Louise Casey, Baroness Casey of Blackstock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Louise Casey)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Baroness Casey
of Blackstock
The Baroness (Louise) Casey DBE CB
Victims' Commissioner
In office
March 2010 – March 2013
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
2 November 2020
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1965-03-29) 29 March 1965 (age 56)

Louise Casey, Baroness Casey of Blackstock, DBE, CB (born 29 March 1965) is a British government official working in social welfare.

She was the deputy director of Shelter in 1992, head of the Rough Sleepers' Unit (RSU) in 1999, a director of the national Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (ASBU) in 2003, head of the Respect Task Force in 2005 and the UK's first Victims' Commissioner in March 2010. She became director general of Troubled Families on 1 November 2011. In February 2020, Boris Johnson appointed her as an adviser to help tackle homelessness,[1][2] and she was later appointed as Chair of the Rough Sleeping Taskforce.[3] In July 2020 she was nominated for a crossbench peerage.

In 2021, Casey was appointed to lead an independent review of culture and standards into the Metropolitan Police in London following the murder of Sarah Everard.[4]

Early life[edit]

Casey grew up near Portsmouth, and was educated at Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville, which is a secondary comprehensive school now part of an academy trust. After working in a holiday camp and re-sitting her A Levels), she graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a degree in history.[5]

Career[edit]

Casey began her career with the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS), administering benefit payments for homeless people. She then worked for the St Mungo Association, a charity that helps homeless people. She became director of the Homeless Network in London, before becoming deputy director of Shelter in 1992. At Shelter she gained a reputation as an "ambitious, pragmatic worker who got results" and was largely responsible for the creation in 1998 of Shelterline, the country's first 24-hour telephone helpline for homeless people.[6]

Rough Sleepers' Unit[edit]

Following the 1997 election, the Labour government in December that year created the Social Exclusion Unit (SEU), which had tackling rough sleeping as one of its priorities.[7] In April 1999 the RSU was created and Casey appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair as its head, referred to in the media as the "homelessness czar". With an eventual budget of £200 million, the RSU's aim was to reduce the number of rough sleepers in England by two-thirds by April 2002.[8] The RSU published its strategy in December 1999.[9][10]

Casey triggered some controversy in November 1999 when she said the activities of some charities had the effect of keeping homeless people on the streets: "With soup runs and other kinds of charity help, well-meaning people are spending money servicing the problem on the streets and keeping it there. Even The Big Issue is perpetuating the problem." The editor of The Big Issue criticised her comments.[11]

In November 2000, the government launched the RSU-led "Change a Life" campaign, which encouraged people to give money to homelessness charities instead of to beggars, following research suggesting that 86 percent of beggars used drugs. Casey said giving money to beggars was "misplaced goodwill".[12] The donations hotline set up as part of the campaign was closed in March 2002, having collected £10,000, despite advertising spending of £240,000.[13] The RSU achieved its target in November 2001, several months before the deadline, but allegations were made that they had used underhand tactics; Casey responded that they were false.[14] With her work at the RSU finished, she became director of the newly created Homelessness Directorate.[15]

Anti-Social Behaviour Unit[edit]

In January 2003, Casey became head of the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (ASBU) at the Home Office. Introduced in 1998, an Anti-Social Behaviour Order is a civil order made against a person who has been shown, on the balance of evidence, to have engaged in anti-social behaviour.[16]

Respect Task Force; crime adviser[edit]

In September 2005, Casey was appointed head of the Respect Task Force as part of Blair's "respect agenda", becoming known as the "respect czar".[17]

The Respect Action Plan, launched in January 2006, was designed to deal with anti-social behaviour and problematic young people and families.[18]

In December 2007, the task force was closed down, and Casey moved to another job involving community policing.[19] Her review of "Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime" was published in 2008, being based largely on her contact with the public.[20]

She recommended the requirement, introduced in December 2008, that offenders doing community work should wear fluorescent orange jackets with the words "community payback" printed on the backs.[21]

In October 2009, while working as the government's neighbourhood crime adviser, Casey said that the justice system favoured criminals, and the public wanted a justice system that was not a "criminal's justice system".[22]

Victims' Commissioner[edit]

On 30 March 2010, Casey was appointed to the post of Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses,[23] created under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, whose objective is to "promote the interests of victims and witnesses, encourage good practice in their treatment, and regularly review the Code of Practice for Victims which sets out the services victims can expect to receive".[24] As Victims' Commissioner, Casey said crime victims were treated poorly by the system,[25] and suggested jury trials were unnecessary for many lesser offences.[26]

Troubled Families programme[edit]

It was reported in September 2011 that Casey would work with Prime Minister David Cameron in dealing with the consequences of widespread rioting a month earlier,[27] and she resigned from the position of Victims' Commissioner on 12 October 2011.[28]

She became Director General of the Troubled Families Unit on 1 November 2011.[1] The programme intended to focus interventions on the 120,000 most dysfunctional families to break the cycle of abuse.[29] In July 2012 Casey published the Listening to Troubled Families report which featured 16 case studies following interviews with families about their situations.[30] In a half-way report released in November 2013, the government stated that 22,000 families had been "turned around".[31][32]

Casey left the programme in 2015, and an official evaluation by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) published in 2016 found that despite the £1 billion spent on the programme, it had failed to have any significant impact.[33] In response Casey stated: "They had not, frankly, put any of the caveats in the public domain" and that "they have misrepresented their own research".[34] NIESR disputed these statements.[35]

Rotherham investigation[edit]

Following the publication of a report by Alexis Jay on the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, Casey was appointed by Eric Pickles to lead the inspection of the children's services at Rotherham council. The Guardian reported on 10 September 2014: "In his written ministerial statement, Pickles says he has directed Casey to consider how the council exercised its functions on governance, children and young people, and taxi and private hire licensing.'"[36]

Casey's report was published on 4 February 2015, and found that the local authority's child sexual exploitation (CSE) team was poorly directed, suffered from excessive case loads, and did not share information.[37][38]

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, said the local authority was "not fit for purpose", and announced proposals to remove its control from the councillors and give it to a team of five appointed commissioners.[38] The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said that his party had "let people down in Rotherham".[39] However, Casey's report was also heavily criticised by social work academics in Community Care in March 2015:[40]

"There are troubling aspects of the report...the process by which it was prepared, in particular the lack of rigor [sic] and transparency in the methods used to gather and analyse data...This gap [in methodology] ...should concern us as it goes to the heart of issues of accuracy."

Review of community cohesion and extremism[edit]

After the end of the Rotherham report, Casey was asked to undertake a broader review of community cohesion and extremism. The report criticised the Home Office for a lack of strategy to integrate new immigrants into communities and to respond to extremism among Muslims.[41]

The Review was finally published on 5 December 2016.[42][43] The Review stated segregation and social exclusion are at "worrying levels" and are fuelling inequality in some areas of Britain. Women in some communities are denied "even their basic rights as British residents". The report described the plight of women in some Muslim communities, who were "less likely to speak English and more likely to be kept at home". Among Casey's recommendations were that immigrants could take "an oath of integration with British values and society" and schoolchildren be taught about British values.[42]

In March 2018, while speaking on BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour, Casey suggested that, in order to encourage integration, the government should set a target date for "everybody in the country" to speak English. Conservative MP and former immigration minister Mark Harper welcomed the comments.[44]

Rough sleeping taskforce[edit]

In February 2020 Casey was appointed by Prime Minister Johnson to carry out a review of the government's strategy to homelessness, which aimed to end rough sleeping by 2024.[45] This work was redirected due to the coronavirus pandemic, and she is credited with arranging temporary accommodation for close to 15,000 rough sleepers as part of the government's Everyone In initiative.[46] In May 2020 she was appointed to chair a specialist taskforce on rough sleeping, which worked with local authorities to prevent the return of rough sleeping as the lockdown lifted.[3]

In August 2020 Casey announced that she had resigned from her government advisory role, including Chairing the taskforce stating that she wished to concentrate on her responsibilities in the House of Lords following her acceptance of a crossbench peerage the previous month.[47][46]

International homeless work[edit]

Casey is the Chair of the Institute of Global Homelessness.[48] She left the civil service in 2017 to help establish the Institute, with the aim of delivering an international solution to homelessness across the world.[49]

Honours and assessments[edit]

Casey was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2008 Birthday Honours[1] and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to families and vulnerable people.[50]

In February 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[51]

On 31 July 2020, Casey was granted a life peerage in the 2020 Political Honours as a crossbench peer.[52]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Casey, Louise. ""Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime: A Review by Louise Casey"" (PDF). (987 KB). Cabinet Office. June 2008; accessed 6 September 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Dame Louise Casey CB". GOV.UK. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  2. ^ Batty, David (16 June 2008). "Profile: government crime adviser Louise Casey". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Dame Louise Casey to spearhead government taskforce on rough sleeping during pandemic". HM Government. 2 May 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Sarah Everard: Baroness Louise Casey to lead review into Met Police". BBC News. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Casey, Dame Louise, (born 29 March 1965), Director General, Troubled Families Team, Department for Communities and Local Government, 2011–15", Who's Who and Who Was Who, Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Profile: Louise Casey". BBC News. 6 July 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  7. ^ Fairclough, Norman (2000). New Labour, New Language?, Routledge, p. 51.
  8. ^ Noaks, Lesley; Wincup, Emma. (2004). Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods, SAGE Publications, p. 147.
  9. ^ ""Coming in from the cold: the Government's strategy on rough sleeping"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2012. (78.6 KB). communities.gov.uk, 16 December 1999; accessed 8 September 2011
  10. ^ webpage Archived 29 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine, communities.gov.uk; accessed 31 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Charities 'promote homelessness'", BBC News. 14 November 1999; accessed 30 August 2011.
  12. ^ Noaks, Lesley; Wincup, Emma. (2004). Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods, SAGE Publications, pp. 147–48.
  13. ^ Summerskill, Ben; Newey, Guy. "Beggars hotline ditched as flop". The Guardian, 3 March 2002; accessed 7 September 2011.
  14. ^ Morrison, James; Seymenliyska, Elena. "Rough sleepers unit 'fiddled the figures'", The Independent, 23 December 2001; accessed 30 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Homelessness tsar", The Guardian, 20 December 2002; accessed 6 September 2011.
  16. ^ Walker, David. "Civil servant squares up to anti-social behaviour". The Guardian. 2 January 2003. Accessed 6 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Ins and outs". The Guardian. 7 September 2005. Accessed 6 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Respect action plan: At-a-glance". BBC News. Accessed 8 September 2011.
  19. ^ Wintour, Patrick. "Blair's Respect agenda ditched, claim Tories", The Guardian, 24 December 2007; accessed 6 September 2011.
  20. ^ Pratt, John. "Penal excess and penal exceptionalism: welfare and imprisonment in Anglophone and Scandinavian societies". p. 264. In: Crawford, Adam (ed) (2011). International and Comparative Criminal Justice and Urban Governance: Convergence and Divergence in Global, National and Local Settings, Cambridge University Press; accessed 22 January 2018.
  21. ^ Ford, Richard. "Offenders on community work projects will have to wear orange bibs", The Times, 27 November 2008; accessed 8 September 2011.
  22. ^ Ford, Richard. "Crime adviser says justice system is seen as ‘too sympathetic’ to criminals", The Times, 19 October 2009; accessed 8 September 2011.
  23. ^ Wintour, Patrick. "Louise Casey promoted to role of victims' commissioner". The Guardian. 30 March 2010. Accessed 8 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Victims' Commissioner". justice.gov.uk Accessed 6 September 2011.
  25. ^ Casciani, Dominic. "Crime victims treated like the 'poor relation'". BBC News. 20 July 2010. Accessed 8 September 2011.
  26. ^ "Cut jury trials, says victims' champion Louise Casey". BBC News. 3 November 2010; accessed 8 September 2011.
  27. ^ "Riots: Louise Casey – Blair's respect tsar – to aid PM", BBC News. 7 September 2011; accessed 8 September 2011.
  28. ^ "Louise Casey quits as Victims Commissioner", 12 October 2011; accessed 12 October 2011.
  29. ^ Mulholland, Helene (18 July 2012). "Troubled families need one-to-one help to break cycles of suffering, says Casey". Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  30. ^ Casey, Louise (18 July 2012). "Listening to troubled families". Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Troubled Families programme on track at half way stage - Press releases". GOV.UK. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  32. ^ Patrick Wintour. "Eric Pickles hails progress in tackling 'troubled families'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  33. ^ National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme - Final Synthesis Report (published 17 October 2016); accessed 9 June 2017.
  34. ^ Foster, Mark (20 October 2016). "Louise Casey: I did not ask DCLG to sit on critical Troubled Families report". Civil Service World. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  35. ^ Written evidence from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research to the Public Accounts Committee, data.parliament.uk; accessed 9 June 2017.
  36. ^ Wintour, Patrick (10 September 2014). "Louise Casey to conduct inspection of children's services in Rotherham". Guardian.
  37. ^ "Inspection into the governance of Rotherham council and subsequent intervention". GOV.UK. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  38. ^ a b "Government in Rotherham Council takeover after abuse inquiry". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  39. ^ "Rotherham abuse scandal: Ed Miliband 'deeply sorry'". BBC News. 15 February 2015.
  40. ^ "Louise Casey report into CSE represents a missed opportunity for children". 20 March 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  41. ^ McCann, Kate (14 September 2016). "Teach integration to prevent extremism, Government-backed review expected to say". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  42. ^ a b "Segregation at 'worrying levels' in parts of Britain, Dame Louise Casey warns". BBC News. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  43. ^ The Casey Review: a review into opportunity and integration, UK Government report, 5 December 2016.
  44. ^ "'Set date for everyone to speak English'". BBC News. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  45. ^ Walker, Peter (26 February 2020). "Government pledges £236m to tackle rough sleeping". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  46. ^ a b Booth, Robert (20 August 2020). "Fears over 'vacuum' as top UK homelessness adviser steps down". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  47. ^ Simpson, Jack (20 August 2020). "Dame Louise Casey steps down as Rough Sleeping Taskforce head after three months". Inside Housing. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  48. ^ "The Institute of Global Homelessness". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  49. ^ "Profile: Louise Casey". King’s College London. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  50. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B8.
  51. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour - The Power List 2013". Bbc.co.uk. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  52. ^ "Political Peerages 2020" (PDF). Gov.uk. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.

External links[edit]