MP’s support for survivors of torture
DOMINIC Grieve, the MP for Beaconsfield, has given his support to rehabilitation for survivors of torture.
Mr Grieve, a barrister who served as Attorney General in the coalition government from 2010 to 2014, is known for his support for human rights, and was speaking at the Freedom from Torture’s 30th anniversary parliamentary reception Tuesday, December 8.
Freedom from Torture is a charity dedicated to providing rehabilitation services for torture survivors, such as psychological therapies.
The aim of the event was to urge MPs to hold the government to account on its promise to resettle Syrian torture survivors in the UK and to raise awareness of the need for the services the charity provides.
MPs from Conservative, Labour and Scottish National parties attended the reception, and heard presentations from torture survivors such as Kolbassia Haousso, a Syrian lawyer who imprisoned and tortured by the Assad regime.
Susan Munroe, Freedom from Torture’s chief executive, said: “We welcomed the government’s decision to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees.
“We must ensure that torture survivors and their families continue to be prioritised, and once they arrive here, have access to the specialist psychotherapeutic services they need to rebuild their lives.
“Our MPs are a vital channel to ensuring that government remains accountable.
“We hope all the MPs who attended will help to ensure the government provides humane and appropriate support for torture survivors whether from Syria or other repressive regimes.” FRONT counter police services are to be reduced according to a top Thames Valley police officer.
Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell issued a statement on December 9 outlining the decisions which have been made so far and the reasoning behind them.
Although front counters are being reduced, the police say that the public will always be within 10 miles of one.
He said: “In times of austerity Thames Valley Police is continually looking at ways to transform how we deliver our services in order to be as effective and efficient as possible, whilst maximising every opportunity to prevent crime, protect the public and bring offenders to justice.
“The way people interact with the police is changing; the public want to contact us at a time and place that’s convenient to them. We have found that more people are engaging with us on the phone, online or through our social media channels rather than visiting their local police station.
“Earlier this year we undertook a review of the varying services provided at front counters, the public usage and the associated costs. Analysis of demand has shown us that fewer people are visiting our front counters, especially overnight, therefore we are revising this provision.
“We are proposing to reduce the number of front counters available to the public across the force, with all front counters now offering the same service. In order to minimise the impact in the main the public will be within 10 miles of a front counter.”
It is also proposed that counters will operate two sets of opening hours according to local need; a seven days a week provision or weekday provision. No staff have been put at risk.
Thames Valley Police will announce finalised front counter plans on December 21.