Archives for category: Crime

A coach company is ignoring access laws by refusing to allow wheelchair-users to travel on its services on the same day they buy tickets, while exposing its drivers to possible criminal charges.

Transport laws state that any company that has already introduced accessible coaches – even though this is not obligatory until 2020 – must ensure that those vehicles provide a space for wheelchair-users to travel in their wheelchairs.

Although the coach company National Express does have such spaces on nearly all its vehicles, they are usually covered by temporary seats, and it demands at least 24 hours’ notice to remove them and so clear the space if a wheelchair-user wishes to travel in their wheelchair.

But accessible transport campaigner Doug Paulley has demonstrated that National Express is breaching the law by failing to ensure those spaces can be accessed easily and refusing to allow wheelchair-users to “turn up and go” on its services.

He is due to discuss the issue with the managing director of National Express, Chris Hardy.

Paulley’s concerns about the way the company dealt with wheelchair-users who wish to travel spontaneously were first confirmed last August.

He bought a ticket from Bradford to Leeds on a coach that was leaving within half an hour, but when he reached the coach he was told he should have given 24 hours’ notice and would not be allowed to board as it would take too long to remove the temporary seating.

Any coaches that have been adapted to be compliant with Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations – as National Express’s have – must provide a wheelchair space and make that space available to wheelchair-users.

Separate laws state that a coach driver is committing a criminal offence* if he or she does not allow a wheelchair-user to access that space, if it is not occupied by another disabled passenger and the coach is not full.

Such spaces are legally defined as unoccupied even if they are covered by temporary seating.

After realising in February that the coach driver could have been committing a criminal offence, Paulley contacted West Yorkshire Police, which initially refused to treat the incident as a crime.


Source: Coach company’s wheelchair policy puts drivers at risk of criminal record | DisabledGo News and Blog


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has breached freedom of information laws by refusing to explain how its new universal credit system of working-age benefits will affect disabled people.

Campaigners have been warning that the introduction of universal credit will see tens or even hundreds of thousands of disabled people with high support needs lose out on thousands of pounds a year because the new system will scrap the disability premiums that exist in the current system.

Both severe (£62.45 per week) and enhanced disability premiums (£15.90 per week) are currently added to some means-tested disability benefits to help with the costs of disability.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been insisting since 2012 that “transitional protection” would ensure that no-one moving onto universal credit would see their benefits cut in cash terms.

But campaigners have remained sceptical, while also pointing out that the transitional protections will not apply if there are any changes in the disabled person’s personal circumstances – for example if they move to a new home, or their relationship status changes – and will not apply to new claimants.

And last month, a terminally-ill man, TP, won permission for a judicial review of the financial impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people with high support needs, through the loss of the two premiums.

According to his lawyers, the removal of the premiums has seen TP lose £178 each month after he moved back to London to receive treatment and had to claim universal credit (UC) for the first time.


Source: DWP ignores freedom of information laws in bid to hide universal credit impact | DisabledGo News and Blog

Some time ago I was sitting in the Sunday school room of a local church, with posters made by kids depicting the teachings of Jesus curling at the corners on the walls. I was there to do my advice surgery in my role as a local councillor.

A man came in to ask for help getting his family moved to a bigger house. His daughter had two children who had been removed from her care but were allowed to live with her on condition that she live with her parents and they acted as guardians. I diligently took down the names and ages of the children to assess the size of house they needed.


Source: How many Telfords before we get serious about child grooming? | The Guardian – Jess Phillips

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PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he shared Britain’s assessment that Russia was behind a nerve agent attack on a former spy living in England and vowed to take measures in response in the coming days.


Source: After hesitancy, France backs Britain over Russian role in attack : Reuters

Unfortunately this Governments attitude and policy is taking the Thatcher directive to bring back ‘Victorian values‘, but are they values to be applauded, for were there not child labour, poor and workhouses, debtors prisons and many others.

Are the progressions of the 20th Century and the start of the 21st to be abandoned. Will we bring back poor and workhouses, debtors prisons and may be even child labour, will there still be free education for all children and the disabled and poor left to their own devices, while the rich elite gain all the benefits of life.

We have the Equality Act 2010, the Care Act 2014 and others but are these just bits of legal jargon, which when they come to be tested are not worth the papers they have produced.

Are they just bits of paper with no real significance, but giving all the non-elite a belief of a caring Government.

Are we now seeing the real true colour ‘Blue’, when previously there could have been a tinge of ‘Red’ now what does that produce, could it be purple, now what party does that create and do they still exist. Something with UK in their terminology, perhaps.

Is this what our recent forebears fought for in the wars of the 20th Century.

If so, is life really worth living for, are we not just producing for the wealthy elite, while fighting and working for a pittance.

Govt Newspeak

Minister suggests ‘realities of the world’ mean government will not halt attack on rights. The justice minister responsible for human rights appears to have dismissed calls for the government to do more to protect the social and economic rights of disabled people and other groups.

Dr Phillip Lee, a junior justice minister whose responsibilities include human rights, was speaking at the launch of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) new report detailing Britain’s progress in implementing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In a speech at the launch, he appeared to suggest that “the realities of the world” – including population growth, an ageing society, and mass migration – and “finite resources” meant the government could not afford to meet the report’s call for action on the rights laid out in the covenant. The covenant includes the rights to work, including safe and healthy working…

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Being able to vote in an election, to choose the people that decide the laws by which we should abide, or who commit us to war or set the taxes that we must pay is a right that our forebears have made great sacrifices to procure and protect. It is a solemn undertaking when we exercise our vote, one that we should treat in all seriousness, for we are not just casting a ballot on behalf of ourselves, but also in the knowledge that our choice may impact irrevocably on others.

It is, therefore, important that the ballot is, in every respect, beyond reproach; that we know it has not been tampered with and could not have been subverted to the benefit of any one candidate or a party’s candidates. Seeking to skew an election is not an easy task and while the aftermath of British elections has on occasion led to isolated examples of accusations about individuals or certain groups exploiting seeming weaknesses in our procedures, instances of malpractice or deliberate cunning that have led to prosecutions are, thankfully, rare.

Following the last General Election concerns were raised that young students were encouraged to cast their votes twice by voting once from their home address and again using a second term-time address. To do so would have been illegal, and while the police investigated some 70 specific reports in the end only one successful prosecution was brought against Mohammed Zain Qureshi. He had voted twice from his home address by registering two different versions of his name and thus obtaining two polling cards.

Nevertheless it is not as if we have not had difficulties with personation or double voting before. For decades the joke that in Northern Ireland voters were encouraged to “vote early, and vote often” by using the names of dead relatives that might still be on the electoral roll was believed to have some substance. In 2002 a Northern Ireland opinion survey showed 66 per cent believed “electoral fraud is very common in some areas” whilst 64 per cent thought in some areas it was “enough to change the election results”.

After the Labour government passed its Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act in 2002 – requiring voters to present photographic proof of identity – comparative surveys of returning officers in 2001 and 2003 indicated the percentage who reported seeing people vote more than once had decreased from 3 per cent to 0.1 per cent. Those experiencing being turned away because someone had already voted in their name declined from 4 per cent to 1 per cent and those presented with documents they suspected to be forgeries declined from 3 per cent to 0.2 per cent.

Source: Brian Monteith: Showing ID a smart move that will curb voter fraud : The Scotsman

According to a report in German newspaper Heise, the decision could affect nearly 200 treaty agreements between EU member states.

The verdict, published yesterday by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), could have a huge impact on investment protection agreements beyond the specific case – at least between two or more EU member states.

This ruling has been made as a result of a claim by Dutch insurance group Achmea against Slovakia, who in 2006 had partially reversed a lucrative liberalisation of the health insurance market.

The Achmea group, which had a subsidiary in Slovakia, then sued for lost profits, citing the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), an investment protection agreement signed by Czechoslovakia and dissolved in 1993 with the Netherlands.


Source: EU FARCE: Hundreds of treaties at risk as ECJ rules clause ILLEGAL : Express

An investigation by consumer watchdog Which? has found that care homes are failing to provide contracts and may be breaking the law by neglecting to tell residents and their families about important terms and conditions.

Which? is calling on the Government to act now on the competition authority’s recommendations to strengthen consumer protections for care home residents and relatives including on contracts, unfair fees and evictions.

Andrew Boaden, Senior Policy Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “The findings from this investigation are deeply saddening and shameful, but unfortunately unsurprising. Around two thirds (70%) of people living in care homes are affected by dementia. And all too often families of people with dementia have called us at their wits end, as their loved one suffers at the hands of bad contract clauses. Some have told us harrowing stories of people with advanced dementia evicted at a month’s notice.

“Moving into a care home is a huge and often very difficult decision. It’s vital that they and their families are supported in understanding their rights – the fact that so many aren’t is absolutely appalling.

“However, care homes behaving in this way is a symptom of a chronically underfunded social care system. The time for action is now, and the government needs to ensure meaningful investment and social care reform in the forthcoming green paper. Or the system will collapse, and people with dementia will continue to suffer.”

Cllr Linda Thomas, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:


Source: Which? care homes investigation | Care Industry News

I Agree and this should be outlawed in any civilisation.

Opher's World

We have no problem whatsoever in declaring that female circumcision is child abuse. If a parent allows their female child to be mutilated then most civilised people would shout loudly that it is wrong.

It does not matter if the parents erroneously believe that it is a religious practice.

Religious practices are not above the law.

Some religious practice declares that it is not only alright, but an absolute mandate from god, to take the life of a nonbeliever. It is never right.

Some religious belief declares that it is right for a wife to throw herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.

Female circumcision is an abuse. It is wrong. It is illegal. It never should happen.

Neither should male circumcision be allowed. It is nowhere near as bad as female mutilation but it is the same principle. A child should not be subjected to such a mutilation…

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A watchdog is examining the failure of two healthcare regulators to punish nurses, paramedics and physiotherapists who write dishonest benefit assessment reports.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is looking at concerns about the way regulators deal with complaints about nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics who carry out personal independence payment (PIP) assessments on behalf of the outsourcing giants Capita and Atos.

About 300 disabled people have come forward over the last year to tell Disability News Service (DNS) how assessors working for Atos and Capita wrote dishonest PIP assessment reports, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Many raised concerns about the apparent refusal of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to take their complaints seriously.

Now PSA has told DNS that it has begun to examine how the regulators deal with those complaints.

Among the evidence it will be considering are last week’s DNS reports on data released by DWP to campaigner John Slater under freedom of information laws, which included figures that showedthat up to 180 PIP assessors had been the subject of at least four complaints each in three-month periods in 2016.

It comes as the Commons work and pensions select committee published its findings into the assessment processes for both PIP and employment and support allowance, the out-of-work disability benefit.


Source: Watchdog begins probe into failure of regulators to punish lying PIP assessors | DisabledGo News and Blog

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