London cyclist deaths: Officers at dangerous junctions

Met Police enforce road traffic laws

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About 2,500 traffic police officers will be on London's streets during rush hours following the deaths of six cyclists over 14 days.

Operation Safeway will see Metropolitan Police officers deployed at 166 key junctions where they will issue fixed penalty notices to people breaking road traffic laws.

About 650 officers will be at 60 sites across London on Monday.

There have been 14 cyclist deaths in London this year, nine involving HGVs.

The officers will also be offering advice to anyone seen putting themselves or other road uses at risk. This includes pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other motorists.

London cyclist deaths

2010: 10 deaths, four involving HGVs

2011: 16 deaths, 12 involving HGVs

2012: 14 deaths, five involving HGVs

2013 so far: 14 deaths, nine involving HGVs

Source: TfL

The number of police and locations will rise as the operation progresses. The force said it would continue until Christmas when it would then be reviewed.

The force said the operation was not costing it extra money.

The six cyclists who died between 5 and 18 November are: Brian Holt, 62; Francis Golding, 69; Roger William De Klerk, 43; Venera Minakhmetova, 24; a 21-year-old man from St John's Wood and a man believed to be in his 60s.

The names of two of the victims have not yet been officially released by police.

The number of cyclists killed so far in crashes in London this year is the same as the figure for the whole of 2012.

'Needless tragedy'

Supt Rob Revill said: "Our aim is to reduce the appalling number of people who die or are injured on London's roads each year.

"Every road death is a needless tragedy that wreaks devastation for the victim's friends and family. Every serious injury is life-changing and distressing."

Driver Paul shows what it is like driving a lorry in London

He added: "We welcome the recent debate around road safety but it is irrefutable that the Met and the public have a duty to ensure that we all take the very best care on the roads."

Last week, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said headphones were an "absolute scourge" and he would consider banning cyclists from wearing them.

However, BBC London transport correspondent Tom Edwards said at Bow roundabout the police were advising cyclists about wearing helmets and high visibility jackets, rather than advising them about wearing headphones.

There have been calls for HGVs to be banned in rush hours, with former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman saying "the longer we delay, the more lives will be lost".

But Mr Johnson has said imposing a peak-time ban risked damaging London companies and creating a "serious influx as soon as the ban is over".

Mr Johnson also said safety on the roads must be improved and he was looking at investing the "thick end of £1bn" to make cycling in the capital safer.

Last Monday, the Met carried out spot-checks on cyclists and HGVs in Vauxhall, south London.

In four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 fixed penalty notices for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road.

They also stopped 100 cyclists, who were given safety advice.

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  21.  
    14:00: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

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  22.  
    13:44:

    Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said: "During this investigation I found out a lot about what Alice was like as a person. She was a bright, talented young girl.

    Alice Gross

    "Those who loved and knew her talked of her beauty inside and out and the spark she had."

     
  23.  
    13:39:

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    Log used to weigh down her body
     
  24.  
    13:34:

    Alice was found naked and tied up.

    Where Alice was found

    Her body was found in chest high, still water with a thick layer of sentiment. She was discovered under low lying branches and thick foliage that formed a canopy over her hidden body.

     
  25.  
    13:24:

    The Met said Latvian authorities confirmed to them on 11 September his murder conviction.

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    By 17 September, officers had identified him on the CCTV footage as being in the area when Alice went missing.

    The next day he was named as a suspect.

     
  26.  
    13:19:

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    Last sighting of Zalkalns

    Inquiries were sent off to Latvia via Interpol to establish his history.

     
  27.  
    13:14:

    In this video report by Robert Piggot that was made days before Alice's body was discovered, Zalkalns' mother-in-law warns that he is a dangerous man.

    Viktorija Zalkalne
     
  28.  
    13:09:

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  29.  
    13:02:

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    Arnis Zalkalns
     
  30.  
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    12:44:

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    Family picture of Alice with her father, mother and sister

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    12:39:

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    12:30:

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  34.  
    12:26:

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    Arnis Zalkalns

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    Arnis Zalkalns and his wife who he murdered

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  37.  
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  38.  
    11:50:

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    Alice with her phone

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  39.  
    11:45:

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    Place where Alice's body was found
     
  40.  
    11:40:

    Alice's trainers were found in her rucksack which was along the canal path.

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  41.  
    11:34:

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  42.  
    11:30:

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  43.  
    11:26:

    His body was found here in Boston Manor Park on 4 October.

    Boston Park
     
  44.  
    11:22:

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    CCTV of Alice Last sighting of Alice

    When he reappeared on camera, his appearance indicated he might have been in the water.

     
  45.  
    11:19:

    The Met Police has released images of the last sighting of Zalkalns.

    Arnis Zalkalns

    Here he was visiting a newsagents several days after he was alleged to have murdered Alice.

     
  46.  
    11:10:

    CCTV timeline:

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  47.  
    11:07:

    Here's a recap of the key points which have come out of today's press conference with the detective in charge of the investigation.

    • The single DNA sample from Alice's skin "strongly supports" a match to Zalkalns
    • Zalkalns returned to the tow path near Alice's body three times
    • Police say even if they had known earlier about Zalkalns' murder conviction in Latvia it would not have saved Alice

    For more details, see the BBC News report.

     
  48.  
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  49.  
    10:56:

    Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said: "I believed it was important for the CPS to assess the evidence that the investigation team had found against him (Zalkalns) to reassure Alice's family and the community, who were so affected by her disappearance.

    "The public support for our investigation in the local community was overwhelming.

    "I hope that the CPS's decision that, if he was alive, Zalkalns would have been charged with Alice's murder will in some way help the community come to terms."

     
  50.  
    10:54:

    Police also revealed that Zalkalns had returned twice to the area where Alice was last seen and had searched her name online as reports of her disappearance emerged.

     
  51.  
    10:43:

    The family added: "Although we now have certain information about how Alice died, we are still left with some serious unanswered questions about what the authorities knew or should have known about the man who is believed to have killed our daughter when he came to the UK."

     
  52.  
    10:39:

    In a statement today, Alice's family said: "It remains impossible to describe the pain of losing Alice. Her death has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled.

    Alice's family Alice's father Jose, mother Rosalind Hodgkiss and sister Nina Gross

    "Every day is a reminder of her life and her loss, and it is hard to imagine a future in which we can find peace and healing.

    "Her brutal murder remains shocking, an appalling senseless act that is still difficult to believe or understand."

     
  53.  
    10:29:

    Arnis Zalkalns was first linked to Alice's disappearance after he was filmed cycling along Brentford Lock canal towpath shortly after the school girl walked along it.

    Arnis Zalkalns
     
  54.  
    10:20:

    Key points:

    • At a press conference held today, the Met said the key suspect in her disappearance, Arnis Zalkalns, would have been charged with Alice Gross' murder
    • His body was found hanged in a park several days after the 14-year-old's body was discovered
    • Police said the motive for her death was "most likely sexual"
    • Alice went missing on 28 August near to her home in Hanwell, west London
    • She died from compression of the chest
     
  55.  
    10:17: Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    Alice's body weighed down with bricks, sections of tree trunks, covered with branches. The bag used to conceal her body matched the next bag on roll from Zalkalns' workplace.

     
  56.  
    10:07:

    Although police think the motive was sexual, there was no evidence that she was sexually assaulted, said BBC London reporter Nick Beake who is at the press conference.

     
  57.  
    10:01: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Get the latest from the press conference on Alice Gross with reporter Anna O'Neill in the 10:00 bulletin.

     
  58.  
    09:52:

    Her cause of death was given as compression of chest probably caused by a heavier body lying on and crushing her weaker body.

    The conclusion was reached by a process of elimination as no other obvious marks or injuries were found on her body.

     
  59.  
    09:41:

    Her cause of death was "compressive asphyxia".

    Alice Gross
     
  60.  
    09:39: Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    Police say even if they'd known earlier about Mr Zalkalns' murder conviction in Latvia it would not have saved Alice.

     
  61.  
    09:38:

    No-one else was involved in Mr Zalkalns' death. He was found hanged in woodland in Boston Manor Park, near Hanwell, on 4 October.

    Check BBC London's timeline for more details of how Alice's murder.

     
  62.  
    09:35:

    Her disappearance captivated the local area, with yellow ribbons and flowers adorning Hanwell throughout her disappearance.

    Flowers and messages of condolence besides the clock tower in Hanwell
     
  63.  
    09:29:

    Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said the motive for her death was "likely sexual".

    The scientific evidence does not link him directly to her death but evidence as a whole would have been enough to charge him with abduction and murder.

     
  64.  
    09:28:

    BBC London's Nick Beake tweets: "Graphic: Alice Gross's body was wrapped in bin bag and weighed down with bricks, logs and a bicycle wheel."

     
  65.  
    09:24:

    At a news conference, the Met also said there was no evidence to suggest Mr Zalkalns was responsible for any other reported crime.

    Arnis Zalkalns

    But the 41-year-old Latvian builder was a convicted murderer who had served seven years in prison in his native country for bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite to death.

     
  66.  
    09:20:

    The police think Alice was murdered before she was reported missing on 28 August. Her body was found on 30 September.

     
  67.  
    09:16: Alice Gross Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    The iPhone cover thought to belong to Alice was found hidden in Mr Zalkalns' garden while a cigarette butt with his DNA on was discovered close to her body.

     
  68.  
    09:15: Alice Gross

    Alice's disappearance sparked what the Met said was its largest inquiry since the 7/7 bombings in 2005.

    Alice Gross

    Hundreds of officers from several forces around the country helped with the investigation. She was last seen walking along a canal near her home in Hanwell, west London, at the end of August.

    Her body was found more than a month later.

     
  69.  
    BREAKING NEWS

    The CPS says it would have charged Mr Zalkalns if he had been alive although there was no forensic or eyewitness evidence, only circumstantial.

     
  70.  
    BREAKING NEWS

    The Met Police have sent a report to the Crown Prosecution Service saying Arnis Zalkalns was responsible for the murder of 14-year-old school girl Alice Gross.

     
  71.  
    09:00: News on the hour Jason Rosam Journalist, BBC London

    In the London News at 09:00, the mayor's cycling commissioner says the consultation into plans to segregate cyclists from traffic along the Embankment.

    And the wife of a Russian spy who was murdered in London in 2006 says what she hopes an inquiry into his death will achieve.

     
  72.  
    08:51: On air BBC London 94.9 Radio

    London Mayor Boris Johnson is to go ahead with his flagship cycle superhighway on Victoria Embankment.

    You can tell Vanessa what you think of the plans on BBC London 94.9 from 09:00.

     
  73.  
    08:39: Travel BBC Travel

    There are no Virgin or London Midland trains in or out of Euston at the moment due to electrical supply problems in the Wembley area.

    Keep up to date with BBC Travel or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel

     
  74.  
    08:27: TV headlines BBC London News TV

    The headlines in this morning's bulletins include:

    • Public Health England has found that young people in London are the least likely to smoke in the country
    • A care home for the elderly in Rotherhithe is holding cocktail parties to help people with dementia relive their younger years
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  75.  
    08:17: Thameslink service returns Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    Thameslink trains are back to normal after the disruption yesterday and on Friday following flooding in one of the tunnels.

     
  76.  
    08:10: Milder than lately

    It's a bright, chilly start with some patchy ground frost.

    Weather today

    Cloudy conditions will gradually spread from the west, but it should remain dry with a maximum temperature of 9C (48F).

     
  77.  
    08:01: Radio headlines Jason Rosam Journalist, BBC London

    The top stories this morning:

     
  78.  
    08:00: Rebecca Cafe BBC News

    Good morning. I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather until 18:00.

    You can email me your comments about the stories of the day or send photos or tweet @BBCLondonNews.

     

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