More than one in seven people have witnessed a dis

first_imgMore than one in seven people have witnessed a disability hate crime or incident in the last year, according to a new survey released to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.Disabled campaigners say the figures, published by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, should push the criminal justice system to do more to recognise and act on the problem.According to the survey, 15 per cent of people have witnessed at least one disability-related hate crime or hate incident in the last year, while more than two-thirds of those who witnessed a hate crime or incident regretted not challenging it.And more than one-third of those who witnessed a disability-related hate crime or incident saw at least four such instances, while nearly one in 20 witnessed at least 10.Anne Novis, an independent advisor on disability hate crime to the Metropolitan police, a trustee of Inclusion London and a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said the figures were not a surprise.She said disabled people were “well aware” of how much hostility they experience and how it has increased, while police spending cuts had led to reductions in action to prevent hostility, raise awareness and respond to reports.She added: “Training is not sufficient, and inconsistency of approaches to disability hate crime mean it’s a postcode lottery whether police will respond as they should.“The majority of disabled people will not report their experiences as it has become part of everyday life and they know little, if anything, will be done in response.“Raising awareness about hate crime is important for everybody so all can understand they can make a difference by reporting the incident, coming forward as a witness, and assisting the victim in such situations.”Novis said that disabled people “do not have equality of law when we experience hostility”, while most police officers only recognise it as anti-social behaviour rather than “the very real experience and impact of disability hate crime”.She added: “Hopefully, this will be yet another reminder to all to do much more on this issue, and that all members of society can make a difference if they act rather than being passive.”Stephen Brookes (pictured), another coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network and an ambassador for Disability Rights UK, also said the figures were not a surprise and underlined the need for far more realistic statistics on disability hate crime.He said he was particularly disappointed by the number of people who witnessed hate crimes and incidents but refused to take action.He said: “It’s easy to blame police and the Crown Prosecution Service for failures, but when we don’t take action, how can they?”He said it was vital to keep pressing the trust’s message that “silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root”, which he said was demonstrated by the successful third-party reporting centres run by disabled people’s user-led organisations, where “disabled people talk to and report incidents to disabled people”.Brookes said: “This is a message the Disability Hate Crime Network not just endorses but insists is imperative in the fight against disability hate crime.“We would add the words of our own logo: ‘Silence is acceptance so we must speak loudly.’”The theme for yesterday’s (27 January) Holocaust Memorial Day – which was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government – was “Don’t Stand By”.Olivia Marks-Woldman, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Today is about remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but it’s also about finding ways to make sure they can never happen again.“We know that silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root, so we want to encourage people to stand up and speak out, in the way many brave souls have in the past.”Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual commemoration for the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.last_img read more

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The work and pensions secretary is facing accusati

first_imgThe work and pensions secretary is facing accusations that he misled MPs about his government’s disability benefit reforms for the second time in a month.Damian Green was responding to an urgent question about last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the “bedroom tax” discriminates unlawfully against some disabled people.His Labour shadow, Debbie Abrahams, had called on the government to “formally apologise for the pain and suffering inflicted on disabled people and families caring for a disabled child” as a result of the “discriminatory” bedroom tax.But Green told her that the bedroom tax – which the government calls its spare room subsidy removal scheme – was “patently not” unlawful because the Supreme Court had found in the government’s favour in five of the seven cases it was hearing.He added: “Her basic analysis is wrong. The government are spending £50 billion a year on disability benefit, which shows that we want a practical system that cares for people with a disability. This court case does not alter that at all.”He made a similar claim on his own website in March, when he argued in a letter to a constituent that the government was “committed to supporting those most in need, and currently spends around £50 billion every year on benefits alone to support people with disabilities or health conditions”.But Green (pictured during the debate) appears to have vastly exaggerated the amount spent on disability benefits every year by the government.A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) freedom of information response, sent to Disability News Service (DNS) in December 2015, showed how ministers justified their frequent statement that they spend “about £50 billion” a year on services and support for disabled people.The breakdown provided to DNS showed that this £50 billion figure includes spending on adult social care, specialist disability employment support, housing-related support, concessionary travel and disabled facilities grants, none of which are disability benefits.Using this response, DWP’s own spending figures for 2014-15 show that it spent about £35 billion on disability benefits, far short of the figure quoted by Green. Even projected figures for 2015-16 only come to about £37 billion.Despite DWP’s own figures showing spending was only £35 billion, or £37 billion at the most, a spokeswoman insisted that Green had not misled MPs and that “the Secretary of State was correct in his statements about spending on disability benefits”.The spokeswoman had failed to clarify this apparent discrepancy by noon today (Thursday).Only last month, Green refused to apologise after telling MPs that “many more people are eligible to receive personal independent payment (PIP) than were eligible to receive disability living allowance”.DWP figures from June show that only about seven in 10 disabled people who were previously claiming DLA were being found eligible for PIP.last_img read more

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Mission resident turns a lens on Parkmerced in documentary short

first_imgYou might have heard the Mission be called “ground zero” of gentrification in the city, but one local resident decided to explore a different microcosm of affordable housing loss: Parkmerced. His short documentary on the impending demolition of the housing there, “Who Killed Parkmerced?” will be shown at DocFest on Sunday and Tuesday.Nick Pasquariello, a Mission District resident and a writer by trade, decided to produce a documentary about Parkmerced, a large development near Lake Merced and San Francisco State University, six years ago.  At the time, the Board of Supervisors had approved a development agreement with Parkmerced Investors LLC, which authorized the demolition of  the existing housing and the development of taller, denser, more modernized units. Under the agreement, 1,538 of the existing 3,221 units would be torn down and replaced with 8,900, for a net increase of 5,600 units. Existing tenants would be offered a chance to move into a new unit when complete, at their old rent. But Pasquariello was pessimistic and skeptical that the developer would follow through as advertised. So far, the developer has filed for permits but not started work. So he set off to talk to a few existing tenants. The result is a 14-minute documentary, produced, shot, and edited by Pasquariello. It’s evident the film is put together on a shoestring budget, but it does provoke the reader to reconsider a project that might seem too far away to be relevant. He argues it sets a precedent of the city sacrificing rent-controlled units.“I live in a rent controlled apartment, been there for decades. And all of Parkmerced is rent controlled,” he said. “And never in the history of rent control…has the city government approved demolition of rent controlled apartments. So it was a…a major threat to anyone living in a rent controlled apartment.”For Pasquariello, it’s not just any housing that’s being torn down, it’s beautiful housing. In one scene, his camera lingers on a hummingbird hovering by a bright flowering shrub. In another, a resident shows off his lemon tree. The greenscaping and architecture of the existing Parkmerced, he argues, should be preserved. “It’s all about open space, it’s all about greenery, it’s all about what another tenant talks about, a livable place. How many San Franciscans have a backyard where there’s a bird in a bush, let alone a lime tree?” Pasquariello wondered. Though the plan for the new development calls for equal if not more open space, Pasquariello isn’t convinced it will be quite the same.P.J. Johnston, a spokesperson for Parkmerced, said the new development would provide decidedly more open space than the current development and that it would be updated with the introduction of solar power, greenways, and other sustainability technology, including being less centered around cars.The short film comes with a clear perspective. Pasquariello doesn’t think the city has an obligation to absorb all the newcomers who want to move in. He said said he didn’t reach out directly to the developer for comment. The music is a Bob-Dylan-esque song about gentrification sung by a musician Pasquariello met at a laborer’s convention.He cited the 1986 ballot Proposition M, which called for preservation of neighborhood character and affordable housing. “I believe as part of that debate there actually was serious consideration to capping the number of people who live here, capping the total population. Imagine that today, saying we can only have so many people. I find that the debate is completely skewed the wrong way,” he said. “The density thing is complete bogus in my opinion, and don’t tell me I have any obligation to accommodate new people.”But there is a touch of empathy in the film if you know where it’s coming from. Pasquariello’s distrust doesn’t come from mere NIMBYism – particularly because Parkmerced is very far from his backyard – it comes from a fear that the developer’s promises of a better future won’t pan out for the current residents. “One of the great fears that the tenants had, and still have, is that this can be traded and bought off by larger and larger corporations,” he said. “It’s private property as tradable as anything on the stock market.”This story has been updated with a comment from the developer’s spokesperson and a link to the development agreement. Tags: documentary • films Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

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San Francisco Police Department cites progress in mental health crisis interventions

first_img“I think the culture has changed,” said Molina. “At the beginning there was a little pushback, but now officers have embraced it.”Molina also talked about how the crisis intervention program focuses on trying to prevent mental health crises in the first place. He told a story of one man who in 2016 was the subject of 49 mental health detention calls, one of the more severe designations for mental health crises also known as “5150” calls. Because the SFPD program works in conjunction with the Department of Public Health and community group partners, the city was able to help the man find housing and a job. In 2018, he was the subject of only a single 5150 call.Above Officer Elizabeth Prillinger’s nameplate is her Crisis Intervention Training badge, which means that she has been trained to better assist and respond to people suffering from mental health or the physical impacts associated with homelessness. Photo by Nikka SinghThe police commissioners were impressed. “We hear so much of the negative,” said commissioner Damali Taylor. “It’s good and refreshing to celebrate good news.”Commissioner Thomas Mazzucco noted that the new approach to mental health calls had also reduced the caseload for the Public Defender’s Office.Reported instances of force by the police department as a whole decreased 27.6 percent between 2016 to 2018.Magick Altman, a community member attending the meeting, praised the department’s progress in dealing with mental health crises, calling it “a huge change.” But she would like to see the crisis intervention program go even farther, saying in many cases it was not necessary for police to respond to mental health crises at all. “It would be great if the Public Health people get called first unless there is definitely a risk of violence,” she said. Since the SFPD program began, the number of officers who have received the training has been slowly increasing, but the department still has years of work ahead. Citywide, only about 43 percent of the city’s roughly 2,300 officers have completed the training. A slightly higher 47 percent of officers in the Mission have done so.“Our goal is to train the entire department,” said Molina. Each 40-hour crisis intervention training class can take a max of 30 officers, and classes are offered a little less than once a month. Through the first half of this year, about 93 more officers completed the training. It would take at least 6 more years to finish training the entire department at that rate.The department’s next step is to train officers at San Francisco International Airport, where mental health calls have been on the rise lately. There will be a class offered specifically for officers assigned to the airport in July.Community members calling 911 to address a potential mental health crisis can specifically request a crisis intervention team to respond. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter For years, community members and advocacy groups have pushed the San Francisco Police  Department to reconsider how officers respond to calls involving a mental health crisis. Seven years after the department mandated crisis intervention training, the SFPD has made some slow progress, according to a report presented to the Police Commission Wednesday night.In more than 50,000 mental health calls made to the SFPD in 2018, stated the SFPD’s Lt. Mario Molina, only 113 resulted in a use of force. That’s around 0.2 percent of the time. While the department included general checks on well-being in its tally of mental health calls, even excluding these would mean force was used less than 0.5 percent of the time.Molina, a member of the Crisis Intervention Team that trains SFPD officers, cited an example of police responding to a scene where someone had barricaded themselves inside. “Back in the ’90s, we were trained to rush in,” he said. Now, the department is making efforts to ensure officers are instead trained to de-escalate mental health crises, taking more time and keeping distance from a subject, and focusing on developing a rapport with the individual in crisis rather than taking a confrontational approach.center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

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SAINTS face Catalan tonight – and the Dragons are

first_imgSAINTS face Catalan tonight – and the Dragons are unbeaten at Langtree Park.They’ve won on both their previous visits to Langtree Park (2012, 2013) with Saints’ last ‘home’ win against the Dragons was 40-18 at Widnes on 15 July, 2011.Super League Summary:St Helens won 10Catalan Dragons won 7Highs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 53-10 (H, 2007) (also widest margin)Catalan Dragons highest score: 34-32 (A, 2012) (Widest margin: 21-0, H, 2007)Career Milestones:Paul Wellens needs one appearance to reach 500 for his career.He has played 464 games for St Helens since 1998, to go with representative appearances for Great Britain (20 Tests, 2001-2002 & 2004-2007), England (11 games, 2000-2001 & 2008) and Lancashire (4 games, 2001-2003).He also needs one point to reach 1,000 for his career. He has scored 953 points (218 tries, 40 goals, 1 field goal) for St Helens, and representative points for Great Britain (18 – 4 tries, 1 goal), England (16 – 4 tries) and Lancashire (12 – 3 tries).Jon Wilkin needs one appearance to reach 350 for his career.Wilkin has played 288 games for St Helens since 2003 – and was previously with Hull KR, where he made 39 appearances (2000-2002).He also has representative appearances for Great Britain (6 Tests, 2006-2007) and England (16 games, 2004-2005, 2008-2009 & 2011-2012).Consecutive Appearances:Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 59.McCarthy-Scarsbrook last missed a Saints game on 17 March, 2012 – a 12-8 defeat at Bradford.His streak then started on 25 March, 2012 – a 46-6 home victory against Leeds.1 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (St Helens) 592 Craig Huby (Castleford Tigers) 493 Danny Houghton (Hull FC) 444 Josh Jones (St Helens) 385 Jordan Turner (St Helens (34)/Hull FC (2) 36Tickets for the match remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park and there will be cash turnstiles before the match too on the North and West Stands.last_img read more

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Widnes may be sitting at the wrong end of the tab

first_img“Widnes may be sitting at the wrong end of the table but they are a much better side than they are showing,” he said. “We speak about playing tough teams all the time and Widnes are certainly one of those.“They will want to go to Newcastle and put on a show like we did last year. We will be looking forward to it and Justin will have us ready for it too.“We will be going into the game with confidence but know it will be tough task.”Following Toronto’s clash with Toulouse Olympique, Saints and Widnes kick off the round of Super League fixtures at 3pm.Wigan and Warrington follow at 5:15pm before Castleford face Leeds (7.30pm).On Sunday, Salford play Catalans (1pm), Wakefield versus Huddersfield follows at 3:15pm with the weekend closing out with the Hull derby (5.30pm).“I think the Magic Weekend is a great concept,” Tommy added. “I have played in quite a few and sat and watched a couple because of injury and selection. Sitting on both sides of that fence you see how good it is as a spectator. Playing in the event itself is fantastic.“You never get to see 12 teams under one roof in an epic stadium so it is great.“You have to approach it as another league game and another two points, but as an event you know it is different. We’re in a 70,000 seater stadium so it will be different, and the atmosphere will be great, but it is about the two points, getting a good performance from the team and travelling home happy.”Saints have had some great moments at Magic but there is one that stands out for Tommy.“There’s an obvious highlight,” he said. “I scored a pretty decent try against Hull last year that people like to talk about!“The whole day was memorable. It was Justin’s first game in charge and everything went well. We really enjoyed it and kicked on from there.“It was a great performance capped by a great try.”Tickets for Magic remain on sale from the Ticket Office until 5pm on May 15. We only have weekend tickets remaining.last_img read more

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Whiteville officer returns to work after found not guilty in assault trial

first_img He had been on administrative leave leading up to his trial.That trial ended just over a week ago.Herring had been accused of assaulting a man who was handcuffed in the back seat of a police car in 2015. Herring speaking with his attorney after the judge declared he was not guilty on April 20, 2018. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Whiteville Police Sergeant recently found not guilty of assault and failure to discharge duties will return to work next week.Sgt. Aaron Herring will be back on the job Monday with his sergeant’s rank.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Wilmington man indicted on federal child porn charges

first_img The US Attorney’s Office says some time before May 4, 2017, Sanchez received at least four digital files with child porn. Investigators also say that on that date, they found Sanchez with digital child porn.If convicted, Sanchez would face the prison time followed by the possibility of a lifetime of supervised release.The FBI is investigating.Related Article: SC man accused of throwing hot coffee at McDonald’s employee arrestedThe New Hanover County Jail’s website says Sanchez is in custody under $250,000 bond awaiting trial on three state counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Isai Sanchez (Photo: New Hanover County Jail) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man faces up to 20 years in prison after being indicted on federal child pornography charges.A federal grand jury in Raleigh indicted Isai Sanchez, 22, on four counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Judge rules no punishing Smithfield Foods for hog complex

first_img Jurors in Raleigh determined Wednesday that eight neighbors of a Smithfield Foods animal feeding operation in Sampson County should be compensated with between $100 and $75,000 each. The neighbors had complained about Sholar Farm, which houses up to 7,000 swine.Jurors in three related cases previously decided Smithfield Foods should pay nearly $550 million in penalties, which were reduced under a state law limiting punishment.Smithfield Foods said it believes the lawsuits are an abuse of the legal system. Pig farm (Photo: US EPA) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge in North Carolina is shutting down a lawsuit against a Smithfield Foods hog feeding operation by some neighbors who complained of odors, flies and noises.U.S. District Judge David Faber on Thursday declared there wasn’t enough evidence for those neighbors to pursue punitive damages.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Cemetery may be relocated after damage from Florence

first_img Bryan voiced several concerns at a town hall meeting Monday to discuss the fate of the Elizabethtown Cemetery.Both of her parents are buried there.“I have a lot right beside my parents and I could be buried there maybe at a later date,” said Bryan.Related Article: North Carolina storm victims may qualify for tax relief from the IRSTown Manager Eddie Madden says all of the rain we received in Florence caused soil at the cemetery to shift, cracking a road that runs through it.Three options were discussed.The first is to do some superficial repairs, the second is to add drainage systems, and the third and most expensive option is to move all graves to a new cemetery near the airport.“We’ll be meeting with FEMA between now and the end of the fiscal year to determine fund availability, and how we can best approach this problem,” said Madden.Madden says FEMA will only fund a project once, so they want it to be a long term solution.The most permanent solution might be to develop a new cemetery near the airport, and move the approximately 275 graves.“I would support that, [but] that’s not really where I would want to be buried,” said Bryan.Madden says they wanted to make sure the community was able to weigh in before they made any decisions, and he feels the response was terrific.“It’s a very sensitive issue for everyone, we’re trying to be respectful,” said Madden.The board plans to discuss this again on February 19, and expects to make a decision by June 30.As far as any burials between now and then, an engineer said those decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Soil shifting due to excessive rain has damaged the Elizabethtown Cemetery.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Will hundreds of graves in Bladen County have to be moved? That was one option discussed at a town hall meeting Monday afternoon, regarding a cemetery damaged by Hurricane Florence.“What happens if somebody dies before the town board reaches a decision, and you already have a plot there?” asked lifetime Elizabethtown resident Ellen Bryan.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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