Friday 29 November 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry and Alex

Paedophile fear leads to nativity ban

Parents attending their children’s nativity plays have
been prevented from taking cameras and video recorders for fear
that images may end up in the hands of child sex offenders.

A village school’s decision to ban the parents of 94
children recording their children’s performances was met with
disbelief by parents.

Head of Sundon Lower School, near Luton, Bedfordshire, wrote to
families advising them of the ban agreed by school governors, who
feared the images could end up on the internet.

Some parents are unhappy that treasured moments in the lives of
their children cannot be recorded and will be lost forever.

Source:- The Times Friday 29 November page 3

Runaways cash

Up to £3 million is to be spent on trying to prevent
runaways turning to drug abuse and prostitution.

Ministers presented an action plan to help the 77,000 children
who run away each year.

Source:- The Times Friday 29 November page 2

Immigration increases by quarter to a

Immigration increased by almost 25 per cent last year to reach a
record 126,000 people, according to official statistics published

The difference between the number of people leaving the country
and those arriving with plans to stay for more than a year rose in
2001 to reach a record number.

The latest migration figures were announced on the eve of the
publication of asylum statistics today which will show a further
increase in the number of people arriving in Britain seeking
refugee status.

Yesterday immigration minister Beverley Hughes said that a new
measure would be introduced in January to stop support for people
who do not claim asylum on immediate arrival.

Source:- The Times Friday 29 November page 12

Class assistant on sex charge

A class room assistant from Northampton appeared at the
town’s magistrates court charged with having sex with a
13-year-old pupil.

Susan Stevens, aged 32, was bailed until 12 December.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 29 November page 7

Police put on alert for mass Sangatte

Police are standing by to deal with more than 1,000 refuges
coming into Britain from the Sangatte refugee camp, near

Home secretary David Blunkett agreed to take at least half of
those given refugee status as a part of the deal made between the
British and French governments to shut the camp in September.

Despite this, plans to open a 24-hour drop in centre for asylum
seekers in Kent has raised suspicions Britain will receive the
majority of the camp’s inmates. There have also been claims that
chief police officers have been consulted on plans to admit a
‘sizeable’ number of refugees.

Blunkett meets, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French interior minister,
on Monday to discuss the end of Sangatte, and the precise number of
refugees being let into Britain is subject to negotiations between
the pair.

Sangatte is due to close in April of next year, but Blunkett is
pushing for it to shut much earlier. A House of Lords report
published yesterday predicts the growth of illegal immigration in
the next few years.

Source: Daily Mail Friday 29 November page 4

Traffickers stealing identities, Lords warn

A vast number of children who die in infancy are having their
identities stolen by people-trafficking gangs, according to a House
of Lords report released yesterday.

A detective superintendent, giving evidence to the committee,
said more than a 1,000 cases were uncovered in a single operation
involving the cross-referencing of birth and death certificates
with passport applications and national insurance numbers.

Project Reflex, was run at Heathrow airport as part of a new
European-wide initiative to combat immigration crime, but police
have complained it was hampered by a lack of resources, with just
41 false identities being investigated so far.

The Lords report warned the home secretary, David Blunkett, that
if illegal immigration isn’t controlled there would be a ‘growing
underclass’ of people ‘vulnerable to exploitation’.

Source: The Guardian Friday 29 November page 15

Scottish newspapers

Drink and drugs fuel dramatic rise in Scotland’s
homicide rate

The homicide rate went up last year despite focused efforts by
police and the Scottish executive to drive it down, new statistics
have confirmed.

Echoing a rise in murders in England and Wales, police north of
the border recorded 107 unlawful killings in 2001 compared with 105
the year before.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 29 November page 9

Festive purge against domestic abuse

A Scottish executive campaign against domestic abuse is to run
this Christmas, social justice minister Margaret Curran confirmed

The minister said police recorded 35,800 incidents of domestic
abuse last year, a 5 per cent increase compared with 2000.

Source:- The Herald Friday 29 November page 6

Abused sisters win case against social

Four members of a family who accused social workers of
negligence leading to them suffering years of physical and mental
abuse as children, have won their 13-year campaign in the European
court of human rights.

The landmark decision could open the floodgates for compensation
claims against social workers in cases where children are not
adequately protected from abusers.

Source:- The Herald Friday 29 November page 11

Exam system failing to help children in

Almost two thirds of children in care leave school with the
extra penalty of no qualifications to their name.

The first audit of how the most vulnerable children fare in
Scottish schools reveals that they emerge worse off than their
southern counterparts. Some 55 per cent leave school in England
with no qualifications compared to 60 per cent in Scotland.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 29 November page 13

Welsh newspapers

Severe force’ caused baby’s

A leading medical expert told jurors that fractures suffered by
a six-month-old baby boy were caused by severe force.

Professor Jonathan Seiburt was giving evidence at Cardiff crown
court in the trial of a 39-year-old man from south Wales, who
denies charges of murdering his six-month-old son in 1998, and
attempting to murder his seven-week-old son in 1999.

Seiburt who has 30 years of medical experience with children
said that the fractures in babies were very difficult to detect,
but he added that there was no possible accidental explanation for
the injuries.

Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 28 November page

Charity’s computers worth £5,000

A mental health charity in Cardiff has had vital computer
equipment stolen.

The computers worth a total of £5,000 were stolen earlier
this week from the offices of Mind, and staff and volunteers say it
will take months to replace the lost information.

A spokesperson said the computers contained confidential
information, and although it was protected by a security password,
it would take a huge amount of work to replace.

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 28 November page

Nurse gave man overdose of drug

Hospital mangers have confirmed that they have completed an
investigation following the death of a patient who received a
massive drug overdose from a nurse.

Retired miner Thomas Martin developed intestinal bleeding which
contributed to his death, after he was given the overdose by
Scandinavian agency nurse Suzanna Brusoyri at the University
Hospital of Wales.

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 28 November page

We don’t want problem pupils in our

A specialist centre that will cater for pupils who have been
excluded from school, is facing fierce local opposition.

But despite the fears of local residents, the centre that will
cater for up to 24 students with behavioural problems is due to
open next April in Pengam in Caerphilly.

The centre’s staff will work to improve the behaviour of
young people who have or are in danger of being excluded from

One local resident said that protesters were still very opposed
to the unit and that they would keep the pressure up.

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 28 November page

Revolutionary wheelchair – £18,000

A revolutionary wheelchair that has four-wheel drive, can tackle
tough terrain and can even climb stairs, has been developed.

Designers of the Individual Balancing Optimized Transporter
(IBOT 3000), claim that it will give freedom to people with
disabilities, but the wheelchairs come with a price tag of

Will Bee, director of the Disability Rights Commission in Wales,
who uses a wheelchair himself, said that such technical advances
were welcome and that as more developments were made the price was
likely to fall.

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 28 November page

Hutt denies Wales lacks an anti-poverty

Welsh Assembly minister for health and social services Jane Hutt
has responded to the criticism that Wales lacks an anti-poverty
strategy for children.

She has presented a long list of initiatives that she claims are
helping to lift Wales out of its position as the country with the
poorest children in the UK.

Her response came following the presentation of the annual
report from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Peter
Clarke, who said in his report that one third of all children in
Wales were living in poverty.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 29 November page 2

Mother escapes prison sentence after her truant
daughter’s emotional plea

A mother who had been warned she could face prison because of
her daughter’s failure to attend school, escaped sentencing
following an emotional appeal by her daughter.

Magistrates were handed a letter from the 11-year-old begging
them not to send her mother to prison. The girl from Flintshire has
only a 12 per cent school attendance record.

Magistrates imposed a parenting order on the mother that
includes a package of support to ensure that she sends her daughter
to school. She also received a fresh two-year conditional
discharge, and magistrates said she will have to maintain contact
with an educational social worker.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 29 November page 3

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