By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Blair calls up crisis team to beat the
Rising street crime is being treated as a national emergency,
Tony Blair announced yesterday.
The prime minister told MPs that street crime in London and
other big cities should be brought “under control” in five
It emerged that Blair had chaired the fourth meeting of the
Cabinet’s civil contingencies committee, which had been
But politicians accused Blair of misusing the committee by
treating crime as an emergency needing special powers. Conservative
leader Iain Duncan Smith said it appeared Blair was admitting that
street crime had become a “major crisis for the nation”.
Source:- The Times Thursday 25 April page 1
Thug, 13, preyed on pensioner
A terrified pensioner had told how a 13-year-old neighbour
tormented her for months with physical attacks and thefts.
The 86-year-old woman, who has not been named, suffered bruising
to her face, cigarette burns to her clothes and repeatedly was
forced to hand over money to Carl Whitehead and a group of his
She was so scared she told nobody, but diarised the events
daily. The diary was submitted as evidence at Manchester crown
court, where Whitehead was banned from going into the
victim’s house or garden.
Source:- The Times Thursday 25 April page 2
25 arrests over child porn on Internet
Twenty five people were arrested yesterday as part of a
crackdown on internet users who exchange pornographic pictures of
children. They included a doctor, teacher and a teenage boy.
Officers from 34 forces carried out raids on more than 70 homes
seizing computers for examination.
Police said those targeted had gone on to child pornography
sites asking to swap or download images.
Source:- The Times Thursday 25 April page 6
Head wants quota on asylum children
A black head teacher urged the government to introduce a quota
on asylum seeker children to divide them equally among schools in
William Atkinson, head of the Phoenix school in Hammersmith,
west London, said he supported David Blunkett’s sentiment, if
not his terminology, when he said he wanted to stop them ‘swamping’
He backs the home secretary’s proposals to teach asylum
seekers’ children in detention centres: “I would not have
chosen that word – inundated would be better – but it
shows he is sensitive to that fact that some schools take a
disproportionate amount of these children.”
Source:- The Times Thursday 25 April page 12
Paedophile priests in US face expulsion
“Notorious” priests responsible for serial paedophilia and
clergymen posing a threat to children, will be expelled in America
under tough new guidelines, which emerged at the end of a two-day
conference at the Vatican on child sex abuse.
In a letter to the Unites States Roman Catholic Church clergy,
the 12 cardinals admitted they should have done more to avert the
paedophile priest scandal that imposed a “heavy burden of sorrow
and shame” on all clergy.
In a final statement, the prelates proposed that a US
bishops’ conference in June “recommend a special process for
the dismissal for the clerical state of a priest who has become
notorious, and is guilty of the serial predatory sexual abuse of
The cardinals added they would like to propose a special
procedure “for cases which are not notorious but where the diocesan
bishop considers the priest a threat for the protection of children
and young people”.
Source:- The Times Thursday 25 April page 14
Self-mutilating prisoner wins right to die
A self-harming prisoner has been given permission to die by the
The 30-year-old serving life for murder won an order to prevent
prison staff treating him. He repeatedly gouges his leg to he will
develop fatal blood poisoning, and could die within two weeks as a
A judge said he had the mental capacity to make the decision to
die, and he will not be resuscitated if he lapses into
The inmate, known as W, said he has been denied treatment for
his mental disorder, and would rather die than be locked up for 23
hours a day on a segregation wing.
He told Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss that he had been mutilating
his leg for five months hoping it would turn sceptic.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 25 April page 2
Speed up asylum cases, says Letwin
“One-stop-shops” should be set up by the government so that
applications from asylum seekers can be processed within weeks as
opposed to months, the shadow home secretary said last night.
Oliver Letwin said he was concerned about asylum seekers in the
course of appeal losing their automatic right to bail.
Accommodation centres would only deal with 6,000 of the 60,000
people seeking asylum each year and would probably take three years
Instead there should be a one-stop shop to deal with around
30,000 a year.
Letwin opened the debate for the Tories during the second
reading debate of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 25 April page 12
Blunkett to penalise asylum seekers who commit
Asylum seekers who commit crimes should not be able to claim
British citizenship, David Blunkett said yesterday.
In the second reading debate of the Nationality, Immigration and
Asylum Bill, the home secretary said: “I don’t think it is
acceptable, as happened in my city, for an old lady of 78 to be
mugged for £60, and for the three people who mugged her to
continue to claim they require asylum in this country.”
Blunkett said Britain should be a “haven” for people fleeing
persecution, but said the government would be tough on those who
abuse British hospitality. Anyone who committed crimes that carry a
sentence of two years in prison should forfeit their rights, he
The home secretary said the bill would streamline the appeals
process and improve the current system, which was “virtually
unworkable”, and “riddled with delays, prevarication, and in some
cases deliberate disruption of the appeals process.”
Source:- Independent Thursday 25 April page 8
Violent crime up as overall rate falls
Violent crime in Scotland increased last year against the
overall trend of a falling crime rate. The Scottish executive was
at pains to point out that the crime rate had fallen by 2,000 to
421,100 reported crimes, decreasing for the second consecutive
year, while police detection was at a post war record high of 45
per cent. However, opposition MSPs criticised the executive for a
24 per cent increase in non-sexual crime and 14 per cent in
Source:- The Herald Thursday 25 April page 7
Inquiry into home
Inspectors appointed by the Welsh assembly will spend next month
interviewing managers and council officials about the care of
residents at a controversial residential home for older people in
The inquiry team will question Cardiff council and Hafod housing
association about the running of the Hazelcroft home in Fairwater,
Critics have called for a public inquiry into the care of the
residents, and say that the current investigation will fail if
inspectors do not interview the home’s staff and former
Jonathan Morgan, South Wales central assembly member, accused
the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, which will carry out
the inquiry, of “missing the entire point”. He added that, “talking
to the usual suspects in county hall will get the investigation
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 24 April page
Unused asylum scheme near collapse
Councils in Wales have issued an ultimatum to the home office
after running up bills of £175,000 for an asylum seekers
scheme that has yet to start.
The local authority consortium that was designed to find
accommodation for all of the asylum seekers coming to Wales is said
to be likely to collapse within the next week following months of
political wrangling and a mounting financial deficit.
Despite months of expensive planning by the 21 authorities that
make up the consortium, the National Asylum Support Service, (NASS)
has never signed any contracts on behalf of the home office. The
consortium has now set a deadline of noon on Tuesday for the
undertaking to be given or says it will abandon the entire
Plaid Cymru assembly member Helen Mary Jones, said: “This sadly,
is typical of the whole way that the home office has handled
immigration and asylum; it has been a farce. I don’t blame
the local authorities if they have to pull out, but it is extremely
worrying if the consortium falls apart”.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 25 April page 1