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  1. Meridian

Botched cash depot raid - how Betson got it wrong

Bungling ex-millenium Dome robber Ray Betson botched a cash depot raid by breaking down the wrong wall!

Betson, 52, of Clifton Crescent, Folkestone, targeted the Loomis cash depot in Mark Way, Swanley, in the early hours of Friday 23 March 2012.

Just before 5am a heavy-duty digger, which had been stolen, was driven into the outside wall of the depot in a bid to knock it over and allow the offenders to gain internal access.

The digger rammed the wall a number of times before one of the robbers, who were armed with baseball bats and white sacks, climbed over the rubble only to find an empty room. The group then entered a nearby empty warehouse only to find it was empty too.

Less than a minute later, the offenders ran off empty handed.

Digger used in bunged raid Credit: Kent Police

Police later discovered an abandoned Mitsubishi 4x4 in a field which had become grounded on a dip, but inside they found a two-way radio, a baseball bat and large white bags.

In a nearby bush, a balaclava, a snood and a running stopwatch were also found allowing officers to calculate the time on the stopwatch and link it to the attempted robbery.

DNA gathered from the snood and the balaclava provided a near perfect match to Betson – there was less than one in a billion chance it could match anyone else.

Abandoned $x$ found grounded in a field Credit: Kent Police

Betson wanted to make a lot of money quickly and was significantly involved in this botched robbery.

‘The attempt displayed a level of violence, planning and organisation with the use of a digger, weapons such as baseball bats and a getaway vehicle.

‘But what went from an armed robbery quickly turned into a farce because they knocked down the wrong wall, then searched an empty warehouse and managed to render the getaway vehicle useless as they fled the scene, discarding equipment nearby.

Betson had been previously convicted for his part in the Millennium Dome robbery in November 2000.

– Rob Haines, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

CCTV caught robber attacking wrong wall with JCB

A bungling robber who failed to break into a cash depot in Kent when he attacked the wrong wall with a JCB has been given a 13 year sentence today.

The 52-year-old tried to break into the Swanley cash depot only months after being released from jail for being the notorious ring leader of the Millenium Dome Raiders-the gang that planned to steal £200 million pounds worth of diamonds from the Millenium Dome, now called the O2.


  1. Meridian

Bungling Betson back behind bars

Bungling robber Ray Betson has been given a 13 year sentence today after his attempt to rob a multi-million pound cash depot in Swanley failed when he knocked down the wrong wall with a digger

Ray Betson sentenced to 13 years for bungled multi-million pound raid Credit: Kent Police
Digger used in the failed raid Credit: Kent Police

Betson will only serve 6-7 years in prison the rest of the time he will be on licence in the community.

He tried to break into the Swanley cash depot only months after being released jail for being the notorious ring leader of the Dome Raiders - the gang that planned to steal £200 million pounds worth of diamonds from the Millenium Dome, now called the O2.

Betson chose the wrong wall to try and break through Credit: Kent Police

The Dome Raiders planned to go down in history as the robbers who would pull off the biggest and most audacious robbery of the Millennium. An old fashioned smash-and-grab at a diamond exhibition in the Dome.

They boasted they would never be caught and prided themselves on their meticulous planning to keep them one step ahead of the law, using state of the art technology, anti-surveillance devices and had seemingly limitless funds for a sophisticated, military-styled operation which would reap a multi-million pound reward.

Ringleader Betson claimed they were not intending to hurt anyone when they smashed through the Dome entrance at high speed on a converted JCB digger dressed as terrorists with sledgehammers, ammonia and smoke grenades.

When they were caught red-handed they could not accept they had been simply out-manoeuvred by the Flying Squad.

At the trial one of the gang ruefully put it: "We would have got away with it but for the fact there were 140 police waiting for us."

  1. Meridian

Paris Brown's Twitter apology

  1. Meridian

Youth police commissioner's tearful apology for tweets

Kent's Police Commissioner Ann Barnes is tonight pledging to stand by the teenager she appointed last week as her youth expert after it was revealed the youngster had used Twitter to send messsages about drinking, drugs and sex.

Seventeen-year-old Paris Brown made a tearful apology for the tweets which were sent nearly two years ago. They have both been speaking to Iain McBride


  1. Meridian

Police commissioner backs Paris after 'offensive' tweets

Kent's Police & Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes, has said was appalled when she heard about offensive Twitter messages sent by the teenager she last week appointed as the county's first Youth and Crime Commissioner. However, Ann Barnes defended Paris Brown, saying she deserved another chance.

The tearful teenager said the messages were sent when she was younger, and she apologised for any offence she had caused.

  1. Meridian

Youth police rep sorry for tweets: 'I was naive and immature... I apologise'

Kent's first Youth Police and Crime Commissioner Paris Brown,17, has apologised for writing tweets that were inappropriate. A Sunday paper accused her of writing messages on Twitter that were racist and homophobic, as well as offensive messages about drugs and drinking.

The teenager said that some of the messages had been taken out of context, that they were written some time ago, and that she was sorry if she had offended anyone.

  1. Meridian

Incident at Dartford Tunnel - police investigating

The public are being advised to avoid the Dartford Tunnel at present if they can, after an incident which led to the closure of two lanes just after 11am.

There is queueing traffic on the M25 anticlockwise at A282 (Dartford Tunnel toll booths), and congestion on M25 to J1b A282 / A296 Princes Road (Dartford).

Kent Police are investigating the incident on the QE2 Bridge. Traffic is now using the Dartford Tunnels, but traffic is only running in two lanes in each direction.

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