Category Archives: Investigate

STRONG WOMEN OF TODAY

Today, we will talk about all the strong women out there who are making their name and gaining a reputation by following their dreams and passions. Women Empowerment all the way!

This is an audio interview of Diyashi Jain, a Fashion student at University of Westminster and the owner of a small business called “MYSA”. Watch this to know more about running a small business during COVID, following your dreams and being a strong, confident woman of today:

Since we are talking about strong women of today, meet Khyati Datani, a mother of 2 young children, a child-minder by profession and the owner of an Indian Sweet Shop in London called “Shubh Aarambh”. Only a strong woman of today can manage to indulge in all these wide variety of events throughout her day. Following your dreams and doing what makes you happy is extremely important and it makes me super happy to see all these women do their role:

GO WOMEN!

Domestic Violence- a deadlier virus

The new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) was declared a Global Pandemic on 11 March 2020 and as a result, the movement outside was restricted, schools and offices were close and while everyone thought of this pandemic as deleterious, there was a deadlier virus just around the corner.

The stay-at-home order had suddenly paved way for increasing number of cases of Intimate partner violence (IPV), thus confining the deprived women to their homes and abusers.  

The house has suddenly become the most “dangerous place” for women.

In July, the UN estimated that six months of restrictions could result in 31 million additional cases of sexual violence in the world and seven million unwanted pregnancies.

While in countries like Spain, women have started using secret codes such as “Mask-19” to address domestic violence, there are countries like Paris which saw a 36 per cent rise in violent domestic abuse cases in just one week.

However, early data shows that helplines in Singapore and Cyprus have registered a more than 30 per cent increase in calls.  In Australia, 40 per cent of frontline workers in New South Wales reported more requests for help with violence.

Domestic violence not only shatters the victim but exacerbates tensions about security, health, and money. UN has been trying to help the women out there by urging the governments to put women’s safety first:

It’s how time this issue is taken seriously and addressed correctly. What you would probably not realise is that while you took a moment to read this, some woman out there was being brutally abused and needs to have her voice be heard. Let’s work towards a change.

The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on youth’s mental health in the UK

Since the beginning of a global pandemic, our regular lifestyles, despite age, gender or social class had been transformed physically, emotionally and mentally.

The media has explored how the pandemic affected us as a society but did not dive deep into how young people in the UK were impacted mentally, which is covered in this video through statistics and personal experiences of a young artist Miranda Melbourne and Samaritan Charlotte Cook.

Featured Image belongs to Engin Akyur on Unsplash

Refugees’ rights are ‘under attack’ at Europe’s borders, warns UN

The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, has reported that migrants are facing violence from immigrations officials in Europe.

Despite being protected under refugee law, many are refused the right to settle or held in poor conditions while they claim asylum.

Just recently, the UK Home Office has been criticised for placing asylum seekers in ex-army barracks where they slept in cramped communal areas despite the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Back in January, 178 migrants tested positive for the virus at Napier barracks in Kent, according to the BBC.

But just across the Channel in France, conditions could be considered to be even worse. I was there back in February, when temperatures were below freezing and men were still sleeping outdoors.

Check out the news story below to see what it’s like to be camping in Calais.

Many of the migrants I spoke to were hoping to make it to London. They had heard about our world attractions, job opportunities and perhaps most importantly, our football clubs.

Their faces lit up at the thought of getting to live here. But the UK’s new asylum reforms will make that even more difficult. Check out our explainer on these new restrictions here.

Despite all the barriers they face, refugees at Europe’s borders remain hopeful and grateful to those who help them.

Operations Manager at Care4Calais, Imogen Hardman, can attest to that: “They’ve all escaped unimaginable trauma and journeys just to get here, but they are kind, they are generous and they’re funny.

Imogen moved to Calais from London to work on the frontlines of the refugee crisis. Click here to hear about her experience.

What will UK’s new asylum plan mean for London?

Home Secretary Priti Patel has just announced asylum reforms that will make it tougher for migrants to settle in the UK.

Immigration officers will now “make every effort to remove those who enter the UK legally having travelled through a safe country first”, Patel said in the Commons last week.

But for many migrants, travelling through “safe” European countries is the only way to reach the UK.

Take Eritrea for example. The small East African country has a totalitarian government, meaning there are no elections and no free press, says Help Refugees.

At 18 years old, citizens are forced to partake in military service to fight against Ethiopia in an extremely dangerous war.

These young Eritreans can’t just hop on a plane to avoid the conflict. Many aren’t even granted passports until they’ve completed their military duties.

So, they are forced to make ‘illegal’ journeys to the UK. Here, they are supposed to be protected by refugee law.

This basically suggests that migrants must be protected by other countries when they face persecution in their homeland.

Many flee to European countries like Germany and France for this protection.

Patel’s asylum reforms will make it harder for refugees who have crossed the Channel to be granted refugee status, because France is not a particularly dangerous country.

While it may seem like a “safe” country to you and me, the UNHCR has warned that French police are violent towards refugees and evict their camps every few days.

So, can we really blame them for wanting to come to the UK?

The capital, in particular, is popular amongst refugees. Immigrants are the backbone of our city, often taking on the low-paying and essential jobs that keep London running.

According to London First, 37% of Londoners were born outside the UK and 25% of NHS workers here are migrants.

So, it’s clear that London thrives on its diverse population. But where is everyone actually from and what made them want to move here?

This map, created using information from the 2011 Census has all the information you need.

If you want to find out even more, check out our interactive map. It includes statistics and the reasons why people emigrate from specific countries.

Interact with the map here

It’s unlikely London would look so diverse if these reforms had been brought in earlier.

It’s predicted that our new “points-based system” might favour the people with the highest skills, rather than those fleeing conflict.

Either way, London benefits massively from the diversity and skills brought by immigration. As our map shows, this city has been shaped by migrants and Patel’s new asylum reforms could put an end to that.

Want to find out more about the global refugee situation?

‘I moved from London to Calais to tackle the refugee crisis’: Listen to Imogen’s story here.

Watch our video on what it’s like to be a refugee camping in Calais.

Disclaimer: these statistics come from the latest census information that is available from 2011. Global events, such as the Arab Spring, have occurred since then and so demographics will have changed. The most recent census was carried out in March 2021 but the information is not available to the public yet.

‘Use this if you feel unsafe’: The TikTok trend protecting against sexual harassment

TikTok users have found an inventive way to warn off sexual predators by just playing one simple video.

The videos, tagged “Use this sound if you feel unsafe”, make it seem like you’re having a phone conversation with a friend or parent.

Often, they include phrases like “where are you? Oh that’s like 5 minutes away. I’ll start walking to meet you.”

Young women are playing these videos if they feel uncomfortable walking home at night or in a taxi. They pretend to engage in the conversation, making it seem like someone is expecting them.

The idea is that harassers will be put off if they know friends or family are close by, or if the person’s phone location services are switched on.

Amber May Hutton has started creating these videos since Londoner Sarah Everard was killed.

“I’d seen a few people doing it and I thought it’d be a good idea because a lot of my followers are young girls,” she said.

Check out one of her videos here:

@ambermayhutton

If you ever feel unsafe in a taxi feel free to save this and use it whenever you need💚 #fyp

♬ original sound – amber💕
Amber May Hutton calls herself “the big sister of TikTok.”

Amber hopes that videos like these can make her followers a little more confident when they’re out and about on their own:

“While I don’t think that the video would necessarily stop someone being sexually harassed, it might cause the attacker to second guess whether it’s worth the risk.”

Amber May Hutton, TikTok influencer

She wants to change the “oh well I’m a woman so I just have to take it” mentality. “Absolutely not”, she says, “I think we’re slowly steering away from that, but we still have a long way to go.”

She’s referring to an outpouring of support for Sarah Everard that has come since her death. Women have gathered in towns and cities across the UK for vigils and Reclaim the Night demonstrations.

Reclaim the Night started in Leeds back in 1977 after women were warned by the police not to stay out after dark. This was following the infamous ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ murders.

Why does Reclaim the Streets still need to operate, 44 years after it began? Violence and harassment against women is still a major part of our everyday lives.

According to UN Women UK, 97% of women in the UK between 18-24 years-old have been sexually harassed.

Clearly, something needs to change. This TikTok trend is just the most recent way of doing it.

Graphic created using this <a href=”http://<a href=”https://www.freepik.com/photos/technology”>Technology photo created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.comroyalty free image

Report reveals black people four times more likely to die from Covid-19

Photograph by Unsplash | Dann Stevens

Research released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people from black backgrounds in England and Wales were four times more likely to die from coronavirus than people from white backgrounds. 

The study found that all other ethnic minorities were more likely to die from Covid-19, compared to people from white backgrounds.

Photograph by Unsplash | Askhan Forozani

It discovered that after taking into account age, self reported health and disability, black people were still almost twice as likely as white people to die a Covid-19-related death. 

This chart shows the likelihood of ethic minorities deaths in comparison to people from white backgrounds.

Graph by Danielle Freeman-Grantham

David Lammy the Shadow Lord Chancellor described the news as “Appalling” and stated that he felt that “It is urgent the causes of this disproportionality are investigated.”

by Danielle Freeman Grantham

LONDON’S ETHNIC MINORITIES ‘MORE AT RISK’ FROM COVID-19

UK’s general crime rate drops during coronavirus lockdown

Laws put in place as precaution to the coronavirus outbreak have proven effective in minimising crime within the UK.  

Just over six weeks ago the UK government enforced the lockdown, adding restriction laws; where people may not leave their homes or partake in gatherings.

UK citizens have generally failed to abide by these laws. As stated by the guardian, more than 3,203 fines have been issued at this point in time.

One-third of fines were issued were to those aged 18-24, with another third to those aged 25-34.

Nevertheless, majority of the country have remained at home. This has resulted in a steady drop of the UK’s overall crime rate and more importantly, coronavirus cases.

There have been many claims that Knife crime has surged within recent years and become more and more common. Lockdown has almost brought this to a complete halt.

Police report a massive drop in burglary, rape and assault. However, there have has been a 3% rise in domestic violence and a surge with fraud crimes.

Many online banks recommend customers to be mindful whilst using their emails and the distribution of their personal information. Many have been tricked through fake emails about TV license cancellation.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Thanks to all Londoners for staying home these last six weeks.<br><br>You are all heroes, but we need you to keep it up.<br><br>Please stay home continue to protect the NHS and save lives. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/LondonTogether?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#LondonTogether</a><br><br>Show your support by sharing this video. Thank you. 💙 <a href=”https://t.co/Sc2cW3vd9D”>pic.twitter.com/Sc2cW3vd9D</a></p>&mdash; Metropolitan Police | #StayHomeSaveLives (@metpoliceuk) <a href=”https://twitter.com/metpoliceuk/status/1256244842511949825?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>May 1, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

All in all, the UK’s implementation was proven effective in more ways and one and will continue to be so if followed correctly.

(image credit – Barnaby Nerberka)

Mapping the detail of the global pandemic

The Covid-19 virus has spread rapidly around the world since it was first reported in Wuhan, China at the end of last year.

Many are enduring lockdown restrictions as governments work hard to prevent the disease overwhelming their health services.

Our student journalists, now scattered across the globe, are able to report from their home countries.

WNOL correspondents in Asia, Europe and the United Sates are gathering the latest news and features on the pandemic.

Click here to see updates in text and video from our international reporting team around the world

Fraudsters capitalise on COVID-19 panic

Nationwide is promoting the #FraudAwareness campaign on Twitter as analysts revealed that criminals are escalating activity that targets the vulnerable.

More than 500 scams relating to coronavirus and over 2,000 phishing attempts by scammers taking advantage of fears over the pandemic have been reported to UK investigators, figures by The Guardian show.

Officials at the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) are in the porcess of accessing the latest scams, including one that involves criminals asking for donations to help the NHS fight COVID-19.

50 scams daily

Since the virus spread to the UK, intelligence analysts have monitored a sharp increase in criminals using a range of scams. The reports sent to Action Fraud, are then forwarded to the NFIB, a section overseen by the City of London Police. An earlier report from April 4, reveals that there have been 509 scams with total losses among victims of £1.6m.

As many as 50 scams are being reported daily, 41 of those relating to a recent scam involving an email asking recipients for donations to buy “medical preparations and supplies” for the NHS to help cope with the pressure of the outbreak.

Other scams claiming to be official messages from the government included text messages telling people they have been fined £250 for ignoring lockdown guidelines by leaving their home more than once.

Recent reports show that the number of coronavirus related phishing attempts stands at 2,192 (as of April 4). Attempts include an email misleading people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to criminals stealing personal information like banking details, email logins and passwords.

Advice available

Commander Karen Baxter, the national coordinator of economic crime at the City of London Police, said: “Criminals will use any opportunity they can to take money from innocent people. This includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies.

“As more people stay indoors and work from computers and laptops at home, there is more opportunity for criminals to try and trick people into parting with their money at a time when they are anxious and uncertain about the future.”

Police have issued fraud prevention advice against coronavirus related scams to counter the rising fraudulent activity.

Some other scams to watch out for are those attempting to exploit the economic downturn by contacting individuals who are out of work and offering them jobs as key workers.

On the employment scams, a spokesperson from Action Fraud had this to say: “People are obviously looking for jobs at the moment and criminals are using COVID-19 as a hook for employment, offering key worker positions as long as they pay an advance fee for vetting or background checks.”

The majority of incidents reported as of late are online shopping scams where people have ordered and paid for face masks, hand sanitiser or testing kits which never arrive.

Coronavirus related scams were first reported on 9 February, and by the end of the month, a further 20 were reported.

You can report instances of fraud on the Action Fraud site here.

(image source: courtesy of Pexels)

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