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Monday, 13 November 2017

Whistleblower to sue police

"A FORMER detective commended for his work on the Baby P investigation is suing police after claiming he was bullied for exposing child abuse and corruption."
 
"John Wedger said he was forced into early retirement from the Metropolitan Police after suffering a breakdown last year brought on by post traumatic stress disorder."
 
"The former detective constable has begun a civil claim against Scotland Yard seeking damages for psychiatric injury arising from work-related stress."

"Mr Wedger said he was bullied after filing an intelligence report alleging that some of his colleagues knew a prostitute was pimping out girls as young as nine but turned a blind eye."

"He claimed he was told by a high-ranking Met officer to keep quiet or be “thrown to the wolves”. "

"Last night father-of-four Mr Wedger said: “I joined the police to serve the community and make a difference. I have wholeheartedly, loyally and relentlessly pursued, arrested and prosecuted those I was tasked to target. "

“Yet for doing so and digging up information the police did not want to deal with, my life was made hell.”

"Mr Wedger, 47, was involved in an investigation into a well known prostitute in 2004 who was suspected of using children. She was linked to organised crime but intelligence from “multiple sources” suggested she also had connections within the local police. "

"The prostitute would ply youngsters, including a 14-year-old girl, with drugs and alcohol and then pimp them out to men in budget hotels near Paddington railway station in west London."
 
"During the course of the operation, Mr Wedger says he found that not only were the police aware the youngsters were being used for sex but he believed at least one officer was supplying the criminal gang with information about the investigation."

"After filing an intelligence report, he was brought in to see a senior officer at Scotland Yard headquarters. "

"Mr Wedger said: “He told me in a firm and formal manner that I had ‘dug too deep’. "

"He then stated that if I mentioned a word of my findings outside of his office then he would make sure I was ‘thrown to the wolves’.
“He said I had a job, mortgage and children to think about. He then asked me if I felt bullied at work. I replied that I was indeed bullied."

"He said there was a fairness at work form which I needed to complete."

"He said that once the form was completed it would be sent back to him. "

"Pointing to a wastepaper bin he told me, ‘That’s where it will end up. I will never betray fellow rank nor will anyone else. Keep your mouth shut.’"

"On his last day with the unit he was called in by the same officer.
He said: “He offered me his hand, I reciprocated, and he said, ‘You must give your word that you will never look into child prostitution ever again.’ The experience left me traumatised and paranoid.” "

"Mr Wedger joined the Child Abuse Investigation Command in the borough of Haringey where he became involved with the investigation in 2007 into baby Peter Connelly’s death. He was later praised and rewarded for the way he handled an interview with Peter’s mother, Tracey. "

"In 2014, following the Jimmy Savile and Rotherham paedophile scandals, Mr Wedger repeated his claims of a cover-up and the bullying he suffered to a detective inspector, who he says ignored them."

"He then approached the Met’s department of professional standards and was interviewed over two days."

"Later that year Mr Wedger was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. "

"Due to his protracted time off sick he was placed on half pay, which plunged him into debt."

"Despite being placed under the care of an NHS mental health team and given counselling, he twice returned to work in 2015, first on the fraud investigation team and then on the road deaths unit."

"However, the return to work made his PTSD even worse.
Mr Wedger, of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was finally given early ill health retirement last month after 23 years of service.
He added: “I’m relieved to be out. I felt at the centre of a huge conspiracy and very much alone.” "

"He is now being supported by his local MP, Sir Mike Penning, who has written to Met chief Cressida Dick for a response to the allegations."

"Sir Mike said: “There are some really serious answers to deal with both on what John says happened and the way he was treated afterwards.” "

"A Met spokesman said: “We have received a civil claim from John Wedger. We are considering the claim and will respond in due course as required by the court procedures.” "
http://www.express.co.uk/…/baby-peter-detective-john-wedger…
 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Robust guidance required for Named Persons

"Guidance for professionals involved in the Scottish Government's named person scheme must be straight-forward and accessible, a Holyrood committee has been told."
 

"MSPs on the Education Committee heard confusion surrounding a code of practice for the scheme could result in teachers and health visitors becoming defensive about sharing information about children."

"One of the main changes put forward in the new Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill is that a duty to share information which could support, promote or safeguard the well-being of a child would become a duty to consider whether to share that information. However there are concerns an accompanying draft code of practice, aimed at helping named persons make decisions on data sharing, lacks clarity. Jackie Niccolls, of the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, told MSPs that staff need `robust guidance` on what information they can share, and reassurance that they are not going to be personally liable if they share or do not share information."

Read more at:
http://www.scotsman.com/news/named-person-scheme-must-have-robust-guidance-holyrood-committee-told-1-4571341

Child abuse panel members were bullied


Published on 11 Aug 2017

"`How can there be an independent inquiry if there's no place to complain?` asks Sharon Evans, CEO of Dot com Children's Foundation, who is one of the two members from the child abuse panel warning that inquiries aren't independent from the government."

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Special series in Sunday Guardian



More from Suranya Aiyar in collaboration with various other campaigners against child protection abuse:

"The most suspect and frustrating of all in child protection cases I hold to be the absence of any requirement of proof, of stated and reasoned cause, or of concrete answers. Allegations are made without any form of documentation, just expressions like `we think` and `our assessment"` The County Committees accept vague, undefined claims and arguments, and do not demand anything in the way of quality control and concrete justification for the CWS’s conclusions. I have lost count of how many times I have read, and heard, that the answer of the CWS to questions is that there has been a `professional assessment based on child expertise`, an undefinable phrase which even the Ministry of Children and Equality says does not give a concrete explanation of anything at all. Or the proposed measures are said to `have been assessed to be in the best interest of the child`. It is never revealed what these `assessments` consist of, what the background for the `assessments` is, and which concrete points constitute the basis of the assessments."

http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/lifestyle/11055-norway-s-child-confiscation-policies-are-disastrous-unjust

Friday, 29 September 2017

Contact centres



When parents lose their children after social work involvement they are often required to maintain their family relationships in `contact centres` but there is little help to make these contacts successful. On the contrary, they are often used to frustrate the wishes of the family.

Freedom of information requests reveal `secret` Named Person meetings


[Leslie Scott]

"A year ago this week, in an effort to address the concerns raised by the UK Supreme Court over the Named Person scheme, education secretary John Swinney announced a three month period of "intense engagement" with practitioners, public agencies, third sector organisations and members of the public, including parents and children and young people, but not those opposed to the scheme.."

"Crucially, the commissioner `accepts that there was a deliberate decision to create meeting summaries instead of formal minutes for the meetings relating to the information sharing provisions of the Named Person policy`. The views of one person who participated in the "intense engagement" regarding the meeting summary are included in the commissioner’s decision... "

"This situation is most unsettling. It is clear that a major government engagement programme was conducted without detailed records being kept of the responses. It is furthermore apparent that the "meeting summaries" omitted some negative comments and thereby altered the content of the only record towards the government position."

"Of even greater concern is the scope of the meetings that are going unrecorded. It seems that vast amounts of government business is being done in secret."

"Specifically, interactions with major charities, agencies and organisations - whom the public believe to be independent of government - are going unrecorded. What does this mean for transparency in government? What does it mean for the freedom of information? What does this mean for citizen oversight?"


Read more at http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/blogs/named-person-legislation-isnt-transparent#mTtPXRHzOuuMZsQ8.99

 

Indian mother says NO


Friday, 22 September 2017

Women are not getting safety warnings about Epilim

"Almost 70% of women surveyed about a powerful epilepsy drug have not received new safety warnings about the dangers of taking it during pregnancy, the BBC has been told exclusively. "

"Sodium valproate, known as Epilim, carries a 10% risk of physical abnormalities in unborn babies. "

"About 20,000 children have been harmed by valproate medicines in the UK since the 1970s."

"The medicines regulator said the drug had been kept under constant review."

"Babies exposed to the drug in the womb have a 40% risk of developing autism, low IQ and learning disabilities."

"The survey of 2,000 women and girls with epilepsy under 50 was commissioned by three charities - Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Action and Young Epilepsy."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41345647