News and Other Busyness
Exodus Under Fire
Squall 13, Summer 1996, pg. 6.
FIRST CAME THE FIREBOMBING of an Exodus jeep and the bungalow where collective member Paul Taylor lived. Taylor is facing a murder charge (Squall 12) which he resolutely denies.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initially opposed Taylor being allowed home on bail on the basis of police intelligence that there might be an arson attack on the bungalow. On February 2nd the CPS dropped all opposition to Taylor returning home. On February 4th the firebomb dropped. Nobody has been charged.
Three months later, on May 13th, a second Exodus jeep belonging to Stephen Jacobs was also torched outside the same bungalow. Beds Fire and Rescue Service reported the incident to the police as “an incident of a suspicious nature”. Fire and Rescue Press Officer Sarah Sidney explained: “That normally means we’re fairly certain it’s malicious ignition.” Exodus spokesperson Glenn Jenkins called the police at 6am the next morning and spent the following week asking police to “get on the case” and, in particular, to view petrol station video surveillance film of the previous night. Yet nothing was done barring an inspection of the jeep and a check on who owned it.
A week after the attack local officer PC Moran told Squall: “I didn’t know this was a firebombing. I can’t find it on the computer. I don’t know about the bungalow bombing.” DS Roach, responsible for the Crime Management Unit at Dunstable, which logs crimes, monitors them for trends and statistics and allocates them for investigation, confirmed the arson incident was not listed for investigation by the CID. “Nobody from the group has made a report that this vehicle was damaged, as far as I’m aware,” he explained, adding, “if somebody sets fire to a vehicle it should be investigated.” Police Media Officer Jo Hobbs confirmed that “the reason why a crime report wasn’t filled in when Glenn Jenkins came to us is that we had no proof that it was his car, and as it turned out it wasn’t anyway. We can’t get someone to fill in a crime report if they can’t prove the crime was to do with them.” A crime report has now been filed. Nobody has been charged.
Compare this with another recent incident: a man whom police believed was wanted on a warrant for theft of a sandwich allegedly evaded arrest after being stopped in an Exodus jeep. He was said to have driven off in the direction of Exodus’ HAZ Manor. An hour later some 27 officers, one with a bullet-proof jacket, broke down Manor doors and windows in their haste to solve the crime. Beds Police’s new helicopter hovered over the house. The man was not located. He handed himself in voluntarily a few days later and was charged with attempting grievous bodily harm resulting from his alleged attempt to evade arrest in the Land Rover - the reason given by Beds Police Press Office for the raid on the Manor.