the average probationer and, hence, poses a greater risk to the community. Therefore, primary goals of parole must include crime deterrence and offender control. And given that most offenders will eventually return to the community, a rival goal is reintegration, or the facilitation of an offender’s transition from incarceration to freedom.

Unfortunately, it appeared during the 1980s that parole was failing. Street crime rates during this period skyrocketed and in many cases, the crimes were perpetrated by individuals who were released into the community prior to the official expiration of their sentence. This reality led to the development of penal philosophies espousing “tough on crime” approaches and demanding “truth in sentencing”. Such philosophies warned criminals, “do the crime, do the time” and resulted in radical changes to sentencing practices across the country that indicated a return to a more punitive sentencing structure.

Watch the video: Cateret to Sark