Tagged: Home Office

North Shields refugee and asylum protest

Protestors gathered outside of a Tyneside immigration centre to demonstrate about the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

A group of around 40 people gathered with banners, loud hailers, and music outside UK Visa and Immigrations Nortfolk Street Office in North Shields on Monday afternoon.

The reporting centre is soon to close amid a Home Office shake up of how it provides immigration services in the North East.

The demonstrators were campaigning not to bomb Libya and “let migrants pass safely,” to “shut down all immigration prisons in Britain” and to “end destitution” and provide “decent housing for all.”

The event, organised by Beyond Borders Tyneside, was part of Refugee Week – a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the country, and aims to promote better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

Full story : http://northstar.boards.net/thread/100/north-shields-refugee-asylum-protest

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There’s a storm brewing …

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from the Guardian on line

Steve White told the Guardian that more cuts would be devastating: “You get a style of policing where the first options are teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon, which are the last options in the UK.”
Steve White told the Guardian that more cuts would be devastating: “You get a style of policing where the first options are teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon, which are the last options in the UK.” Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Police will be forced to adopt a “paramilitary” style of enforcement if the government inflicts big budget cuts on them, the head of the police officers’ organisation has warned.

Steve White, chair of the Police Federation, said his 123,000 members, from police constables to inspectors, fear a move towards a more violent style of policing as they try to keep law and order with even fewer officers than now.

White told the Guardian that more cuts would be devastating: “You get a style of policing where the first options are teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon, which are the last options in the UK.”

White…

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Government accused of sidestepping questions on possible Orgreave inquiry

The Government has been accused of sidestepping questions about delays into a possible inquiry into the actions of police during the infamous ‘Battle of Orgreave’.

For two years the Independent Police Complaints Commission has been investigating whether officers accused of fitting up striking miners on riot charges, including two from the North East, had a case to answer.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, a miner at the time who was at the South Yorkshire coking plant that day in June, 1984, submitted two questions to Home Secretary Theresa May about the matter.

He asked if she would find out when the IPCC would make its decision and what her department knew about the reasons for the delay.

 

 In the Government’s reply, the Home Office said the IPCC had completed its assessment of the events at Orgreave and was taking legal advice before publishing its findings.

In the written reply, signed by Minister Mike Penning, he wrote:

“This has been a very complex exercise which has required the in-depth analysis of a vast amount of documentation from over 30 years ago. As the IPCC is an independent organisation the Government has no control or influence over the date of publication of its findings.”

Mr Anderson commented:

“The government should put “the vast amount of paperwork” in the public domain so that people and Parliament can see if they were misled.

“She sidesteps the second question about exactly what information she has and puts the onus onto an Independent body. Has the IPCC seen all of the paperwork that has not been released and if not why not?”

Orgreave was the scene of some of the bitterest clashes during the year long miners strike of 1984 to 1985.

In all 95 miners were arrested and charged with riot following it, an offence which carries a maximum life sentence.

All the charges were eventually dropped and 39 miners were later awarded £425,000 in compensation amid claims police witnesses gave evidence that had been dictated to them by senior officers as well as perjuring themselves.

It was in 2012 after a TV documentary repeated these allegations in light of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report that the head of South Yorkshire Police referred his own force to the IPCC.

It was South Yorkshire Police which was in control of the crowds at the 1989 FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest where 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death.

It was revealed officers had fabricated evidence – including having statements dictated to them by senior officers – in an attempt to blame the tragedy on the Liverpool fans, the same tactics used against miners at Orgreave five years earlier.

Mr Anderson added:

“(David) Cameron said Sunshine is the best policy. Well come on then, shine a light on this disgraceful chapter in our nation’s history.”

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 24 Jan 2015

Criminal checks needed to make sure MPs are safe to work with children, Commons told

Every MP should go through a criminal check to ensure they are fit to work with children, the Commons has been told.

North East MP Helen Goodman called for MPs to go through the same sorts of checks as teachers or youth workers.

She was speaking as Home Secretary Theresa May announced two inquiries into historic claims of child abuse.

Mrs May said Government would set up an independent inquiry panel of experts in the law and child protection to consider whether public bodies have done enough to protect children from sexual abuse.

She said: “In recent years, we have seen appalling cases of organised and persistent child sex abuse. This includes abuse by celebrities like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris, as well as the systematic abuse of vulnerable girls in Derby, Rochdale, Oxford and other towns and cities. Some of these cases have exposed a failure by public bodies to take their duty of care seriously and some have shown that the organisations responsible for protecting children from abuse – including the police, social services and schools – have failed to work together properly.”

She added: “The Government will establish an independent inquiry panel of experts in the law and child protection to consider whether public bodies – and other non-state institutions – have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.”

The inquiry would be a non-statutory panel inquiry, similar to the Hillsbrough inquiry which reported back in 2012.

At the same time, Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, will lead a review into information provided to the Home Office about child abuse allegations.

It will look at claims that the Home Office failed to act on allegations of abuse provided to the department by the late Geoffrey Dickens, who was an MP from 1979 to 1995.

Speaking in the Commons, Mrs Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said MPs often worked with children and should undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks, known as CRB or DBS checks, to ensure they are not a threat.

She said: “In the course of doing constituency case work, every member of this house will come across vulnerable adults and children. Does the Home Secretary agree with me that Members of Parliament and caseworkers should undergo CRB checks?

“We’ve legislated for this for everybody else in similar positions of responsibilty. Isn’t it time that we did so in this House too?”

Mrs May said this was an issue the inquiry could consider.

North West Durham MP Pat Glass asked for assurances that the inquiry would be able to look at files held by the police or security services.

The announcement in the House of Commons came after Prime Minister David Cameron promised to leave “no stone unturned” in seeking the truth about widespread allegations of a paedophile ring with links to the establishment in the 1980s.

A series of allegations have emerged that Rochdale Liberal MP Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, abused vulnerable children.

An inquiry last month reported horrific abuse by television celebrity Jimmy Savile at Leeds General Infirmary and London hospital Broadmoor.

The Government’s inquiry could be converted into a full public inquiry if its chairman feels it is necessary.

Source –  Newcastle Journal,  07 July 2014