An independent watchdog has upheld an appeal by the family of a young autistic man who say he faced discrimination and mistreatment by a police force, months after it cleared another force of similar allegations.The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded three months ago that there was insufficient evidence to show misconduct by officers of Northamptonshire police who were involved in the arrest and detention of Daniel Smith.But IPCC has now examined concerns about the way Smith was treated by Devon and Cornwall Police over a second arrest four months later, and how it investigated a subsequent complaint about the way he was treated.Devon and Cornwall’s professional standards department cleared its own officers of any wrongdoing, after Smith’s family lodged a complaint, but IPCC has now decided that that may have been the wrong decision and has asked it to reinvestigate the complaint.His family say both forces discriminated against Daniel, ignored him when he told them that he was autistic, failed to provide him with the support he needed – ignoring their own guidance – and breached his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.Smith was held in a cell for eight hours after he had defended himself from a vicious disability hate crime in a local park in Rushden, Northamptonshire, in October 2015.He had been left bloodied and bruised by the attack but ended up being prosecuted for assault after the police failed to investigate the hate crime and charged him instead.He spent eight hours in the cell, without medical treatment, even though he told officers he had only been defending himself against “the bullies”.He was eventually cleared of assault charges by magistrates, following a six-month court ordeal.But struggling with the trauma of his treatment over the Northamptonshire incident and following a distressing court hearing in February last year, he became involved in an incident with a young woman in his home city of Exeter, Devon, who had headbutted him after an argument.He was arrested and locked up again, despite telling police he was suicidal and autistic. His family say that no appropriate adult (AA)* was provided for him.His dad, Owen, said that a statement was taken from his son after several hours in the police station, by which time he was in “an appalling mental state” and “would have said anything to get released”.Owen Smith said: “If the correct procedures had been followed for Daniel, a proper account could have been elicited from him, explaining the circumstances of the incident as regards his autism, the fact that he was acting in self-defence, why he reacted in the way he did.“He was vulnerable, exhausted and scared.”Daniel’s mental health subsequently deteriorated significantly, and he became so scared of being attacked yet again, following the Exeter incident, that he spent hundreds of pounds buying mini security cameras that he attached to his body.In both the Northamptonshire and Exeter cases, CCTV evidence from the police station was destroyed before it could be examined by the forces’ professional standards departments.Daniel’s family believe there were several officers from both forces who should have known that Daniel was autistic and failed to act on that information.IPCC has now told the family that it is not satisfied with the internal investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police, and has asked it to reinvestigate.It criticises the force for failing to secure the CCTV footage following his arrest, and has asked it “to review their processes to try to ensure that this does not happen in the future”.It also reveals that the force possessed information dating back to 2012 that Daniel Smith was autistic.The IPCC letter raises a number of other concerns about how he was treated in custody, including why officers accepted his statement that he did not want support from an appropriate adult.It adds: “The decision about whether or not to call an appropriate adult is the custody sergeant’s, not the detainee’s.“There is an inherent contradiction in asking a detainee whether one is required.”The letter adds: “There are flaws, gaps and contradictions that have not been accounted for. A reinvestigation is required to explore these.”Smith’s solicitor, Sarah Ricca, of Deighton Pierce Glynn, said: “The IPCC’s decision is the first ray of light in Daniel’s attempts to expose the injustice of how he has been treated by the two police forces.“Daniel was failed by the police on the two occasions he was arrested and detained and till now he has been failed again by the complaints system.“We hope that this will mark a turning point in taking seriously the issues his case raises about fair and equal treatment of people with autism by police.”Disability News Service learned of the IPCC ruling yesterday (Wednesday) and has since been unable to contact a Devon and Cornwall Police press officer.But a Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said earlier, before the IPCC had delivered its ruling: “A complaint was received by a member of the public in 2016 relating to an incident on the 28th of February 2016 involving a 27-year-old man.“The matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) who referred the case back to Devon and Cornwall Police to carry out a local investigation.“Devon and Cornwall Police carried out the investigation, the outcome of which was appealed by the member of public.“The appeal has now been referred to the IPCC for a decision.”IPCC had not been able to comment by noon today (Thursday).*An appropriate adult ensures “the rights, welfare and effective participation” of a child or “vulnerable” adult suspect who is being detained or interviewed by police
Month: July 2019
“May and her Tory cohorts have made it very clear they’ll never sign-up to our most basic and essential demand – a comprehensive and permanent customs union protecting the jobs of our people and preventing a hard border with Ireland; never mind alignment with the single market. “As a Brexit deal with the Tories won’t happen, Labour should have a clear message for the last days of the European election campaign – our party will fight tooth and nail for any Tory deal to be put to a confirmatory vote.”The increased pressure from Labour MPs and trade unions on Corbyn to cut short the talks with the government comes as Downing Street has confirmed that the withdrawal agreement bill will be brought to the Commons early next month.After PMQs this afternoon, the Labour leader’s spokesman repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of the party abstaining on the second reading of the bill, which would likely allow it to pass at that stage.If the WAB did pass at its second reading, Labour could then table amendments in a bid to change the Tory Brexit deal so that it met Corbyn’s five demands including customs union membership and single market alignment. “I fear we are paying a heavy price on the doorstep for talks, which the government has used as a fig leaf for their Brexit failings. If May had any decency she would call an immediate general election. “It’s time to bury this charade and fully concentrate on defeating Farage and his divisive, xenophobic ramblings. We can do that with our message of socialist hope in Britain and across our continent. Only Labour can stop the far-right from winning in our country on May 23rd. Manuel Cortes has called on the Labour leadership to end the cross-party Brexit talks, which he describes as “meaningless”.The general secretary of the TSSA union, who has a record of pro-Corbynism but is also a fierce anti-Brexit campaigner, argues that the government will “never” sign up to Labour’s key demand of customs union membership.Cortes has raised concerns about Labour “paying a heavy price” on the doorstep and in the upcoming European elections for engaging in the cross-party negotiations on Brexit, which have so far not been successful.Manuel Cortes said: “We are just over a week away from the European elections and it’s now crystal clear that Theresa May has neither the authority nor desire to reach a Brexit deal with our Labour Party. As a good friend of our party’s leadership, I urge them to please pull the plug on these meaningless talks. Tags:Manuel Cortes /TSSA /brexit talks /
SAINTS 19s remain unbeaten in the Academy Championship after a superb 42-22 win over in Catalans.The Dragons, who also haven’t lost a game this season, opened the scoring in the second minute through Frank Maria but Mike Weldon replied in the 16th after a period of domination from the visitors.Both sides then produced some strong defence until Aaron Smith was sinbinned on 25 minutes.But down to 12 men, Saints hit the front following a well worked short side play.Jonah Cunningham got it away to Jake Spedding, who found Regan Grace who simply turned it back inside for his centre to cross.But Khedimi hit back for the Dragons on 34 minutes – goaled by Mickalezyk – to leave it all tied up at half time.Saints made the crucial breakthrough in the second half with two tries in three minutes to seemingly put them in control.First, Levy Nzoungou went over and then Ricky Bailey continued his good 19s’ form with another try.Billsborough converted both to give Saints a 12 point lead – but back came Catalans with two of their own through Romano and Maria.Crucially, Mickalezyk missed one of the conversions though to give the visitors a slender two point advantage.Saints then grabbed complete control.Spedding notched his second on 66 minutes before Matty Costello went over.And Speds duly completed his treble as the game entered its final stages.Match Summary:Dragons:Tries: Maria (2 & 62), Khedimi (34), Romano (54)Goals: Mickalezyk (3 from 4)Saints:Tries: Weldon (16), Spedding (27, 66 & 76), Nzoungou (50), Bailey (53), Costello (71)Goals: Billsborough (7 from 7)HT: 12-12FT: 42-22Teams:Dragons:F.Flovie; J.Flovie, Izard, Romano, Gambaro; Pallarès, Franck; Belmas, Da Costa, Dezaria, Maria, Mickalezyk, Khedimi.Subs: Tovena, Séguier, V.Albert, Nietche-Coronès.Saints:Bailey; Eccleston, Spedding, Costello, Grace; Billsborough, Fairclough; Nzoungou, Smith, Olmez, Cooper, Morris, Weldon.Subs: Cunningham, Hazard, Eckley, Follin.
Mirroring their male counterparts, the fixture sees Mark Brennan’s side look to progress in the Challenge Cup against the Humbersiders.The game kicks off at 12:45pm – with the men’s cup tie getting underway at 3:30pm.“The Cup is a great competition and it’s one all the squad and staff are looking forward to,” Brennan said. “It’s great for this to be our first game at the stadium as it is a great opportunity to showcase the women’s team to more of the Saints fans.“They’ve been great on our travels so far this season and we’re looking forward to appearing in front of them.“We have another debut this week in Eleanor Dainty. She is a tough young forward who at 16-years-old has been working really hard in training and getting some game time with Leigh Miners on dual reg.“We are looking forward to welcoming her into the team. Alex Simpson has also made the squad after working hard in her rehab from a broken leg.”He continued: “The squad have trained well and have had a long turnaround into this game.“With having no match for a week, we need to ensure we focus on our performance and work hard to ensure we make it into the next round. It’s about momentum for us at the minute we need to work hard and keep building.”Saints 21-woman Squad:Pip Birchall, Leah Burke, Chantelle Crowl, Eleanor Dainty, Faye Gaskin, Lizzie Gladman, Zoe Harris, Charlotte Hill, Tara Jones, Roxy Mura, Rebecca Rotheram, Chloe Richardson, Emily Rudge, Isabelle Rudge, Alex Simpson, Dawn Taylor, Jade Ward, Vicky Whitfield, Katie-May Williams, Naomi Williams, Rachel Yeates.Gates open at 12:30pm and anyone who purchases a ticket for the Men’s fixture can watch the Women’s match for free.Tickets are available online here, by calling into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium or by calling 01744 455052.
They helped paint the Town Centre red … and yellow, blue and many other colours, in a 4k run.Fun runners, serious runners, pram-pushers, walkers – everyone in fact was welcome and it’s safe to say runners had a fantastic time being covered in coloured powder!They also enjoyed a post event colour Zumba session hosted by the Saints Angels.Mark Jennings, Event’s organiser at St Helens Sport Development, said: “It was great to be involved in the organisation and delivery of such a fantastic event. Everyone had a smile on their (colourful) face and it was a great way to generate funds for YMCA St Helens Y sports and Saints Community Foundation, Youth Sports Programmes.“Thank you to everyone who got involved and made the event what it was and a massive thank you to all staff who had a little too much fun throwing the colour. I can’t wait to start organising next year’s event!“The venue was perfect for an exciting new traffic-free 4K route, to Church Square then back to the stadium with colour stations, entertainment and refreshment points throughout.”We would like to thank all of those who took part in the event. There was fantastic effort by all that makes us at Saints really proud.