MP’s sup­port for sur­vivors of tor­ture

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.

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