Sunday, 7 April 2013
The UK legal definition of a hate crime is "any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation." What GMP have done is expanded their own definition of crime recording to include attacking someone on the basis of their appearance.
I should point out that this doesn't change the legal definition of hate crime - to do that the government would need to amend the Act of Parliament that defines a hate crime. What GMP are trying to do is change the way they record hate crimes, to include appearance based crimes as one.
Whilst there is some fear that this move will further divide a community that is increasingly suffering from internal divisions and discrimination (I know from my own experiences that there can be a lot of snobbery about the way you dress), my own personal opinion is that it is a good thing, for now.
I worked with the police for a long time when I was a councillor in Exeter on anti social behaviour caused by students. Year on year the same problems came up, but one of the biggest problems faced by police was resources. The way resource distribution (i.e. where do they put the police officers) works in the police forces is based on numbers of recorded crimes. Which becomes a bit of a catch 22 in some respects - if the crimes are recorded properly, they don't appear on the statistics used to allocate policing, and then the fear of crime/actual crime might rise, because there are no police to stop it. Basically if they don't know about it, it doesn't exist.
This was the message we always told our residents. If the police don't know that they were woken up by noisy people at 2am in the morning, then as far as the police are concerned, it didn't happen. Officially anyway. So we always encourage people to report ASB, even if they waited until the next morning to do so (using the non emergency number), because in the police resources world, logs are key.
So what GMP are actually doing is enabling the effective monitoring of the level of hate crime based on appearance. This will then provide them with crucial evidence with which they can help the Sophie Lancaster Foundation effectively lobby parliament for a change in the law. Because without firm evidence in the form of numbers of crimes of this type, it is difficult to argue for a change to the law as a whole. I am not saying that it isn't a problem, I think anyone who dresses in a lot of black has had insults thrown at them in the street etc (I don't consider my choice of clothing at all gothy or extreme and even I have had people yelling at me from car windows as they drive by and I once got into a fierce argument with my neighbour's 16 year old son over his insults). But while these remain unreported, or the more violent assaults categorised as a plain and simple assault, it is difficult for lawmakers to form an informed opinion. And making laws based on knee jerk reactions or unevidenced opinion (think about the law banning 'extreme' pornography which has never been enacted) is never a good idea.
So, bravo to GMP for taking a step to move the debate on from the theoretical to the real. I hope other police forces follow suit, so that a true picture of the level of appearance based assaults can be formed, and the appropriate action taken.
Saturday, 23 March 2013
Then maybe I can start thinking of things blogworthy again!
Friday, 22 March 2013
Friday, 15 March 2013
So yesterday Google announced that they are closing down their Reader service in July. The announcement has brought a lot of devotees out of the woodwork!
I know a lot of bloggers like Bloglovin' but I won't be switching to that due to the apparent lack of a good Android app. I consume most of my blogs on the move, or in a quiet 5 minutes during the day and it is not always possible for me to read on a PC.
It presents the feeds in a more magazine style format, which is colourful and I have to say, more interesting than the Reader layout. I'm still getting to grips with it but I do like what I see.
I'm also trying out Flipboard but I haven't played with it much yet. When I've decided which one I like more I will write a more detailed post on the one that has stolen my attention!
Saturday, 2 February 2013
Sunday, 20 January 2013
This fantastic product has changed my life! Mixed with a chamomile infusion, an oil blend containing a base of olive oil, essential oils of frankincense, rosewood, lavender, palmarosa and a maceration of St John's Wort, with a dash of sea salt. This makes the most amazing cleanser which helps keep pores clear and cleanses without affecting the acid mantle of the skin. It is also mildly exfoliating.
I actually discovered this in 2011 but it has remained a staple of my routine. This quickly absorbed, non drying gel is enriched with lavender and zinc, two things that really help with healing and redness. The genius thing about this gel is that it doesn't dry the skin out, so make up sits beautifully on top. You can also see it working before your eyes almost!
The regular white stuff you eat for hour breakfast, really. AHAs are the best form of exfoliation, and yoghurt is packed with lactic acid, one of those glorious AHAs. As well as that, the fat in yoghurt is great for plumping the skin, although apparently the lower the fat level, the more AHAs. I usually have 0.1% in for eating, so I just use that. Apply to clean skin with a foundation brush and leave for 10-15 minutes, then rinse. I like to remove with a hot flannel for the best effect.
I'm late to this bandwagon, but I'm glad I got there in the end. The oil is amazing, and the healing properties have to be seen to be believed. I've used some for an oil based serum using the same oils as my cleanser, to use overnight on my skin, and under my regular day moisturiser.
This is brilliant when I'm out and about, or just need to check reviews of a product. You obviously have to take all personal reviews with a pinch of salt and your own experience but I find Make Up Alley one of the most reliable sources of information on the efficacy of products.
Friday, 18 January 2013
My grandmother bought me a charm bracelet as a present when I passed my GCSEs. It originally had a grand piano charm, a shell with a pearl and a Cornish pasty, all representing me and my life. Then, when I passed my driving test, she bought me a car charm to go on the bracelet. At some point (I can't remember when, but probably Christmas one year), she bought me a Cornish Piskie for luck. Unfortunately I lost the piano many years ago, before I had the charms all soldered on properly. But I've kept hold of this bracelet for years now. I didn't wear it much after I started university, the charms dangled on the desk and annoyed me a bit when I wrote anything. My grandma passed away just before I graduated from university.
I recently started wearing it again, as a way of connecting myself with my home land. And today, I appear to have lost it.
I'm pretty certain I was wearing it when I left my German class, and given the sub zero temps I was wearing gloves. I took them off to go into the drugstore, and I am sure I felt the lining of my gloves catch on my bracelet. When I got home, I realised it was missing. The Beard and I retraced my steps, scouring the snow for it to no avail.
I've put a tweet out on Twitter in both languages, and I have hope that maybe the drugstore will have found it in the clean up after hours tonight, so I shall pop back in there tomorrow morning and check. In addition, it could have fallen off in my German class, but I have to wait until Monday to find out.
The bracelet isn't worth much, but the sentimental value is immense. I am so very pissed at myself right now.