Post letters: Foreign criminals, protecting children online and supporting Barnardo’s

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56 27 February 2020

Asta Juskauskiene and Mantas Kvedaras have been found guilty of murder. Picture: MET POLICE

Asta Juskauskiene and Mantas Kvedaras have been found guilty of murder. Picture: MET POLICE

Met Police

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Foreign criminals should be banned from entering UK

A Stratford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

I am writing after reading the shocking details of a Lithuanian man stabbed to death by his ex-wife and her lover in an alleyway in Stratford.

The reason I am interested in this sad tale is that I live near the alley in question and use it quite a lot myself. And the alley itself runs alongside a park where there have been homicides and robberies over recent years.

But what really annoys me about this case is the fact that the ex-wife's lover had just served a prison sentence for sexual assault in Lithuania but was allowed to come to the UK after being invited by a woman who has only met him on social media days before.

I know the new government is talking the talk when it comes to a planned new immigration system but I don't see why the British government can't, or won't, follow the lead of the United States and put a tough visa system that bans convicted foreign criminals legally entering the UK at all.

Quite frankly, the system as it stands is a laughingstock and the British people deserve better from a government who have a duty to protect us from harm.

Time to lift up the bonnet on social media

Peter Wanless, chief executive officer, NSPCC, writes:

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The government has signalled they are willing to stand up to Silicon Valley and commit to landmark a British regulation that could set a global standard in protecting children online.

For far too long the safety of children has been an inconvenience for social media companies who have left them exposed to harmful content, grooming and abuse.

Tech giants will only do all that they should to stop groomers abusing children on their sites if the penalties for failure are game-changing.

Ministers must now move urgently to get a proactive duty of care onto the statute books that gives Ofcom the powers to lift up the bonnet on social networks, impose hefty fines on rogue companies and hold named directors criminally accountable for putting children at risk.

Support us in our journey to help children

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo's London, writes:

When Thomas John Barnardo came to London from Dublin to train as a doctor in 1866, he found a capital of two different worlds: the privileged elite of Victorian society living alongside children and families in terrible conditions with no access to education. Poverty and disease were so widespread that one in five children died before their fifth birthday. When a cholera epidemic swept through the East End, leaving 3000 people dead and many orphaned children, Thomas Barnardo felt an urgent need to help.

He believed that every child deserved the best possible start in life, whatever their background; and he set about passionately trying to change the social fabric of society by founding our charity, which 154 years later, still carries his name.

Last year Barnardo's supported over 30,200 children, young people, parents and carers across all of our services in London. With a presence in every part of the capital our work has grown in complexity and breadth since the days of Thomas Barnardo. In London we now support children and young people with services to improve their emotional health and wellbeing; provide safe spaces for families to access early years help in their local communities, and support young people who have been affected by domestic violence.

Bringing children and young people up in the capital can be hard. If your family has suffered trauma and are vulnerable in any way it's even harder.

That's why Barnardo's London is here; to support the most vulnerable children and young people and their families to reach their potential. We hope you can support us in our journey in 2020.

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