first_imgA police force already under investigation for disability hate crime failures when dealing with a young autistic man is now facing another complaint after officers ignored his family’s plea to investigate a second brutal attack.Daniel Smith was only finally able to clear his name last month after a six-month ordeal which saw him dragged through the criminal justice system by Northamptonshire police.He had been left bloodied and bruised after being subjected to a vicious hate crime in a local park while visiting his family in Rushden, Northamptonshire, but ended up being prosecuted for assault after Northants police refused to investigate the hate crime and charged him instead after he admitted striking the other man to try and defend himself.Smith spent nine hours in a police cell, without medical treatment for his injuries, even though he told officers he had just been defending himself against “the bullies”.He only managed to clear his name when he was cleared last month of the assault charges by magistrates.His treatment by Northants police is now being investigated by the force’s professional standards department.But just two weeks after he was cleared, Smith was attacked again, this time while out with his family at a bar in Rushden.As they were about to leave the Cheers Bar, a man ran across the room and head-butted him, forcing him against the wall by pulling his hair.His dad, Owen, believes Daniel may have been attacked after making some innocent remarks to the man’s girlfriend, a similar situation that led to the previous attack.He said: “Dan didn’t do anything [to defend himself] because he’s so petrified of being charged by the police again.“Dan just let it happen and put his hands down. He didn’t want to appear violent because obviously the police have messed it up before.“He kept saying, ‘I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything, dad.’ He thinks when he is attacked now that he can’t do anything because the police are against him.”But although several police officers arrived and took Owen Smith’s details, the force twice failed to contact him to take further details, despite promising to do so, while an email to the force also went unanswered.Even though friends who were at the bar on Saturday night have identified the attacker, and the bar’s owner has saved the CCTV footage, neither the Smiths nor any of the other witnesses – including the landlord – have yet been contacted by the police.The owner of the bar has watched the CCTV footage and has told Owen Smith that “the guy flew at Dan like a bolt through a group of people”.Owen Smith said: “People have come forward and have named him but we have heard nothing [from the police]. I am doing all the chasing.“Dan feels let down and keeps messaging me to ask if the police have phoned yet. He asked me, ‘What did I do wrong?’“People are coming to us saying, ‘Why aren’t they doing anything? Why are the police being so slow?’“The guy who owns the bar has contacted me twice. He said, ‘Where are they?’ He’s got the CCTV all ready for us.”In a letter to a senior Northants police officer, Owen Smith said: “There was a bar full of witnesses.“All this evidence is waiting for you on a plate – but the police have not done anything yet.“We are just sick to death of my disabled son being attacked and the police doing nothing about it.“Give my autistic son (and us) some reassurance here. If the Northants police are not going to do anything again, then please inform us why.”After receiving his letter, and being contacted by DNS and the Disability Hate Crime Network, the force told Owen that two officers would be visiting him today (19 May) and would contact local police in Daniel’s home city of Exeter to take a statement from him.Stephen Brookes, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said the two incidents showed that some police forces and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) areas were “lagging behind others in the process of engagement in disability hate crime”.He said the incidents showed the need for all police forces and CPS areas to “reconsider their processes… particularly in terms of timely intervention in cases where disabled people are involved either as victims or even as potential perpetrators”.He added: “We urgently call on national police and CPS training programmes to deliver a more consistent policy than we are currently experiencing.”Superintendent Chris Hillery, local policing commander for Northants police, said in a statement: “I am aware of the incident in Cheers Bar, Rushden, in the early hours of Sunday (15 May) and will ensure an officer makes contact with the victim as soon as possible.“Officers attended the incident at the time. However, a complaint has been received in relation to the service the victim has received since and we are unable to comment on this further at this time.”last_img read more


first_imgLabour’s shadow chancellor has called for disabled people themselves to be given the job of designing the solution to the social care funding crisis.John McDonnell was speaking to Disability News Service (DNS) as activists from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were protesting about cuts to social care, in parliament’s central lobby yesterday (Wednesday).He said there were two strands to finding a solution to the social care crisis: “One is more money, and two is a system that is designed by disabled people themselves.”Both he and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supported the actions of the activists who protested in the heart of parliament, within earshot of the main Commons chamber, while there was also support from Green party co-leaders Caroline Lucas MP and Jonathan Bartley.DPAC had arranged the lobby of parliament – as part of its week of action – so activists could raise concerns with their MPs about cuts to independent living support, with campaigners coming from as far as north Wales to take part.The protest came two years after DPAC came close to forcing their way into the main debating chamber of the House of Commons during prime minister’s questions, in a last-ditch protest against the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June 2015.Yesterday’s lobby took place as Theresa May was taking part in the last prime minister’s questions before the summer recess, but police officers barred the path of activists – including several affected by the government’s decision to close ILF – to prevent them approaching the Commons chamber.Instead (pictured), they chanted from the central lobby, calling for May to resign, shouting “no justice, no peace” and “Tories out”, and warning that “care cuts kill”.McDonnell, a long-standing supporter of disabled people’s right to independent living, told DNS, just yards from the protest: “DPAC have been consistently campaigning to expose what is going on.“They want to bring their voice to parliament on a regular basis to make sure their MPs are aware just how much people are suffering.”He said the protest was “exactly what people have the right to do, to demonstrate, to make sure MPs are aware what they are experiencing, what disabled people are experiencing”.He said it “was perfectly justifiable in the light of what is happening, with people’s suffering as a result of austerity”.McDonnell said that any solution to the social care crisis had to come from disabled people themselves.He said: “Nothing for us without us is a fundamental principle of this. Measures, certainly over the last seven years, have been imposed on disabled people by central government without any real understanding of what people’s life experiences are like.“Every individual MP must have experienced what has happened in recent years, with the withdrawal of care and the withdrawal of benefits, which has plunged people into absolute desperate poverty, and we know how many people have lost their lives as a result as well.“The whole point now is of course we need more funding but at the same time we need a system that is designed by disabled people, because they know best [how that should be done].”He added: “We’re already in crisis, individual disabled people are already in crisis. We know what the UN has said about what the British government has done, we know what communities right across this country are saying.“This government has got to act, and if they won’t act they should stand down from power and allow Labour to come to power to tackle this.”Corbyn also spoke to DNS and offered his support for the protest.He said that cuts to social care had led to many disabled people “losing the possibility of a genuinely independent life and genuinely supportive accommodation”, which he had seen in his own and other constituencies.He said this was why Labour had said during the general election campaign that it would put more money into social care.He said: “Social care we did raise a great deal in the general election.“It often gets assumed that all social care needs are for older, dependent people.“Of course, many are, but there are also those with disabilities or often quite young people with very special needs that need social care, of whom some obviously are here today.“I do fully understand that and that is why we made the points we did during the election campaign.”Corbyn also backed the right of disabled activists to protest in the heart of parliament, saying that “everyone has a right to protest”.McDonnell had earlier liaised with Commons security staff after a DPAC activist had become distressed when he was prevented from accessing parliament because he was wearing a tee shirt which raised awareness about invisible impairments.After McDonnell’s intervention, he and another activist, who was wearing a DPAC tee shirt, were allowed into parliament.DPAC is calling for “urgent action” to tackle the social care funding crisis, and for the government to ensure that the green paper and consultation promised by May will address issues such as upholding disabled people’s right to independent living; protecting the futures of disabled younger people; ensuring the necessary infrastructure to support the use of personal assistants; and enabling councils to fulfil their obligations under the Care Act 2014.DPAC said that “most basic choices such as when to get up, go to bed or use the toilet, when and what to eat, and the choice to leave the house are no longer in the hands of disabled people but subject to local authority budget allocations which are becoming ever more restricted”.Activists who took part in the lobby told DNS why they wanted to speak to their MPs about independent living.Disability activist Nathan Lee Davies travelled from Wrexham, north Wales, to attend the lobby and put pressure on Theresa May to fulfil her promise to review social care funding.He said: “We just want disabled people to be assured of independent living in the future, and young disabled people to have the chance to live their lives.“It is looking very, very bleak at the moment.”Several campaigners from Camden wanted to raise their concerns about the council’s plans to increase charges for council-funded social care in the north London borough, while at the same time spending £44 million renovating its old town hall building.One carer, who has an adult disabled son, said the imposition of new charges of more than £30 a week on his care meant he might not be able to afford the therapies and supplements he needed to stay healthy.She said: “When I die, what the heck is going to happen? Will he get so little money that he can’t get his supplements and therapies and will continue being ill?”Claire Glasman, from the disabled women’s organisation WinVisible, said: “We are very worried that other boroughs are going to use Camden as an excuse to hike up their charges as well.”She said she had heard from a carers group in another London borough that the council had quoted Camden’s actions as a reason for increasing charges.Glasman also said that one disabled woman from Camden had given up her council-funded support because it imposed charges on her, having warned the local authority that that was what she would do.Now she has had to ask WinVisible to find help with reading her letters and visiting the doctor.Glasman said this was quite a common problem, and added: “They want people to be self-financing and self-managing, which is their jargon for ‘get on with it yourself’.”Sue Elsegood, from Greenwich, said she wanted to talk to her MP about a concern faced by disabled people who previously received support from the Independent Living Fund and were now receiving personal health budgets.She said that she and other disabled people in such situations were now being told that they cannot receive funding to pay for their own PAs when they are admitted to hospital.She said a friend who was in hospital had lost her one-to-one PA support, and had to rely on assistance from nursing staff. This also meant that her PAs were not being paid while she was in hospital.Elsegood said: “I am terrified at the prospect of going into hospital. It doesn’t make any logical sense because it will save money if people recover more quickly in hospital, and it also supports the hospital staff.“It would be impossible for someone who has 24-hour support at home to have their daily needs and general welfare met [in hospital].”Elsegood said she had not been warned about the policy before she was transferred to a personal health budget.She said some wards had only one member of nursing staff to seven patients, whereas she and other former ILF-users might require one-to-one support.She said she was also at the lobby to add her backing to protests against the austerity cuts, because many disabled people had had their social care packages cut and “are really struggling”.Roger Lewis, from DPAC, said the government was “redefining disabled people as outsiders” and “a burden” and “not economically viable” through its cuts to social care, and was suggesting they were entitled only to the “lowest acceptable level of care”.He said the cuts to social care had most affected local authorities that were already “hit hardest” by government cuts and had the highest levels of deprivation and social inequality.And he called on the government to reopen the Independent Living Fund which “kept people out of residential care and allowed then to live in their communities equally”.He said he was most concerned by the “reintroduction of residential living” as an acceptable form of support and one that was part of a private market.He said the years of cuts had “pushed us back 30 years” on independent living.last_img read more


first_imgPolice have identified the two men killed in two separate shootings on New Year’s Day in the Mission and the Bayview districts as 21-year-old Ernesto Rosales and 35-year-old Mitchell Smith, respectively.Rosales, a San Francisco resident, was shot in the chest on 26th and Shotwell streets around 2:13 a.m. on January 1. Officers responded to reports of a shooting victim found, and though the victim was transported to the hospital, he later succumbed to his injuries.Smith, also of San Francisco, was the victim of another fatal shooting that took place later in the morning in the Bayview, though police reported there is no indication that the incidents were related, or that either of them were gang-related.No suspect descriptions are yet available. The incident is also the second homicide in the neighborhood in three days. Four people were killed in the district in December alone. 0%center_img Tags: crimes • Homicide Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more


first_img 0% Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.Things are changing in the local housing scene. Rents are slowing. Foreign investment in housing as a way to park money may be slowing. Condo prices may be slipping. Unfortunately, as Curbed and everyone looking for an apartment right now has observed, the rent is still too damn high. The political battle about how to grapple with this shows no signs of cooling off. In fact, I would say it’s rather the opposite – but the war cries continue to be largely the same. Here’s the latest. YIMBYs (Yes In My Back Yard supporters, who advocate for the construction of more housing above all else, and fast) gathered in Oakland recently for a big conference to talk about how to push for more units coming online faster. Happily, as Curbed chronicles in this very illuminating writeup of the event, build-baby-build advocates did also talk about making housing more equitable. Part of that means pushing for density in the city’s least dense areas. Building big new developments in those areas, however, is notoriously difficult – as evidenced, for example, by a developer pulling out of a huge project in the Inner Sunset partway through the entitlement process.You may also recall that BARF (Bay Area Renter’s Federation) champion Sonja Trauss, apparently not content with the already staggering amount of time she spends at City Hall, is running for the District 6 Supervisor seat — currently held by Jane Kim.Meanwhile, anti-gentrification activists and nonprofits are pushing all sorts of legislative and planning changes in attempts to prioritize affordable housing and blue-collar businesses, like implementing the Mission Area Plan 2020. Or trying to push for stricter vacancy controls, which Aaron Peskin suggested recently. Or enacting even stricter eviction controls, as tenant advocates recently celebrated.They are also busily penning op-eds in the Examiner, the most recent of which again points out that San Francisco has outpaced its goal for market-rate housing construction but lags far behind on its goal of below-market-rate housing construction.Caught in the middle of these advocacy movements is the weird overlap of common goals but disagreement about how to achieve them, peppered with accusations of malice on both sides. It will be interesting to see if there can be any reaching across the aisle between these factions as, maybe, hopefully, market pressures ease. center_img Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more


first_imgCHRIS Flannery bagged a hat-trick as Saints beat Wakefield to march into the top five.The Australian took his tally in the Red Vee to 40 to see his charges off to a 38-12 victory – their seventh win in eight.Saints comfortably led 22-6 at half time as they got the best of a scrappy match.Sia Soliola scored twice as he latched onto breaks whilst Jonny Lomax led well from half-back.Wakefield contributed a lot of pressure on the line, but only had a Dean Collis try to show for their endeavours.Flannery brought up his hat-trick early in the second half before Tommy Makinson profited from great Michael Shenton work.James Roby romped home from 90 yards but Wakefield added a late consolation through Peter Fox.With Anthony Laffranchi in the side Saints began the match on the front foot but couldn’t find a way to unlock the Wildcats’ defence.Yet on six minutes, a simple Paul Wellens’ break saw Chris Flannery get the scoreboard rolling.Jonny Lomax converted but the lead was short-lived as Dean Collis latched on to a nice kick.Paul Sykes levelling it up.A bulldozing run from Sia Soliola put Saints ahead on 24 minutes and then he finished off a nice break to fly over from 40 yards.Roby providing the wonder pass.And just before the break Jonny Lomax nipped over close in, showing great strength to put down under pressure.In the second half a wonderful chip through by Lomax saw Flannery scampering in for his second before he took on the line on the fifth to squeeze over.On 55 minutes a sweeping move saw Makinson clock his third of the season, before James Roby intercepted and went the full length of the field.Richie Mathers fed Peter Fox for a consolation – Sykes goaling off the touchline – but it was always going to be Saints’ night.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Flannery (3), Soliola (2), Lomax, Makinson, RobyGoals: Lomax (3 from 8)Wildcats:Tries: Collis, FoxGoals: Sykes (2 from 2)Penalties:Saints: 7Wildcats: 15HT: 22-6FT: 38-12REF: Thierry AlibertATT: 13177Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 16. Paul Clough, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 15. Mark Flanagan.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 19. Andrew Dixon, 25. Carl Forster, 28. Joe Greenwood.Wildcats:1. Richard Mathers; 2. Peter Fox, 3. Dean Collis, 34. Paul Sykes, 5. Ben Cockayne; 21. Matt Wildie, 20. Tim Smith, 10. Andy Raleigh, 9. Andy Ellis, 15. Kyle Amor, 19. Frankie Mariano, 17. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook.Subs: 4. Vince Mellars, 7. Kyle Wood, 14. Paul Aiton, 25. Matt James.last_img read more


first_img While the hourly rate of $2.50 remains the same, the daily rate goes up from $15 to $17 this year.The hours paid parking is enforced will be extended by an hour.In most lots paid parking will end at 8 p.m. At meters it will end at 7 p.m.Related Article: Coastal towns to get funding to improve beach, waterfront accessAlso, you can’t park for free on Causeway Drive anymore unless you are a Wrightsville Beach resident.Non-residents must pay by phone to park there. WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The season of free parking at Wrightsville Beach is coming to an end.On Thursday, paid parking returns with some changes.- Advertisement – last_img


first_img(Photo: MGN Online) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — According to Wilmington Police, a man was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center Saturday after he was shot.Police responded to shots fired at the 200 block of South 13th Street around 1:30 p.m.- Advertisement – WPD spokesperson Jennifer Dandron said when police arrived on the scene they found a 34-year-old man with a single gun shot wound.Dandron said the victim was taken to the hospital and has non-life threatening injuries. WPD is still investing the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call WPD or use Text-a-Tip.last_img


first_imgSOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) – City leaders in Southport spending more money to investigate the actions of the police department.The Chief and second in command are no longer being paid by the city according to Mayor Jerry Dove. Now a new internal audit and inevitable invoices from the Sheriff’s Office will bring new costs to the city.- Advertisement – “We are working hard to put our police department back together,” said Mayor Jerry Dove.They’re definitely paying for it. We told you last week Southport is still paying their officers roughly $1,200 a day. Now the city is setting aside money, hiring Charlotte based auditor ISS to do an internal investigation of the police department.“I didn’t hear a single person mention how much that’s going to cost,” said resident Jason Robbins addressing the firm hiring in front of the board of alderman.Related Article: Businesses, residents brace for impending bridge closureThe city manager providing me those numbers.“Basically a $150 an hour it could cost up to $36,000,” said city manager Bruce Oakley. “We’re hoping that as they get here that it will be less than what they need to work into and that it’ll be a lot less, we hope.”Bruce Oakley adding that the firm will begin work by the beginning of next week.That’s when another cost issue arises for the city. In the two weeks since police Chief Gary Smith and LT. Michael Simmons were arrested, the county Sheriff’s Office has enforced the law in the city.“They can’t continue to do it for free,” said Oakley addressing the crowd at the community center.The city manager says the sheriff’s office will request $1,700 a day possibly as soon as Monday.“That’s over $50,000 a month if ISS takes 60 days,” said Robbins who went on to talk about the concerns of the city’s planned work at the Yacht marina.And that total does not include the continued costs of paying for police officers on non disciplinary leave. Oakley said all these costs, the firm and sheriff’s office, will be covered by reserve funds.“We’re saving some money right now on some salaries, we are down a few employees, so there is a lot of money in salaries right now that can off set,” said Oakley.last_img read more


first_imgMYRTLE BEACH, SC (WWAY) — The Wings Over Myrtle Beach Airshow will not take flight next year.According to a post on the event’s Facebook page, Horry County and airport officials told the show’s promoter in a letter last week that they would not be able to approve the show for next year.- Advertisement – “As the result of airfield constraints, anticipated construction projects, and other ongoing issues, please be advised that Horry County cannot consent to any airshow renewal options as contemplated in that Agreement for professional Services between Horry County and JLC Airshow Management, LLC,” the letter read, according to the post.Next year’s show was scheduled for May 4-5. The US Air Force Thunderbirds were scheduled to appear.The event debuted last year with the famed Blue Angels.last_img read more


first_img Now just two days later, US 17 is now passable by car.There is still some water in medians, but the roads are clear and open to drivers. This photo taken on September 17 shows the extent of some of the flooding on area roads.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —  After Hurricane Florence completely flooded some roads in our area, some are beginning to dry up.On Monday we reported the extent of some of the flooding in Brunswick County, which virtually turned certain areas into islands.- Advertisement – last_img