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December 12, 2023

Hundreds of women and children trafficked to UK to shoplift 

  • One company in Scotland reported that it had identified a gang with 154 shoplifters stealing high-value items in bulk to sell or ship abroad.
  • Members have been arrested in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Darlington.
  • Retailers Against Crime (RAC) said it was tracking 56 shoplifting groups that are funding organised crime.
  • Maxine Fraser, managing director at RAC, works in partnership with Police Scotland and 1,500 shops in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.
  • Mrs Fraser reported that the gang has many children who have been trafficked to the UK, specifically to shoplift.
  • Former police officer Adam Ratcliff, who runs the Safer Business Network, has worked through hours of CCTV and police information to establish links within this group.
  • He stated: “Their lives are horrific. They are living in houses of multiple occupancy, 30, 40 of them at a time, sleeping on mattresses in dirty rooms, being used and abused as criminals for financial gain.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Elon Musk fact-checked on X by his own system – but claims it has been ‘gamed by state actors’ 

  • Elon Musk has claimed his community notes system on X (formerly Twitter), has been “gamed by state actors” after one of his own posts was fact-checked. 
  • He has promoted the community-based fact-checking system as his flagship policy to tackle disinformation on the social media platform. 
  • On Sunday, one of his own posts was marked with a community note, after he commented on the detention of a US YouTuber in Ukraine, who is scheduled to appear in court. 
  • Musk, in response to his own post, claimed the community note had been “gamed by state actors. 
  • However, that post was also subjected to its own note, which said: “There are criteria that Community Notes contributors must meet to be approved which are supposed to prevent manipulation.” 
  • All posts on X which are marked with a community note are also stopped from generating revenue. 
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website. 

PSNI data breach report finds ‘outdated approach’ to data security

  • A report into the PSNI Data Breach says that members of the force failed to notice a ‘hidden tab’ containing the sensitive information. 
  • It also revealed that the Freedom of Information Request which resulted in the breach had been looked over by six members of staff who failed to notice that the sensitive information was going to be released. 
  • The report stated that the breach had a significant impact on officers and staff and their trust of the PSNI, with one member of staff resigning, one moving from their home, and over 50 members taking sick leave absence. 
  • The NPCC has said that based on the information provided to it, these actions were not the result of a credible threat being made against them. 
  • The report stated that the Data Protection Officer role in the PSNI had “no direct reporting mechanism to the most senior level of the organisation which is a legal requirement” and there seemed to be “a lack of recognition of the breadth of the role” which resulted in “skewed focus.” 
  • The report concluded: “It is now evident that the breach that occurred was not a result of a single isolated decision, act, or incident by any one person, team, or department. 
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Live website. 

NI primary school hailed for touching gesture for every pupil this Christmas 

  • St Patricks primary school in Armagh has been praised after writing to parents to inform them that the school will once again cover the cost of school Christmas dinners for all its pupils. 
  • The letter added: “Thank you again to all of you who help make St. Patrick’s Primary School the caring, generous school that it is.” 
  • School principal, Sean McKinley reported: “We are all acutely aware of the impact ‘cost of living’ requirements has had on ALL families and given the fact that, as a school, we will be calling on our families to try and support us with our own charitable endeavours, it is a simple token of appreciation and thanks.” 
  • Many have taken to social media to praise the school on its gesture. 
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Live website.