Intelligent multitasking CCTV camera catches criminals red handed

Stuart Thompson, Viseums Managing Director and inventor of the best in class IMC technology, said: Were incredibly excited about the IMC and our customers are too. We have developed a multi-tasking camera that doesnt just tick all the boxes it actually records and prevents crimes, unlike traditional PTZ cameras that simply face the wrong way most of the time and have become a laughing stock with hardened criminals.

In Richmond, the boroughs first Viseum IMC captured high quality evidence from over 150m away, of criminals preparing themselves for a days work by putting on the tools of their trade the gloves they would then use to try and commit crime anonymously. This is just one of the scenarios where the Viseum IMC really comes into its own.

Groups of men putting on black hoods and gloves in broad daylight is a very unusual activity, explains Stuart Thompson, and it is certainly something that CCTV operators and the police would be interested in. Yet standard PTZ cameras would simply miss everything unless they had the good fortune of pointing the right way with an operator controlling and watching it. With the Viseum IMC, we pre-programme in the intelligence so that a range of unusual activities like this are not only recognised, it is exactly the specific activity cameras are trained to zoom in on.

The Manager of the Richmond CCTV scheme, Keith Free, said: In this particular location, Viseums IMC had only been deployed for a couple of weeks, to combat reported anti-social behaviour. It was an added bonus that, following the reporting of a burglary, the footage was viewed and these criminals were caught red handed. The quality of the evidence was excellent. Despite it being shot from over 150m away, and the suspects being disguised in hoods and black clothing, the police were even able to identify them leaving with their bag of ill gotten gains.

A standard PTZ would, unfortunately, be potentially ineffective in this and many similar scenarios. where multiple areas and activities are required to be monitored. The local area has had no reported crime or anti social behaviour since; the Viseum IMC cameras have proved very effective in targeting anti social behaviour and we are in the process of deploying further IMCs in other identified problem areas across the borough.

Elsewhere, the Viseum IMC has also killed anti-social behaviour problems stone dead. It has immediately had the effect of making criminals realise they were actually being watched, and making the general public realise they were actually being protected – unlike previous technologies which often prove so ineffective criminals all but disregard them. Most open space PTZ cameras have already exceeded their life expectancy and in any case, through cost and lack of resources, most of these are pointing the wrong way when crimes occur. Viseum presents an unparalleled value for money offering for clients to stay on top of all their camera installations. This is being achieved by replacing or upgrading PTZ cameras to become IMCs, which in turn enables control room staff to spend their time most effectively, maximises overall efficiencies and enables a much more viable solution for CCTV scheme expansion.

Are you tuned in to the power of the Viseum IMC and how well managed schemes are now being operated? At http://www.viseum.co.uk, local authorities and law enforcement agencies can view real footage, connect to real time live camera demos, and pre-register for forthcoming technology events.
ENDS

Photograph and caption
Stuart Thompson, Viseums MD is confident that the revolutionary Viseum IMC can kill crime dead. The technology is proving a hit with local authorities and police forces across the country, including Richmond where a gang of criminals were recently caught red handed.

Press contact
Jon Gardner. BeyondPR. Mobile: 07930 697773. DDI: 0114 275 6996

REF: VIS011 – Richmond

Brunel Franklin wins thousands for London family

Faced with some unexpected bills and the rising cost of living, father-of three Trevor Lynch of Streatham took out a £48,000 loan with Paragon which used brokers Central Capital/Central Trust. The company arranged the loan over the telephone and offered him more than three times the amount hed asked to borrow. PPI was included automatically and Mr Lynch says he was told hed get the money back if he didnt make a claim. However, he wasnt informed that the policy was optional or that the cost would be added to the loan and interest charged on the total amount.

It was only when paperwork arrived detailing the payments that the scale of the problem became clear. It wasnt explained properly to me at the time and I wasnt told I didnt have to have it. It just seemed to be tied in and part of the agreement. We needed the money so I felt I had no choice, explained Mr Lynch, 45.

Despite working long hours as a gardener and mobile groundsman, the high monthly payments continued to put a strain on the familys finances until Mr Lynch surfed the internet looking for help. He logged on to Brunel Franklins website, took the companys 60-second online test and was relieved to learn he had grounds for compensation. It was all very easy after that as the company did all the legwork and saved me a lot of time, trouble and worry, he said. I couldnt have reclaimed the money on my own as it was so complicated and needed handling professionally. I was very pleased with the service and delighted to get my money back. I know people who are in a similar situation and Ive recommended Brunel Franklin to them. I now feel I have been a bit nave not to realise the PPI was optional, but you dont always get round to studying the finer details and small print; you expect people selling you financial services to explain everything, I trusted them he added.

Sally Bowyer, managing director of BrunelFranklin.com, said Mr Lynchs experience was far from unusual.

Vendors of financial products have a clear responsibility to explain to customers exactly what is being sold but we see thousands of cases where this just hasnt happened. It is completely unacceptable to add PPI automatically to a loan and leave people with excessive payments that plunge them deeper into debt, she commented.

Anyone who wants an insurance policy has the right to shop around for the best deal but many lenders choose not to point this out to their customers. Fortunately the culprits are now being forced to pay up and mend their ways. People who think they have been mis-sold a policy should seek expert help straight away to recover their hard-earned cash, she added.

BrunelFranklin.com has vast experience of securing compensation from financial institutions and has won over £100,000,000 for its clients. If you have grounds for a claim, it will be pursued on a no-win, no-fee basis by a team of experienced staff dedicated to achieving the maximum payout possible.

To find out if Brunel Franklin can help you, just log on to http://www.brunelfranklin.com and take the simple 60-second test. Alternatively, you can telephone 0800 0515451 free of charge.
ENDS

Press enquiries:
BeyondPR
Tel 0114 275 6996
Mobile 07930 697773

Holiday home owners may have to do a Basil

Barry Long, Senior Partner and Property Section Head with Oxley & Coward Solicitors, said: The change from April 2010 will have a significant impact on many property owners and landowners like farmers who let out cottages or annexes as holiday lets. They will have to decide whether to bite the bullet and accept the loss of the tax benefits they were expecting, or whether to turn their holiday letting into a business similar to that of an hotelier by providing a substantial level of services to their holiday making clients.

Until the 2009 budget, individuals or companies who let out property as furnished holiday accommodation were treated for tax purposes as if they were running a business with significant tax benefits, as long as they met certain simple criteria. Now that is set to change, because the UK law was out of alignment with EU legislation. Theres a transitional year, where UK owners of property elsewhere in the EU can make the same claims as UK owners of UK property, but from April 2010 UK holiday home owners will have to change their business model to keep the tax benefits.

That will include showing that the holiday tenants receive a much higher level of service, more like a hotel, or extra serviced facilities like swimming pools. Under the old regime that ends in April 2010, provided you satisfy certain criteria, your holiday letting will be treated as a trade or business – so losses could be offset against other income, not just the property income. The letting profits were also counted as relevant earnings for the purpose of calculating the maximum relief allowed for pension contributions.

And because the property let was a trading asset, it was eligible for roll over relief – so any capital gains tax charge was deferred if you bought a replacement holiday letting property within three years of the sale. There was also hold over relief available on a gift of the property which means that any gain arising on a gift of the property can be postponed so that it effectively becomes the liability of the recipient. And plant and machinery allowances were available for capital expenditure on furniture and equipment.

Barry Long added: Whichever way people decide to go, they need to make sure they weigh up the effects very carefully, between losing the tax benefits and the steps that will be required to transform the letting business into one that will be recognised as a trade under the new regime by HMRC. Its not going to be enough to pay lip service to the new requirements and acting as your own Basil Fawlty may not be the best move for business!

Oxley & Coward Solicitors can advise on the best course of action if you are worried about the new rules. Contact Barry Long on 01709 510999, visit http://www.oxcow.co.uk or e-mail property@oxcow.co.uk
ENDS

Photograph and caption
Barry Long, Senior Partner and Property Section Head with Oxley & Coward Solicitors

Media Contact: BeyondPR. Tel.: 0114 275 6996. Mob: 07930 697773. http://www.beyondpr.co.uk
Ref: OXCOW048 Letting legal changes

Revolutionary multitasking CCTV cameras set to slash £64 billion UK crime bill

Of 10 field installations where Viseum IMC deployments have been publicised, the intelligent multi-tasking cameras have made a significant impact on crime statistics, killing previous problems stone dead. Establishing just how much the UK will save on its crime bill is the purpose of Viseums new study. In fact this track record proves that the best-in-class IMC (Intelligent Moving Camera) technology is set to save the UK economy £billions per year. Its widespread deployment across the UK would also ensure Home Office Recommendations on crime detection and prevention are supported, and assist local authorities and law enforcement agencies in hitting relevant targets.

The UK economy suffered a cost of £64 Billion in 2003/4 based upon Government crime statistics; more worryingly, a more recent independent study indicates this cost is now running at a staggering £78 Billion per year. Stuart Thompson, Viseums Managing Director and inventor of the IMC technology, said: By being less reliant on infrastructures our cameras have proven to help CCTV schemes capture 25 times more useable evidence than any other manned solution. That is a massive incentive both socially and economically for local authorities and other Government agencies to provide protection to large numbers of open space problem areas.

Viseum will launch a savings calculator in the near future, to help identify just how much money a single IMC will save each particular community with specific crimes and antisocial problems – thereby providing local authorities and police forces with the financial data they need to justify the investment.

In fact Viseum will be encouraging members of the industry to take part in supporting our study or challenging these numbers, added Stuart Thompson. In return for the industrys input we will be offering a significant financial incentive – in addition to these proposed savings. Full details will be announced soon on the Viseum website www.viseum.co.uk

A very conservative clear up rate for Viseum IMCs in catching close up evidence-quality video is 70%, i.e: Viseum aims to clear up at least seven out of 10 open space incidents, whereas Viseum reports it is actually achieving nearer 100% clear-up of problems with the IMC so far.

To take part in the study or engage with Viseum about potential cost savings in your community, visit www.viseum.co.uk

About the Viseum IMC
Most conventional PTZ cameras simply dont capture the action theyre supposed to, are often facing in the wrong direction and consequently miss a lot of incidents. All making for a highly frustrating time for control room operators, local authorities and law enforcement agencies alike. With no sign of any new technology on the horizon to better the traditional PTZ, the owners and operators of CCTV schemes across the EU seemed destined for a hit and miss approach to crime detection and prevention for the foreseeable future. Now all that has changed. Enter the rapidly deployable Intelligent Moving Camera (IMC) from Viseum.

ENDS

Photograph and caption
Stuart Thompson with the Viseum IMC

Press contact
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR, Mobile: 07930 697773
DDI: 0114 275 6996
REF: VIS010 – £Billons saving

Isle of Man turns to Viseum for intelligent 24/7 CCTV solution

Douglas joins a growing number of local councils, police forces and other law enforcement agencies turning to Viseum because of its innovative and effective approach to traditional open space CCTV challenges.

Four Viseum IMCs are being individually mounted along the quayside, monitored from a central control room, with digital recording capability at both the camera and at the control room. The installation is under way now, with live date for the new scheme planned for February.

Council Leader David Christian, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: With the regeneration of the North Quay, and the area rapidly becoming a major entertainment and leisure zone for the capital, extending CCTV coverage to the locality has become a priority. The Council fully supports the use of CCTV as it helps protect the public, acts as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour and footage can be used in Court to bring criminals to justice. We have also been encouraged to learn that our partners, the police, have indicated they would be in favour of monitoring the CCTV coverage live at weekends. The latest surveillance technology will be used, where one intelligent moving camera delivers the performance of roughly 20 of the older CCTV units. Additionally, subject to funding being available, the Councils Parks section will be looking at installing a similar system in Nobles Park to reduce incidences of vandalism.

Ian Clague, Borough Engineer and Surveyor, also a lead member of Douglas Community Safety Partnership, said: The areas were particularly concerned about are increasing security of our car park, bus stops in the area, access to the marina, and the potential for anti-social behaviour associated with an increasing number of licensed and leisure facilities.

The Viseum IMC uses proven technology and enables fewer cameras to be deployed, offering better coverage and more effective crime detection and prevention at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems.

The requirements for the Douglas CCTV installation was an intermittently manned CCTV control room, but with cameras performing as if constantly manned; Viseums IMC ticked all the boxes as it enhances operator efficiency where operators are present, but can also be effectively used where resources dictate there are no permanent operators.

Viseums managing director, Stuart Thompson, said: Local authority CCTV schemes are budget and resource driven and CCTV technologies are increasingly being required to do more for the same money. This is where Viseums multi-tasking CCTV cameras score very highly. Where operators are not an option due to cost, or where their time needs to be spent on specific tasks, the IMC offers an extremely effective and cost-effective solution to the control room environment.

Elsewhere, the Viseum IMC has killed anti-social behaviour problems stone dead. It has immediately had the effect of making criminals realise they were actually being watched, and making the general public realise they were actually being protected – unlike previous technologies which often prove so ineffective criminals all but disregard them.

Most open space PTZ cameras have already exceeded their life expectancy and in any case, through cost and lack of resources, most of these are pointing the wrong way when crimes occur. Viseum presents an unparalleled value for money offering for clients to stay on top of all their camera installations. This is being achieved by replacing or upgrading PTZ cameras to become IMCs, which in turn enables control room staff to spend their time most effectively, maximises overall efficiencies and enables a much more viable solution for CCTV scheme expansion.
Are you tuned in to the power of the Viseum IMC and how well managed schemes are now being operated? At www.viseum.co.uk, local authorities and law enforcement agencies can view real footage, connect to real time live camera demos, and pre-register for forthcoming technology events. ENDS

Photograph and caption
Stuart Thompson, Viseums MD is celebrating another key contract win for his revolutionary IMC CCTV cameras, this time with Douglas in the Isle of Man.

Press contact
Jon Gardner. BeyondPR. Mobile: 07930 697773. DDI: 0114 275 6996

REF: VIS009 IOM

Spaces available for first ever Brighton Marathon

The deadline for entries is 1 Feb, so if you want to run for Deafness Research UK, you are encouraged to contact the charity as soon as possible.

Sue Bowcock, Community and Events Officer for Deafness Research UK, said: You can enjoy the challenge of running a full marathon and raise vital funds for hearing research. We are probably one of the easiest options for anyone thinking about running the marathon, and any funds raised will make a real difference to our ability to conduct further life changing research for children and adults across the UK.

Unlike some other charities, we do not demand a minimum sponsorship figure and we are not necessarily looking for experienced club runners. As long as you are fit enough to take on the challenge, are prepared to do the training and want to run for Deafness Research UK, we look forward to receiving enquiries from interested parties over the next week or two.

For further information, contact Sue Bowcock on 0207 679 8965 or e-mail her at sue.bowcock@deafnessresearch.org.uk

The first ever Brighton Marathon is sure to be a massive success, added Sue. The event will take place in the beautiful, and thankfully flat, seaside resort of Brighton. The organisers are fantastic supporters of small charities like ours and we hope that this will be a big fundraiser for Deafness Research UK. All we ask for is the £95 registration fee, plus as much sponsorship as you can raise for the charity.
ENDS
Notes to editors

Registration fee includes:
Covered Charity Runner Hospitality at the Start Area (accompanied access @ £2 per person): to include food & drink, extra toilets, and dedicated baggage drop-off.
Covered Charity Runner Hospitality at the Finish Area (accompanied access free if fee paid at Start, otherwise same fee of £2 per head applies): to include food & drink, extra toilets, and dedicated baggage pick-up.
Red Charity Runner wristband to ensure entry to exclusive charity areas.
Colour coded Red Charity Bib Number for race.
Finisher Certificate.
Finisher Medal.
Finisher T-shirt.
Finisher Goody Bag.

About Deafness Research UK
Deafness Research UK is the countrys only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people.
The charity supports high quality medical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment including tinnitus.
The Deafness Research UK Information Service provides free information and advice based on the latest scientific evidence and informed by leading experts. The Information Service can be contacted on Freephone 0808 808 2222
For more information on research into deafness, tinnitus and other hearing conditions, log on to the website at www.deafnessresearch.org.uk where you can access a wide range of information. Alternatively you can e-mail Deafness Research UK at info@deafnessresearch.org.uk
One in seven people in the UK almost nine million people – suffer hearing loss.
Deafness Research UK was founded in 1985 by Lord (Jack) and Lady Ashley of Stoke.
In January 2008, Action for Tinnitus Research (ATR) was linked with Deafness Research UK under a uniting direction order under section 96(6) of the Charities Act 1993.

Scientific & medical advances
Since its creation in 1985, Deafness Research UK has awarded over £10 million in research grants to secure radical improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment.
The advances we have been responsible for include:
the development of the Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test to enable doctors to identify hearing impaired babies at birth. /cont
research into more effective cochlear implant devices and services, including assessment, fitting and rehabilitation procedures for children.
improvements in signal processing for digital hearing aids in order to help improve speech discrimination and understanding, particularly in noisy environments
the isolation of genes responsible for many forms of inherited deafness including the most important breakthrough that mutations in the Connexin-26 gene cause a significant proportion of congenital and childhood deafness
research into preventing or repairing inner ear damage, including funding researchers who were the first to report that hair cells in the mammalian balance system can regenerate
the discovery that an overproduction of the neurotransmitter glutamate can be linked to tinnitus, a finding which could lead to new drug treatments for the condition.

Further Deafness Research UK achievements can be found at www.deafnessresearch.org.uk and following the achievements button. A direct link follows here:
http://www.deafnessresearch.org.uk/Scientific%20%26amp%3B%20medical%20advances+2213.twl

Press contact
Jon Gardner, Beyond PR
Tel: 0114 275 6996
Mob: 07930 697773
Email: jon.gardner@beyondpr.co.uk

BrunelFranklin.com to unveil new website and regional TV campaign

BrunelFranklin.com is launching its new website featuring real members of staff based at its Altrincham customer service centre who deal with thousands of claims against mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and other mis-sold financial products. Historically, claims companies have been perceived as faceless organisations, but all that is about to change as Brunel Franklin shows the world (via the web) that it is a real, well established company run by professionals, with a tradition of excellence in financial claims.

Brunel Franklins customers feature in the companys new regional TV ad campaign due to launch in January with a series of some 100 key slots initially in the Granada and Tyne Tees areas. If successful, Brunel Franklin will be looking to roll the campaign out nationally across the other regions of the UK during 2010 and beyond. The 30 second commercials focus on real people across the UK who have won thousands of pounds worth of compensation against mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policies, thanks to Brunel Franklin.

Sally Bowyer, managing director of BrunelFranklin.com, is excited about the year ahead.
She said: We have already won millions in compensation for PPI mis-selling victims and research shows that there may still be hundreds of thousands or even millions of people who are unaware they have even have a PPI policy. The vast majority of those policies may have been mis-sold and we are now embarking on a campaign to spread the word.

We would encourage people to dig out any loan, mortgage, credit card and other credit agreements to check the small print. If your monthly repayments were calculated including insurance and you didnt understand what you were being sold, you may have grounds for a claim. If you are unsure whether you have PPI or not, you can call our free helpline on 0800 0515451.

Brunel Franklin is a member of the Claims Standards Council and is regulated by the MoJ and licensed by the Financial Services Authority for certain activities. It has long been an advocate of proper regulation in the claims sector and is often called upon by the media and the regulators to offer views, information and guidance relating to the claims sector.

For further information visit www.brunelfranklin.com
ENDS

Photo and caption
Sally Bowyer, MD of BrunelFranklin.com

Press enquiries
BeyondPR
Mobile 07930 697773
Tel 0114 275 6996

Scientific breakthrough could bring repair of hearing loss closer

A new study into hearing has uncovered the secret of our extraordinary ability to perceive a range of sounds – from a pin dropping to the roar of a jet engine – and could lead to a better understanding of deafness and hearing loss. With further research, it is hoped that we may soon be closer to understanding mechanisms behind deafness, enabling improved methods aimed at repairing hearing loss due to damage or genetic defects. The findings also shed light on other sensory systems, such as smell and vision.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, Deafness Research UK and the Royal Society, Dr Walter Marcotti, of Sheffield Universitys Department of Biomedical Science, has discovered how a particular calcium sensor present in highly specialised sensory cells allows us to hear with such remarkable sensitivity across a wide range of sound intensities. Working collaboratively with researchers in four other institutions, Dr Walter Marcotti and his research assistant Dr Stuart Johnson have found that a calcium sensor present in auditory sensory cell synapses allows them to encode graded sound stimuli. Their findings have been published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The article can be found at: http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.2456.html

The human ear can process an impressive range of sounds, from a pin dropping to a jet engine on take-off. This remarkable achievement depends upon the ability of these sensory receptors to respond to graded signals across a wide range of sound intensity. A similar phenomenon exists in other sensory systems, including the eye. The system depends on the properties of specialised ribbon synapses that convey sensory information from the receptors to the brain.

Dr Walter Marcotti and Dr Stuart Johnson explain: The function of this specific calcium sensor is to extend the dynamic range of sensory synapses in order to increase hearing sensitivity across such a wide spectrum of sound intensities. We are now studying how the calcium sensors, or synaptotagmins, interact to produce our remarkably sensitive auditory, visual and olfactory systems. By revealing the main determinants of normal cochlear synaptic development, they hope that the information gathered could bring us closer to an understanding of mechanisms behind deafness, and improve methods aimed at repairing hearing loss due to damage or genetic defects.

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK, said: The findings of Dr Marcottis team are incredibly exciting. The notion that we may be able to repair hearing loss at some level in the future is one that will give hope to millions of deaf people and sufferers of other hearing conditions across the world. It is of course early days and with all such scientific breakthroughs we need to be cautious; however we believe that the findings are significant and we may indeed be closer to understanding deafness than at any point previously.

This is exactly the type of research that Deafness Research UK aims to fund. Deafness Research UK is the countrys only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people. The charity supports high quality medical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment including tinnitus. The Deafness Research UK Information Service provides free information and advice based on the latest scientific evidence and informed by leading experts. The Information Service can be contacted on Freephone 0808 808 2222.
ENDS

Notes to editors
Our auditory system works thanks to unique cells (hair cells: Fig. 1a), which convert sound into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then relayed to the brain, via auditory nerve fibres, by neurotransmitters packaged in small vesicles that, different from the central nervous system, attach to synaptic structures called ribbons (Fig. 1b, c).
Figure 1: a, Structure of the auditory organ showing the sensory hair cells (inner hair cells [IHCs]; outer hair cells [OHCs]: from DN Furness and CM Hackney, Keele University). b, A diagram of a hair cell showing ribbon synapses opposite auditory nerve fibres. c, A high magnification image showing a ribbon synapse taken using a transmission electron microscope.

The release of neurotransmitters from hair cells works using specialised calcium sensors known as synaptotagmins. It was previously believed that other molecules were involved, but Dr Marcotti and his team have shown how synaptotagmin IV (Fig. 2), one of 17 synaptotagmins in the human body, is integral to our processing of sound across a wide range of volumes and intensities.

Figure 2: Synaptotagmin IV is present in inner hair cells (Syt IV: green dots) in the same region as calcium channels (CaV1.3: red dots), which are involved in triggering neurotransmitter release. Picture from Nature Neuroscience (http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.2456.html )

About Deafness Research UK
For more information on research into deafness, tinnitus and other hearing conditions, log on to the website at www.deafnessresearch.org.uk where you can access a wide range of information. Alternatively you can e-mail Deafness Research UK at info@deafnessresearch.org.uk
One in seven people in the UK almost nine million people – suffer hearing loss.
Deafness Research UK was founded in 1985 by Lord (Jack) and Lady Ashley of Stoke.
In January 2008, Action for Tinnitus Research (ATR) was linked with Deafness Research UK under a uniting direction order under section 96(6) of the Charities Act 1993.

Further information
Dr Walter Marcotti, University of Sheffield
Email: w.marcotti@sheffield.ac.uk

Press enquiries (Deafness Research UK)
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR. Direct line 0114 275 6996. Mobile 07930 697773. e-mail: jon.gardner@beyondpr.co.uk

Ref: DR-UK0178 Sheffield Research published in Nature Neuroscience

www.deafnessresearch.org.uk

One in three could benefit from a Lasting Power of Attorney

Latest statistics show that around 2,000,000 people in England and Wales lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and around 15,000 people under the age of 65 already have dementia. But now there is a simplified way to appoint someone to look after things for you, if you become incapable of doing so yourself.

Oxley & Coward Partner, Jayne Jackson, said: The process of initiating an LPA is quite straightforward; however a bit like wills it seems to be something that few of us get round to sorting out, especially when we are healthy and not worrying too much about later life. The message is clear; sadly many of us will be affected by dementia in later life, putting an LPA in place now will ensure your affairs are dealt with as you would wish, that loved ones and friends will have a less stressful time trying to guess what you would have wanted.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were first introduced two years ago and they allow individuals to appoint someone to act as their attorney, to deal with their personal welfare or their financial affairs. The LPA replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) and offered two advantages. Firstly they settled any worry about someone being pressured into the agreement, as an independent person has to certify in the LPA that the donor understands what they are doing and has not been the victim of undue influence. Secondly, under the old-style EPA an attorney was only authorised to deal with the donors finances, but LPAs can be used to cover personal welfare as well.

For health and welfare LPAs, this can include the attorney making decisions on areas such as medical treatment and where the donor lives. The attorney can even be given authority to refuse life sustaining treatment.

Although the launch of LPAs was welcomed two years ago, they have been criticised for their length and lack of user-friendliness. But the Office of the Public Guardian has recently launched a shorter and simpler form, which can be filled in on-line and printed off.

Given the alarming new statistics, it is important that we all plan ahead. Even those who have done an EPA should take advantage of the fact that LPAs provide the opportunity to appoint someone to look after their personal welfare. And for those already suffering from the onset of dementia, its important to find a lawyer who understands your situation, concluded Jayne Jackson.

Oxley & Coward Solicitors provides advice on legal and financial matters for people suffering from dementia through the Alzheimers Society as a member of LawNet – a network of independent, quality assured law firms throughout the UK and Ireland.

For advice and guidance on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), including a FREE initial discussion, call Oxley & Coward on 01709 510999, visit www.oxcow.co.uk or e-mail jayne.jackson@oxcow.co.uk or probate@oxcow.co.uk

Note to editors:
The Office of the Public Guardian supports and promotes decision making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. See: http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/
Around two million people in England and Wales lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and 15,000 people under the age of 65 have dementia. For more details please see The Mental Capacity Act: Media Snapshot Guide [PDF 0.19mb, 2 pages], and the Department of Health National Dementia Strategy [PDF 1.52mb, 102 pages].
The Alzheimers Society is the chosen charity for LawNet and staff at member firms have collected over £24,000 this year, with activities that include a Three Peaks challenge in Yorkshire.

Further information, contact Oxley & Coward Solicitors on 01709 510999, visit www.oxcow.co.uk or e-mail mailbox@oxcow.co.uk
ENDS

Media Contact: BeyondPR. Tel.: 0114 275 6996. Mob: 07930 697773. www.beyondpr.co.uk
Ref: OXCOW039 LPAs

Charities Praised by Minister for Veterans

Minister for Veterans, Kevan Jones, praised the work of charities and other key stakeholders during a symposium on noise induced hearing loss jointly organised by the charity Deafness Research UK and the MoD at the UCL Ear Institute on Monday 7 December.

A Modern Approach to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss from Military Operations brought together interested parties from the armed forces, the NHS, academic research and the voluntary sector to share and update knowledge of the science relevant to noise induced hearing loss and the practical problems faced during military operations.

Speaking at the symposium, the Minister said he was committed to working with the charity sector to make sure that serving personnel, veterans and their families were aware of the wide range of support available to them.

Kevan Jones said: The support that our people deserve is out there and we want to make sure that they can take full advantage of everything that the MoD and charities such as Deafness Research UK provide. I want to make sure that people know where to find this invaluable support, which is why I launched the Welfare Pathway in Kent last month a one stop shop that allows our men and women to access all the support they need through one simple phone call. At this stage its just a pilot scheme but Im hoping its the start of things to come.

The Minister added that he acknowledged the achievements of the Defence Hearing Working Group (DHWG), whose members include representatives from the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and Deafness Research UK. He told the conference that in the past 12 months the DHWG had commenced a hearing study on Royal Marine Units and had introduced an education package to warn deploying infantry of the dangers of exposure to noise.

Deafness Research UK’s Chief Executive, Vivienne Michael, said: "Tackling noise induced hearing loss is a real challenge for the armed forces and this meeting is one step towards identifying key areas in research and practice that will improve prevention and management of noise induced hearing loss in the future.

As the UKs foremost research charity in this field Deafness Research UK has a particular interest in how we might use fundamental progress in basic hearing research to inform the practical solutions to this problem. We also want to begin to rebuild the practical knowledge, experience and capacity in the area of noise induced hearing loss which has to some extent been lost in UK over the last 30 years.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with the MoD to help identify and minimise the risk of deafness and associated hearing conditions, and to offer practical advice and guidance based on the most up-to-date deafness research.

Anyone worried about deafness or seeking information on deafness and other hearing conditions such as tinnitus can contact the Deafness Research UK information line, free of charge, on 0808 808 2222.

Notes to editors

About Deafness Research UK
Deafness Research UK is the countrys only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people.
The charity supports high quality medical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment including tinnitus.
Deafness Research UK is entirely dependent on voluntary donations, gifts and personal legacies. You can donate online at www.deafnessresearch.org.uk , or call 0207 7833 1733 for further information on how to support the charity.

In January 2008, Action for Tinnitus Research (ATR) was linked with Deafness Research UK under a uniting direction order under section 96(6) of the Charities Act 1993.
One in seven people in the UK almost nine million people – suffer hearing loss.
Deafness Research UK was founded in 1985 by Lord (Jack) and Lady Ashley of Stoke.

Press enquiries
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR. Direct line 0114 275 6996. Mobile 07930 697773. e-mail: jon.gardner@beyondpr.co.uk
Ref: DR-UK0177 MoD

www.deafnessresearch.org.uk