Thousands of children ‘put in harm’s way by public institutions’

Some of England’s most vulnerable children are being needlessly put in harm’s way because their safety and wellbeing is ignored whilst the Government is focused on Brexit. So says State of Children’s Rights 2017, a new report from the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, which has found that the Government is not doing enough to stop young children being:

  • subjected to the use of Tasers and spit-hoods by the police or locked up alone in police cells for days on end
  • forced to spend months living in squalid and overcrowded homeless accommodation that has not been vetted to make sure it is a safe place for children
  • denied timely access to desperately-needed local mental health care when they reach emotional crisis point

The charity says thousands of England’s most vulnerable children are experiencing dangerous situations whilst political leaders look the other way.

Louise King, Director of the Children’s Rights Alliance says, “Due to Brexit, the political focus is dominated by trade, the economy and our negotiations with the EU. Meanwhile little or no attention is being paid to some of the huge danger experienced by struggling families and ill-protected children who are being failed by our public institutions. Government should ensure that Ministers have a legal obligation to consider how their decisions will affect children.”

The report finds that whilst the number of under-18s being arrested has dropped by more than half in the last six years, the use of hooding, Tasers, stop-and-searches and police-cell detentions, on children under 18 in England is increasing sharply.

  • Tasers are still being used on hundreds of children in England with at least 519 uses in 2016 (an increase of 25 per cent from 2013). Last year, Tasers were discharged or fired in 42 of these uses and the youngest child fired on with a Taser was just twelve years old. (The UN Committee against Torture has said the use of Tasers on children should be banned.)
  • Twenty out of the 40 police forces in England currently use spit-hoods. Fifteen forces provided data indicating that spit-hood use on children is rising. They were used on at least 68 children in the first nine months of 2017 – including a ten-year-old boy – compared to at least 27 in 2016 and twelve in 2015.  Risk assessments drawn up by police forces reference the dangers of ‘breathing restriction and asphyxia’ posed to people wearing them. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has investigated the deaths of several adults following the use of spit hoods.
  • Thirty-three police forces in England admitted that between them they held, at least 22,408 children, “ including more than forty 10 and 11 year-olds overnight in police cells during the course of 2016. One child was detained for nearly five days. More than a third (36 per cent) of children, detained overnight in police cells were children from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. In London BAME children accounted for nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of the 8,275 children detained overnight.

The study documents a rise in the number of children in homeless families whose health and wellbeing is put at risk by living in temporary accommodation that has frequently not been inspected and certificated as safe places for young children to reside.

  • Local authorities are not fulfilling their safeguarding duties and inspections are being carried out infrequently. Almost a third of 200+ local authorities, that responded to the charity’s FOI requests, do not have a safeguarding policy that applies when transferring children from local authority accommodation to private rental temporary accommodation. Over half said they did not have one for transferring children to local authority temporary accommodation or B&Bs.
  • Meanwhile there has been a 60 per cent increase in the number of families with children living in temporary homeless accommodation since 2010. And by the end of June this year 2,710 families with dependent or expected children were living in B&B accommodation, nearly four times more than in 2010 (740). Over a third of families (1,200) were living there for more than six weeks, which is against the law.

Eighteen year-old Fowzia, who lived in a B&B for six months said, “The B&B was horrible. There were no cooking facilities or fridge so we had no choice but to buy fast food and my mum was getting very little benefits. We had to all live in two small rooms. It was really squashed and my disabled brother had to share a bed with my mum. It was cold and dirty and when we complained, no one helped us or ever came to inspect it. At one point, someone broke into our room which scared us all.”

The charity’s analysis revealed that despite the significant ongoing investment in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) this increased funding is still not reaching the frontline. Access and waiting times continue to be a postcode lottery whilst rates of suicide and self-harm amongst children have increased at alarming rates.

  • In 2016, nearly three per cent of 5-17 year olds (200,000 children) received specialist mental health treatment.
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found CAHMS waiting times of between 35 days to 18 months in different areas.
  • Seven out of 10 children with severe mental health problems were admitted to hospitals outside of their local areas in 2016- 2017, an increase of 57 per cent from the previous year placing them far away from their family, friends and local services at a time when they are the most vulnerable.
  • Over a quarter of children referred to specialist mental health services are not accepted for treatment, most often because they do not meet the eligibility criteria for specialist CAMHS.

Read State of Children’s Rights in England 2017 here

 

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Military test centre for frikkin’ laser cannon opens in Hampshire

UK arms giant QinetiQ has opened a new ‘centre of excellence’ for the development and testing of cutting-edge laser cannon. The new facility, named Dragonworks, will be an operational playground for lasers designed for the military.

 

Among other things, the facility in Farnborough, Hampshire boasts a dedicated clean room for assembling laser weaponry, as well as “the UK’s only Reflective Hazard Assessment Tool” (RHAT), designed to examine how laser energy is reflected from different surfaces.

The first key project to be undertaken at Dragonworks will be the assembly and testing of the Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) currently being developed by the UK’s Dragonfire consortium. Components are set to arrive in early 2018, when QinetiQ will begin building the weapon’s laser source, the company said on its website.

Testing of the prototype will begin on UK ranges in 2018, climaxing in a major demonstration in 2019, the British government said in September. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dragonfire-laser-directed-energy-weapons
Once the characteristics of the laser have been figured out, the LDEW is to be installed on a warship, The Register reported.

Peter Cooper, the Project Technical Authority in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), which manages the Dragonfire contract on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence, said that the new facility in Farnborough is “a key step in delivering the Dragonfire project and reflects the continuing UK MOD investment, supported and enabled by industry funding, amounting to tens of millions of pounds in UK industrial skills and capabilities and underpinning UK prosperity.”

In September of last year, the British government said that a £30 million ($40 million) deal for a new laser, which could “transform weapons technology of the future and the development of the UK’s first laser weapon,” had been finalized. Financial support comes from the government’s new £800 million ($1 billion) Innovation Fund, which is also sponsoring research into “cutting edge anti-missile systems, tiny insect-inspired surveillance drones, quantum gravitational detectors, advanced protective materials, and airborne threat-targeting laser weapons.”

It is hoped that a novel laser weapon could “complement or replace existing weapons systems with the potential for significant benefits.”Such a weapon could be employed to protect the UK’s land and maritime forces, including ships, from such threats as “missiles or soldiers from enemy mortars,” according to a government statement.

STRANGER THINGS HAPPENED From mind control, brainwashing and monsters — theories claim Stranger Things happened in REAL LIFE in a secret government project

MONTAUK BOYS & GIRLS, MONARCH PROGRAMMING: SPINE-chilling stories about the sinister goings-on at Camp Hero air force base in Montauk have long been the stuff of local legend.

Since the Seventies, tall tales have surrounded the derelict facility in Long Island, New York.

 Netflix sci-fi hit Stranger Things strikes a similarity to the Montauk Project

Most concern the US Government’s top secret Montauk Project — which, so the stories go, involved kidnapped kids, mind-control experiments, time travel, psychic brainwashing, aliens and a petrifying, other-worldly beast.

If this all sounds familiar to fans of Emmy-winning Netflix sci-fi hit NETFLIX Stranger Things that’s because the experiments which allegedly took place in Montauk are an inspiration for the show.

Stranger Things, which stars Winona Ryder, 45, and returns for a second series on October 27, was originally titled Montauk.

But creators the Duffer brothers, Matt and Ross, ditched that name and transferred the setting to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. They declined to explain why.

The Camp Hero base in Montauk was allegedly the home of the sinister project

The Camp Hero base in Montauk was allegedly the home of the sinister project

 

Series one centred on a missing boy trapped in another dimension, a powerfully psychic girl called Eleven who escapes from a secret Government research lab, and dark experiments which unleash a terrifying monster that stalks the town.

It sounds far-fetched but has chilling echoes of real-life reports surrounding the Montauk Project.

Preston Nichols, from Long Island, claims he was an electrical engineer in Montauk in the early Eighties.

He said: “I found myself on this screwball project which became known as the Montauk Project.

“We began to look at how you could interface minds with computer systems, the idea being you could fly a fighter plane by pure thought.

“But it soon evolved into developing a mind-control device. They wanted to flip a switch and have everyone respond to a computer programme.

“While they never found a signal that worked universally, they were able to target individuals very well.

“Later it was discovered that if the individual whose mind was powering the machine could think of other time periods, this machine could generate a vortex there — essentially a time machine.”

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMM! TIME TRAVELERS OF MONTAUK PROJECT & THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT!

It is claimed the Montauk Project grew out of the Philadelphia Experiment in 1943, which allegedly was to make the US Navy Destroyer USS Eldridge invisible to German radar.

But conspiracy theorists say the ship temporarily vanished into a different dimension or time, along with its crew, who later reportedly suffered psychologically damaging effects.

Afterwards, it is claimed, experiments into the uses of electromagnetic forces continued at the Government’s energy lab Brookhaven, in Long Island.

In his 1992 book, Montauk Project: Experiments In Time, Preston claims that Congress became wary of developing mind-control techniques and shut down the research. Yet the military took up the baton and allowed scientists to shift their sensitive work to the then defunct Camp Hero.

 Preston Nicholas claims tests were made on locals to alter their behaviour

Preston Nicholas claims tests were made on locals to alter their behaviour

Preston said: “What better place to disguise a black-ops, secret project than a disused base at the tip of a peninsula which had always been disguised as a fishing village.”

Crucially, the former base had an obsolete Sage radar tower, which broadcast the frequency needed to affect human consciousness.

Preston claims programmes to alter behaviour were tested on the locals.

He told how two-hour crime waves would be triggered or teenagers were prompted to congregate. Other signals caused animals to charge into the town, or shut down car electronics.

 The Duffer brothers originally named their hit Netflix show Montauk

The Duffer brothers originally named their hit Netflix show Montauk

Most sinister of the experiments was the Montauk Chair — essentially a mind-reading device. Preston says he operated it, often working with a psychic called Duncan Cameron.

He said: “The computer would produce a digital representation of what the person in the chair was thinking about.”

He claimed the subject could think of a solid object and the transmitter would make it appear on the base from the ether, sometimes solid and at other times transparent.

Another experiment, the Seeing Eye, involved Duncan clutching a lock of someone’s hair or a personal belonging, concentrating on them and claiming to see through their eyes, hear through their ears and feel through their body.

 Preston Nichols said they were able to create portals in time, like the one Eleven enters in the sci-fi hit show

Preston Nichols said they were able to create portals in time, like the one Eleven enters in the sci-fi hit show

 Paul Monte, 59, grew up in the Montauk area and says there was once an unidentified flying object above Camp Hero

Paul Monte, 59, grew up in the Montauk area and says there was once an unidentified flying object above Camp Hero

A remarkably similar experiment is performed on the kidnapped girl Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, in Stranger Things.

Preston said of Duncan’s powerful abilities: “He could actually see through other people, anywhere on the planet.”

Preston claims these mind-bending feats eventually led to the ability to create portals in time and to journey to other eras and other dimensions — as well as to Mars.

He wrote: “Those who travelled through the vortex described it as a peculiar spiral tunnel that was lit all the way down.

 Preston Nichols claims psychic Duncan Montauk was able to unleash a monster through the portals they created

Preston Nichols claims psychic Duncan Montauk was able to unleash a monster through the portals they created

“As one started to walk down, he would suddenly be pulled through it. It propelled one out the other end, usually in another place.”

He added: “I was considered too valuable to the technical operation and was not allowed to travel through the portal.”

Preston claims the project was halted when Duncan unleashed a monster through the machine — again, much like Eleven does.

He wrote: “Duncan let loose a monster from his subconscious. And the transmitter actually portrayed a hairy monster. It was big, hairy and nasty . . . it showed up somewhere on the base. It would eat everything it could find. And it smashed everything in sight.”

 Camp Hero has been the home of many urban legends for the locals

Camp Hero has been the home of many urban legends for the locals

Preston claims he was then ordered to smash the equipment that powered the Montauk Chair, in an attempt to destroy the beast.

Employees were subsequently brainwashed to forget what they had experienced there and, in 1984, the lower levels of the base were filled in with cement.

Over time Preston claims he was able to reclaim his repressed memories and write about what happened. Others have since come forward and talked about their part in the weird experiments.

Stewart Swerdlow, 50, who lives in Michigan, has long claimed he was one of the “Montauk Boys” who were allegedly snatched and used in mind-control tests.

 

 In recent years, many people have come forward and said they were snatched and put through mind-control experiments

In recent years, many people have come forward and said they were snatched and put through mind-control experiments

Stewart said: “When the experiments started they’d target ‘expendable’ boys like orphans, runaways or the children of drug addicts. The kind of kids no one would really come looking for.”

Others have talked of how up to 100,000 boys were subjected to horrific abuse at Montauk over a 13-year period.

Stewart said: “The aim was to fracture your mind so they could programme you . . . they would change the temperature from very hot to very cold, starve you then over-feed you.

“I remember being beaten with a wooden pole. And they loved to hold your head underwater until you nearly drowned. That was effective — it makes a person likely to listen to and obey their ‘rescuer’.

 Stewart Swerdlow, who said he was experimented on at Montauk, claims they often kidnapped orphans and runaways

Stewart Swerdlow, who said he was experimented on at Montauk, claims they often kidnapped orphans and runaways

“They also used LSD to put our brains into an altered state.”

Stewart, who claims that boys died during the project, also alleges that he witnessed sexual abuse used as a torture method.

Perhaps the most outlandish of his claims is that these boys were sent down the time-travel tunnels.

Stewart, who is now a paranormal researcher, said: “I went to Mars and back to Biblical times.

 Mind control programmes were developed in the 1950's by the CIA but were halted over ethical concerns

Mind control programmes were developed in the 1950’s by the CIA but were halted over ethical concerns

“In the early days, as they were perfecting the co-ordinates, a lot of boys were simply lost. They used other expendable people like homeless people. I still have nightmares about it today. I wasn’t there when the Montauk Chair was shut off but I felt it, like I had suddenly been unplugged from electricity.”

Given that Stewart, Preston and others also claim beings from other planets took part in the research, it is easy to see why the Montauk tales developed such a cult following among paranormal enthusiasts.

No paper-trail has ever been established showing who funded the supposed experiments at Montauk.

In 2015, filmmaker Christopher Garetano, 40, made the documentary the Montauk Chronicles.

 In Stranger Things, Eleven is sent into a sensory deprivation tank to communicate with a monster

In Stranger Things, Eleven is sent into a sensory deprivation tank to communicate with a monster

He told said: “I grew up in New York but spent my summers in Montauk. There were always stories of paranormal mysteries . . . I found them funny and didn’t believe them.

“After film school I had the idea to make a film and interview some of these men myself.

“There have been some extraordinary claims made, but the more I have researched the more I’ve begun to believe it is not so ludicrous.

“We know there was military interest in paranormal phenomena. Project Stargate, which began in 1978 and was later declassified, looked at whether psychics could perform ‘remote viewing’ and ‘see’ events from great distances.”

 Stranger Things focuses on dark experiments which unleashes a horrifying monster

Stranger Things focuses on dark experiments which unleashes a horrifying monster

Referring to the CIA’s mind control programme, begun in 1953 and halted in 1973, he added: “MKUltra used vulnerable people, like prisoners. So why is it so far-fetched that orphans or runaway boys would be targeted? They seem exactly the sort of subjects who would be easy to take. And Montauk would be the ideal facility, in the winter it is like a ghost town.”

Montauk has not been able to shake its reputation for mysteries.

 The second series of Stranger Things returns on October 27

The second series of Stranger Things returns on October 27

Paul Monte, 59, who is President of the local Chamber of Commerce, said: “Locals don’t mind the stories, we all talk about them. I even had my own encounter with an unexplained flying object in the sky over Camp Hero many years ago.

“No doubt stories have been embellished, but I don’t doubt that things went on there in the Cold War years. Even today, the base is patrolled and watched . . .

“They obviously don’t want people in there even now.”

Stranger Things star leaves talent agency after sexual assault allegations against agent

Stranger Things star leaves talent agency after sexual assault allegations against agent

Allegations were made against his former agent Tyler Grasham.

Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard has left talent agency APA after sexual assault against his former agent Tyler Grasham came to light.

14 year old Wolfhard plays Mike Wheeler on the hit Netflix show.

As reported by E Online, earlier this week former child actor Blaise Godbe Lipman posted the allegations against the agent on Facebook. In the post Lipman alleged that ten years ago Grasham  gave him alcohol while underage, and sexually assaulted him. A second man, editor Lucas Ozarowski, has also made allegations against the agent.

This comes a fortnight after The New York Times published multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein.

Deadline reports that according to a source, the allegations are “the reason” for Wolfhard’s departure.

Wolfhard has been widely praised for the move.

Can You Point Out North Korea On A Map Without Picking Canada Instead?

America, please don’t bomb Canada.

With the United States and North Korea engaged in a war of words that could possibly turn into a real war (with nukes), it’s probably not great that so many Americans can’t point to North Korea on a map.

The current tensions have been inflamed by tough words from both sides as North Korea threatens to shoot a missile into the waters around the American territory of Guam.

With all the sabre-rattling going on, a new poll suggests that almost two-thirds of Americans view the pariah state as a “very serious threat.”

Jimmy Kimmel hit the streets of Los Angeles to ask average Americans if they could find North Korea on a map. The results were not encouraging.

 

Most people interviewed said the US should consider taking military action against North Korea. Except they didn’t necessarily know where that was

People pointed to Europe.

The Middle East.

Or somewhere around Central Asia.

But way too many people thought North Korea might be located in Canada.

Nope!

America, please don’t bomb us.

Don't bomb anyone, if you can help it. But especially don't bomb Canada. Please.

Don’t bomb anyone, if you can help it. But especially don’t bomb Canada. Please.

So here’s the real test. Can you find North Korea on the map?

  • Where is North Korea?

 

Bomb shelter sales boosted by North Korea threat

Businesses across the United States — and Japan — are reporting an increase in sales of bomb shelters and other survival items as rhetoric over nuclear weapons ramps up.

North Korea: Circled below

 

Rashan Charles ‘police death’: Tensions run high in Dalston as protesters block Kingsland Road

Tensions are running high in Dalston as protesters angry about the death of Rashan Charles hours after he was tackled by police have blocked off Kingsland Road with mattresses, wheelie bins, rubbish bags and broken tables.

About 150 adults and children have assembled outside the Yours Locally shop near the junction with Middleton Road, where the 20-year-old father was chased and forced to the ground in the early hours of Saturday – hours before he died.

Rashan Charles, 20, who died after being restrained by police

Footage circulating on social media, believed to be taken from the CCTV in the shop, shows Mr Charles struggling in an officer’s grip before apparently being pushed to the ground, held down by a member of the public, and handcuffed over the course of two minutes.

dalston1.jpg

Police blocked off the A10 to traffic at about 4pm when some protesters began stopping vehicles from getting past.

Protesters  could be seen pushing wheelie bins from the estate nearby into Middleton Road, and others became irate with motorists who tried to drive past.

A helicopter is now circling overhead and buses have been diverted.

Mr Charles died as he was being restrained by an officer after entering a shop, police are being investigated.

The images then show him being grabbed by the officer who wrestles him to the floor, with the pair struggling for at least a minute, He died at the Royal London Hospital soon after.

Marcia Rigg reacts to the death of Rashan Charles

Witnesses have said they saw the group of people with their “faces covered” making a barrier across the road out of discarded bin bags full of rubbish, traffic cones and a wheelie bin.

“It looks like something serious could be happening,” one passer-by said. “A lot of people  moving towards the area where this barrier has been built.”

Boys in masks and hoods block Middleton Road with a wheelie bin. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

On Monday evening, angry crowds marched from the shop to Stoke Newington police station – where Rashan’s father called for peace – and back again.

The crowd became angry and started shouting and throwing glass bottles at eight policemen who turned up on motorbikes, and some set fire to bins outside the police station later in the night.

Update: 

There were confrontations earlier in the evening which have now spilled over into further disorder.

Demonstrators staging a protest over the death of Rashan Charles have thrown fireworks and bottles at police officers in Hackney, east London.

Crowds on Kingsland Road, Dalston, also constructed makeshift road blocks and set them on fire.

Photos from the scene showed police officers in riot gear with batons and shields on the street.

There were also reports of police horses heading towards the scene.

fire-dalston.jpg

Protesters take to the streets of Dalston and clash with police following the death of Rashan Charles whilst being arrested by police

Bins were set alight in the streets of Dalston, east London

Pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists are being told not to travel through the barricade.

“The police line is being slowly pushed back by the protesters. There’s lots of very angry people.”

Swansea 999 operator jailed over child abuse images

A 999 call handler downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children after learning about the dark web on a police training course.

Ian Curtis, 47, of Swansea, who worked for South Wales Police for 25 years, admitted downloading images of children as young as five.

He was jailed for 12 months at Swansea Magistrates’ Court.

Judge Geraint Walters said Curtis had built up a “huge library of the gravest images”.

The court heard that among the indecent images were 295 videos of children in the most serious category, as well as 111 still images.

He also admitted downloading extremely pornographic images involving sex acts on animals.

‘Grossly wrong’

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, said Curtis had learned about the dark web while attending a computer course put on by the force.

Judge Walters said the call operator had gone on to dedicate several years of his life downloading illegal material.

He said: “Given the nature of his work he would have known it was grossly wrong but he thought it was worth risking it all.

“He was dealing with members of the public reporting crimes but in the privacy of his own home he was committing crimes himself.”

The court heard Curtis was suspended following his arrest and will lose his job.

He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, restricting his access to the internet after his release, and will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

BBC News – Wales

Image copyright South Wales Police

Shocking moment TV builder star of Channel 4’s Renovation Game was ‘beaten with baton and pepper-sprayed by cops after being dragged from his car’

THIS is the moment a TV builder charged with assaulting two police officers appears to be dragged out of his car and beaten by a cop with a “metal bar”.

Huntley Thawe, 40, says he was punched and pepper-sprayed by cops as he sat in his Citroen van with his two kids over the weekend.

The video showing some of the incident had gone viral last night with more than 41,000 people watching it online.

Huntley, who regularly featured on the Channel Four show Renovation Game, was involved in a domestic dispute when he was filmed being hit with the baton.

His young children, aged just six and nine, are also said to have got pepper spray on their clothes following the police brutality.

West Mercia police confirmed that Mr Thawe had been arrested and charged with willing obstruction of a highway, obstructing or resisting a constable in the execution of their duty and two counts of assaulting a constable in execution of their duty.

No officer in the video footage can be seen to be hurt in any way, the only person that appears to be at harm is Mr Thawe.