Our aim is to meet with the current Home Secretary about the injustices* identified on this website (see open invitation below), to hear our stories first hand, and to request an independent review to ensure that, unlike the Hillsborough families, we do not have to wait year after year, decade after decade, in search for truth and justice.
The outcomes we are seeking from this campaign are listed here
* current injustices against autistic people are listed here
Like many, you may have believed the promises made by politicians following the Hillsborough Inquest in 2016. Their outrage over police corruption suppressed by successive politicians for 27 years was finally exposed and families were promised that this type of institutionalised corruption would never happen again.
This is what Theresa May, the then Home Secretary, promised families in 2016:
"They have faced hostility, opposition and obfuscation ... the authorities that should have been trusted have laid blame and tried to protect themselves instead of acting in the public interest … no one should have to fight year after year and decade after decade in search of the truth."
She then made the following pledge to the 2017 Conservative Party conference following her election as Prime Minister:
"Like the families of the 96 men, women and children who tragically lost their lives at Hillsborough. For years they saw people in authority closing ranks and acting against them, but now they are on the way to seeing justice served. That’s what I’m in this for. […] Alexander [Paul] spoke so eloquently about his experience and how he came to mistrust those in positions of power as a result. So inspired by his example, we took action. We shook up the system… Let us today remember the courage he showed in coming to our conference to speak out against injustice, take pride that we gave him a platform – and inspired by his example, redouble our efforts to give a voice to the voiceless at every opportunity. That’s what I’m in this for. […] So we must learn the lessons: understanding not just what went wrong but why the voice of the people of Grenfell had been ignored over so many years. … where any individual or organisation is found to have acted negligently, justice must be done. That’s what I’m in this for. […] It’s why tackling the injustice and stigma associated with mental health is a particular priority for me. […] I have asked Professor Sir Simon Wessely to undertake an independent review of the Mental Health Act, so that we can tackle the longstanding injustices of discrimination in our mental health system once and for all. That’s what I’m in this for."
Here is an open invitation to whoever is the current Home Secretay to meet with the families involved in these other injustices, to hear their stories first hand, and to confirm to them that challenging such injustices was indeed the reason she came into politics.
QUESTIONS FOR THE HOME SECRETARY:
The Home Office is ultimately accountable for ensuring that the Police, the CPS and the IOPC are held accountable for breaches of the laws under which they operate. How is it possible that that the systemic failures and breaches of statutory procedures identified by the stories on this site are allowed to go unchallenged?
In addition to the appalling human cost of all these failures, will she also ask the Public Accounts Committee to investigate what must be a staggering waste of public money resulting from the way these public services not only fail autistic people but then proceed to defend their failures through lengthy complaints processes and litigation.
An Afterword on the Impotence of Politicians
The following is taken from Sam's Story and is the reason why families and autistic people need to join their stories together and show politicians that these are not isolated individual cases but systemic failures by public services and Government.
Prior to their involvement in Autism Injustice, over a 5 year period, Sam's parents met with all of the politicians listed below, many of the meetings set up with the support of Sam's MP who has been tireless in his support for the family. It is a testimony to the impotence of politicians that none of those meetings ever resulted in resolving complaints against the police, IPCC or CPS. Politicians left or moved on to other roles, and although some letters and emails where sent out asking for explanations, all they ever produced were statements (often erroneous) taken at face value without any evidence to support them, or, bland civil servant replies that outlined what Sam's parents knew already. Existing policies and procedures were regurgitated ad nauseam , but no explanation given as to why they had been breached as, "The Minister cannot intervene in individual cases as officers (of whichever organisation was being complained about) are the experts and need to be able to carry out their roles without political interference."
This should raise alarm bells about political accountability and scrutiny of the public services that ministers are responsible for. It also flies in the face of the statements made by Theresa May above. This is also the reason that Sam's parents and others are joining this campaign, so that ministers can't say they are unable to get involved in individual cases.
Kevin Brennan (Sam’s MP)
Lord Bradley (in his role as author of the Bradley Report)
Robert Buckland, Solicitor General (in terms of his responsibility for the CPS))
Alistair Burt (then Health Minister with cross departmental responsibility for autism)
Jack Dromey (then Shadow Policing Minister)
Luciana Berger (then Shadow Minister for Mental Health)
Cheryl Gillan (in her role as Chair of the Autism APGG)
Keith Vaz (2 days after he resigned as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee [HASC])
Yvette Cooper (current Chair of HASC)
Chuka Umunna (then member of the Home Affairs Select Committee)
Dianne Abbot (then Shadow Health Minister)
Andy Burnham (then Shadow Home Secretary)
Keir Starmer (in his role as an ex Director of Public Prosecutions)