Thursday 19 February 2004

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

Gap year cash offer to working class

Working class teenagers will be given help with college fees or
given cash to start up their own businesses, if they carry out
voluntary work during their gap year, Chancellor Gordon Brown
announced yesterday.
Gap year voluntary work has traditionally been carried out by
middle class student, and the initiative aims to extend the scope
to young people from poorer backgrounds to help broaden their
horizons before a career or further education.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 February page 2
Police ‘must step up efforts to tackle domestic

Police have been urged to increase their efforts in tackling
domestic violence after it emerged that only one in 11 complaints
results in a conviction.
A report by two government inspectorates found that only one in
five complaints of domestic abuse led to a prosecution and only
half of those resulted in conviction.
The report highlights that despite the high profile being given to
tackling violence in the home, practice on the ground among police
forces and prosecutors is patchy.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 February page 4
Ecstasy death
Five people have been arrested after a 16-year-old who took two
ecstasy tablets at an illegal rave in High Wycombe, has died.
Sophie Ksher collapsed and banged her head and died six days later.
Police said that more arrests were expected.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 February page 4
Howard visits BNP heartland to urge migrant job curbs
The Conservative leader will today call for restrictions
on the rights of east European migrants to work in the UK, at a
speech in Burnley, the power base of the British National
Michael Howard is expected to say that the government should bring
in measures to prevent migrants from countries joining the EU in
May having free access to jobs and benefits in Britain.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 February page 10
NHS inquiry after dismembered body found
A serious incident inquiry was launched by the NHS last
night after a psychiatric patient was found hours after he was
released from a London mental hospital in a flat in which a man had
been killed.
Managers at East London and City Mental Health Trust were
investigating how the patient came to be discharged from one of its
The victim is believed to have been a former psychiatric patient
and a police spokesperson said he had suffered “multiple
injuries, including some dismemberment”.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 19 February page 1
BNP memorial to murdered teenager removed by

A plaque erected by the British National Party in memory of a white
teenager killed by a gang of Bengali men was removed by Oldham
Council yesterday.
The council in Greater Manchester is considering action against the
right-wing party group which installed the stone plaque at the
scene of the murder of Gavin Hopley.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 19 February page 8
Cardinal criticises ‘obsession with

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales
yesterday said society’s obsession with sex was threatening
children’s health and happiness.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor said while he welcomed
greater openness about sexual issues, sex was often presented
within the media without its proper moral context.
It was instead depicted as “something which has no real
significance”, and love was hardly ever mentioned, he
Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 19 February page 4
Conmen sell names of victims
Help the Aged has warned today that conmen who trick their way into
older people’s homes are selling details of their
victims’ addresses to one another for cash.
Networks of bogus callers, who steal something then tell other
criminals whether it is worth them going back to steal more, have
been uncovered by the charity.
A survey for the charity found that bogus callers entered the homes
of at least 180,000 older people last year.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 19 February page 11
Scottish newspapers
Funding shortfall is failing children
A £150 million shortfall in funding to local
authorities is causing child support services to suffer, Scottish
ministers were warned yesterday.
There is almost a 50 per cent annual shortfall in Scottish
executive funding to care, the 32 local authorities have
There is growing concern that a focus on tackling antisocial
behaviour has diverted resources away from child protection.
After ‘The Herald’ revealed yesterday that children in
care were being abused by their peers, social workers have
highlighted that the provision of residential care would be greater
if the executive ensured children’s services were adequately
Source:- The Herald Thursday 19 February
School exclusion rate rises by fifth
The number of children excluded from schools in the Lothians has
increased dramatically as teachers battle to tackle discipline
Youngsters suspended or expelled from schools have risen by almost
a fifth over four years.
The number of exclusions has risen steadily in Lothian schools at a
time when the number of case nationwide has started to fall.
Source:- Evening News Wednesday 18 February
Critics say warden plan is policing on the

Plans to recruit 400 wardens to patrol communities were attacked by
police and opposition MPs yesterday as “policing on the
The new posts, which will cost £30 million to recruit and
train for, are part of the executive’s drive against
antisocial behaviour.
The Scottish Police Federation said they would rather the money was
spent on recruiting more police.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 19 February
My Pam has a mental age of 12… and she’s run
off with her uncle

An 18-year-old with a mental age of 12 has run away with her
30-year-old uncle after it emerged the two have been involved in an
alleged sexual relationship for the past two years.
Pamela Seath was taken from her home in Fife by her uncle a week
ago. The teenager’s mother said her daughter was very
vulnerable as she had a mental age of 12.
She said her daughter had admitted to sleeping with her uncle over
a two-year period.
Fife police believe the pair are in London after tracing bank
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 19 February page 6
Disabled Donnie is put in a hut
A man with multiple sclerosis has been forced by council chiefs to
live out his days in a wooden workmen’s hut.
Donnie Cross needs to have a bed on the ground floor because of a
loss of mobility due to his illness.
But South Lanarkshire Council has lowered a wooden hut into his
garden by crane and fitted it to the back door, after refusing to
re-house Cross and his blind wife.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 19 February page 7
Welsh newspapers
What is going on?

Older patients, some of whom have dementia, are being treated in
children’s wards at the University Hospital of Wales,
The crisis at the 1,000-bed hospital follows a recent surge of
seriously ill patients into the emergency unit. Hospital managers
say that up to 200 beds are blocked by patients who have finished
their treatment and need to be cared for elsewhere.
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 18 February pages 1, 2 and
Libraries are set to ban computer chat
Council chiefs in Blaenau Gwent are set to ban access to internet
chatrooms on public computers as fears grow about children’s
The council is to look at the issue after receiving complaints that
teenagers have been using the chatrooms inappropriately. The
potential dangers to young people were highlighted recently when a
15-year-old girl from Brynmawr went missing for a week after
meeting someone she had met while using a chatroom in a library.
She later returned home of her own accord, and a man from
Birmingham has been charged with unlawfully detaining her.
Source South Wales Argus Wednesday 18 February page 5
Home-help stole cheques, court told
A home-help for older people stole cheques from two clients in
their 90s, a court has been told.
Leann Venables is accused of stealing blank cheques that were later
cashed for more than £12,000 after allegedly preying on
vulnerable people in their own homes.
Venables of Roath in Cardiff denies two charges of theft.
Source Western Mail Thursday 19 February page 3

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