A mum whose disabled daughter was the victim of bullying has backed a new film launched to encourage people to report hate crimes.
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger launched the 15-minute film as a training tool to show the true impact of crimes against disabled people, which aims to address the levels of under-reporting across Teesside.
Kay Demoily, of Acklam, Middlesbrough, helped her daughter Katy, who has Down’s syndrome, through her difficulties with bullying at school and college and welcomes the efforts of police.
“It is very important that people are made aware of the amount of bullying that goes on. Young people especially are vulnerable and might not be able to stand up for themselves, so it is vital that others look out for bullying, which is so much more common than people think.”
Last year there were only 23 reports of disability hate crime incidents – but police and support charities believe victims are not coming forward, due to fear or because they are unaware that bullying is classed as a hate crime.
Kay says that Katy, now 32, who enjoys photography as a hobby, has managed to move on since the bullying with support from family, friends and the local community.
She said: “Everyone who lives close by is very helpful, and would keep an eye out while Katy is around here but you can’t always know what goes on.
“Katy became very introverted and upset. I thought that I would have seen the signs but I didn’t. The film that the police have produced is hard hitting, and I think it should be shown in schools so that young people understand the issues.”
Mr Coppinger said: “Cleveland is not unique in the fact that disability hate crime is under-reported but as a force we are dealing with it head-on by raising awareness of ways in which to report the crime and enhance our training to officers and staff. Incidents can take the form of name calling in the street, serious assaults, and deliberate deception of vulnerable people with disabilities. These are completely unacceptable and it’s important that officers can identify where a crime has a disability hate element and how to raise awareness of reporting with victims, carers and families.”
The short film has taken months of planning and features real life stories brought to life by IMPACT Drama Group, part of Middlesbrough Community Inclusion Service, who directed the film and featured in the case studies.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 17 May 2014
A council meeting descended into chaos last night when two members of the public began filming inside Middlesbrough Town Hall.
The meeting was halted just minutes after the new chairman was agreed as Cllr Bob Kerr.
Made aware of the filming taking place, he asked the men to cease filming.
When the men refused to put down the cameras and stop filming, two police officers entered the council chamber to speak to the men.
The chairman then suspended the meeting and left the chamber.
After several minutes he returned to ask everyone to evacuate the building and congregate in the quadrangle outside.
After a 30 minute delay, councillors, the media and members of the public – except the men with cameras who were prevented from re-entering the building by the police – returned and the meeting resumed.
Beechwood ward Cllr Joan McTigue said: “It is a public meeting and councillors themselves tweet away to people outside – what is being said and by whom etc. Therefore I see no problem with it being filmed and put into the public domain.”
Last June Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles published a guide which states councils should allow the public to film, blog and tweet council meetings.
But the chairman said: “According to 25.2 of the Constitution no photography or filming can take place. The chair has the authority according to the Constitution of asking and if necessary forcing anyone doing so to leave.”
When the meeting resumed, North Ormesby and Brambles Farm ward councillor Len Junier proposed an amendment regarding allowances that every councillor in the authority should take a 5% cut for the next two years.
Mayor Ray Mallon accused him of speaking to the press saying it was “narrow-minded”.
He said: “If I had my way I would give them a bit of a pay rise. A 5% cut would be minimal, it would not be a pin prick in relation to the savings.”
The majority voted against the amendment.
Middlesbrough Conservative leader Chris Hobson submitted a proposal to alter the new senior management structure which she said would save the local authority £363,000. Mr Mallon said he would meet with her to discuss it further. Six voted for it, 34 against.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 15 May 2014
Here’s the scenario –
You’re walking along a riverbank, just above a high waterfall, you have your camera with you.
Suddenly you notice a boat on the river. It appears to be in trouble, it’s engine has failed and the current is pulling it towards the falls and certain destruction.
Looking closer you see that the boat is full of people you recognize – David Cameron, George Osbourne, Iain Duncan Smith, Esther McVey and several others of their motley crew.
There is a rope on the riverbank – if you were to throw it to the boat and tie the other end to a tree, it would arrest their headlong rush to destruction and they’d be able to haul themselves to safety.
On the other hand… you have your camera and, should you choose not to intervene, the chance of some photos which you could name your own price for – easily enough to get you off the dole and set yourself up for life.
So… the big question – do you
(a) use colour film, or
(b) opt for dramatic black & white shots ?