Independent Monitoring Board Refute POA Claims on Morton Hall IRC
Post on Morton Hall IRC, last Wednesday has been refuted by Independent Monitoring Board the board being very critical of Prison Officers Association (POA) version. May be worth remembering David Ramsbotham's opinion of the POA when he was HMCIP.
A culture of cynicism among senior officers pervades the prison service and stifles progress, the culture was apparent in the cynical way officers viewed the introduction of new programmes and changing work practices. It was most noticeable among older staff, but even new recruits who began with enthusiasm were ground down "by domination and intimidation" which he described as "a pernicious way of influencing colleagues". The problem was exacerbated by, but not entirely due to, uneasy industrial relations with staff associations, the biggest of which is the Prison Officers' Association.
Staff talked openly of the ability of POA to keep managerial decisions in check, or even, on occasions, to have the power of veto over them. All expressions of the will of staff, and its authority, were seen to come through the POA, and, as a result, the relationship between management and the POA was not, in our view, a working partnership. Many staff expressed the view that they could take little action without the authority of the POA,
But what concerns me, as far as the future, in particular, is concerned, is that managers appeared to lack the support and authority of the Prisons Board which is essential to enable them to tackle these attitudes, and those who profess them, effectively. What is more, the attitude of automatic challenge to any manifestation of management has clearly not grown up overnight, but been allowed to develop and survive for a number of years. It is now part of the unwritten culture of HMPs, and represents what good staff, and all decent minded people, know to be profoundly wrong, and in need of elimination. The question is 'how?'
Sir David Ramsbotham, Circa 1999
Morton Hall Riot Was 'exaggerated', Independent Board Claims
Claims of rioting at an immigration removal centre have been "exaggerated", its independent board has claimed.
Officers were hurt during four days of disturbances at Morton Hall in Lincolnshire over the Christmas period.
Prison officers union, the POA, said five members of staff had been hurt, and added it feared one of its members would get killed.
But Rod Booth, who chairs the Independent Monitoring Board, denied there were full scale riots.
He said he had looked at CCTV footage and the POA's version of events had been exaggerated.
Read more: BBC News, 4 January 2013
95,344 Peope Behind Bars in the UK on Friday 28th December 2012
Prison population UK/Scotland/N.Ireland Friday 28th December 2012
Figures do not include person held in police cells
Morton Hall IRC Detainees/Officers Hurt During Violence
Several prison officers are reported to have been injured during a serious disturbance at the Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre on Christmas Eve. One prisoner is said to be in a serious condition in hospital with a head injury. Between 30 and 40 Prisoners are believed to have started a peaceful protest against conditions [there was a serious water supply failure, before the incident, all toilets blocked, no running water whatsoever, no cooked meals, detainees given sandwiches and cold drinks] within the facility, and refused to return to their cells when instructed to.
Despite the UK border agency playing down the incident, the POA (Prison Officer Association) claim that around 50 individuals were involved in serious violence that included the use of home-made knives, pool-cues, and snooker balls. They also claim that there was a serious escape attempt thwarted on Christmas day.
'No-Deportations' Message for 2013
2012 was another very bad year for people all over the world, ethnicity against ethnicity, Christian against Christian, Muslim against Muslims, Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian, nations against nations, interior civil strife that has seen tens of thousands, murdered by governments or their agents, famine/hurricanes/floods and droughts. Hundreds of tens of thousands of people displaced, many will never see their homes or homeland ever again.
The great majority of those who suffered last year did not seek asylum in the affluent west, but those that did were met with hostility and detention, and more often than not deported back to their country of origin.
The year ahead does not look like it will be any different from the last, as it is crystal clear that Governments/Religions do not have the wherewithal or want to bring about conflict resolution.
'No-Deportations' will continue throughout 2013 to provide good up to date legal briefings, relevant asylum/immigration news to those in the UK, fighting the UK's harsh immigration controls.
Our hope for 2013 can only be, irregardless of their status, legal/illegal/refused leave to remain, 'Residence Papers for All' that need them.
19 Killed In Attack On Shiites In Pakistan
A suicide bomber driving a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into a bus carrying Shiite Muslim pilgrims in southwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing 19 people, a government official and eyewitnesses said.
Earlier Sunday, 21 tribal policemen believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban were found shot dead in Pakistan's troubled northwest tribal region, government officials said.
Pakistan has experienced a spike in killings over the last year by radical Sunni Muslims targeting Shiites who they consider heretics. The violence has been especially pronounced in Baluchistan province, where the latest attack occurred.
Read More: Indpendent, 30/12/12
10 Conflicts to Watch in 2013
Sudan, Turkey/PKK, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, Nigeria, DR Congo, Kenya, Syria and Lebanon
Louise Arbour, for International Crisis Group, 27th December 2012
Every year, around the world, old conflicts worsen, new ones emerge and, occasionally, some situations improve. There is no shortage of storm clouds looming over 2013: Once again, hotspots old and new will present a challenge to the security of people across the globe.
Read More: here . . . .
Migrants Wrongly Told To Leave UK By Firm Hired by UKBA
People living legally in the UK have been incorrectly told to leave the country by a firm working for the government. Capita were contracted by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in September to track down 174,000 illegal immigrants. Among those contacted by text and email were a woman with a UK passport, and a man with a valid visa who had invested £1m in a UK business. Capita said some of the information provided by the UKBA may be inaccurate.
Read more; By Angus Crawford BBC News, 03/01/13
Syrian Civil War Deaths Top 60,000, Says UN
At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, with monthly casualty figures steadily increasing since the conflict began almost two years ago, according to new figures released today by the United Nations.
The death toll is a third more than the 45,000 given by activists opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad – the first time that the global body's estimate is higher.
Read more: Independent, 02/01/13
Britain Needs Its Immigrants
This newspaper starts from the premise that the free movement of people is a good thing. We therefore welcome the immigrants who have come here since 1998, when net immigration exceeded 100,000 for the first time, and since when it has remained above that annual level. Just as we welcomed Ð mostly in principle, because The Independent on Sunday was founded only in 1990 Ð immigration at lower levels before then.
All nations consist of peoples who once moved from somewhere else, but we citizens of the United Kingdom are particularly aware of this, not having a simple national name for ourselves. "British" is a fairly recent invention, and even "English" reminds us that the Angles came with the Saxons from Germany.
Read more: Leader, Independent, Sunday 30 December 2012
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - December 2012
4 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in December 2012, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch
Deteriorated Situations: Central African Republic, China/Japan, North Korea, Syria Download the full report: CR113
In the Central African Republic a new rebel alliance seized key towns in the north and east, including Sibut, only 185 kilometers from capital Bangui, and currently controls about a third of the country. Chadian troops arrived mid-month to help contain the rebels, and regional leaders later announced the deployment of additional troops. The UN has begun evacuating staff, and the U.S. government has called for its citizens to leave. The security situation is precarious as the rebels warned they may enter Bangui, despite agreeing late month to talks with the government.
Violence escalated in Syria's civil conflict, with reports of spiralling civilian death tolls and displacement. Fighting reached new levels of intensity in Damascus, particularly in southern suburbs where regime airstrikes and clashes between regime and opposition forces in Palestinian-dominated Yarmouk left scores dead and prompted tens of thousands to flee. Violence also increased in Hama province as rebels launched a new offensive. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria warned that the conflict was escalating and becoming increasingly sectarian.
The dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands escalated as China sent surveillance aircraft into airspace over the disputed islands. Japan responded by sending eight fighter jets, and made a formal diplomatic protest. Its defence minister said this was the first intrusion of Japanese airspace by China since 1958. Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to take a tough line and said there is "no room for negotiation".
North Korea launched the Kwangmy?ngs?ng-3 satellite into orbit on 12 December, violating UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit it from using ballistic missile technology. The U.S., the UN Security Council and Russia condemned the launch. China expressed regret and called on North Korea to abide by UN Security Council resolutions.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (Russia), Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
January 2013 Outlook
Conflict Risk Alert: Central African Republic
Conflict Resolution Opportunity: None