A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

body used in anti-drugs film

of a dead girl are to be used in a hard hitting anti drugs video that will be
shown to school-children.

girl’s parents have given the go-ahead for the video which tells the story of
Rachel Whitear, 21, who died from a heroin overdose.

girl’s family want her story to be a warning to other young people of how drugs
can wreck their lives, and that of their families.

from Herefordshire took the overdose in May 2000. When police arrived they took
a picture of the girl for the coroner’s investigation.

images are used at the end of the video called Rachel’s Story, which has been
produced with Department of Health funding by Herefordshire Healthy Schools

The Times Friday 1 March page 4

deaths show rapid rise

number of deaths involving heroin in England and Wales has increased fivefold,
from 187 in1993, to 926 in 2000.

figures published yesterday revealed the number of deaths related to drug
misuse in England and Wales rose from 864 in 1993 to 1,662 in 2000.

Independent Friday 1 March page 6

Gehring case forces law change

laws governing supply teachers are to be amended in a bid to prevent a repeat
of the Amy Gehring case.

agencies would now have to report any concerns that teachers may be a risk to
children, the government said yesterday.

month Amy Gehring was cleared of indecently assaulting underage children at a
school where she was teaching. But it emerged she had been sent there despite
having been investigated by police and child protection officers, and she later
confessed she had sex with another 16-year-old pupil at a different school.

change to the Education Bill going through Parliament will force schools and
agencies to report any concerns to education secretary Estelle Morris. She has
the power to place teachers suspected or convicted of child abuse on List 99,
the file of people prevented from working with young people.

The Times Friday 1 March page 4

seekers turning from Britain to Europe

is no longer the favourite destination for asylum seekers as figures published
yesterday show Germany to be the most common destination.

applications to the UK fell by 11 per cent in 2001 compared to the previous
year. Britain is now the second favourite destination for asylum seekers with
88,300 applications in 2001 – a fall from 98,900 on the previous year. Germany
received 88,365, an increase from 78,565 in 2000.

only 9,285 failed applicants were removed from the UK last year, demonstrating
the difficult task the government will face in meeting its targets to remove
2,500 asylum seekers who fail to qualify each month from next month.

minister Lord Rooker said the figures were encouraging, particularly as there
had been a rise in other EU countries.

said: “We are sending the message to the rest of the world that, while Britain
is not a fortress, neither is our country open to abuse.”

The Times  Friday 1 March page 6

abuse costs NHS £3bn a year

misuse is costing the NHS £3bn a year and causing despondency among health
workers forced to deal with drink-related injuries and illnesses, it emerged

misuse imposed a “depressing burden” on already demoralised health workers,
according to Chris Luke of Cork University Hospital.

alcohol and substance misuse, sedentary lives and obesity are the root causes
of much of the NHS’s medical overload,” he told an Alcohol Concern conference
in Birmingham.

these, perhaps the most pressing is alcohol misuse. Of course, the shortage of
care places for the elderly is a major factor in hospital overload, but this is
largely beyond the ability of most elderly patients or even major funding shifts
to resolve quickly,” he added.

related problems accounted for 12 per cent of all new patient attendances at
accident and emergency, he revealed.

The Times  Friday 1 March page 10

it, Damilola boy said

investigating the death of Damilola Taylor were told to “prove it” that one of
the boys accused of murder was responsible at the Old Bailey yesterday.

A hit back after officers accused him of lying during interviews two weeks
after the schoolboy’s death in Peckham, south London in November 2000.

youth, who was 15 at the time said: “Prove I was there that day.”

boy and his brother, both aged 16, and a 15-year-old boy deny murder,
manslaughter and assault with intent to rob.

case continues.

The Times  Friday 1 March page 10

pregnancies cause safe sex concern

number of schoolgirls getting pregnant has increased for the first time since
the 1995 contraceptive pill scare, raising fears that young girls are ignoring
the government’s safe sex message.

the number of teenage pregnancies for girls under 18 has fallen for the second
consecutive year, the rate for girls under 16 has increased from 8.2
conceptions per 1,000 girls in 1999 to 8.3 in 2000.

the Department of Heath said the research reported in the latest Health
Statistics Quarterly from the Office of National Statistics showed that
progress had been made in tackling the problem of teenagers engaging in unsafe

Daily Telegraph
  Friday 1 March page

and Welsh newspapers

condemned for anti-vice purge

health and prostitute support groups have condemned Glasgow Council for closing
down saunas in an anti-vice purge.

the council refused licences to two saunas bringing accusations that they were
placing women at risk. The zero tolerance approach has been contrasted with
Edinburgh’s policy where saunas are allowed and a safe area has been identified
in a bid to protect prostitutes. Martina Bernard, a doctor at Glasgow
University’s Centre for Drug Misuse and Research, who has studied prostitution,
claimed the clampdown would drive the trade further underground.  

The Herald Friday 1 March page 11

row father convicted of assault

French father at the centre of a public row over smacking children was
convicted yesterday of assaulting his eight-year old son.  

man was arrested last summer when reported for allegedly assaulting his child
in a public place in Edinburgh. His subsequent period in custody raised a
furore at a time when the Scottish executive had introduced plans to ban
smacking of children.  

his trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, the man’s eight-year old son was one of
his defence witnesses claiming that he had received only a smack on the
bottom.  However, the sheriff chose to
accept the evidence of two witnesses who described a “vicious” assault. The
conviction has brought a call from child care organisations for a prompt
clarity in the law with some urging the executive to place a full ban on
smacking children.

finding the man guilty, the sheriff admonished him since he had already spent
two days in custody and medical reports indicated that his son had received no
serious injury. The trial has received hostile coverage in the French press.

The Herald
Friday 1 March page 1

messaging to be used to defeat truants

new system designed to use text messaging to combat truants is being  piloted at a school in North Wales.

the system installed at the school in Bangor, a text message is automatically
sent out to the parents of all the children unaccounted for after the morning
register is taken. The system, which has cost £5,000 to install, involves the
registers being scanned into a computer which has been programmed with the
telephone numbers of parents.

Western Mail Friday 1 March page 1

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