Bishop of St Albans appeals for early intervention to prevent serious youth crime

Bishop St Albans June 2015On 3rd September 2019 Baroness Neville-Rolfe asked the Government “what steps they plan to take to support the Crown Prosecution Service in prosecuting, and the courts in sentencing, those involved in gang-related offences, illegal migration and petty offences”. The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I share with many others gratitude for what the Government are doing to have an integrated approach to serious violence and youth violence in particular, and I welcome having more police because we need to have safer streets. But by the time we get to prosecuting and sentencing it is all too late. Very often people have been left injured and dead. How much are we investing way before that, particularly at school level?

Will the noble and learned Lord say a little more about what support is being given to our schools? In particular, when, for example, children are found with knives, does this trigger a safeguarding response so that we are trying to deal with the causes, rather than just the results?

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Bishop of St Albans asks about funding for problem gambling clinics

St Albans 2On 6th August 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Government, in reply to two questions about funding for problem gambling clinics:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL17484 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on 17 July (HL16963 and HL16964), what was the budget of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust for funding the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic; and what is the projected cost of that clinic in (1) 2020, (2) 2021, and (3) 2022.

(ii) HL17485 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on 17 July (HL16963 and HL16964), what was the budget of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust for funding the National Problem Gambling Clinic; and what is the projected cost of that clinic in (1) 2020, (2) 2021, and (3) 2022.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about working with local faith communities to help Ebola victims

St Albans 2On 25th July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans asked the Government “what steps they are taking to help those areas affected by the latest outbreak of Ebola which has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization”. He then asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer and, indeed, for the money that has been made available. One of the most effective ways of rolling out preventative health education is to use local indigenous leadership. In 2015, Christian Aid and other charities recommended that NGOs should engage with local faith leaders for this purpose. Are Her Majesty’s Government following this advice? Secondly, with daily flights between DRC and Europe, given the highly infectious nature of this disease, will she explain to the House the steps that are being taken for our own domestic preparedness?

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government how many children are at risk of poverty and abuse because of their ‘no public funds’ immigration status

St Albans 2On 23rd July 2019 Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Lab) asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the impact on children of the no recourse to public funds immigration condition”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Children’s Society shows that this particular group of children is more likely to experience absolute poverty, homelessness and greater levels of domestic violence. Despite the significant evidence about the damage that poverty, destitution and abuse can have on children’s outcomes, the Home Office has not yet made public how many children are subject to these NRPF [no recourse to public funds] conditions on their families’ leave to remain. Will the Minister commit to making these figures publicly available?

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about tackling domestic abuse in rural areas

Bishop of St AlbansOn 23rd July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer, from Baroness Williams of Trafford, regarding domestic abuse in rural areas:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL17325 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the National Rural Crime Network Domestic Abuse in Rural Areas, published on 17 July.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): On 16 July we introduced our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to parliament, setting out our intention to transform the response to domestic abuse. Our Domestic Abuse Bill and wider action plan will help to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything they can both to protect and support them and their children and pursue their abuser.

We will consider the findings of the report. Whether it takes place in our rural communities or cities, we are supporting Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, so they can deploy resources as they best see fit to tackle crime, including domestic abuse.

The new Domestic Abuse Commissioner will play an important role in monitoring the provision of services for victims of domestic abuse, including those in rural communities.

Bishop of St Albans asks Government what representations they are making to China about Uyghur children

St Albans 2On 22nd July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon,  about Uyghur children in China:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL17001 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of China about reports of (1) forcible separations, and (2) re-education, of Uighur children in the eastern province of Xinjiang.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): We have serious concerns about the detention of more than a million Uyghurs, along with widespread surveillance and restrictions targeted at minorities. British diplomats in China visit Xinjiang every few months, in order to see at first-hand the situation there. They most recently visited in May 2019, and their observations have supported much of the recent open source reporting about the restrictions targeted at specific ethnic groups.

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Church Commissioners written answer: Church action on problem gambling

spelman170119eOn 22nd July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question, from Gregory Campbell MP, regarding problem gambling:

Gregory Campbell (DUP): 278399 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to tackle problem gambling.

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