A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg Mckay and Alex

Men fall victim to domestic violence

Men are falling victim to domestic violence too, as one in
100,000 incidents of violence in the home to which police were
called to in London last year, were men being attacked by their

Although the figure is much higher than estimated, women were
the victim in the majority of cases, and were more likely to suffer
injury or death.

Criminologist Betsy Stanko, who carried out the research, said:
“What it shows is that domestic violence is all around us but just
not seen.”

Despite assumptions that domestic violence peaked at the
weekend, the major variation was over the course of the day, with
nearly all incidents between 10pm and midnight.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 March page 5

Sex help fails to curb teen pregnancy

Teenage pregnancies are not reduced by increased access to
contraception, according to new research.

Greater access to family planning services was associated with
an increase in under age pregnancy, according to a study published
in Journal of Health Economics.

Senior lecturer in industrial economics at Nottingham
University, David Paton, found in his research that factors such as
whether the girl was in care, how long she stayed at school, and
the overall unemployment rate were the strongest influences on the
likelihood of her getting pregnant before the age of 16.

“My research casts serious doubt on current government policy,”
he said. “We found that as you increase access to family planning
services, pregnancy rates for this group either do not change or
there is some evidence they go up.”

Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 March page 5

Laughing brothers ‘admitted they killed

Two brothers accused of murdering Damilola Taylor laughed while
they told other young offenders in jail about what they had done,
the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Prison officer at Feltham young offenders’ institution
Darren De’ath said that during a meeting to induct new
inmates, he asked if any boy was expecting a long sentence.

The brothers were on remand for burglary and intimidating a
witness, but one said: “Yes, possibly or probably a murder,” and
then laughed.

Another inmate asked: “Who did you murder?”

And the second brother replied: “Damilola Taylor, but we did not
mean to kill him. We only stabbed him in the legs. It was not our
fault he died.”

After the meeting, De’ath asked the boys if they killed
Damilola to which they said they had “hypothetically speaking”, but
continued that they would not speak to the officer because he was
only interested in the £50,000 reward put up by a tabloid

The brothers and a 14-year-old boy have pleaded not guilty to
killing him.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 March page 11

Black community split by call for stop and

Calls for the police to make greater use of stop and search
powers to combat rising street crime caused leading figures in
Britain’s black community to clash yesterday.

Mike Best, editor of ‘The Voice’, a newspaper targeted at the
black community, said he believed that most black people would
support increased uses of searches by the police.

But black police officers criticised the comments, and said
carefully directed police was the answer to rising street

Best told the BBC: “The majority of people who have nothing to
hide would not mind very much. I think the increasing crime is
warranting that.”

The National Black Police Association said the calls for more
police searching were misplaced.

The president of the association Ravi Chand said: “We accept the
rising gun crime problem in the major cities within the UK, but
feel that stop and search is not the panacea.”

“The wide scale use of the stop and search powers will only lead
to further distrust and allegations of abuse.”

Chand continued that targeted intelligence-led policing is the
only way forward in helping to reduce gun crime.

In London street crime has increased 30 per cent since April
last year.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 5 March page

Thousands slip net of community sentencing

A reform to strip state benefits from criminals who fail to turn
up for community punishments has turned to a farce.

The scheme was intended to tackle the problem of young vandals
who abuse the system, which replaces jail terms with work in the

Only four out of a thousands offenders have been penalised with
a benefit cut, in the first three and a half months of the pilot

The admission comes as prison rights lobbyists are trying to
persuade the courts to use more community service orders.

Offenders are ordered to carry out useful work in the community.
But thousands simply do not turn up and critics dismiss the system
as a farce.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 5 March page 34

Scottish newspapers

Scottish executive underspend

The Scottish executive will have a £200 million underspend
on this year’s financial budget.

The figure was revealed in a letter from finance minister, Andy
Kerr, to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. The
executive revealed that there were plans to carry forward a small
proportion of the underspend for high priority projects next year.
The opposition Scottish National Party has accused the executive of
“financial incompetence and mismanagement”.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 5 March page 9

Third Age inquiry to be held in private

The report of the inquiry into the Third Age, the older people’s
care charity at the centre of the rent row leading to the
resignation of Henry McLeish as first minister, is to be held in
private, contrary to initial expectations.

Fife council ordered the inquiry after allegations emerged that
Third Age continued to receive local authority grants after it had
ceased to exist. The charity rented space in Henry McLeish’s
Glenrothes constituency, and was caught up as the “sixth sub-let”
in a row over McLeish’s declared expenses as an MP and

Douglas Sinclair, chief executive of Fife council, has decided
that the report must be heard in private since individual members
of staff were named. Opposition political parties have described
Fife council of “outrageous behaviour”.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 5 March page 1

Welsh newspapers

Internet site designed to beat paedophiles

Children in Cardiff are the first in the UK to have the
opportunity to use a safe internet site, designed to deter

The site is only accessible to children if they register through
their schools making it extremely difficult for paedophiles to pose
as children in internet chat rooms.

Last year, an Oxford academic was jailed after he had seduced a
14-year-old Cardiff schoolboy, he had met through a chat room.

The site is the brainchild of business partners, Amanda Selby
and Michael Matouski, who set up Chase TM Ltd to help tackle the
problem of paedophiles gaining access to children via the

The site is expected to go live on 1 July, and pupils are asked
to pay a one-off registration fee of £5 to register with
www.deadreddodo.com which will have a language filter and online

Source:- South Wales Echo Monday March 4 page 9

Call for younger councillors

The leader of the Welsh Local Government Association has called
on councils across Wales to continue to work to break down barriers
so that people from a wide range of backgrounds can become

Sir Harry Jones was addressing a conference on widening
participation within councils, and said that in the future he hoped
to see more young people, women and those from ethnic minorities
taking part.

Recent statistics show that in Wales only 19 per cent of
councillors are female, and only 1 per cent are from an ethnic
minority background.

Sir Harry said: “I recognise that councils have an image
problem, they appear preoccupied with bureaucracy and regulation,
there is a lack of role models and a generally negative image of
local government within the public and media”.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 5 March page 2





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