Green light for 'doggers': British police told to ignore homosexual couples having sex in public places
Police chiefs are being urged to turn a blind eye to some of the more extreme forms of public indecency. Guidelines circulated to senior officers encourage them to ignore 'dogging' and 'cottaging' offences unless enough members of the public complain. The draft rules issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers say prosecutions should only be considered as a last resort for fear of having an 'extreme impact' on offenders' lives. But last night family campaigners reacted angrily, insisting that the laws against public indecency were there for a good reason.
The document on 'policing public sex environments' has been sent to all forces in the UK by Michael Cunningham, deputy chief constable of Lancashire and ACPO spokesman on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 those who take part in ' dogging', where couples meet up for exhibitionist outdoor sex, and cottaging, where men meet for sex in public lavatories, face arrest for outraging public decency, voyeurism and exposure. But the guidance cautions officers against 'knee jerk' reactions. Instead police are told to concentrate on dealing with organised outdoor meetings at known hotspots - by researching sex forums on the internet - and only to prosecute as a 'last resort'.
In the report Mr Cunningham writes that current policing methods 'have adversely affected the relationship between the police and communities' and 'have discouraged users of public sex environments from reporting crime'. Where isolated complaints are made, officers are told 'it may be decided that they should take no action'.
Even where there are persistent problems they should 'inform and dissuade' users of the site before arranging for extra lighting or CCTV cameras to be installed. If that fails police can put on extra patrols, but the guidance stresses that this is only a deterrent and is 'not to detect offences'.
Arresting and prosecuting men for cottaging - some of whom may be married, and living a double life - can have a 'severe' impact on them without solving the problems, Mr Cunningham says. He added: 'The impact can be extreme and can include humiliation, breakdown of relationships and the "outing" of men living in an opposite sex relationship being perceived as "gay".' He refers to cases of 'suicide and self-harm by people who may have been arrested or come into contact with the police'.
ACPO stressed yesterday that the document was a draft being circulated for discussion among police chiefs and the proposals had not been officially adopted.
Hugh McKinney of the National Family Campaign said: 'There is a good reason that we have laws against these types of sexual behaviour in public, namely that they are deemed to be beyond what is acceptable to most reasonable people. 'Is it too much for us to expect the police to enforce the law? After all, they're the only ones who can.'
One serving police officer who patrols gay hotspots in Brighton, said: 'Frankly it seems outrageous that we are effectively being told to turn a blind eye to these sorts of activities, which can cause real distress to most right-thinking people.'
The insane British welfare state again
Families of 12 with a difference: One lives on Dad's 15,000 pound wage... their neighbours get 32,000 benefits (yet still complain)
It is a story which crystalises the dubious values encouraged by the British welfare state. While hardworking Sean and Anne Tate scrimp to afford a few little luxuries for their ten children on his 15,000 lorry driver's salary, a family of the same size two miles away take things a little easier. Harry Crompton, 50, has been out of work for 15 years and his wife Tracey, 40, has never had a job. Yet thanks to the generosity of the welfare state they receive 32,656 a year. The Cromptons have been nicknamed 'Britain's Biggest Freeloaders' by their neighbours in Hull.
Mrs Tate, 43, a stay-at-home mother, could barely believe what she was reading when she saw media coverage of the Cromptons' situation earlier this week. 'I am absolutely furious,' she said. 'The Government want shooting for allowing people to get away with scrounging like this. 'We have worked hard all our lives to provide for our kids, and when you see families like this it makes you wonder why you bother. 'But we have pride in ourselves and would never scrounge like this family. It makes me sick. Gas, water, electricity, council tax has all gone up - we don't get any help with that.'
The Tates bought their three-bedroom house from the council four years ago and built an extension with two extra bedrooms. The Cromptons, by contrast, were provided with two semis knocked together by the council at a cost of 20,000. The couple's only income from paid work is 20 pounds a week from eldest son Michael, who has a factory job. They receive a further 628 a week in income support, disability allowance, carer's allowance, child tax credit, plus 120 a week rent on their seven-bedroom house. A working parent would have to earn 46,500 a year to match their income. The only state handouts the Tates receive is child benefit - which is available to all parents regardless of how much they earn.
Life is cramped to say the least in their home in Hull's Bransholme district. Michael, 23, has moved out, but Gary, 20, Leanne, 18, Brandon, 12, Shaunnah, 11, Mercedes Rose, seven, triplets Madison Rae, Porschia Lillie and Poppie Marie, five, and Jayden, three, still live there.
Over at the Cromptons', the walls are dirty and the floor is covered in videos and magazines. Mrs Crompton says she 'doesn't have much time for cleaning'. The Tates' home and garden are immaculate. Mr Tate, 44, recently installed a new kitchen and designed and built a new marble fireplace in the living room. Mrs Tate said: 'You don't have to live like a tramp. People think you do if you have big family. Everything we have got you work hard for and look after. 'There is a lot of love in any house. In our house. because there are more of us, it goes around. 'We have a lot of fun. We always have a house-full and the children bring their friends as well.'
The Cromptons seem to be less happy with their lot. Earlier this week Mrs Crompton said she would have to be 'very well paid' to make it worth her while getting a job. She added: 'I'm not satisfied with the benefits we get - I want more.' Mr Crompton says he is unable to work due to angina and irritable bowel syndrome. The couple have children Michael, 20, Robin, 19, Matthew, 17, Sarah, 16, Samantha, 14, Harry Andrew, 12, Alex, 11, Kristian, nine, Jesse Lee, seven and Joshua, six.
Homosexual marriage issue back on the boil in Australia
Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has carpeted one of his own backbenchers as tensions flare in the Coalition over changes to same-sex laws. In a key test of Coalition partyroom unity, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has slammed the proposed changes as "offensive". He said they would make same-sex couples "virtually identical" to conventional marriage.
Amid concerns the Liberal leader is taking the party too far to the Left, several Coalition MPs claim Mr Turnbull's support is driven by concerns about a voter backlash in his inner-Sydney seat. "Malcolm views everything through the prism of how it will play out in Wentworth," one Liberal MP said.
The proposed changes to same-sex laws are designed to ensure these couples enjoy the same financial and work-related entitlements as opposite-sex families. But a Senate committee has raised concerns over the legislative changes, which refer to children as a "product" of a relationship. This has incensed some Coalition MPs who claim the laws will undermine traditional marriage. Senator Bernardi claimed the changes suggested mothers were "little more than an incubator".
Mr Turnbull has been a long-standing advocate of gay rights -- his electorate has the largest gay population of any electorate in Australia. He spoke to Senator Bernardi after his parliamentary spray and sources claimed the talks were robust. Senator Bernardi refused to comment last night. He had claimed the draft laws would undermine traditional marriage, which had taken a "beating" during the past 30 years. "We do not expect the RSL to broaden their membership to include bohemian peaceniks, we do not ask the Country Women's Association to include men and we do not ask the National Rugby League or the AFL to include women in their teams," Senator Bernardi said. "Why is it then that we defy the same sort of logic when it comes to marriage?"
The Liberal senator said he knew he would be called a "homophobe" but other Liberal MPs also worry the Coalition is racing to back the Government's reforms before proper debate. Former Howard government minister Chris Ellison blasted the Coalition's shadow attorney-general George Brandis during a lively partyroom debate this week.
Most Australians say crime sentences are too lenient
People have been saying this for years but governments would rather hire more clerks than build more prisons. The bureaucrat below tries to spin his way out of the obvious but my own study of the matter is not suceptible to the evasions which are possible when interpreting the simple-minded survey reported below
Two thirds of NSW people surveyed on public confidence in the legal system believe criminal sentences are too lenient, a new report claims. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research's first report on public confidence in sentencing and knowledge of the legal system says 66 per cent feel sentences are either "a little lenient" or "much too lenient".
However, BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn said many of the 2000 people surveyed were also misinformed or "seriously mistaken" about crime and the criminal justice system. "When we analyse the data we found that those most dissatisfied with the justice system are also the most mistaken about crime conviction and sentencing," he told reporters today.
Dr Weatherburn said the high level of dissatisfaction could not be simply dismissed as a case of "public ignorance", as some concerns might be justified. But he said the media, and particularly talkback radio and tabloid newspapers, were responsible for misconceptions. "Most of the influential sources of information about the criminal justice system is the media, that's why it's so important for the media to get the facts right," Dr Weatherburn said. "That's something which I think in my experience increasingly is not happening."
Retired Supreme Court judge John Dunford, who is also deputy chair of the NSW Sentencing Council, told reporters more needed to be done to educate people about the sentencing process and dispel the myths.
Dr Weatherburn said if people did not have faith in the system there was a risk they would take matters into their own hands. "I think it's dangerous for people to lose confidence in the justice system when there isn't sufficient ground to do so," he said. "I think that's the worry, when people start thinking the justice system is not doing its job and they start thinking they should take justice into their own hands."
The survey found 72 per cent of people are "very" or "fairly confident" the justice system respected the rights of accused persons and treated them fairly. Just over half were "confident" or "very confident" that the criminal justice system brought people to justice.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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