Friday, May 08, 2015
Politically correct policing in Britain
Speech crimes are the only ones that matter
A terrified pensioner who dialled 999 after a drunken intruder barged into her home was left stunned when the police's response was to tell her to draw her curtains.
Widow Maureen Smith, 83, said she was mystified by the lack of action from officers and is demanding an explanation as to why no-one immediately attended the incident.
She was home alone in Wadebridge, Cornwall - where last week a senior officer warned residents they were now more likely to hear from police on Twitter than see an officer in the street.
Mrs Smith said the unknown man suddenly appeared and began knocking on her door while she was watching television. He barged in and sat down but when the pensioner called 999 she was told to draw the curtains.
She said: 'The door was locked but I could see there was someone there, trying to get it. I opened the door and this man just barged past me, came into my living room and sat on my sofa.
'I could smell the drink on him. He just kept asking for his daughter. I didn't know who he was and had no idea what he was talking about.
'This went on for about 15 minutes - I was getting more and more angry - before he finally left my home. I was in shock and called the police for help.
'I dialled 999 and the operator asked me what the problem was - but when I explained what had just happened she told me that since the man had now gone, and didn't appear to have stolen anything, there was nothing the police could do.
'She told me just to stay indoors, lock the door and draw the curtains.'
Mrs Smith then called relatives for help, who immediately went to the local police station. Despite knocking on the door and ringing the bell, they got no reply.
A few hours later they did succeed in making contact with the police via the non-emergency 101 telephone number, and two officers eventually came to visit Mrs Smith at home.
She said: 'They took down all the details, a description of the man and so on. 'They told me that the person who answered the 999 call shouldn't have said what they did, and they were very sorry for the mistake.
'What's upset me is that it could have been much more serious. What if this man had turned nasty? I used to work in the telephone exchange and I knew that's not the way to handle an emergency call.
'The whole business has shaken my confidence. I was shaking like a leaf. I never used to worry much about locking my door - this is a very safe area - but now I do keep the door locked.'
In recent years, civilian police staff in Devon and Cornwall have been cut by 16 per cent - some of those were 999 call-handlers.
Reports from 2012 revealed that one in six of all 999 calls put through to Devon and Cornwall police were missed by phone call-handlers and bounced to another force. The force's annual average for abandoned calls that year was 6.15 per cent, three times the national guidelines.
Sergeant Andy Stewart spoke to members of Wadebridge town council last week about the future of policing in light of cutbacks.
He said the traditional bobbies on patrol would be consigned to history as a result of huge cuts - and be replaced by social media interaction.
Austerity measures for his force at Devon and Cornwall police have seen £51million slashed from the force budget.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said the force was investigating how Mrs Smith's emergency call was handled to see if any errors had been made.
He said: 'Police received a call at around 7.15pm on Sunday, April 26 after a drunk man had entered the property of an elderly woman in Cleveland, Wadebridge and sat on her sofa. 'At no time was the man’s demeanour threatening and he soon left the property. Police later attended the scene and spoke with Mrs Smith who was safe and well, and helped us identify the man who entered her property.'
The spokesman added: 'On speaking to the man in question, it was a clear case of him entering the house in error, no crime had been committed and words of advice have been given to him.
'Police are now investigating how the initial call was handled to see if any errors were made and what lessons can be learned. We will be looking at visiting Mrs Smith again once this has taken place.'
Some prize Leftist hypocrisy
Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman this morning defended the party's controversial gender-segregated election rally – insisting it was 'better than a men-only meeting'.
Ms Harman, who has made her political career fighting for women's rights, said boycotting the meeting would have been 'rude'.
It comes after the party was dragged into a furious 'sexism' row after senior Labour figures, including Ms Harman's husband Jack Dromey, spoke at a meeting in Birmingham on Saturday even though men sat on one side of the room and women on the other.
Labour has denied that people were forced to sit separately based on gender - even though photographs from the event show that the groups were clearly segregated.
Critics called the decision 'sickening' and claimed that the party was 'selling values for votes' in order to get Ed Miliband into Downing Street.
But Ms Harman this morning claimed the meeting was an attempt to get more women from the Muslim community involved in politics.
'This meeting was organised by a male Labour councillor and a female Labour councillor, and what they were trying to do is ensure there weren't men only meetings, which we are even more not in favour of it.
'It was actually bringing the women from the community into the meeting. But no, sex segregation in seating is not a good idea. But it's better than men-only meetings. We want to have meetings where men and women are on equal terms.
'I don't know the young woman Muslim councillor who organised this, but I bet I would be backing her up in getting more women from that community involved.'
Ms Harman said she was not a 'boycotting type of person' and did not like to be 'rude and walk out of things'.
She said: 'I perhaps would have discussed with the young woman councillor if we could have all sat together. Probably, I would have said let's all sit round in a big circle and mix everything up.
'We are for women's equality and women's progress. We want that for every woman in all communities. There's no uncertainty about that.'
Among the Labour grandees at the event was Khalid Mahmood, who is standing to be MP for Perry Bar.
Mr Mahmood previously spoke out against the alleged Trojan Horse plot in 12 of Birmingham's schools, including allegations of gender segregation, but was centre stage at Saturday's event - but said any criticism based on the rally photo was 'ridiculous'.
He told MailOnline that although the picture of the event showed men and women sat apart, afterwards the groups all mixed afterwards and took 'selfies' together.
He said: 'I was happy to support the event. It wasn't as segregated as people are making out. The photo has been taken out of context.
'Nobody was told to sit anywhere. It just happened that men and women sat separately – but what the photo doesn't show is there were women and men together at the back.
'What people need to understand is that this part of a process of engaging with Muslim women and this was the start of that. It is about giving women in some communities the confidence to engage.
'People can say what they like. In 2010 I went to rallies where there were no women at all'.
The libertarian view: For religious freedom, separate marriage and state
As the Supreme Court takes up the matter of marriage apartheid — an institution of forcible segregation and exclusion aimed at same-sex couples and codified in state laws which defy both the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause and its 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause — its supporters once again rally to the banners of family and marriage, feigning support for the very institutions they assail.
“We will not obey!” thunder headlines covering their latest barrage, an open letter signed by numerous American religious leaders. But those headlines lie. The actual content of the letter consists not of a refusal to obey others, but of a demand that others be made to obey them. They want their own religious beliefs to remain codified in law at the expense of all whose beliefs differ.
They call for this establishment of (their) religion, naturally, in the name of “religious freedom.” It seems there’s no concept the anti-marriage, anti-family bigots aren’t willing to turn on its head.
There’s certainly a religious freedom issue at stake here, but the opponents of same-sex marriage are opponents, not supporters, of religious freedom. For example, until it was struck down, Missouri’s anti-marriage law (passed in 2004 with strong support from this same crowd) provided for a jail sentence of 10 days and a $500 fine against clergy who officiated at unapproved religious ceremonies — “unlicensed” same-sex weddings.
Are the opponents of marriage and family sinned against as well as sinning? Certainly. They don’t believe they should be enslaved to bake cakes (or pizzas) and so forth for couples and families of whom they religiously disapprove. I agree. They shouldn’t. But then, the anti-marriage bigots and the pro-slavery bigots are peas in a pod. They’re both fighting for control of others, not for the freedom of all.
The solution to this whole set of problems is simple: Just as we’ve tried to separate church and state, let’s separate marriage and state! If that’s not feasible in its entirety, then let’s do so to the greatest degree possible.
Instead of government-approved, “licensed” marriages, let the civil form of marriage be by contract. The terms of those contracts can be whatever the parties negotiate. Although I suspect most of them would tend toward the current norms, there’s no call to require that. Different strokes for different folks. The only necessary state involvement, then, would be adjudication of contractual disputes (if even that — the contracts could specify private arbitration).
As for those of particular religious persuasions, let them and their churches celebrate whatever weddings and recognize whatever marriages they choose, and not others (including in their commercial relations). This is the only right which they might reasonably demand others respect.
The strange priorities of Britain's socialized medicine system
A sex attack victim told of her fury yesterday after the NHS refused to fund treatment to remove scars left by her ordeal – while the man responsible has cost taxpayers more than £250,000.
Rolands Brize, a 27-year-old Latvian schizophrenic, was given a life sentence and a hospital order a year ago for attempting to rape the woman as she walked home from a nightclub.
He was sent to a £500-a-day secure private psychiatric hospital to receive the best mental health care available.
But his victim, a 25-year-old graphic designer, faced long delays before having her injuries dealt with.
She has now been told the NHS will not pay for the latest help she needs – laser treatment recommended by a plastic surgeon.
She has battled knee problems and recurring pain since she was dragged under a bridge during the attack in March 2013.
She is desperate to reduce the raised, ugly scarring on her right knee.
After several months she received steroid injections on the NHS which reduced the scars, but last week health chiefs refused laser surgery because they say it is too expensive.
The victim, who remains traumatised by her ordeal and still has sleepless nights, said she cried uncontrollably when her local NHS trust wrote to say that her case was not exceptional enough to warrant any more funding.
East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group explained that the treatment was not routinely paid for and she would not gain ‘significantly more benefit’.
In response, the woman said the treatment was likely to cost a few thousand pounds, which was nothing compared to her attacker’s health care. She said the scars were still a ‘horrible dark purple’.
Last night she said: ‘They won’t fund a one-off cheap bit of laser treatment for scarring I have from when I was dragged across the bridge by a foreign, psychotic criminal, yet the NHS have spent over £250,000 treating him and he will need treatment for years to come.
Words just fail me. To me, it’s like they are saying I’m in the wrong and he has done nothing wrong and we’ll make sure he’s OK
‘So us taxpayers will have spent a fortune. How is that even fair? Words just fail me. To me, it’s like they are saying I’m in the wrong and he has done nothing wrong and we’ll make sure he’s OK.’
The victim added: ‘I’ve had to fight for all my treatment and spent money on prescriptions and medication – and everything has been done for him.
‘I wanted to speak out, not just for me but for anyone else in my situation. When I got the letter turning down funding I couldn’t stop crying. It may sound pathetic, but what have I done wrong that they can say no to me and yes to him?’
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.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.