Currently the fixed penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving is 3 penalty points and a £100 fine. For driving without insurance an offender can be fined up to £5000 in court and be subject to 6-8 penalty points or even a driving disqualification of up to 12 months if there are severe aggravating circumstances. Indeed the penalty for mobile phone use will be increased next year to 6 penalty points and a fine of £200. When it comes to sentencing offenders for multiple driving offences in actual practice benches are ordered to use the principle of totality. In effect the most serious offence is the one on which punishment is based and other offences are treated as "aggravating". The logic of this approach has always defeated me when one offence does not follow from another; i.e. the offences are quite dissimilar. Using a mobile phone when driving and having no insurance compounded by not having a suitable driving license or MOT fall into this category. Today the Scunthorpe Telegraph...
Sports broadcaster Charlie Webster is best known for her work with the likes of Sky Sports, but is also heavily involved in charity work and raising awareness of abuse against women.
An ambassador for the charity Women’s Aid, Charlie has spoken openly and honestly about being a victim, or as she explains, ‘survivor’, of sexual abuse.
Here, she talks about her work, and the people she has come into contact with as a result of her campaigning and awareness raising.
Recently we have seen how important it is to have an open conversation about domestic and sexual abuse. We have spent too long letting victims down by turning a blind eye and denying that the ‘well respected nice person’ we see on the outside couldn’t possibly be a bad person.
The myth that abusers are weird creepy violent people that you can spot a mile off is just that, a myth. In most cases the abuser is someone the victim trusts and that is how he or she executes their power over their victim.
In 2015, 122 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 21 convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence. Relevant sentences for driving offences are as below:-
To quote from The Guardian,
"Dangerous drivers who kill are set to face life sentences under plans put forward by ministers. Those causing death by speeding, street racing or while using a mobile phone will face the same sentences as people charged with manslaughter. Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs could also be handed life sentences – an increase on the current 14-year upper limit."
I really cannot perceive any basis for this proposed increase in sentencing except to pander to public opinion which IMHO is based upon ignorance and a desire of some newspapers to whip up that opinion.
Today is International Volunteer Day 2016. It might seem like there are too many awareness days, however this is one group of people who truly deserves special recognition. Volunteers are the backbone of modern civil society, playing a vital role that others won’t or are unable to fulfil. And maybe, by celebrating their contribution, we hope it will encourage others to step up and give their time to organisations that are desperate for extra helping hands.
What motivates people to volunteer?
People’s reasons for volunteering are about as wide and varied as the type of volunteer roles available across the charity sector. According to the latest UK figures (2014-2015) over 14 million people formally volunteered at least once a month, typically giving over 11 hours in an average four-week period. It’s also estimated that over 21 million people volunteered at least once across the year.
Volunteers often mention how they love helping to improve the lives of others in their community and that...
In case some readers haven`t noticed Her Majesty`s Courts and Tribunals Service has a new overlord; Susan Acland-Hoo. In recent tweets methinks the lady is trying too hard to ingratiate herself within her domain. I await similar platitudes for my former colleagues who will require more than soft words to persuade them that HMCTS no longer considers them as unpaid employees with all the respect that entails.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has launched its Christmas safety campaign, with the assistance of one of Santa's little helpers.
During December 2015, TWFRS crews attended 46 accidental fires in homes, and this year's campaign is aimed at reducing this number.
The campaign is being led through social media in the form of a virtual advent calendar featuring the Elf on the Shelf character.
Every day between 1 and 25 December, the elf will post a different safety message on TWFRS social media channels with the hashtag #elfontheshelf to help people stay safe over the Christmas period.
Safety messages will range from checking smoke alarms and fairy lights to not overloading electrical sockets and not cooking under the influence of alcohol. The campaign will also include road and water safety messages.
Later this month, TWFRS will also launch a dedicated 12 Days of Christmas web page, with more detailed safety advice and tips based on Christmas themes.
I used to believe that addiction was a character flaw, and that the drug fiends I treated on the streets of Hartford were there due to their own poor choices. That doesn’t mean I treated them badly. I have always tried to treat all my patients as if I were treating members of my own family. That said, like anyone I have good days and bad days, and don’t always live up to my expectations.
The older I get the less judgmental I am. I guess I have seen people go through hard times over the years, and am more sympathetic. I view the drug fiends, as I called them, differently now for two reasons.
One, I know people can stumble, they can make mistakes and they can have bad luck. Not all roads traveled lead to good ends.
Two, science now makes a compelling case that addiction is a brain disease. Hard core addicts are crippled in their thinking in much the same way that people with heart disease have diminished cardiac capacity or diabetics have problems...
Sherica Spence, founder of Skye Alexandra House, a bespoke service designed to meet the needs of vulnerable women, writes about her personal experience of Child Sexual Exploitation, both as a victim herself and as someone helping other victims.
I started working with victims of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) due to my own experiences as a child. I could relate to the young girls, and hoped that by me sharing my story and how I overcame some of what I had experienced, I might be able to help another young girl – as one of the worst things in life is carrying the cycle of these thoughts, emotions and feelings into your adulthood.
I was sexually abused from the age of 7, then raped at the age of 12. Then gang raped at 15. Due to these experiences I was mentally and emotionally unstable; my mum had no idea of the abuse that took place and took my behaviour as typical teenager behaviour. No matter how many times she asked what was wrong, my response would always be “nothing”. I held resentment towards...
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is asking people to protect themselves from malware after a computer network known as Avalanche has been taken down.
Avalanche, which was set up in 2009, was used to send out millions of fraudulent emails weekly enabling cybercriminals to steal personal information such as financial details. At any given time up to 500,000 computers worldwide are believed to have been carrying infections distributed through the Avalanche network.