Equality and Diversity in the News
The Education Executive has reported this month that “millennials will make up approximately 75% of the worldwide population” by 2025, and that they prefer a diverse demographic in the workplace, valuing inclusivity when choosing an employer to work with. Hot topics such as LGBTQ+ issues, gender equality, and diversity have been explored in a recent article promoting the advantages of a diverse workforce.
Pink News have published an alarming article stating according to a recent study a quarter of all LGBT people “have been bullied at work”. This is based on a survey of around 18,000 people across 14 different countries regarding equality, diversity and inclusion, and how their employers have responded to mental health concerns raised. Job anxiety was reported to be “most common in those with a non-binary gender identity” and the article highlights the “significant” amount of work that still remains to be done within workplace settings to ensure inclusivity, equality and diversity is promoted and valued.
The Prevent Strategy and Channel
The group Extinction Rebellion has been hitting the news headlines this month with their protests in London around Climate Change. Police have asked for more legal powers as a number of protestors are becoming increasingly more extremist in their behaviour, bringing parts of London to a standstill. Whilst the group has not yet been classified as an extremist group a multi-agency has vowed to arrest anyone breaking protest conditions in an operation that has so far cost the public £16million. 850 protestors have been prosecuted so far for breaching peaceful conditions, with 250 convicted for acting unlawfully.
The Government’s extremism strategy has been criticised and an independent advisor has called for an overhaul of the current approach. Sara Khan has led the commission for Countering Extremism and has issued a report containing a new category of extremist behaviour that is “outside of terrorism and violent extremism”: hateful extremism. The report include case studies, new definitions, and recommends a revised government strategy led by the Home Secretary.
Additionally, the Home Office has called for evidence to support the independent review of Prevent, to inform the consultation ahead of changes to be made. The evidence can be submitted in the form of a survey by anyone working to deliver Prevent, those responsible for its implementation, charities and civic groups, and research/ academic institutions with an interest in Prevent.
Two former extremist individuals, one a former Islamist and the other a former far-right extremist for the English Defence League, have united their efforts in a bid to reduce rising levels of hate and to help stop individuals from following the path they went down years before. A limited police response to certain far-right groups like Generation Identity has sparked their actions – similar ideological groups are not openly calling for violence and so the police are limited in what action they can take; however, Jesse Morton and Ivan Humble have recognised that their opposing and provocative extremist activities have incited both parties to “play off against each other”, and are now working together to spread publications amongst their own networks to counter extremist beliefs and activities.
Remember those all-important contact numbers:
Anti-Terrorism Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
See it. Say it. Sorted.: Text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40
And above all, be vigilant! If in doubt report anything suspicious to 101 or 999.
County Lines have been in the news this month as the National Crime Agency have launched a three-week crackdown. More than 1000 children have been linked to county lines drug gangs during the crackdown led by the Home Office’s National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), with 1882 arrests made, 403 drugs lines disrupted, 391 weapons (including 38 firearms) found, and £182,000 of drugs seized.
The NSPCC have called on the Prime Minister to make online safety a priority. This follows a reported 36% increase in the number of offences of “sexual communication with a child” recorded between April 2018 and April 2019. The data indicated 1 in 5 victims were aged 11 or under and use of Instagram in instances doubled from the previous year. Facebook-owned apps, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and Snapchat were used in more than 70% of instances over the past two years, and the NSPCC are calling for more laws that “deliver change” in protection against abuse online.
The Ann Craft Trust have reported that disabled children are up to four-times more likely to risk harm than non-disabled children. In a podcast with Sarah Goff, leader of Safeguarding Young People at the Ann Craft Trust, Sarah explores current projects looking at the protection of disabled young people from abuse.
Ant and Dec stopped the broadcast of the Britain’s Got Talent final to announce ITV’s Campaign for Wellness, dedicated to get people talking about mental health and well-being. ITV reports that “anxiety and depression in children” has risen 48% since 2004, and has launched Britain Get Talking, supported by YoungMinds and Mind UK. Alongside world mental health day on the 10th October, mental health awareness is increasing in prevalence with story lines such as Bex Fowler’s suicide attempt on Eastenders and ITV’s mission is to get families talking about concerns and issues. Their website has resources such as links and helplines, conversation starters, and messages from celebrities offering their support for the initiative.
Health and Safety
The Department for Transport has announced plans to restrict what new drivers can do in a bid to reduce the number of crashes. Suggestions include banning new drivers from travelling at night, introducing minimum learning periods, and a restriction on the age of passengers in the car; however, the Department has not yet defined a length of time that a driver is considered “new”. It is suggested that 1 in 5 new drivers crash within a year of passing their test and the DfT’s Road Safety Action Plan is considering a number of options including a graduated licensing scheme to help improve the road safety of young people; however, there are concerns that restrictions will reduce assess to education and employment.
Nearly 40% of vendors targeted by councils in England have been illegally selling e-cigarette products to under 18s in a study conducted by Trading Standards. Vaping and e-cigarettes are widely used as an alternative to smoking cigarettes and are seen as a “healthier” alternative; however, they are still illegal for anyone under the age of 18 and potential health implications for minors have not yet been tested. In the BBC report on this matter, a young person who has been vaping for over a year whilst under-age now suffers with “negative health effects” as a result, and it is feared that this may be for life. Online outlets such as eBay have also faced criticism as age-verification checks were missing from online sales for e-cigarette products and they have since tightened their processes, mandating sellers to have an “effective age-verification process to prevent the sale of e-cigarettes to minors”. Anyone found to be non-compliant will be permanently suspended.