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Month: July 2019

Levels of disability hate crime in England and Wal

first_imgLevels of disability hate crime in England and Wales have fallen in the years between 2007 and 2014, figures contained in a new report by the equality watchdog suggest.The publication is the latest in a series of follow-up reports carried out by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the wake of its major inquiry into disability-related harassment, which produced its findings in 2011.That inquiry concluded that public bodies were guilty of a “systematic, institutional failure” to recognise disability hate crime.The commission’s figures are likely to prove controversial, as many disabled campaigners have suggested that government and media rhetoric about “benefit scroungers” has fuelled an increase in disability hate crime.But the figures could show instead that the impact of so-called “scrounger rhetoric” may have been outweighed by more positive factors that have led to lower levels of hate crime, while disablist political and media rhetoric dates back at least as far as 2007, when Labour work and pensions secretary Peter Hain vowed to “rip up sicknote Britain”.The new figures suggest that although efforts by campaigners to raise awareness of disability hate crime have led to a sharp increase in the number of crimes reported to police, the overall level of disability hate crime may have fallen between 2007 and 2014.Home Office figures show that the number of disability hate crimes recorded by police has risen every year since 2011-12, and increased from 2,006 in 2013-14 to 2,508 in 2014-15.But figures in the new report – taken from the Crime Survey for England and Wales – describe the number of disability hate crimes actually experienced by disabled people.One table in the report shows that the number of incidents of disability hate crime affecting adults in England and Wales fell from an average of 77,000 per year during the period 2007-08 to 2009-10 to an average of 56,000 per year during the period 2011-12 to 2013-14.The commission did not mention this fall in disability hate crime in a press release issued alongside the report, which is likely to be due to concerns over the “statistical significance” of the figures.But DNS has confirmed with EHRC statisticians that this fall is still reasonably statistically significant*, and therefore is likely to mean that there has been a genuine drop in disability hate crime.Other figures in the report are even more statistically significant (more likely to be due to a real change in levels of crime rather than just chance).A second table in the EHRC analysis shows that from 2007-08 to 2009-10, about 0.11 per cent of all adults in England and Wales were victims of a disability hate crime. This fell to 0.08 per cent in the period 2011-12 to 2013-14**.The report also shows that the apparent drop in disability hate crimes relating to property – such as burglary and car crime – is more significant than for personal crimes, such as assault, where the evidence of any fall is much less clear.Katharine Quarmby (pictured), a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network and author of the ground-breaking book Scapegoat: Why We Are Failing Disabled People, which investigates disability hate crime, welcomed the report.She said: “I welcome the continued focus of the Equality and Human Rights Commission on disability hate crime, and this report in particular.“I think the statistics from the Crime Survey showing a (self-reported) small fall in disability hate crime are interesting. They are in line with a general small fall in hate crime across England and Wales. “If the figures are correct, they may well bear testament to a number of policies finally bearing fruit: disabled people’s organisations campaigning for awareness of such crimes and for a ‘zero tolerance’ of hate crime, which is gaining traction in the wider population; the criminal justice system accepting that hate crime exists and that it is unacceptable; and, finally, British society turning its back to some extent on old attitudes of hatred and discrimination.“This is not to say that the reports we are still receiving of disability hate crime (and of other hate crimes) are in any way to be disbelieved.“We all know that the disability benefit rhetoric agenda has been toxic. But if the figures are true, then many British people are rising above it. This has to be a good thing.“But while there are still disability hate crimes in Britain, and in the world, we still have work to do.”An EHRC spokesman told Disability News Service yesterday (Wednesday): “We cannot say for certain but at the time that this report looked at, the total number of disability hate crimes may have dropped.“If this is the case, it will be welcome news. All hate crime is abhorrent and even one case is one too many.”*The commission points out in the report that this fall is not statistically significant at the level of 95 per cent confidence, but it has confirmed to DNS that it is statistically significant at the level of 89 per cent confidence. This means that EHRC can be 89 per cent certain that there was a real fall in disability hate crime rather than a drop showing up in the figures by chance **This fall was statistically significant at the level of 95 per cent, so the commission was 95 per cent certain there was a genuine reduction in disability hate crimePicture by Tom Greenlast_img read more


Labour has unveiled a new plan to set up a £13bn

first_imgLabour has unveiled a new plan to set up a £1.3bn ‘bus transformation fund’ that will reverse Tory cuts to 3,000 bus routes and reinstate services across the country.The fresh policy, which has the support of Unite and RMT unions, is designed particularly to help people from communities that have been worst affected by austerity under Conservative-led governments since 2010.It is these areas, many of which voted in favour of Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum, that Labour has identified as targets in the upcoming local elections. On May 2nd, the party will be contesting council seats only in England, including many non-metropolitan districts.As well as promoting the campaign message that ‘austerity isn’t over’, the new transport policy taps into other areas of interest for Labour – from supporting local economies, such as in Preston, to tackling air pollution and climate change, which has been put firmly on the agenda following the campaigning activities of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion.The new fund contributes to Labour’s broader focus on bus services, which Jeremy Corbyn has previously raised at PMQs. The party has already announced plans to bring local services into public ownership and offer free bus travel to under 25s, while Richard Leonard has said he would build a free bus network to serve the whole of Scotland.Ahead of the announcement in Nottingham, Corbyn said: “Bus services have been devastated by nine years of austerity. Thousands of routes have been axed, fares have soared and passenger numbers are in freefall.“Local services are a lifeline for many, particularly the elderly and those in rural areas. Cuts have had disastrous consequences for our towns and city centres and for air pollution and the environment.“Bus networks are essential for towns and cities and for tackling rural poverty and isolation, which is why Labour is committed to creating thriving bus networks under public ownership.”Andy McDonald will join the Labour leader in visiting Nottingham on Thursday to launch the policy. The Labour-run council there runs its own bus services, including eco buses.Labour’s transport spokesman commented: “The Tories have neglected buses, along with the people and communities who rely on them.“Slashing bus funding damages our communities by cutting people off from work and leisure and worsening congestion and air pollution.“Labour is announcing an end to austerity for buses and the funding needed to transform local services to allow our towns and cities to thrive.”The policy will be funded with revenue from vehicle excise duty (VED), which is set to become hypothecated to a ‘roads fund’. Labour says it is prepared to use VED revenue instead for a ‘sustainable transport fund’.Tags:Austerity /Labour /Andy McDonald /Jeremy Corbyn /Bus services /last_img read more


Changes at Ingleside police station and a shootout in Bernal Heights

first_img 0% The house in question was booked through a vacation-rental platform, and advertised as the site of a Saturday-night party. At around 1:30 a.m., automatic gunfire rang out—in all, more than 100 rounds of ammunition were fired, according to police.Miraculously, no one died, and only two people were injured. They were taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and are being “uncooperative” with police, said McFadden—an indication that they participated in the shooting.The shooting is being investigated by the San Francisco Police Department’s Gang Task Force. So far, no arrests have been made.As McFadden relayed facts about the incident, residents who live on the street where the shooting took place raised their hands to offer what they described as frightening details – partygoers climbing their fences and banging on their windows,  people jumping from rooftop to rooftop to flee the shooting, and awaking to a street lined with bullet-riddled cars.“It’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced,” said Jennifer, who lives three houses down from where the party was held, and who didn’t want to give her last name. “I’m traumatized.”She said that she called 911 ten minutes before the shooting began to complain about “hundreds of people in the street” and was told by a dispatcher that several calls had already been placed about the party and that officers would respond when they were able.“If the police had been proactive and not reactive,” she said, “this whole shooting wouldn’t have occurred.”McFadden said that, in a district as large as Ingleside, which encompasses 6.5 square miles, dispatchers are forced to give priority to calls reporting active crimes over complaints about noise and parties, especially on a Saturday night.“I’m very sorry that this happened,” he said.Another man who lives on Bank Street, and who didn’t want his name used, said he was frustrated that police didn’t contact him after the shooting. “When somebody shoots an automatic weapon right in front your house, you expect the police to talk to you without you asking,” he said. “Just to see if you’re alive.”He added that several of his neighbors said they have reported the house in question, although Deputy City Attorney Victoria Weatherford, who was at the meeting, stated that the Office of Short-Term Rentals has received no complaints about the property.She went on to say that the home was being advertised illegally. In San Francisco it’s against the law to rent out a property that isn’t your principal residence; the owner of the home where the party was held does not live in the city, according to Weatherford. The property also did not have a valid rental registration number, which is required.(Weatherford’s office is currently settling a case with the major rental platforms that operate in the city. Beginning next month, sites will have to verify that all properties that they list have valid numbers; those that don’t will be taken down.)Captain McFadden encouraged everyone at the meeting to form a neighborhood watch group with the help of the police-affiliated organization SF Safe. “I can’t fix what happened, but we can fix [things] going forward,” he said.He also shared with the meeting attendees some news about crime in the district that has been resolved, announcing that that an illegal gambling den being run out of the former Jhec of All Trades variety store on Mission Street in the Excelsior had been raided earlier in the day. Several community members had expressed concern about the operation after a Mission Local article from earlier this month detailed its activities.McFadden said that they had been waiting to act until they had enough evidence to “knock it out permanently.” He added, “I believe we did that today.”On Monday, Captain McFadden will begin his new role as the head of SFPD’s General Crime Unit. Captain Hart will inherit the Ingleside district and, along with it, responsibility for addressing Sunday night’s shooting.“To say that I have a connection to the Ingleside district would be an understatement,” Captain Hart told the crowd. “I want to contribute.”He called the shooting shocking, but added that he’s confident in the Gang Task Force’s ability to resolve the case quickly and with care. “We’ll follow up with them,” he said. At Tuesday evening’s community meeting at the Ingleside police station, Captain Joseph McFadden announced that he will soon be replaced by Captain Jack Hart, now at the city’s Homeland Security Unit. The meeting then turned to a discussion of an early Sunday morning shooting that has left many Bernal Heights residents deeply shaken.“This is my last community meeting,” Captain McFadden began, as people trickled in to fill the station’s low-ceilinged, brightly lit conference room and settled into folding chairs or spread out around the room’s perimeter to stand.He then introduced Hart, who will become Ingleside’s captain effective Monday, explaining that like himself, Hart was born, raised, and lives in the district.The mood in the room quickly darkened as the conversation turned to the shooting that took place outside of a house party in the early hours of Sunday on the 200 block of Bank Street in Bernal Heights.center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more


SAINTS have sold out their allocation of away tick

first_imgSAINTS have sold out their allocation of away tickets for the game against the London Broncos, this Saturday (kick-off 3:00pm)No Junior Swaps will be available to redeem on the day of the game.Fans can still pay on the gate at The Hive before the match.last_img


Could Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach expand into 5 lanes

first_img The town heard about two options Tuesday which includes widening the road or splitting the flow of traffic and using St. Joseph Street for all north bound traffic.Mayor Joe Benson said residents and business owners preferred the five lane option.Benson says the study showed a high number of accidents on Lake Park Boulevard that exceed the state average for U.S. Highways.Related Article: Sewer work to affect traffic Wednesday on portion of S. Kerr AveHe hopes those numbers will allow the town to receive grants or outside funds to make these changes.The overall project could take five years but the hope is to phase in the changes instead of all at once.The topic will be brought back up in an upcoming council meeting. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Big changes could be coming to a 1.1 mile stretch of Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach which could include widening it to five lanes.In the fall, Carolina Beach hired a firm to conduct a traffic study on the road.- Advertisement – last_img read more


Lawsuit settled for mom after Bald Head Island golf cart arrest

first_img Hunter and another officer stopped the family’s golf cart because her 11-year-old son was driving. His report said Mall and her husband were both intoxicated and that Mall was “agitated and loud” when he tried to handcuff her.In a court filing. attorney John Gresham of Charlotte said Mall’s claims against Hunter have been settled. Terms were not revealed.___Related Article: Man settles with rafting center over daughter’s amoeba deathInformation from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Still shot from video of Julie Mall being restrained by Bald Head Island police in 2014 (Photo: Scott Mall) CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman who says her arrest during a 2015 vacation left her physically bruised and emotionally scarred has settled a lawsuit against the former police officer who detained her.The Charlotte Observer reports Julie Mall’s 2017 lawsuit said ex-Bald Head Island police officer James Hunter accused her of being drunk, pinned her to the ground, took her to jail in leg irons and charged her with child abuse.- Advertisement – last_img read more


Will a late start to the season impact local corn crop

first_imgCorn seed planting is underway at Don Rawls’ farm in northern Pender County (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Mother Nature has not been very kind to some farmers in Pender County this spring, but they are getting good news this week, in the form of a sunny and warm forecast.“We’ve had two rainouts and both times, we’ve been out a week to 10 days just because the ground’s been too wet. Now we’ve got a good week this week, we hope to catch up this week,” farmer Don Rawls said.- Advertisement – Soil temperatures greater than 55 degrees and dry weather are needed for farmers to put corn seed in the ground.“We have to have a good soil temperature to get the seed out of the ground,” Rawls said. “When you get rain and cool nights, that keeps the soil temperature down. To get a good yield, you gotta get a good stand. To get a good stand, you gotta have good germination and that all comes back to weather and temperature.”May 15 is generally thought of as the last day for farmers to plant in North Carolina if they want a good yield. Planting any later puts the crop at risk of disease and pushes the harvest further into hurricane season.Related Article: Farm bill attempts to aid North Carolina hemp productionRawls has more than 30 years of experience growing corn in Pender County. He’s learned not to worry about Mother Nature’s impact on his livelihood.“We’ve got to learn to live with it and read the seasons and live with it,” Rawls said. “You can let it push you too far if you let it worry you too much. I’m always concerned, but I try not to worry too much.”Rawls started putting seed in the ground Monday and he hopes to have the entire crop planted in the coming days.Warm afternoons and mild nights plus sunny skies this week shouldn’t provide farmers with any more delays to the planting season.Rawls says he’s still shooting for a normal yield for his corn crop this year despite the late start. He’s expecting about 170 bushels per acre.last_img read more


Man released from hospital charged in Wilmington stabbing

first_img He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.Police say Thornton allegedly stabbed Darcy Allen Ferguson, 35, in a parking lot in the 100 block of Market Street.Ferguson was severely injured and at last check, was in stable condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.Related Article: Wilmington Police reviewing use of force after College Road brawlPolice believe the attack happened after a dispute between the men. Police believe both are homeless.Thornton is being held under a $10,000 bond. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –Police have now charged a man in Sunday night’s stabbing in downtown Wilmington.Police arrested William Thornton, 49, after his release from the hospital.- Advertisement – last_img


Proposed regulations could bring changes for horsedrawn carriages

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Horse-drawn carriages have been a tourist hotspot in Wilmington for years, but new proposed regulations could bring some changes.“You know, it’s been around forever. It’s like a part of the culture here,” said Rick Klein, a Wilmington resident who thinks the carriages are a major part of the city’s history.- Advertisement – Klein plays his guitar right by the horse-drawn carriage site on Market Street every week. He says the tours are something he would not want to change.“It’s part of the experience here. And I can’t imagine Wilmington being without it,” said Klein.City council has been discussing new regulations to limit the route carriage tours can take. If approved, carriages would not be allowed on 3rd Street during the day, or on streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or more.“When it’s busy down here, everything is a traffic problem. They’re out of the way fairly quickly,” said Klein, who does not see the carriage tours as a major traffic issue.Springbrook Farms Inc. has been the sole owner of horse-drawn carriages in the city. Right now, the company owns all five permits allowed for carriages, but new regulations would open the door for more carriage owners to join the city. City council is talking about changing the number of carriage permits to seven.Council is also talking about requiring safety equipment for horses and setting temperature limits for operation. But Klein thinks operators do a great job of looking out for these horses..“I see people come down here and that’s why they come down here. It’s just part of the experience,” said Klein.An experience that he thinks gives this coastal city a special charm and keeps people coming back.We reached out to carriage operators, but they declined to comment. Council will discuss the proposal Tuesday night.last_img read more


ICE subpoenas 44 NC elections boards for voting records

first_img The same federal prosecutor announced two weeks ago that 19 foreign nationals were charged with registering to vote or casting ballots illegally because they weren’t U.S. citizens. More than half were indicted by a grand jury in Wilmington, according to an Aug. 24 news release from U.S. Attorney Bobby Higdon’s office.The subpoenas direct the information — which the state elections board estimates would cover well over 20 million documents — be provided to a Wilmington grand jury Sept. 25, or before that to a Raleigh-area immigration agent. Higdon’s office had no comment Wednesday, a spokeswoman said. Last month’s news release said the investigation into voting fraud was ongoing.Still, voting rights activists described the massive document request as a fishing expedition that could discourage lawful voting. Separately, election officials are worried about trying to meet the deadline while gearing up to administer elections for Congress, legislature and constitutional amendments. Counties could seek deadline delays and the state board plans to discuss its subpoena at a Friday meeting.Related Article: Former sheriff pushes bill in NC House to clear rape kit backlogSamples of county board subpoenas seek all ballots, poll books and voter authorization forms over the past five years. The subpoena to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement wants records going back to 2010, including voter registration applications, absentee ballot request forms and provisional balloting forms from all 100 of the state’s counties.“The subpoenas faxed to county boards are the most exhaustive on record,” state board attorney Josh Lawson wrote Monday to an assistant federal prosecutor who requested last Friday’s subpoenas that have been made public. “Compliance with the subpoena as written will materially affect the ability of county administrators to perform time-critical tasks ahead of absentee voting and early voting.”Sebastian Kielmanovich, an assistant U.S. attorney who also signed many of the charges announced in August, told Lawson that counties could request deadline extensions, according to email correspondence provided by the state board.Production and printing of ballots already have been delayed this fall in North Carolina by unrelated litigation. Now state officials are working to meet a Sept. 22 deadline in federal law to make absentee ballots available to military and overseas voters.Kareem Crayton with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice said the subpoenas “raise very troubling questions about the necessity and wisdom of federal interference with the pending statewide elections.”“With so many well-established threats to our election process from abroad, it is odd to see federal resources directed to this particular concern,” Crayton said in a release.Greg Flynn, vice chairman of the Wake County elections board, which received a subpoena, said he’s concerned the solemnity of the secret ballot will be threatened should investigators scrutinize absentee ballots. Unlike ballots cast on Election Day, absentee ballots can be linked back to the individual voter. The state elections board counts nearly 2.3 million such traceable ballots cast during the five-year period in the 44 counties.“The broad scope of this subpoena suggests that they don’t understand how elections work and how elections are managed,” Flynn said in an interview.The document chase Wednesday in eastern North Carolina didn’t seem to reflect a new uptick in federal scrutiny nationally of voting records and identifying illegal voters. Last month’s cases were brought through a newly created Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force led by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Those charged came from Mexico, Nigeria, Japan, Germany, Poland and other countries.A state board postelection audit for the November 2016 election — in which 4.8 million ballots were cast — counted 41 people who were not U.S. citizens who acknowledged voting. All of them were lawfully in the country, the review said. President Donald Trump has claimed, without evidence, that he lost the national popular vote that year due to voter fraud. RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal investigators in North Carolina are seeking an enormous number of voting records from dozens of election offices weeks before the midterm elections, demands that may signal their expanded efforts to prosecute illegal voting by people who are not U.S. citizens.The U.S. attorney’s office in Raleigh issued subpoenas in recent days on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the North Carolina elections board and more than 40 county boards in the eastern third of the state, according to the subpoenas and the state board.- Advertisement – last_img read more