criminal justice

815 petitions

Update posted 7 hours ago

Petition to UK Parliament, Ministry of Justice, NHS


Restoring justice to language interpreters can be the priority and Britain once again can become the leader in standards, efficiency and quality. Can we afford to lose thousands of professionals and replace them with unqualified linguists who may have only just arrived to our country. Language interpreters play a vital role in helping to protect public safety, securing our borders and in bringing cohesion to communities. They receive little media attention when injustice takes place as it only affects directly about 4000 language interpreters. And the importance of understanding foreign languages is often little understood. Agree £95 professional fee to be paid to language interpreters in public sector. In 2007 a public sector language interpreter was paid £85 for the average job. Today this has been reduced by 79% and interpreters get £18 for the average job gross of tax. In 2012 rates for some police interpreters were reduced from £85 to £60 and as of 28 February 2017 it is proposed Hampshire Constabulary, Thames Valley, Surrey and Sussex Police will reduce it by further 63%. At the same time commercial outsourcers were introduced to run a database of some 4000 interpreters. There are currently about 7 different agencies who call interpreters with job offers in public sector. On average, there are about 12000 assignments per month within Justice sector. This excludes police jobs. The MOJ budget is estimated to be £30.000.000 per annum. This gives the average of £208 per job that the Ministry of Justice is spending. And the average fee per job paid to interpreter is £18. They are not paid travel time for 60 minutes each way and they do not even get mileage allowance for this time. But the Ministry spends this money. This budget is enough to feed about 1200 people. But there are about 4000 interpreters, hundreds of staff and dozens of managers who organise them. Plus commercial companies need to make profit for their shareholders. Even if they took £10 per job, it would give them £1.2 million pound a year and the average interpreter would get £198 per average job. Today a lot of interpreters who serve our country live below poverty line. And they assist with vulnerable victims of crime often committed not by foreign nationals, in crime prevention, in hospitals and in securing our borders. They do not get psychological support, they are not entitled to sick pay, holidays or even a company pension. Yet they work directly for public services, literally on the front line. Qualified interpreters cannot afford to leave home not knowing if by the time they have come back they would have earned a day’s wage. Per hour pricing model is not sustainable in language interpreting. Because of this a lot of unqualified interpreters had to be engaged to provide services for the Ministry of Justice, NHS and across the public sector. There is no minimum residency requirement. And there is no government regulation. Public safety is at risk. Safety of the country is at risk. Is £95 enough? Probably not. This job is not guaranteed. Interpreters are often required to work at night, during weekends and public holidays. One day they may work and then they may not have any assignments for few days. But to invest in becoming a language interpreter one has to spend thousands of pounds, gain hundreds of hours experience and invest in continuous professional development. It’s the commitment to the public sector service coupled with fairness and ethics that distinguish the right professionals. What’s the alternative? Interpreters can organise coops at local and national level. These non-for-profit enterprises would provide true savings to the public purse and they would ensure sustainability and survival of this profession. The profession can propose good value for money. With the government spending £105 for half day interpreting, £85-£95 can end up with interpreters who in turn will not have to claim benefits. And commercial agencies will still have huge global market worth some £25 billion. Public service interpreting cannot afford privatisation as it endangers lives, safety and ends up costing a lot of money.  

Pawel Janicki
125 supporters
Update posted 22 hours ago

Petition to Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Should released killers remain supervised?

In the UK when a murderer is released from prison after completing a life sentence they will remain on life licence for the remainder of their life and part of this process requires them to report to a National Probation supervisor every few weeks.  This is to ensure they are adhering to their licence restrictions, which have been set upon their release from prison.   However the supervision portion of this licence will only remain in force for up to 4 years, which leaves the murderer to be unmonitored within society.  Statistics taken from the Mail online May 2016 show that almost 100 killers, rapists and paedophiles who were given life sentences by judges have been released - only to be jailed for life again for committing another serious offence. Therefore would it not be more effective to continue monitoring and supervising the offender to prevent them from the possibility of re-offending? My husband David Irwin’s killer was released on life licence in 2012 after serving a ten year sentence for his murder and my understanding of his release was that he would be continually monitored by a supervisor within the Probation Service every few weeks.  However I have now been informed that the case will be referred to the Parole Board and his supervision will be rescinded due to the murderers “good behaviour”. I was unaware of this fact and after completing some research, I have unfortunately discovered that this is part of the process for murderers on a life licence and is common practice that the supervision or reporting restrictions are only to remain in force for approximately 4 years. This is a concern and causes immense anxiety, to know that my family and I, will no longer have the reassurance that the murderer will be supervised or monitored. I, hereby, petition the Prime Minister Theresa May and the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice to acknowledge and amend the current policy for supervision which ceases after 4 years and to maintain full supervision for murderers for the remainder of their lives.  

Helen Hill
441 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Independent Police Complaints Commission, Police and Crime Commissioner West Mercia and Gloucestershire Police

Making Police Accountable for failing victims of sexual crime.

Below is an account of my journey for justice. I have encountered some appalling treatment and institutional failings which have at times seemed unbearable.  I want to instigate real learning and change and at the heart of achieving that I must make people accountable. Not just individuals officers but also the management above.  There has been a tide of change in victims finding their voice and feeling able to come forward. What meets them on the other side needs to reflect this change and their needs. Help me speak up and start a conversation which leads to people listening, learning and changing. I am a victim of a sexual crime and in an attempt to gain some justice and closure I reported it to my local police. What then ensued has been a almost three year journey I had not anticipated.  West Mercia Police took my initial statement but early on I identified a officer from Gloucestershire Police who I had asked for help and did nothing. So suddenly it became a conduct matter and my initial complaint became sidelined. The Chief Inspector who was at the time head of their Professional Standards Department within Gloucestershire Police was tasked with my case dismissive and unhelpful in his approach. A defining moment came when he made this comment...... He was trying to illustrate the levels of sanctions he could use. At the top failure to do your job in a public office. At the bottom a management meeting which effectively is a slap on the wrist and words of advice. He went on to give this example : It's a bit like police officers visiting prostitutes, we don't encourage it but they are entitled to a private life so we would just offer words of advice. I was devastated, this was from the person who had read my statement which contained horrific details, which now he was comparing to prostitutes. All my faith and trust in that moment was gone. I withdrew my complaint that day, writing to Suzette Davenport Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Police to make her aware of my reasons. The investigation continued and in the course of interview the officer who had protected the perpetrator lied. He acknowledge I had told him but lied about what happened next. It became clear he was protected. I was sure I could provide evidence to support he had lied so did just that. 2 other officers from the same force were prepared to give evidence in my favour but they refused to interview them. Still they dismissed my complaint protected him. Eventually they found in his favour. But things just didn't add up and I referred the matter to the IPCC initially it was upheld and an investigation ensued. When they contacted Gloucestershire PSD department initially the Chief Inspector was on leave and the investigation could not be found. His colleagues had no knowledge of it's existence. When he returned he filed paperwork retrospectively. Eventually the IPCC did not upheld the complaint. I was then told by them if he has lied and you can prove it get your own evidence, interview people yourself and comeback with everything. At this point I met a Chief Inspector from West Mercia Police who offered to help. He looked at all that had happened and challenged the other force. I asked for help from my local MP and she added to the growing concern. As it now appeared there was a conflict of interest it was passed to another force, Wiltshire Police. Within that investigation it was decided that what was needed was an Independent Inquiry headed by the IPCC. Also to go back and look at the initial complaint which had never been investigated and was overshadowed by the issues within Gloucestershire Police. So the two began.  Within the course of West Mercia's investigation other victims were identified and there was a reluctance to interview them for fear of re traumatising them. After discussion between myself and the Chief Inspector leading the team and I illustrated the benefits I saw it was agreed this would be done in sensitive, gentle manner using trained professionals in this field to ensure the safety and well being of the other victims. Sadly this did not happen. Someone from their team deemed it appropriate to phone as they lived a distance away and discuss their experiences over the phone. As the conversation went on they also identified me. Appalling for both them and me. Anonymity for life should protect victims of sexual offences. This officer said nothing, didn't report it either to their team or the team who had been tasked with my protection. I found out after they looked for me on Facebook and their family member made contact. I was devastated not only had I been identified but that was also being shared. No-one has been made accountable. I have been through their complaints procedure and West Mercia maintain it is okay to identify myself as victim, they just can't publish it. They did however upheld they should have told their protection team. I find this confusing, if you did nothing wrong why tell them?  The lead Chief Inspector had no knowledge until I contacted him and then took days to investigate. Then a reply yes that had happened but the excuse was his officer had felt backed into a corner on the telephone so identified me. The fallout was immense and both myself and family were put in danger whilst under their protection. Not surprisingly both victims did not want to give further evidence. Their initial statements were to be used. The IPCC investigation is ongoing it has lead to a ACC on misconduct charges ( allowed to retire in process ) Chief Inspector on Gross Misconduct charges ( suspended the allowed to retire ) and Chief Inspector on Gross misconduct still in post and promoted to Superintendent in process. Because of the nature of the initial complaint their identity and the existence of the investigation have been hid throughout. West Mercia were given this investigation by the IPCC in an attempt to restore my faith in the police and ensure the initial complaint was investigated. After my being identified the case was promptly closed. West Mercia you failed me. You failed to protect me at a time when you were on notice for all the failings within Gloucestershire. You failed the other victims too. It was highly inappropriate to contact them in that way. You should have done that face to face using your specifically trained officers to gain their trust and offer support. The Sexual Abuse Inquiry is looking at how organisations have failed victims. In the media it is being portrayed as problems in the deep recesses of our nations past. As a victim who has been going through this process in the last almost three years I can tell you they still exist. One of the officers at the very heart of Gloucestershire Police failings was a head Mason, did this effect the handling? Only time will tell when the IPCC reach their conclusion. Change will only come with people speaking up. Making people accountable. Challenging their actions. So please help me start.....      

Heidi Clutterbuck
198 supporters