this is bbc news. the headlines at eleven: police say the pensioner richard osborn—brooks won't be charged or face any further action after an intruder was fatally stabbed at his home. sergei skripal, the former russian spy poisoned in salisbury, is no longer critically ill and is responding well to treatment. the met police commissioner offers reassurance to londoners, following the recent string of murders. we have not lost control of the streets, i can understand why some people are worried at the moment, particularly in some areas of london. and on newsnight, we will hear from one of the russians who worked on the nerve agent novichok when it was being developed in the soviet union. what does he make of the news from salisbury? good evening, and welcome to bbc news.
police say they'll take no further action against a pensioner, after an intruder was fatally stabbed at his home. henry vincent died at the house in south—east london, belonging to richard osborn—brooks. our correspondent simonjones sent this update from outside the house in hither green. it was on wednesday morning that the pensioner decided to intruders at his home here, it is thought one of the intruders was armed with a screwdriver. police said there was a struggle and that ended up with one of the intruders, henry vincent, being stabbed. he was discovered collapsed on the road and related died in hospital. the pensioner was arrested on suspicion of murder, much of the horror of some of his neighbours who said he was only defending his property. tonight the met have said no further action will be taken against him, they have not given explicit reasons why, but they
describe what happened here as a tragedy to everyone involved. the law states that a householder does have the right to use reasonable force if they genuinely fear for their own safety in self—defence. there is no sign of him here at his home tonight, at the police presence remains. a former russian spy who was left seriously ill after a nerve agent attack, is responding well to treatment and is no longer in a critical condition. it's nearly five weeks since sergei skipal and his daughter, yulia were found slumped on a park bench in salisbury, the victims of the soviet—era chemical weapon, novichok. britain says russia is behind the poisonings, but moscow has denied any involvement. our home affairs correspondent laila nathoo reports. they were targeted with a chemical weapon. sergei skripal and his daughter yulia — seen here in newly released family photos taken in russia. they were hospitalised more than a month ago, after being exposed to a nerve agent, a toxic chemical designed to shut down the human body. but they have been fighting its effects, and today the hospital
gave this update. as yulia herself says, her strength is growing daily, and she can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave hospital. i also want to update you on the condition of her father, sergei skripal. he is responding well to treatment and improving rapidly, and is no longer in a critical condition. it was on 4 march that the two were found incapacitated in the centre of salisbury. they were critically ill. a police officer, who was one of the first to respond to the incident, was also admitted to hospital. he was discharged a fortnight later. the skripals had been heavily sedated, and were unable to communicate. but last week, yulia regained consciousness. now herfather, too, appears to be making progress. it's fantastic news. somewhat unexpected. we were concerned they were in a very serious state but we heard earlier this week that yulia is getting better. to hear that sergei skripal is also recovering, that's excellent news and i hope to hear more encouraging news in the weeks ahead.
in a statement, a foreign office spokesperson said: yulia skripal is communicating. yesterday she put out a statement through the police, saying she was getting stronger daily. but it's not yet clear whether sergei skripal is recovering to the same extent. but how is it that either of them have been able to withstand the impact of such a deadly substance? there are so many variables that a poisoning from novichok might take. so you have the environmental conditions in which the poison might have been left and how they picked it up. the quantities that got into him. we hear it's through the skin, which is a lot more of a protective barrier and if it was inhaled.
barrier than if it was inhaled. so overall it's a pleasant surprise, good news for him and good news for the investigation. yulia, and perhaps herfather too, will now become crucial witnesses in the investigation, described by counterterror police as one of the largest and most complex they have ever carried out. at least six people, including a 16—year—old boy, have been killed during protests on gaza's border with israel. troops opened fire on the protesters as they attempted to breach the fence. last week, hundreds of palestinians were injured and more than a dozen killed in the bloodiest day of violence since the war in gaza four years ago. from the scene, yolande knell reports. billowing black smoke. young palestinians burning huge piles of tyres as a smokescreen as they hurl stones at israeli soldiers. they fired back with tear gas and bullets. this was another bloody friday on the gaza border. but
ahmed, his son and grandson ‘s, came to peacefully protest and pray. as a toddler 70 years ago, ahmed lost nearly all his family and his village when the state of israel was created. i was one-day expelled and deported from my original country of palestine, i want to return back again. iam palestine, i want to return back again. i am here to tell them, i am ina again. i am here to tell them, i am in a peaceful way, want to return back to my homeland. israel rejects the claims of palestinian refugees. its military says it has been acting here to stop mass infiltrations into israeli territory. it blames data's hamas leaders for stirling of violence. from the gaza border and to my right at israeli homes, israeli communities, mothers and fathers trying to protect their children. and just a few football
fields away our crowds gathering in who have made it clear their intent is to wipe israel off the map. the plan is to continue the border that demonstration into the middle of next month. despite the obvious dangers, palestinians here say they will keep up their protests. they will keep up their protests. they will keep up their protests. they will keep pressing their demands and confronting israel. 0n the other side of the border, israel sees all of this as a huge provocation, and is threatening a harsh response. a fraudster who posed as a survivor of the grenfell tower disaster has been jailed for 4.5 years. joyce msokeri, who's a7, claimed her husband had died in the fire, and claimed food, clothing, and hotel accommodation worth £19,000. the old bailey heard how she was in fact single, and living miles away. the ireland and ulster rugby player paddy jackson says he's ashamed the woman who accused him of rape left his home distressed. he and teammate stuart 0lding were acquitted last week of the attack at a party.
mrjackson, seen here in the middle, said he regretted the events of that evening and apologised for betraying "the values of his family". he also said he was sorry for offensive conversations he'd had on social media about the incident. the metropolitan police commissioner insists the force hasn't lost control of london's streets. cressida dick was speaking after a string of murders in the capital, and said this wasn't a time for blame, but for working together. she did however say her officers were ‘stretched'. she's been speaking to our home editor, mark easton. commissioner, have you lost control of the streets of london? we have not lost control of the streets. i can understand why some people are very worried at the moment... people are frightened. ..particularly in some areas of london, we've had some ghastly homicides, as you know, particularly in the last few days, including those of really young people. that is bound to be very frightening. people are scared stiff out there. what can you say to reassure them? what i can say is that the metropolitan police are out there.
just this weekend, we have an extra 300 officers each day in the areas which are the most significant hotspots where there's been high levels of knife crime. but they are above and beyond all the other officers — those who are working in covert roles, those who are on patrol, those who are in the neighbourhoods, the people who are saving lives every day, arresting people, taking weapons off the streets, targeting the most violent, and doing everything they can to bear down on street violence. we can't solve this by ourselves and we are working with a whole range of other people are we also need the help of the public. have you, though, got enough resources? have you got enough police officers? you have perhaps heard that we have set upa you have perhaps heard that we have set up a new violent crime task force with another 100 and 20 offices over and above what we had, that has come from new funding that
we have secured over a couple of yea rs we have secured over a couple of years and we are putting that into knife crime. every police chief would always want more officers and more resources, of course. it's myjob to make the case for more, and also to make the best use of what we've got. do you think that the awful, tragic spike in homicides that we've seen this year is down to cuts in police budgets? no, i don't. i think that ourjob is stretched, but the causes of knife crime, last year was a challenging year for the met and the london, the groenefeld towers fire and enormous terrorist —— awful terrorist incidents. but the causes of knife crime, the causes of violent crime, are very complex and long—running. this is something i talked about from the day i arrived as one of my highest priorities. it continues to be so, i am glad there is more attention being paid
to it now. i'm really sorry these people have lost their lives. i don't say they've lost their lives because we've suffered cuts, but of course i need to make the best use of my officers, i need to get as many people that i can out on the streets. that's what we're doing this weekend, that's what we'll be doing in the weeks to come. you talk about priorities. what about the priority of infiltrating the gangs, of getting that intelligence so that you're one step ahead? 0ne one of the things that has been challenging about the changing nature of the homicides over the past year, it is affecting young people, it is knife crime, usually but not always fuelled by drug markets, group attacks and sometimes but not always gangs very heavily involved. these are challenging offences to investigate. but of course you will probably have noticed that we nearly always arrest people, we nearly always charge people. we have a fantastic homicide investigation capability. of the five tragic cases this week, we have arrested already in all but one. and i expect us to have charges following... is that after the
crime, surely you need to be inside those gangs... you will have heard of our trident gangs command who are very successful in locking up gangsters. last year we locked up hundreds of people we know to be gangsters, we have taken hundreds of guns off the streets. we have done that through in full tracing gangs, but we need the help of the public, we need people not to turn a blind eye, we need people to say that it is not ok to deal with drugs and carry a knife, it is not, and if you know that your child is involved in drug dealing or carrying a weapon, please stop them. some of your offices say the cuts to stop—and—search are making things difficult for them. they blame political correctness, some of them. there has been increased in violent
crime in london since 2014, quite a steep increase last year, last year it did not go up very much.|j steep increase last year, last year it did not go up very much. i am a com plete it did not go up very much. i am a complete supporter of stop—and—search, i said so from the day i arrived a year ago. stop—and—search is a useful tactic and my officers are professional, they are well trained, they have their body worn video, they must use intelligence and do, targeted, professional stop—and—search is a very fa ct professional stop—and—search is a very fact of way of dealing with... much less than they used to... you will see that we are seizing more weapons through stop—and—search and weapons through stop—and—search and we are continuously doing more stop and searches the weapons. so although the overall number has come down, the weapons searches are going up down, the weapons searches are going up and they are continuing to go up and the public should expect us to do that. who should take the blame for the increase in homicides this year, is it you or someone else?|j don't year, is it you or someone else?” don't think this is a matter of blame. the poor people have lost
their lives, their families lives will be racked, the offenders when we lock them up, there will —— their lives will be racked and their families lives will be racked, and immunities will be fearful. i don't think this is a time the blame pointing fingers. this is a time for us pointing fingers. this is a time for us to come together, all of us, government, local government, policing of course, and the public together with children's services, health, all the other agencies to say what can we do together to stop this violence. finally a question specifically to you, you have been criticised for not coming out and taking reporters questions it sooner, we have had a week of luritja headlines, why is it only now they you are appearing to take questions? it is not only now that i am taking questions, i have been talking about the subject over a year, i have been taking many questions about the subject of many months. i have given several interviews this week, maybe not to you but i have given several interviews. i have been in london, i have been working with my teens, i
have been working with my teens, i have been working with my teens, i have been out in the streets, i have been working with my officers and leading operations, i am now talking to the media. that's a summary of the news, newsday is coming up at midnight. now on bbc news, it's time for newsnight. following intense media coverage yesterday i would like to take the opportunity to update you on the condition of the two remaining patients being treated at salisbury district hospital. another day, another twist in the elaborate plot of the poisoning of sergei and yulia skripal. today, we learn that he is now no longer critical. unlike much that has been said, it's unbelievable, but true. we'll hear from one of the men involved in creating novichok, on how it's possible. and we'll talk through the american and british tactics at dealing with the russians. 50 years on from those famous protests in 1968,