Tag Archives: Government


It is crucial that there is effective judicial oversight of the security services’ access to encrypted messages – Abbott

Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, speaking in response to the controversy over encrypted messages in the wake of the terrorist attack at Westminster, said:

“Labour opposes an open access trawl of all messaging. Good counter-terrorism measures are nearly always intelligence led.

“In the cases of suspects or perpetrators of serious crime or terrorism, it is crucial that there is effective judicial oversight of the security services’ access to encrypted messages.

“Amber Rudd will be keen to set out exactly how the Government will ensure that law-abiding citizens’ privacy is not breached.

“Fighting terrorism is a serious business, and should not be used for political grandstanding.”

read more

News story: New cash to help vulnerable women turn their backs on crime

Vulnerable women at risk of committing crime are to benefit from tailored, targeted support to break the cycle of reoffending and turn their lives around for good – backed by funding totalling over £800,000, Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee has today (28 March 2017) announced.

Successful bidders in 6 regions across the country

  • Lancashire
  • Shropshire
  • Norfolk
  • Sussex
  • Surrey
  • Devon

will use the cash boost to increase the support on offer to female offenders both behind bars and in the community. This should improve life chances for vulnerable women and cut crime.

The money will be used to provide a more joined-up and tailored support for local women at risk of crime and in the justice system. It will bring together local agencies and services to provide wraparound care and support to women to turn their backs on crime for good.

Some areas will use the money to help generate better working relationships with counterparts in the NHS, courts and police, making sure that vulnerable women have access to the services they need.

One area which has already benefited from the funding has developed a successful early intervention pilot, identifying female offenders as soon as they come into contact with the police.

Almost half of women released from prison reoffend within a year. Yet many suffer from a range of complex issues including substance misuse, mental health problems and domestic violence. These require specialist support and intervention to improve lives and end the scourge of reoffending which costs the taxpayer £15 billion a year.

Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee said:

I am delighted to announce this investment in support for female offenders, which will help local areas to support vulnerable women and get them out of the cycle of crime.

Many women who are at risk of offending or reoffending have a range of complex circumstances. Our funding will help local areas provide the support women need to lead crime free lives, helping to reduce reoffending, cut crime and make our streets safer.

I am absolutely committed to improving support for women as part of our wider reforms and we will set out our strategy to improve outcomes for female offenders later in the year.

The money will be used in these communities to put structures in place to assess and address the needs of these women at an early stage and provide the kind of wraparound support that can make all the difference in diverting them from crime.

The areas will develop their own unique strategies which are best targeted to address the needs of women in their areas, working across local public and third sector organisations.

Today’s announcement builds on the wholescale changes taking place across the criminal justice system following on from the publication of the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper in November last year.

This includes giving governors more powers over education, work and health, so they can tailor support to the prisoners in their charge.

read more

SNP letting down hundreds of youngsters with mental health problems each year

  • Home
  • All News
  • SNP letting down hundreds of youngsters with mental health problems each year

27 Mar 2017


Research has revealed that hundreds of children every year are receiving mental health treatment in unsuitable wards.

The release of the worrying statistics come ahead of the publication of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy this week.

It has previously been advised that all youngsters in need of acute mental health support should be treated in one of the specialist children’s mental health wards across the country.

However, between 2007 – the year the SNP came into power – and 2015, a massive 1,840 children and adolescents were admitted to non-specialist beds.  The total of 248 recorded between 2014/15 shows that the number of youngsters unable to receive treatment in these specialist units remains frighteningly high.

The Scottish Conservatives are calling for the SNP to start treating the issue of mental health with greater seriousness, and ensure that there are enough inpatient beds for children and young people across Scotland.

Scottish Conservative mental health spokesman Miles Briggs said:

“This is yet further evidence of the SNP government’s lack of attention in regard to mental health.

“It’s worrying to see so many children with acute mental health problems not being given treatment in the most appropriate environment.

“Mental health issues are now more apparent than ever and it’s only right these youngsters receive the specialist care that will give them the best possible chance of a speedy recovery.

“The SNP has to provide more support for these vulnerable people in its upcoming mental health strategy, and this means investing in children and adolescent mental health services.”

Miles Briggs PQ and table of number of children and adolescents being admitted to non-specialist beds between 1999 and 2015: http://www.scottishconservatives.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Number-of-children-and-adolescents-non-specialist-beds.pdf

Scottish Conservative mental health policy: http://www.scottishconservatives.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Scottish-Conservative-Mental-Health-Policy.pdf


read more