Question it!

This reminds me of the trumpeting that greeted the Strategy for Older People in Wales round 2002. It rumbled on until the appointment of Ruth Marks as Commissioner for Older People in Wales in 2007.

It was hailed as the great breakthrough for older people. They would at last have their problems heard and addressed. It never happened. Every individual older person who contacted the office of the commissioner was told the same thing: ‘…the commissioner regrets she’s unable to consider individual cases…’ which was a load of bunkum.

Having served on the advisory group at the Welsh Assembly with about twenty representatives from various bodies concerned with promoting the interests of older people in Wales; these included Age Concern and Help the Aged (which have since amalgamated into Age UK) as well as individuals from different pensioner groups, I knew that we had been specific about the commissioner being able to deal with individual problems.

My conclusion being; there is much talk and hot air indulged in by those who are appointed to top jobs . They make a play with favourable sound-bites at the time of their appointment – but that is all they do – talk. It fails to materialize into action. Better they save their breath to cool their porridge.

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

As we begin National Stalking Awareness Week here in the UK, new figures have been published which suggest that stalkers are unlikely to be jailed, even if they are repeat offenders. 

Ministry of Justice data reveal that almost two-thirds of those who breached their orders received a non-custodial sentence. The report also confirmed that even when the offender had committed multiple breaches, a custodial term was unlikely.

Furthermore, almost 60% of offenders who breached a second time avoided a custodial sentence and nearly half of those who breached a third time (49%) avoided jail, as did 38% of those who breached on four occasions.

So, for this week, we aren’t going to ask you a question. Instead, we’re inviting you to share your thoughts on, or experiences of stalking in order to raise awareness.


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