Wednesday 7th July

‘Staggeringly high’ number of people with autism on UK Prevent scheme 

  • A “staggeringly high” number of people with autism are referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, a terror laws watchdog will say, calling for a discussion about terrorism cases in which the disability features.
  • Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, will say autism and terrorism has not received much public attention due to “a very real and respectable fear that making any sort of link will lead to stigma”. 
  • But in a speech as part of the thinktank Bright Blue’s Ludgate lecture series online, he will argue that the criminal justice outcome may not always be the right one for people with autism and needs scrutiny. 
  • Hall will say “autism plus” appears to be a relevant factor in many cases, meaning that for people on the autistic spectrum who are drawn into terrorist violence there tends to be some additional factor such as an “unstable family background or some other cognitive difficult”.
  • For the full story, select here. 

New data reveals over 600 children in Birmingham victim of criminal exploitation

  • Organised criminals have targeted 648 children for criminal exploitation in Birmingham in just one year – including by County Lines drug dealers. 
  • One of the victims identified by social workers was aged just 10, while 89 others were aged under 14. 
  • The statistics for 2020 have been compiled by Birmingham Children’s Trust. 
  • Of the 648 victims identified, 550 were male and 134 were classed as ‘high risk’ – meaning ‘likely significant injury/harm which may be physical or sexual (rape has occurred’. 
  • These 134 children were classed as likely to come to harm within days, likely from drug dealers seeking a debt. 
  • A Birmingham Children’s Trust spokesman said: “This is not just a Birmingham issue this is a national issue. We understand that we need to form strong community links and parental support; connecting with everyone involved in the child’s life.”
  • For the full story, select here 

Libby Squire: Mother calls for sex offender law change 

  • The mother of murdered student Libby Squire is campaigning for a change in the law to protect women from harm. 
  • Libby, 21, was raped and murdered by Pawel Relowicz, who had a history of spying on female students in Hull and committing indecent acts in the street. 
  • Her mother, Lisa Squire, wants to see low-level sex offenders offered therapy to prevent their crimes escalating. 
  • She is set to meet Home Secretary Priti Patel MP to discuss how to prevent similar cases happening in the future.
  • For the full story, select here.

LGB people ‘more likely to have mental health issues’ 

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are more than twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to have a long-term mental health condition, an analysis of NHS data suggests. 
  • They are also more likely to drink heavily and smoke, the report says. 
  • About 2% of people said they were lesbian, gay or bisexual in the 2011-18 Health Survey for England. 
  • The findings “confirm well-established health inequalities for LGB people”, say rights groups.
  • For the full story, select here.