Recorder letters: Terrorism, mental health and gift BHF

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 April 2018

The Home Office is increasingly fighting terrorism through the use of smart technology. Picture: PA ARCHIVE

The Home Office is increasingly fighting terrorism through the use of smart technology. Picture: PA ARCHIVE

PA Archive/Press Association Images

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

Smarter tactics to stop terrorism

Syed Kamall MEP, writes:

In countering terrorism, our police and security services will consider the the use of surveillance, intelligence sharing, vigilance and physical security.

Technology is another key front in this ongoing battle. The Home Office has recently announced that it has developed cyber-screening that automatically detects terrorist content on any online platform.

Tests have shown this new tool can automatically detect 94 per cent of Daesh propaganda with 99.995pc accuracy. The Home Office claims that it has an extremely high degree of accuracy. For instance tests have shown that if it analyses one million randomly selected videos, only 50 would require additional human review.

We know that Daesh and similar groups post material online to incite violence in London and other cities, to recruit Londoners and others to their cause, and to attempt to spread fear in our society.

Let us hope that the smart application of this new technology, while ensuring that we respect individuals’ rights to privacy, will allow us to stop terrorists from undermining London or Britain’s way of life.

Mental health care inadequate

Rob Behrens, parliamentary and health service ombudsman, writes:

One in four adults will experience a mental health problem each year yet often mental health care falls below the standards we should expect.

Last week we revealed that some of our most vulnerable patients, many of whom have complex mental health conditions, are being badly let down by the NHS, causing them needless suffering and distress.

In our report ‘Maintaining momentum: driving improvements in mental health care’, we found that some patients are not being treated with dignity and respect of their human rights and this is further compounded by poor complaint handling.

Our investigations shine a light on severe failings but this is not done to attribute blame.

We aim to ensure that the organisations complained about make changes to prevent the mistakes happening to others. In this instance, this is to ensure that mental health patients get access to the treatment and support they need.

This is only possible due to patients and their families taking the important step of complaining when things go wrong.

The vast majority of complaints are resolved locally.

However if you are not satisfied, you have the right to bring it to us – the parliamentary and health service ombudsman - for an independent and impartial view.

Gifts to BHF in Will help fund vital research

Professor Federica Marelli-Berg, BHF funded professor at Barts and the London, Queen Mary University London, writes:

As a professor of cardiovascular immunology at Barts and the London, Queen Mary University London, I see first-hand how devastating heart disease can be. We are determined to spare more families the pain of losing a loved one to these conditions.

Research funded by the British Heart Foundation has helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory diseases over the past 50 years.

So much of our work has only been possible thanks to the amazing individuals who have remembered the BHF in their Will.

These special gifts fund more than a quarter of all cardiovascular research in the UK.

In the past year London residents left more than £6.8 million their Wills to the British Heart Foundation to help fund life saving cardiovascular research.

I would personally like to honour these people and express our gratitude to their families for making research breakthroughs possible and helping to save thousands of lives.

But there’s still so much more to do, and there are 720,000 people in London living with cardiovascular disease right now.

A new study shows that a third of over 65s polled in London said they would consider leaving a gift to charity in their Will, the top motivations for this included ‘wanting to make a difference’ and it “feeling like the right thing to do”.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have already decided to support the BHF in this unique way and encourage more people to consider doing the same, so we can unlock further medical breakthroughs and save more lives.

A gift of any size, after you’ve provided for your loved ones, will enable the BHF to continue to fund pioneering research so we can beat heart and circulatory disease for good.

To find out more about leaving a gift in your Will, please visit

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