Out with the old – what about the new

Out with the old – what about the new

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
At this week’s [27/06/22] meeting of full Council, GM Mayor Andy Burnham said that former Chief Constable Ian Hopkins was replaced because of a lack of progress in providing information to the CSE inquiry in Oldham.  This contradicts the statements put out at the time that he had resigned because of the police being put into special measures.  It also fails to address the subsequent 11-month gap between his resignation and ANY information being provided to the CSE inquiry, and fails to explain why information was only provided on one of the 11 cases under review – with that one showing serious failures on the part of GMP. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “This is an absolute failure. “GMP has been warned about failing victims of domestic abuse repeatedly…
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Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence, fairer council
Oldham Liberal Democrats have said that due care must be taken with responses to the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Oldham, to be released on Monday, and it “must be viewed in the knowledge of the terrible and lasting impact CSE has had on the lives of many of this borough’s most vulnerable young people”.  The report is being released with a background of serial failings of the senior management of Greater Manchester Police, including the botched introduction and inadequacies of the now-abandoned iOPS computer system, and the force being placed into special measures. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “People must know that Oldham Council, the police, and the services that they rely on have changed, and will continue to change, so that others will not have…
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Independent investigation must be given all the time it needs, and all the additional support it can get

Independent investigation must be given all the time it needs, and all the additional support it can get

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
Responding to the motion on the CSE report to Oldham Council last night [16/03/22], Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “Everyone must always put the needs of survivors first, and it is important to recognise that independent experts in this area are in favour of the extension of the investigation.  “It is still justified to ask questions to ensure that the investigation gets all the support it needs. If some of the delays in the process of the report were unnecessary, we must identify that and ensure that these extensions do not happen again, particularly for those who have already come forward and given their evidence. “Regardless of the outcome of the vote, I would like to see the Council reach out to the investigation team and the Home Office,…
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Misogyny vote: Conservatives turning a blind eye to anti-women hatred

Misogyny vote: Conservatives turning a blind eye to anti-women hatred

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence, Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government for rejecting a law that would make misogyny a hate crime. Today, Conservative MPs voted against the law, which had been passed by the House of Lords last month. The vote comes days after a man pleaded guilty to the murder of Sabina Nessa and just days before the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard. Cross-party peers had added a clause to the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make crimes motivated by hatred of women aggravated offences, so they are treated as seriously as crimes motivated by racial or religious hatred. Liberal Democrat MPs voted to keep the amendment, which now returns to the House of Lords. Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Justice and Women & Equalities,…
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Liberal Democrats demand opportunity to hold those responsible to account on CSE report

Liberal Democrats demand opportunity to hold those responsible to account on CSE report

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
Oldham’s people deserve the chance to question those responsible for its policing and care services at a Council meeting covering the independent investigation into CSE, say Oldham’s Liberal Democrats.   The Council has previously agreed to the Liberal Democrats’ request  for a specific meeting to address the topic when the report is finally released. The Liberal Democrats want this pledge reaffirmed.  They are also calling for GMP chief constable Stephen Watson, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, and the senior leadership of the Council, in particular the Cabinet Member for children’s services, to face questioning on any issues that the report brings up.  Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “It is vital for the people of Oldham to have confidence not only in the report, but in obtaining justice for survivors, and ensuring that…
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Final national reports into child sex abuse released in time to be included in Oldham joint workshop

Final national reports into child sex abuse released in time to be included in Oldham joint workshop

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
The final two reports of the Home Office-sponsored Independent Investigation into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) are due to be released on February 1 (Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks) and March 1 (Residential Schools).  Following conversations between Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani, senior Council management, and the Managing Director of Children & Young People, it has been agreed that following the publication of the report into CSE in Oldham at the end of this month, the Oldham Children’s Safeguarding Partnership will undertake a joint workshop with the Adult Safeguarding Partnership, which will include learning from IICSA, and inform the development of Oldham’s Complex Safeguarding Strategy. Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “The Council must be ready to accept the outcome of the report into CSE in Oldham. This is just one of the ways…
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Law Commission backs street harassment campaign

Law Commission backs street harassment campaign

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence, Parliamentary news
The national body which reviews laws has recommended that public street harassment (PSH) should be made a specific crime, a great step forward for the campaign, says local councillor and supporter Sam Al-Hamdani. After successfully getting Oldham Council to back the campaign, the local Liberal Democrat councillor has been working nationally with Our Streets Now to get the issue recognised by councils across the UK, and deliver tailored education in schools to combat harassment. The Councillor, who is also a White Ribbon Ambassador – a charity challenging male violence against women, was delighted with the news, although he warned that it still has a long way to go before it is on the statute books. He said: “When I heard the recommendation, I was delighted, although it was tempered by…
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Andy Burnham and GMP fail to provide matched funding for child safeguarding

Andy Burnham and GMP fail to provide matched funding for child safeguarding

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
A year after the child and safeguarding teams in all 10 areas of Greater Manchester wrote to highlight the failure of Greater Manchester Police and the GM Mayor to provide equitable funding for child safeguarding across the whole of the region, there has been no change to the funding made. At November’s Overview and Scrutiny meeting in Oldham (14/11/21), Liberal Democrat Councillor Mark Kenyon identified the funding gap, and demanded to know why it still existed. Councillor Kenyon said: “Safeguarding children is crucial work in Oldham and across the whole of Greater Manchester so I was alarmed to see that despite the funding inequalities being highlighted to the GM Mayor’s office over a year ago, nothing has changed.” Government guidance indicates that safeguarding partners – in this case the local…
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Further delays to CSE report ‘a breakdown of trust’

Further delays to CSE report ‘a breakdown of trust’

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
The news that the independent report into child sex exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has been delayed until the new year is “further undermining the trust that needs to be rebuilt” according to Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani. GM Mayor Andy Burnham has announced that the report will now be released in the week commencing January 24, citing both delays with Queen’s Counsel Advice, and the wishes of victims of CSE not to release the report in the run up to Christmas. Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “The most important people in the whole process are the survivors of violence, and I absolutely respect their wishes not to see the report published at this time of year. “What I then question is why we had been told previously that the report would…
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