Thursday 12 February 2004

By Natasha Salari, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Two young brothers who disguised their faces with balaclavas while
they terrorised their  council estate have been banned from wearing
the masks.
The 11 and 12-year-old brothers vandalised a primary school,
threatened a teaching assistant with a spade, destroyed a playhouse
and played ‘chicken’ in front of cars.
Yesterday Manchester Council obtained an antisocial behaviour order
which bans the boys from part of the estate and prevents them
wearing masks anywhere in England.
Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 12 February page 36
Huge rise in students signing up for ‘caring’

There has been a massive increase in the number of youngsters
opting to study caring professions, the latest figures from the
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) have
Social work has shown the biggest rise in candidates.
Headteachers’ leaders said yesterday that the image of the
caring professions had improved in the past few years.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 12 February page 2
Sexual offenders may strike again ’21 years

Sex offenders could ‘lay dormant’ in the community for as long as
21 years after they have been released form prison before
committing another sexual offence, a government study has
Some sex offenders wait until they have been released from
supervision orders before they strike again. The Home Office
research said that such offenders pose a long-term risk that may
require greater powers to monitor their behaviour.
The study published today by the British Psychological Society
followed the reoffending patterns of 409 sexual offenders
discharged from prison in 1979. Within 21 years a quarter had
committed at least one further sexual offence. Of this group a
fifth waited at least 10 years before reoffending.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 12 February page 9
Cockle-picker warnings ignored, says Labour

A Home Office minister is facing claims that she failed to act on
warnings from a Labour MP about the dangers facing illegal
cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay.
Geraldine Smith, Labour MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said
yesterday she had written to the Home Office last year alerting
ministers to the dangers facing local cockle-pickers under the
control of gangmasters.
Fiona Mactaggart, a Home Office minister, rejected Smith’s
call for the immigration service to help local police deal with the
Nineteen Chinese cockle-pickers drowned last Thursday night after
being caught by the night tide.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 February page 3
Records bureau fiasco damned by watchdog
An official investigation into why the new Criminal Records Bureau
nearly collapsed at its launch has revealed that the government
never properly looked into how the scheme would operate.
A report from the National Audit Office reveals that the Home
Office took the cheapest quote for the service and assumed that
almost everyone applying for access to criminal records would do so
by phone or online.
But nearly everybody applied by post and the service collapsed
leaving tens of thousands of people unable to start work because
they had not gone through the vetting procedure.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 February page 11
200 Iraqis a month seek asylum in Britain
Despite the fall of Saddam Hussein Iraqi asylum seekers are
entering Britain at the rate of 200 a month.
More than 2,000 asylum seekers from Iraq have arrived since last
May and only 85 of the 40,000 who have claimed asylum since the end
of the first Gulf war in 1991, have returned home.
Source: The Daily Telegraph Thursday 12 February page 2
Scottish newspapers
Fast-track scheme to boost social work numbers

The Scottish executive is set to fast-track graduates into the
social work profession in a bid to find 450 more social
Under the scheme, graduates with any degree will be able to retrain
as social workers within 16 to 23 months, instead of the usual four
Around £14 million will be invested in the initiative over the
next five years.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 12 February
Closure of rehabilitation unit forces young offenders back
onto streets

Eleven of Scotland’s persistent young offenders will be
released into the community today following the closure of the
Airborne Initiative.
The Scottish executive withdrew almost £600,000 of funding
from the centre at Braidwood House in Lanarkshire forcing it to
The rehabilitation unit was used as an alternative to prison for
persistent young offenders who did not respond to conventional
John Scott, a solicitor advocate in Edinburgh, said ministers had
only themselves to blame if the youngsters went on to re-offend on
their release.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 12 February
Welsh newspapers
‘Tape’ Boy to Stay at Home

The 11-year-old schoolboy with learning difficulties, who had his
mouth taped-up by a teacher to prevent him talking in class, is to
stay away from school until an investigation has been carried
Ben Deacy’s mother Kay says that her son was humiliated by
the incident at Llanrumney High School in Cardiff and is calling
for the teacher to be suspended.
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 11 February page 2
Home ‘Under Fire’
Shortcomings in the care given to a 66-year-old woman at a nursing
home, contributed to her death, after staff failed to cut up her
food properly, a coroner has ruled.
Ri Slade died only minutes after being fed a mixed grill at Picton
Court, a nursing home in Nottage, Porthcawl. A post mortem found
that a piece of sausage had become blocked in her windpipe and she
had asphyxiated as a result.
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 11 February page 7
Councillor’s fury over ban meeting
A panel has recommended that a Gwent councillor suspended for one
month for allegedly threatening a social worker should have his ban
extended to six months.
Graham Powell, a councillor in Caldicot, stormed out of a meeting
of the Adjudication Panel for Wales where the matter was being
He had hoped to reverse the one-month ban imposed by Monmouthshire
Council’s standards committee last August, but following the
panel recommended an extension of five months to the ban.
Source:- South Wales Wednesday 11 February page 6
Autism cases double in the North West
The number of children with language disorders and autism in north
west Wales has more than doubled in the last four years, according
to a new report.
The figures show that the number of children being diagnosed with
communication problems and autism in Gwynedd and Anglesey have
risen sharply. In 1999 some 76 children were diagnosed with
language problems rising to 165 last year. In the same period the
number of children with autism in both counties rose from 27 to
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 12 February page 5
Children’s commissioner challenges Blunkett’s

Children’s commissioner Peter Clarke is challenging home
secretary David Blunkett’s plans to separate asylum seekers
from their children.
The commissioner’s office has intervened in the case of a
Zimbabwean woman who gave birth to a baby in Cardiff two weeks ago.
The woman has failed in her asylum application and is not receiving
state benefits. Maria Battle, deputy children’s commissioner
for Wales, said that Blunkett’s plans under the controversial
Asylum and Immigration Bill to separate children from their parents
in circumstances where the parent becomes destitute contravene the
Children Act 1989.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 12 February page 8

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