Bishop of St Albans asks for wider debate on use of facial recognition technology

On 1st March 2018 Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb led a debate in the House of Lords on her question to Her Majesty’s Government ‘what proposals they have for the use of facial recognition technology in security and policing.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

 The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too thank the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Moulsecoomb, for this debate. My guess is that most of us see some very useful ways in which this technology can be used, but many people are also concerned that it may have other uses as well, which they are less keen on.  Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks for wider debate on use of facial recognition technology”

Bishop of Peterborough asks Government to review anonymity in cases of criminal accusation

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn the 22nd January 2017 Lord Lexden asked the Government “whether they intend to review the law governing the naming of deceased individuals against whom criminal allegations have been made.” In his follow up question Lord Lexden raised the case of the deceased Bishop George Bell and the recent Carlile Review. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, also asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, this has been a very difficult case, but Bishop Bell is not the only person whose reputation has been severely damaged by such accusations—some are dead and some still alive. I urge the Minister and the Government to take very seriously the call for a major review of anonymity. In all cases where the complainant has a right to be anonymous, there seems to be a case for the respondent also to be anonymous, and in cases until there is overwhelming evidence to suggest guilt, it seems reasonable for people’s reputations not to be damaged in this public way. Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks Government to review anonymity in cases of criminal accusation”

Bishop of Gloucester asks about Parole Board funding and due diligence in case of release of John Worboys

On 9th January 2018 the Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Keen of Elie) repeated a Statement made in the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Justice on the Parole Board’s decision to release John Worboys and the Government’s response to the issues raised by the case. The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I thank the Minister for bringing this issue to the House and for the pertinent points made on this important subject. What action are the Government taking to ensure that the Parole Board is adequately funded so that due diligence can be performed before decisions are made? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about Parole Board funding and due diligence in case of release of John Worboys”

Bishop of Southwark asks about assaults, self-harm, time in cells and staffing levels at Wandsworth Prison

On 9th January 2018 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to six questions about Wandsworth Prison, which is based within his diocese:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of prisoners on custodial sentence at Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth, other than segregated prisoners, spent at least 22 hours locked in their cell on any day in the latest month for which figures are available.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of prisoners on custodial sentence at Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth were unlocked for at least six hours each weekday in the latest month for which figures are available.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many serious assaults by inmates on one another at Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth were recorded in each of the last two years for which figures are available.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many incidents of self-harm by inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth were recorded in each of the last two years for which figures are available. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks about assaults, self-harm, time in cells and staffing levels at Wandsworth Prison”

Bishop of Leeds asks about quality control for interpretation services in criminal proceedings

On 29th November 2017 Baroness Coussins asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they have revised their target for annual budget savings on the cost of providing interpretation and translation services in criminal proceedings, following the allocation of the latest contract for those services to thebigword; and if so, what is their new target.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, there is clearly a difference between interpretation and translation. I speak as a former professional linguist. What about quality control? Will the Minister comment on that? Being able to deal with a language is not the same as being a competent interpreter, sometimes of very delicate matters. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks about quality control for interpretation services in criminal proceedings”

Bishop of Chester calls for NHS to be given responsibility for those in police care

On 30th October 2017 a Government statement was repeated in the Lords on the publication of Dame Elish Angiolini’s Report of the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody, and the Government’s substantive response. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question after the statement:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I very much welcome the report; I have simply read the executive summary. It is obviously important to respond well after death occurs, but equally, arguably, it is even more important to put in place measures to reduce the possibility of death. This is where the healthcare provision in the police service is especially important. Given that the NHS has a direct responsibility to provide healthcare in prisons but does not have an equivalent responsibility for those in police care, and given that for half the people the cause of death is alcohol and drug-related, is there not a need to join up A&E, the police, the whole NHS and police support? It is no doubt complex, but at the heart of this lies quite a simple issue. This ought to be brought within the ambit of the NHS, which is the case with prisons. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester calls for NHS to be given responsibility for those in police care”

Bishop of Southwark asks about prisoners on indeterminate sentences

southwark-20feb17On 20th February 2017, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood asked the Government “what is their response to the recommendation of Michael Gove, the former Secretary of State for Justice, in his November 2016 Longford Lecture that the approximately 500 Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) prisoners “who have been in jail for far longer than the tariff for their offence” should be released.” The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a supplementary question. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks about prisoners on indeterminate sentences”