By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Jail study deals blow to Blunkett crime bill
A confidential government review of the prison system has warned
that locking more people up is “unlikely to have an
impact” in the fight against crime.
Draft findings of the review deal a blow to home secretary David
Blunkett’s flagship Criminal Justice Bill which could lead to
thousands more being imprisoned in Britain’s overcrowded
Source:- Financial Times Thursday 7 August page 1
Ministers accused of meddling in audit
Ministers have been accused of meddling in the Audit
Commission’s work after demanding that top ranking councils
be downgraded the moment their standards fall.
The audit watchdog wants a more lightweight “yellow
card” system when services in local authorities rated
“excellent” decline. But a leaked paper said
“there was not a consensus in government about
Source:- Financial Times Thursday 7 August page 2
Householder who killed in the clear
A blind man who stabbed an intruder to death on his driveway
“in self defence” will not face criminal charges over
Thomas O’Connor was arrested following the death of Lee Kelso
who was fatally wounded during an altercation outside
O’Connor’s home in Stockport in June.
On the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service, police have told
O’Connor that he will not be charged as it would not be in
the public interest.
Source:- The Times Thursday 7 August page 2
Cocklebed gangs held in new mass raid
A thriving illegal trade in cockle-picking came under
assault yesterday when more than 200 government officials and
police officers raided a coastal site in north west England in
search of illegal immigrants.
Operation Omega, led by the department for work and pensions,
targeted a site on the River Dee’s estuary at Thurstaston on
Hundreds of people tried to flee the beach yesterday when
authorities arrived yesterday morning, but most were detained for
Source:- The Times Thursday 7 August page 5
Racist set fire to asylum seekers’ centre, jury
A naval building which was being used to house asylum seekers, was
burnt down by a neighbour because he did not want them living
nearby, a jury was told yesterday.
Mark Matthews set fire to the block at Portland, Dorset, within
minutes of the end of a public meeting organised to protest against
the asylum plan Dorchester crown court heard.
Source:- The Times Thursday 7 August page 12
African victims get new access to UK
The first refugees to be brought to Britain through a new legal
route into the country are to be selected by home office
immigration officials who are conducting interviews this week in
The first group of refugees, who are mostly expected to be
Liberians, are to arrive in October as part of a resettlement
programme operated by the United Nations High Commissioner for
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 7 August page 1
Damilola detective wants trial changes
The detective responsible for leading the investigation into the
murder of Damilola Taylor today calls for changes to the law which
would allow vulnerable witnesses to receive special treatment
during court proceedings to avoid similar cases collapsing.
The Damilola trial collapse last year after a judge branded the
main witness as a fantasist whose evidence was “embellished
with lies”, and could not be relied upon.
Detective chief superintendent Tony Crofts said many witnesses like
the 14-year-old witness in the Damilola case come from deprived
backgrounds, and have little experience of the judicial system.
They do not respond well to challenging and robust questioning they
are forced to endure in court, and can often respond in a hostile
way which could be misinterpreted and lead to them being
discredited as witnesses.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 7 August page 6
Child porn allegations at London council
Police are investigating the alleged distribution of obscene
material at Haringey council.
Twenty five staff at the north London council, which was criticised
for failing to protect Victoria Climbie from months of abuse, have
Source:- The Independent Thursday 7 August page 8
Deported children ‘clinically depressed’
The children of a Kurdish asylum seeker, who were deported to
Germany, were suffering from clinical depression and anxiety as a
result of being held in detention in Scotland for a year, according
to two independent reports.
Scottish ministers were accused of hypocrisy for failing to comment
on their plight, despite being content to discuss asylum issues on
other occasions, as details of the assessments of the Ay children
In one report Dr Jack Boyle, a leading child psychologist, who
assessed the family in September, said he was most concerned about
13-year-old Newroz Ay, whom he describes as being fearful, anxious
and having developed night fears and a hand tremor.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 7 August
US-style drug courts may spread after success of Fife and
Glasgow pilots, says minister
More US-style drug courts aimed at reducing levels of drug related
crime may be set up in Scotland after justice minister Cathy
Jamieson said there had been “positive findings” in a
report into the pilot court in Fife.
It is the second project of its kind in the country, following a
similar initiative, established in Glasgow in November 2001.
The minister said it was important for the success of the Fife
initiative, “and for the possible introduction of drug courts
in other areas of Scotland”, that they built on what worked
A report of an initial evaluation of the Fife court found there was
a general agreement from social workers, sheriffs,
procurators-fiscal and police that it represented an improvement on
previous arrangements for dealing with drug misusing offenders in
Source:- The Herald Thursday 7 August
Never forget this face
James Taylor, a welder, yesterday admitted appalling abuse of two
little girls – one aged 13 months – and photographing
The images were discovered on his computer when he was caught in a
crackdown on internet child porn.
Taylor will be sentenced next month for his crimes and is facing a
lengthy jail sentence.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 7 August page 1
Teenage twins have become the youngest people in Scotland to
receive an anti-social behaviour order.
Kenneth and Jamie Esson, both aged 17, caused misery in
Paisley’s Hunterhill after moving there with their mother
Christina Kirkbride two years ago.
The youths’ threats and violence caused some neighbours to
move home and Paisley sheriff court heard that the twins had been
seen carrying swords, knives and baseball bats.
More than 30 incidents of bad behaviour were recorded over a
four-month period and yesterday sheriff Susan Sinclair granted the
civil order, which had been sought by Renfrewshire council.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 7 August page 25
Prison for sex abuser
A former voluntary worker with young people has been jailed for 12
months for indecently assaulting his own granddaughter.
The 63-year-old man from Cardiff who cannot be named was also
placed on the sex-offenders register for 10-years by a judge at
Cardiff crown court.
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 6 August page 11
Car bandit on estate just 12
A boy of 12 went on a late night care crime spree on a housing
estate in Newport, damaging a number of cars and stealing from
The boy, appearing before a south Wales youth court, admitted
breaking into the cars and asked for three further offences to be
taken into account.
Magistrates told the boy’s father that there were very grave
concerns about why a 12-year-old was allowed out at 2am in the
morning. The boy was given a nine-month referral order.
Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 6 August page 5
NHS vacancies being filled
Health minister Jane Hutt, says that Wales is seeing the benefits
of recruitment and retention policies after new figures show that
NHS vacancies have fallen by 123 in the past six months.
There are now 1,331 jobs throughout the NHS in Wales that have been
empty for more than three months – down from 1,453 six months
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 7 August page 9
Thursday 7 August 2003
By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
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