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Showing posts from January, 2014

DNA Marking offer for 125cc Motorbikes in West Midlands

The following is from WEST Midlands Police and benefits constituents who have 125cc Motorbikes Motorbike marking a UK first WEST Midlands Police are the first force in the UK to offer free motorcycle DNA marking for cyclists in a bid to beat bike thieves. Thieves are stealing 125cc motorcycles and breaking them up for parts. The parts, which are not individually marked, are then sold on making them difficult to trace and, if recovered, hard to reunite with their owners. In what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the UK, the Force have teamed up with six motorcycle dealers across the region to offer free DNA motorcycle marking. Each of the dealers has 150 marking kits, paid for by money under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The kits, which normally retail at about £30, consist of a bottle of DNA fluid, with which each part of the bike is painted.  This fluid dries and is not detectable by eye but contains micro dots that are then unique to th

The Lobbying Bill - Lords Amendments

The Lobbying Bill returned to the commons and the following lords amendments were agreed:  Increasing the spending limits in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the levels originally set out in the Bill, giving an uplift of £20,000 to each nation. . Removing all burdens from low-spending participants in a campaigning coalition by allowing larger campaigners to provide a single report on their behalf.  . Removing the requirement for a return, or a nil return, in relation to spending returns, donations reports and statement of accounts, if a recognised third party has not spent above the registration threshold.  . A review of the effects of the provisions of Part 2 of the Bill to report following the 2015 General Election, to ensure the regulatory system remains effective and proportionate. . Reducing the length of the 2014/2015 regulated period during which campaigners have to limit their expenditure from 12 to 7 ½ months, meaning it will now start after the referendum on

Public Statement: JUDr Marica Pirosikova

First off, I would again like to thank to the British politician John Hemming MP, who notified me during the search for adequate solution in the case of Boor on the possibility for the Slovak Republic to enter into the proceedings before English courts as a third party. The judgment of Sir James Munby confirms that such approach of the Slovak Republic was accurate. It is a challenge also for the other countries claiming not to be able to help their citizens facing separation of children from their parents without relevant reasons in the United Kingdom, to intervening actively in a such proceedings before the family courts. At the same time it is very important for the intervening country to assess the cases also with regard to the ECHR case law. I remind that the PACE on 30 November 2012 adopted a resolution where it stressed that the children should be separated from their parents only in very exceptional circumstances. The adoption of the resolution was based on a repor

A45 Coventry Road Safety Update

Further to our work and the petition that was raised on this matter last year, we recently met with a representative from Birmingham Community Safety Partnership and local Police Inspector James Gooderidge to discuss developments in how safety concerns on the A45 could be addressed. We presented the views of our constituents who have conscientiously written letters and emails to our office and from this, the following points have now been forwarded to the BCC Highways Department to look into further; The Tesco lane merger down towards to pedestrian crossing near Yew Tree Lane Visibility for  drivers on the A45 into City (at the traffic light junction with the Bill & Bull onwards) there are 4 lanes of traffic to cross and only a single traffic light column on either side Increased signage for pedestrians near to shops, parks etc to inform them where crossing are located. (i.e pedestrian crossing 50 meters this way → ) Continued monitoring of the data to assess

Statement on the Child Protection System: Women Against Rape

WOMEN AGAINST RAPE We are increasingly concerned about social services removing children from their mothers, especially after the mothers faced domestic violence. Mothers have come to us who, instead of getting support, were blamed for the situation and had their children taken into care or even adopted. In some cases, the children were given to the father without a thorough and independent investigation of the violence allegations. Mums are then sent to prison for breaking contact or gagging orders in order to defend their children and their relationship with them. At the same time, women and children who ask for protection are being raped and even murdered following neglect by police and social services. The benefit cap is also trapping women and children in violent relationship, impoverishing those who escape. See our petition about this: here To remove children from their mother or other primary carer is in itself irreparable child abuse and should never be undertak

The failings of the family courts in public family law (more children are dying)

Today Face the Facts went into more detail about the various networks across Europe that are helping refugees from the English and Welsh Family Courts. It is a good programme and worth listening to. This and Panorama from Monday are, however, only one side of the argument. The key objective of the Child Protection System is to protect children. One way of measuring how well the system is doing is to consider how many children are dying from child abuse and neglect. There are a number of sources of information. One I use is the number of prosecutions for manslaughter or murder of a child (Baby P's). In 2011 according to the CPS there were 16, in 2012 there were 19 and in 2013 there were 34. There are also significant incident notifications sent to Ofsted. However, Ofsted have now decided that they will refuse to give me the anonymised list (something they have done up to 2012). This gives a larger number as obviously there will be cases where a child has died, but there i

AIMS statement re child protection system

Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services PRESS RELEASE 13 January 2013 AIMS, run entirely by volunteers, has been a national pressure group for 53 years, for expectant and new parents. Because our help-line is totally confidential, we are trusted with a great deal of information which parents no longer give to doctors, midwives and nurses because information about children is now shared. Without their knowledge, every pregnant woman (and expectant father) is screened by the NHS to see if they may be a risk to the child, and they are monitored for risk factors like previous mental illness, domestic violence, being a teenager, unemployed, homeless, a former or current drug user, etc. They are then automatically referred to social services, who may hold child protection planning meetings before the baby is born. At a time when both the current and previous government demanded increased adoption numbers, and newborn babies are the most wanted and adoptable

Response to comments from CAFCASS

It is an error to say that because there are more children in care that there are "more children protected". a) The most important question is whether or not we are seeing a reduction in children being subjected to serious abuse. In particular those children that die from child abuse and neglect. b) The secondary point is that it is not true to say that just because a child is in care that that child is "protected". The situation in care at times is worse than it was whilst with the family.

Panorama - "Emigrate to get a fair trial"

The advice for pregnant women to emigrate to get a fair trial is nothing new. There are many cases of people who have emigrated (particularly pregnant women). I would highlight two cases (although there are others on my blog). A. Michelle Freedman whose case was reported here . It is important to note that she is a family court barrister. I tabled an EDM about her case here which says: That this House notes the withdrawal of care proceedings against Michelle Freedman by Barnet Council; further notes that Barnet Council has caused psychological harm to Michelle's elder daughter; further notes that had she not left UK jurisdiction both her daughters would have suffered further psychological harm; further notes that Ms Freedman is a family court barrister with over 10 years' experience and she left the jurisdiction because she was aware through her experience of similar cases that any local authority in this situation would be likely to invent allegations against her in or

Birmingham City Council - why can't they keep the streets clean?

I have received a number of complaints recently about the failure of street cleaning across Yardley (and a considerable number specifically from Acocks Green). My constituents have asked why Solihull MDC can keep the streets clean, but not Birmingham. The Labour Party would like to say "money". Well I have the estimated budgets for the next financial year (which starts on 1st April 2014). For the next financial year Birmingham will be spending (including government grant) around £2,587.09 per dwelling and Solihull will be spending only £1,831.52 per dwelling. Hence Birmingham hasn't got enough money when it gets £700 per dwelling more than Solihull. Solihull has enough money. Birmingham does, however, have enough money to spend tens of millions of pounds on wheelie bins. Politics is about choices. Labour, now they have control of the city council, have clearly decided to accept rubbish on the streets. The Labour administration in Birmingham need to wake up and s

Stuart Syvret released from prison

For those that follow this issue. Stuart Syvret who as health minister in Jersey blew the whistle on maltreatment of children has been released from prison again. He was imprisoned for what he said. Yes I know it was contempt of court, but at the end of the day the offence was one of speech. Specifically speech criticising the failure of the authorities in Jersey to prosecute certain individuals. There is a blog posting about this with a short interview with him here

Independent Story about Mental Capacity Issues

This story in The Independent looks at the issues of the variability of capacity proceedings (both in the court of protection, but more widely). The nub of the issue is that the interests of the state tend to predominate over people's wishes. Quoting from the article: Lawyers believe that patients who make controversial decisions are left vulnerable to the court assuming they lack capacity. “We have the impression that where decisions a person makes are contentious, there is often a swift conclusion that the person lacks capacity, and substituted decisions are made for them,” they wrote.