Families face shocking injustice over legal aid for inquests, campaigners say

Legal signing paperssource: Express & Star
published: 1 October 2019

Grieving families are facing a “shocking” injustice when trying to get legal aid funding for the inquest of a loved one who died in state care, campaigners claims.

The ruling by Mr Justice Green enables relatives attending a coroner’s court to benefit from expert legal representation in cases where a state body is involved in a death.

Charities have called for an end to the disparity between the amount of publicly funded legal aid being provided to state bodies and families.

It comes as figures suggest mental health trusts, police forces and the prison service are spending millions of pounds on legal representation at inquests, in comparison to the thousands of pounds the Legal Aid Agency has given to bereaved families for such hearings over a similar period of time.

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On Tasers, policing and imagining new responses to violence

Police Car Incidentsource: Medact
published: 18 October 2019

With the recent announcement of Tasers being made more widely available for use by the police in the UK, black feminist organiser and Global Health postgraduate Sarah Lasoye argues that the health community must take notice.

During her keynote speech at Conservative Party conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a new ring-fenced fund of £10 million to arm up to 60% of frontline police officers with tasers. The announcement follows a series of police-related promises Patel has made since her appointment this July.

From the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers, to the rollout of a new stop and search pilot seeking to give the police more Section 60 like powers, it’s clear that this government remain insistent on the false-narrative that increased police powers will prevent crime.

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The Met police’s use of force jumps by 79% in one year

Custody Cell

source: The Guardian
published: 8 October 2018

The Metropolitan police’s use of force has risen sharply in the last year, with black people far more likely to be subjected to such tactics than anyone else, the Guardian can reveal.

The UK’s largest police force deployed methods ranging from handcuffing to use of stun guns, CS spray, batons and guns 41,329 times in April to August of this year – 270 times a day on average – according to Guardian analysis of official figures. That compares with 23,118 in the corresponding period last year – a 79% rise – and 62,153 in the whole of 2017-18.

On 39% of occasions in which force was used by Met officers in the first five months of the financial year, it was used on black people, who constitute approximately 13% of London’s population.

Charities and MPs have raised alarm about officers increasingly resorting to such tactics and black people so often being on the receiving end.

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