MP STEVE REED INTRODUCES ‘SENI’S LAW’
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has introduced a new law in the House of Commons following the death of a 23-year-old constituent.
In a post on his website Steve Reed says: “Seni Lewis, 23, from Thornton Heath died after his parents took him to a local mental health hospital.
“He was held face-down by 11 police officers and stopped breathing.
“Too often, unconscious bias against young black men with mental ill health has led to their deaths through the excessive use of force. Now I’m trying to change the law so no other family has to go through what Seni’s family suffered when their son was killed instead of being cared for.
“I introduced Seni’s Law in the House of Commons on Wednesday 19 July.
“It will make hospitals publish data on how and when physical force is used with a breakdown by ethnicity, and improve oversight and training so staff are aware of the risks of unconscious bias against minority groups.
“It will also make sure any death in a mental health hospital is subject to an independent investigation so there can be no more cover-ups.
“According to the charity INQUEST, there have been over 1500 deaths in custody since 1990.
“Many of those who died suffered from mental ill health, with a disproportionate number from black and minority ethnic communities. We simply can’t allow this to continue.
“You can see me talking about why this issue is important to me in a video on my Facebook page.
“I need your support to change the law. “Please email me back to sign up to my campaign or let me know why this issue matters to you. “Please also click ‘share’ on the video on my Facebook page so your friends will see it too.” With best wishes, Steve Reed MP
Note: The ballot for Commons Private Members’ Bills for the 2017-19 session took place on Thursday 29 June. Steve Reed was drawn in second place.
Private Members’ Bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. A minority of Private Members’ Bills become law.
There are three ways in which a Member can table a Private Members’ Bill but Ballot Bills have the best chance of becoming law, as they get priority for the limited amount of debating time available.
The names of Members applying for a Bill are drawn in a ballot held at the beginning of the parliamentary session. Normally, the first seven ballot Bills get a day’s debate.