Probation officials are concerned over the increased presence of private companies in the management of community sentences. This comes as an increasing part of probation work, such as supervising prisoners on release, is due to be removed from the public sector.
Heather Munro, Vice-Chairwoman of the Probation’s Chief Association and the London Probation Trust Chief Executive, does not think that the division of work between the public and private sector will have positive outcomes. (more…)
A number of women’s groups are insisting that the Leveson inquiry look into media’s portrayal of women. The Inquiry was set-up by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, after the News of the World phone hacking scandal and is to look at media practices and make recommendations as it sees fit.
The groups, End of Violence Against Women, Equality Now, Object and Eaves, have asked Lord Justice Leveson, Chairman of the Inquiry, to look into the matter. They submit that the reporting practices of tabloids, and some newspapers, condone violence against women and make some women apprehensive of reporting crimes as they are often indirectly blamed. (more…)
Last week the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, announced that all electronic material sent by public officials relating to government businesses is subject to freedom of information legislation. He specifically highlighted that this included information sent via private email addresses and text messages.
The ruling has caused concern amongst ministers and public officials and an inquiry into the use of freedom of information laws is now expected to take place next year. The investigation will be carried out by the public administration committee, which is the main select committee responsible for overseeing freedom of information legislation. (more…)
Earlier this year the Government announced that it was looking into creating a new criminal offence to target forced marriages. According to data from the Metropolitan Police, originally looking into the prevalence of forced marriages in Britain, the number of incidents involving honour-related violence has more than doubled in the last three years.
Campaigners highlight that the significant increase may be even higher as many crimes go unreported as victims fear that their lives will be in danger if they contact authorities. Jasvinder Sanghera, the founder of the victim support group Karma Nirvana, said “The figures are woefully underestimated, we are dealing with the tip of the iceberg, we don’t know how many thousands are at risk because it is a hidden crime and there is no statutory duty to record it. (more…)
Ministers are looking into whether it would be possible to compel people to attend parliamentary select committee hearings. This comes after the turmoil that surrounded the News of the World investigation.
It was not clear from the outset whether the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks could lawfully decline to appear before parliament in connection with the News of the World phone hacking scandal. (more…)
In the first month of 2012 the Government intends to implement new measures that will significantly limit the ability of prisoners to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. According to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke the new scheme is a step towards ensuring that victims receive compensation promptly and that money is not redirected to offenders.
Many have questioned the current system as criminals can claim compensation for injuries sustained whilst engaged in unlawful activities. For instance, there have been instances of burglars claiming compensation for injuries that occurred as they were escaping the crime scene. (more…)
A mother has this week been vindicated by the Court of Appeal over an “exceptionally difficult adoption proceeding”.
The case concerned a child born to a Muslim couple who had a secret affair. The man was already married and the couple’s unplanned pregnancy was seen to pose a risk to the lives of the baby and the biological mother.
The 2012 London Olympics is anticipated to be a successful event, during which businesses hope to see a boost in their sales. However, with the new year just around the corner, more and more Londoners are questioning whether the event is worth the significant interferences that will follow and affect many essential services.
That the games will cause disruptions to public transport is no surprise. However, it is now becoming clear that other essential services will also struggle, such as the criminal justice system.
A Manchester university student has been sentenced for contempt of court after he didn’t perform his jury duty. 19-year-old Matthew Banks had tickets to a London West End show on the fifth day of the trial. In order to see the show he claimed to be ill and unable to attend the hearing. However, Banks didn’t stay at home, and instead went to see the musical Chicago with his mother.
Banks’ deception was discovered after officials visited his home to see whether he would be fit to resume jury duty after the weekend.
Yesterday the Legal Aid, Sentencing the Punishment of Offenders Bill reached its committee stage in the House of Lords. Despite cross-party and nationwide opposition to the Government’s planned cuts to legal aid the Justice Minister Lord McNally clarified that the Government is not considering any substantial changes to the proposed cuts.
McNally said, “I want to use the committee stage genuinely to listen. I can’t start making blanket promises and I can’t start making a list of concessions.