Monday 6 January 2003

By Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry and Alex

Seven in ten only seek asylum when the net closes

Nearly seven out of 10 asylum seekers wait until they are inside
the UK before lodging a claim for asylum, it was revealed

The statistic raised new doubts over the validity of many

Many of those who lodge claims once in the country, rather than
at ports and airports, have been caught working illegally and are
trying to avoid deportation.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 4 January page 47

Axeman injures two then runs amok in
12th-century abbey

A man with mental health problems put three people in hospital
when he ran amok with two axes, and attacked religious artefacts at
Waltham Abbey in Essex on Friday.

The man attacked a 62-year-old man in a café in nearby
Waltham Cross, who was treated in hospital for severe head
injuries, and then headed for the 12th-century abbey,
smashing cars as he went.

A woman was taken to hospital suffering from shock after the man
smashed the windows of her car, and a man aged 52 was treated for a
head injury by paramedics at the scene.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 4 January page 2

Victims of lawless machismo and gunplay

Two girls shot at a New Year party in Birmingham are the most
recent victims of a culture of machismo and gunplay among a lawless
minority of black youths.

The shooting shows that despite increasing efforts to curb the
problem, police are still struggling to tackle black gun crime.

In part, they are reaping the harvest of years in which they
failed to stop the growth of black gun culture, partly through
indifference, partly through fear of incurring accusations of

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 4 January page

MPs attack Prescott over council cash

John Prescott’s department was attacked yesterday by the
parliamentary committee for its “woeful” performance in managing
local government finance.

The criticism of the government is some of the strongest yet
from a Labour-dominated committee of MPs.

In particular, the MPs found that the system of awarding grants
for education and social services spending was indefensible. “Many
of the new formulae do not appear to be evidence-based,” the report

Source:-The Guardian Saturday 4 January page 6

Choir director assaulted boy, 12

A choirmaster was jailed for four-and-a-half years on Friday
after admitting a series of sex attacks on a young boy.

Sean Jennings, director of music with the City of Bristol Boys
Choir, subjected the boys to assaults over a four-year period from
the age of 12.

Police raided his home last year and discovered over 10,000
pornographic images of young boys on his computer.

Source:- The Times Saturday 4 January page 5

Secure unit freed ‘body bags’ suspect

The prime suspect in the ‘bodies in bags’ case was a psychiatric
patient who was treated by mental health professionals on the day
that human remains were discovered at his north London flat.

Anthony Hardy was assessed by psychiatrists as being of ‘no
risk’ to the public when he was discharged from St Luke’s Hospital
in north London at the end of last year.

He had attended the hospital since 1995, and was receiving
inpatient treatment in a locked ward before his release. He went to
an appointment with community care workers as recently as 30
December, the day the remains of two women were discovered.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 5 January page 1

Minister vow over Climbie

Ministers will pledge a revolution in the lives of children at
risk tomorrow as the report of the inquiry into the death of
Victoria Climbie is formally delivered to the government.

The inquiry, headed by Lord Laming QC, is expected to paint a
damning picture of the failure of social workers to prevent her
death, as well as confusion within the social care, health and
legal systems.

Ministers will welcome the report, but will ask for time to
consider its recommendations before it is published. An interim
report will outline the more urgent measures within weeks.

Jacqui Smith, the minister responsible for social services, is
tomorrow expected to announce extra cash for fostering services.
She has also launched a review into private fostering, where
families arrange for children to live with wealthier relatives, who
may not undergo the same checks as ordinary foster parents.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 5 January page 13

Asylum crackdown faces legal challenge

New home office rules to crackdown on asylum seekers claiming
benefits is to be challenged under the Human Rights Act by refugee
welfare groups who claim thousands will be left destitute.

From Wednesday, asylum seekers who do not make claims for
refugee status “as soon as reasonably practicable” after their
arrival in Britain will be denied all state support, including
emergency accommodation.

Source:- The Sunday Times 5 January page 2

All-black shortlist for race job upsets

Community leaders are angry after the exclusion of Asian
candidates from the final shortlist of candidates for the head of
the Commission for Racial Equalities.

Politicians and race relations campaigners have expressed
surprise that the three remaining candidates, who are likely to be
interviewed this week for the £110,000-year post, are all from
the black community.

Source:- The Sunday Times 5 January page 7

The army of asylum seekers who go missing from

Over 100,000 asylum seekers have been left out of official
figures in an attempt to cover up the scale of immigration, it was
claimed yesterday.

The think-tank Migrationwatch UK has accused ministers of
deliberately excluding children and other dependent relatives that
arrive with asylum seekers from their statistics.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 6 January page 37

National protection force to curb child

A national child protection service might be set up by the
government to curb the level of abuse scandals that have exposed
weaknesses in the system that is supposed to protect children.

The plan would downgrade the role of social services
departments, which would focus on supporting vulnerable families
and hand over potential abuse cases to a new national body.

The idea, which would be fiercely opposed by social services
chiefs, is receiving support from inside the government and is
likely to be included in a green paper on protecting children due
to be published next month.

Source:-The Independent Monday 6 January page 1

Calls grow for tougher action on gun crime

The government was facing increasing pressure last night to act
decisively on gun crime as reports suggested that the number of
offences had doubled since Labour came to power.

Today David Blunkett is expected to confirm plans for a minimum
five-year sentence for illegal possession of a firearm. He is also
said to be considering a ban on replica guns, which can be easily
converted into working weapons.

Source:- The Independent Monday 6 January page 2

Man charged with three murders after bodies found in

Anthony Hardy, arrested after the remains of two women were
discovered in and around a north London bedsit, will appear in
court today charged with the murder of three women. The third
woman’s body was found in his flat on 20 January last year. It had
previously been thought that she had died of a heart attack.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 6 January page

Scottish newspapers

Fury as asylum seekers detained for six

Ministers are to be challenged over the “completely
unacceptable” detention of a family of five at Dungavel immigration

The four children of the Ay family were described as “model
pupils” by teachers they taught for three years in Kent. But,
immigration officials brought them to the detention centre six
months ago where their education ceased due to a lack of

The family are seeking asylum in the UK.

Source:- Sunday Herald 5 January page 9

Politicians unite in fight for autism unit

Politicians of all shades have backed calls for a new medical
unit dedicated to the treatment of autism.

Action Against Autism (AAA) has submitted a petition to the
Scottish parliament. The charity claims there is not a single
doctor or hospital in Scotland with the expertise to help people
with autism.

Source:- The Herald Monday 6 January page 5

COSLA boss wants peace with councils

The leader of Scotland’s local government association is
about to extend an olive branch to councils, which left the
troubled organisation amid complaints that it was failing to
represent their interests.

President Pat Watters says COSLA needs to make amends to
persuade Glasgow, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk to return to the

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 6 January page 8

Warning over net perverts

Education minister Cathy Jamieson has launched a nationwide
campaign to warn youngsters of the dangers posed by internet

The £120,000 campaign is part of a drive to cut down on
perverts who lure young people through chatroom grooming.

Source:- Daily Express Monday 6 January page 17

Why we’ll never forget our dad

A single silver cuff link twinkles beside an old photograph and
some crumpled cinema tickets. All are meaningless when regarded in
isolation. But, to one young girl, they are a powerful memento of a
much missed parent.

The child found solace at Winston’s Wish, a national
organisation, based in Gloucester, which helps children throughout
the UK cope with the death of someone important in their lives.

Source:- The Herald Monday 6 January page 10

Welsh newspapers

Peer support one of the most effective ways to combat

Schools should train pupils to act as mediators and listeners as
part of their efforts to tackle bullying.

Alison O’Brien, the education adviser to the NSPCC, says
that so-called peer support is one of the most effective ways of
tackling the problem.

Thousands of children have already been trained to give such
support, and O’Brien says that all schools should develop
peer support and apply ‘zero tolerance’ to

Source:- Western Mail Monday 6 January page 8

Scientists claim dyslexia can be treated in a

A treatment for dyslexia that uses flashing lights to stimulate
the brain can help sufferers to improve spelling and reading
skills, it has been claimed.

The Bright Star Dyslexia Programme developed by British firm
Advanced Learning Science, has a number of supporters including
Olympic swimming gold medallist Duncan Goodhew, who has dyslexia.
He says the programme has had a “profound effect”, but the British
Dyslexia Association has warned that more research on the treatment
needed to be carried out.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 6 January page 8

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