Thursday, September 06, 2007

“It is time for a national debate about children”

OK, Ed Balls, here are some contributions :

A mum whose daughter's nose was bitten off by a gang of girls has said police are "laughable" and the justice system is protecting criminals, not victims. Tracey Deall, 40, of Tolworth, said youths in her area were out of control after her 15-year-old daughter was attacked in March near Chessington South train station.

She said it had taken three weeks for police to contact her after the incident and a group still regularly terrorises residents by drinking, smoking and swearing in the street. "Police have lost control of the streets," she said, "I trusted the police and I now feel let down and unsupported. Gangs are running the streets and getting away with it."

Mrs Deall said her daughter is also being harassed on MSN messenger but said police have told her they are powerless to help. She said: "I almost wish I hadn't gone down the police road and wish I had got someone to sort it out myself. The police have said I just have to be patient. They are just giving these girls the green light to go around biting people's noses off."

Her daughter, who asked not be named, is still receiving plastic surgery treatment at St George's Hospital, Tooting.

OK, there are the bad children. Now the mad ones ...

According to Bromley police, six female patients aged from 15 to 17, all of whom are detained under the Mental Health Act, caused a "serious disturbance" in the hospital courtyard. A police spokesman said: "They had dug up block paving and cobblestones, smashed windows and harmed themselves with the broken glass. They were threatening staff and police with injury. Police contained the area and order was restored, with no injuries. All six patients were either taken to hospital with minor self-inflicted injuries or to secure rooms. None were suitable for arrest or detention. Our mental health liaison officer will be raising our concerns with the establishment over the actions of the staff on duty at the time, who seemed totally panic-stricken and unable to offer police any assistance during the incident. In view of this incident and the apparent confusion surrounding it, our mental health liaison inspector will be contacting the centre with a view to establishing a protocol for dealing with such occurrences in the future."

Oak View is a secure hospital for mentally ill adolescents aged between 12 and 18. It is owned by American firm Oak View Estates. The site started to concern nearby residents after being transformed into a medium-secure psychiatric facility in 2001 without planning permission. In the past three months, Bromley police have received 16 calls for urgent assistance there. And in the past month there have been 10 allegations of crime linked to the hospital.

Councillor David McBride, the Liberal Democrat leader on Bromley Council, resigned from the hospital's board in 2004 because of residents' planning concerns. Commenting on the incident, he said: "Residents have had concerns in the past about staff supervision at the hospital and I think this highlights this issue. I resigned from the board as I had residents coming to me about their concerns with the planning aspects and the fact the hospital just seemed to be growing. My concern was I wasn't going to be able to represent the residents as well as I could have done if I was on the hospital's board. This is meant to be a medium-secure centre with around 20 patients. We are not talking about a big wing with 50,60 or 70 inmates. How the hell did this happen over a four-hour period?"

In a statement, hospital director Lee Thorogood said: "On the night of September 1 several staff and a patient were assaulted by a number of other patients. As the risk and violence was beyond that normally experienced by healthcare professionals, police assistance was requested and the situation was resolved rapidly. The background to the incident will be reviewed and any necessary steps taken. The incident was contained within the hospital and there was no risk to public safety."

The comments are interesting.

"The local residents aren't at risk? Excuse me, but there has been a break out before. As to angry saying: "you would not even know it was there,". Sure, except for the screams that regularly echo around the surrounds, the police cars and ambulance crews that turn up on a regular basis."

Posted by: anone, Kent on 6:47am today
Oakview is a lovely place to work i must confess, the problem with the hospital is the current manangement who has no interest of the hospital or the patients at heart. No consistency in relation to the set policies, no boundaries when dealing with the patients despite thier history and challenging behaviours. Another problem is the silly issue of child protection and so call 'rights'. I should think that they should be given the right to 'kill' as well because that is the only right they haven't got at the moment. They bully and assault staff at any given opportunity all because is thier so called right huum! huum! i monder what the society is turning to in terms of these teenagers with challenging behaviours. what the goverment should do is to intervane immediately to resolve these crisis because the current management at Oakview as wel as the society has lost the plot completely.

Posted by: Colin, Bed 14, Ward D, Oak View on 8:33pm today
I think the staff are very competent at their job and contained the situation well. I heard nothing all night apart from Robert in the next bed howling at the moon.


Anonymous said...

"She said: "I almost wish I hadn't gone down the police road and wish I had got someone to sort it out myself."

That's the danger, isn't it...? People start to think like this, and we have anarchy!

Anonymous said...

Kind of like a throwback to feudalism, you mean? As in, when you pledged your loyalty to the local Big Lord so that his private militia would keep you and your family safe from the pillaging riff-raff -- including, of course, the neighboring Big Lord's private militia. We've really come a long way under the "progressives" haven't we?