'Friend' needs some legal advice (not railway related)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by district, 24 Nov 2011.

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  1. district

    district Member

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    Hey guys,

    A 'friend' of mine was recently subjected to a homophobic attack on a school bus to which he imminently reported to the school who suspended the offenders. Not happy that suspension was enough, my 'friend' (16yo) reported it to the police who then told them he'd have the schools liaison officer contact him the next day.

    After a month of ringing up, writing to various people he finally got to speak with her. She said that the police wouldn't be able to act unless my friend told his parents, which would hence out him as gay.

    My 'friend' needs some advice here - he is competent to understand the criminal justice system and does AS Law with me, understand how law works and is made and yet the police won't proceed without involving his parents which is not possible.

    What legal rights does my fearless friend have and what advice would he have in dealing with the police? His next meeting is tommorow at 1000.



    Robert
     
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  3. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    How did he report it to the police the first time: 101, email or phone? Did he speak to a general control room or to a specialist hate crime unit?
     
  4. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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  5. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    I've never heard of parents having to be informed.

    Stonewall say this:
    Kent Police recommend this:
     
  6. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    I suggest he calls the Citizens Advice Bureau who may be able to offer legal advice on how to deal with the police, perhaps offering representation?

    If they want, they could explain that they're no longer a child, the problems associated with telling their parents, and, if they persist in this argument, explain they feel they are being fobbed off.
     
  7. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Perhaps. Although you'd then be in the frankly bizarre position of needing representation to report a crime, rather than being done for it! I just can't fathom how such a situation can arise.

    He's obviously been fobbed off. Most forces I believe now have a LGBT Liaison Officer who should be able to deal with this kind of thing and treat it with the necessary seriousness. I don't think he needs to involve his parents at all. It is entirely feasible for, say, underage girls who are being subject to forced marriages to seek police help without involving their parents! I can't quote anything, but I am sure he has the right, as a 16-year-old, to report this and make a statement without involving his parents.
     
  8. Nonsense

    Nonsense Member

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    Everyone has the right to expect protection from persecution of any kind. If the individuals have been suspended from school, then there is clearly third party support against them, but what is your friend hoping to achieve from further pursuit. If the police can't assist without parental consent, then the police can't assist, but if that is the case, try childline or other child support agencies.

    Perhaps its time your fearless friend spoke to his parents and stood up for his rights with honesty, dignity and integrity. I can't speak for all parents, but if my son was being victimised and felt they couldn't ask for help I'd be utterly devastated.
     
  9. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is this perhaps because the school has been involved? I cannot see why a school liaison officer should be involved (rather than a 'normal' officer without a silly title). After all, not all 16 year olds will still be at school so it does seem wrong. As others have said, it does appear he is being fobbed off.

    One thing for your friend to bear in mind though - I think if it did go to coutry and he had to testify or provide evidence, there would be a much higher likelihood of his parents hearing about it, even though because of his age he wouldn't be named in any press reports.
     
  10. district

    district Member

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    1st time he went to the station to report. He was told that he would be contacted the next day. A week later no contact was made. He went into the station again and was contacted by a neighborhood officer who said that he would be contacted soon. Another two weeks passed. He telephoned the force contact center. Force contact center assured him he would be contacted. Another two weeks passed, he used the web to email his MP and within minutes of receiving a reply a phone call was received from the schools liason officer!

    Thanks alot: I'm going to print them and give them to my 'friend' who will (I hope) show them to the constable and her sergeant.

    I agree, and thanks very much for the links.

    Cheers, I hope I can get it into their minds that it's not easy to come out!

    Thanks, I'm going to tell my 'friend' and get him to speak to a LGBT liason. Wish me luck (!)

    Thanks but you must understand that my 'friend' coming out to his parents is such a difficult experience for him and is one that pains him everyday. Fear of rejection and hate is so hard to deal with.

    The offence happened on a public bus which originated on school premises. They are trying to a) fob my 'friend' off and b) trying to pass the blame and the power onto the school.


    Thank you for all your support and your valuable replies, I will be sure to tell my friend the information you have all given and I will let you know how the meeting goes.
     
  11. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    I've known a few LGBT people in my life, and some of them found quite easy to come out (one did it by sheer accident! Oops...), but I know from others that it can be really difficult. What I would suggest is that your friend should at the very least have someone with him if at all possible, although I really that this may not be practical. To hear of this kind of activity still occurring in our society is quite disturbing; I hope the offenders get what they deserve. And as far as the school are concerned, they obviously need a reality check and an improvement in their standards...

    (Not to mention the bus operator; they need a firmer stance too. I have to say though, on this evidence I'm glad Kent and Essex police forces remained independent of each other when a merger was planned a few years ago because Essex appear to be more effective...)

    Best of luck to your friend; I hope this mesasge can reach him somehow!
     
  12. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    He has a right, as a human being, not to have to tell his parents because he is gay
     
  13. district

    district Member

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    Thanks Scott, i'm sure 'he' will see this ;) and yes I agree scotsman.

    The police arrived 4 hours late and referred my 'friend' to a LGBT liason officer and a detective sergeant.
     
  14. district

    district Member

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    Update:

    Friend was never refered to an LGBT officer as promised but a Detective Sergeant went to speak to the perpertrators who are now suitably advised.
    Friend is making contact with the Area Commander to make a complaint about the schools policy.
     
  15. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    I am glad this has been sorted. It was a very unfair situation for your friend.

    Sexual orientation is always one thing that seems to bring out strange responses from people, indeed there is a belief that those who shout the loudest are doing so from a position of underlying worry that they themselves have such feelings - who knows.

    I have met both male and female Gays, indeed my Brother in Law came out as one evntually. The very highest proportion of them are normal and nice people. One just has to see beyond the obvious.
     
  16. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    As with most things, it's the vocal minority that people see and then sterotype others with.
     
  17. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    So true with everything in life, unfortunately. Some people have rather closed minds and cannot see past the obvious.
     
  18. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    I think some people just don't want to see past the obvious.
     
  19. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    Very well put.
     
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