Monday 1 March 2004

By Amy Taylor, Natasha Salari, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Huntley hurt in jail attack

Ian Huntley, who was jailed for murdering Jessica Chapman and Holly
Wells, has been attacked and injured in prison, according to a
prison source.

Huntley was hit in the face by another inmate at Belmarsh jail,
south-east London, as he played cards with a prison officer outside
his cell.

He was believed to have suffered minor bruising.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 28 February page

Heads refuse new £100 fines for truancy

A survey of head-teachers has found that barely one in 10 plans to
impose on-the-spot fines to parents who allow their children to
play truant.

The poll carried out for the Times Educational Supplement found
that head-teachers were concerned that their relationship with
parents would suffer if they imposed fines.

Of the 100 head-teachers surveyed, only 12 said that they were
likely to use the new penalties, while 44 said it was unlikely. A
further 44 would never do so.

Source:- The Times Saturday 28 February page 8

MMR case parents lose legal aid fight

Parents who claim that their children have been damaged by the
triple MMR vaccination have lost their fight for legal aid to
support a claim for compensation.

On Friday, a High Court judge rejected an application for judicial
review of a decision by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to
withdraw public funding to fight test cases.

The commission had committed £15 million to the lawsuit and
has already spent £10 million on lawyers, expert opinion and
research in an attempt to provide evidence. But last year it
acknowledged that the cases had no chance of succeeding and
withdrew support.

The parents appealed against the decision, seeking judicial review.
But after a hearing held in private, Mr Justice Davis ruled against
them and upheld the LSC’s decision.

Source:- The Times Saturday 28 February page 13

The passport factory

A couple have been jailed for running one of the biggest forgery
operations closeby to the Home Office’s immigration
Constantin Dura and Liliana Doleau, both from Romania, were
employed by Eastern European gangsters.

They made high quality forged passports and credit cards and
offered them to asylum seekers arriving at the immigration offices
in Croydon, South London.

Source:- The Daily Mail Saturday 28 February page 8

Child abductions up 45 per cent as detection rate

The level of child abductions and attempted abductions has
increased by 45 per cent over the past year to 846, the highest
ever figure.

Over half of the cases involved abduction by strangers. Police only
identified a suspect in 13 per cent of these cases.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 28 February page 3

Migrants ‘only after Britain’s state benefits’

A majority of those surveyed thought the expected influx of
immigrants from Eastern Europe when 10 new countries join the EU in
May are arriving in the UK to take advantage of generous state

The majority of respondents did not think that the immigrants would
find work or embrace the British culture.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday 29 February page 2

‘Perfect’ fake passports flood into Britain

A new wave of high-quality copies of European passports are
flooding onto the British black market.

The fake documents are being produced to order by factories in
Eastern Europe.

An undercover reporter brought six fake passports and five false
driving licences from a middle-man with connections to Moscow

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 29 February page 1

Tories come to defence of immigrants

The Tories are set to rise to the defence of rejected asylum
seekers in a new attempt to re-brand the party as anti-racist and
tolerant of immigration.

The party will oppose government plans to scrap asylum
seekers’ legal right of appeal. Shadow frontbencher Dominic
Grieve insisted that the plan was “fundamentally wrong”
and the Tories would vote against it when the government’s
Asylum Bill comes before the Commons today.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 29 February page 4

No more cash to help alcoholics

The government has been accused of ignoring an impending health
crisis after it was revealed that the long-awaited report into
tackling alcohol abuse rules out more cash for treatment.

Whitehall sources revealed that the Alcohol Harm Reduction
Strategy, to be published on March 12, also rules out imposing
tobacco-style compulsory health warnings on drink.

Alcohol abuse costs £20 billion a year in lost productivity
and NHS bills but only £95 million a year is spent on treating
alcoholics compared with £55 million a year to treat people
with drugs problems.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 29 February page 8

Charles reaches out to a ‘lost generation’ of
aimless youth

More than a million young people are not in education, employment
or training and lack the necessary ‘supportive network’
to improve their lives, according to a report.

The three-year study commissioned by the Prince’s Trust said
there was a hardcore group of disadvantaged youngsters who feel
excluded from society.

The report warns that society is failing to address disadvantaged
young people’s problems at an early stage “when there
is a realistic prospect of getting their lives back on

It calls for a more flexible education system, coupled with a
strengthening of incentives to persuade young people to remain in
education or employment.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 29 February page 13

Stress leads a million to claim for disability

More than a million people have moved onto incapacity benefit for
mental and behavioural disorders over the past five years.

Experts believe the figures are due to high levels of stress caused
by modern life. The figures equate to nearly a thousand new benefit
claimants on every working day last month.

Source:- The Financial Times Monday 1 March  page 1

Huntley files move ‘an error’

Police forces were told to delete files on suspects by “obsessive”
police managers in response to the Data Protection Act, the Police
Superintendents’ Association said yesterday.

The claim was made in written evidence to the Bichard Inquiry into
how Soham murderer Ian Huntley was able to become a school

Source:- The Times Monday 1 March page 10

Beggars retreat  after 27 arrests in homeless ‘audit’

Twenty-seven people were arrested for begging over the weekend in
the west end of London.

The arrests were part of a joint operation between Westminster
Council and the Metropolitan Police to tackle begging.

By Sunday afternoon, the beggars moved away from the area as a
result of the operation.

Source:- The Independent Monday 1 March page 2

Immigration staff start overtime ban

An overtime ban by 3,500 members of the Immigration Service Union
could lead to dozens of asylum seekers being lost if officers
refuse to carry out escort duties when private contractors are

Immigration officers have taken action against plans to remove
their special status and grading within the civil service.

The union has stopped short of calling an all-out strike and has
initially decided to ban overtime for a week.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 1 March page 10

Crackdown on new child slavery

Child traffickers could face up to 14 years in prison under new
powers announced by the government today.

Home Office minister Beverley Hughes said that new powers were
needed to tackle “this vile form of modern slavery”
under which traffickers bring children to Britain simply to help
adults already here to claim asylum or welfare benefits.

The new powers are on top of longer sentences for those who traffic
in prostitutes and for purposes of domestic slavery and
“organ harvesting”.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 1 March page 2

Scottish newspapers

Racial slur claim on ethnic project

A worker on a project aiming to combat racism has claimed he was
a victim of discrimination.

Akhter Khan alleged he was subjected to a series of insulting
and derogatory remarks about his race by his boss Prem Singh.

Khan told a Glasgow employment tribunal he was humiliated by the
comments he claimed his boss – the manager of EMPOWER
Scotland Ltd project, which aims to get more ethnic minority people
into employment – made about Pakistanis.

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 28 February

Cardinal urges MPs to think again on asylum

Scotland’s MPs are being urged to consider the
implications of the new asylum and immigration bill by Cardinal
Keith O’Brien.

A letter from the cardinal asks MPs to consider the impact for
vulnerable people seeking refuge in Britain.

MPs objecting to the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of
Claimants etc) Bill, which streamlines asylum appeal procedures,
say it reduces the right of appeal and puts the process beyond the
scrutiny of the courts.

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 28 February

Fear child abuse cases are missed

Sex abuse cases in Edinburgh may be overlooked because of
confusion among teachers and youth workers about child protection
guidelines, an academic has warned.

Sarah Nelson, a research fellow at Edinburgh University’s
sociology department, claims that many professionals working with
youngsters believe they cannot question children about sex abuse,
even when they suspect the child may be a victim.

She warns that Edinburgh’s education department’s
strict interpretation of sex abuse guidelines “seemed a
particular obstacle”.

Source:- Evening News Saturday 28 February

Fears for future of foster children

Concerns about the future of key tutoring services for children
in care have been raised by foster parents.

Just weeks after Edinburgh Council was condemned by the Scottish
executive for failing to address classroom underachievement by
vulnerable young people, parents claim they have been told the
scheme will not be extended after its current 40 pupils finish
their schooling.

The tutoring scheme, which gives young people one-to-one
sessions with qualified teachers, was previously offered by the
city’s social work department, but was moved to the
responsibility of the education department.

Source:- Evening News Saturday 28 February

Crimes to be ‘downgraded’ in shake-up of
justice system

A shake-up of the Scottish justice system will mean thousands of
offenders will have their crimes tried by district rather than
sheriff courts.

A report commissioned by the Scottish executive will call for
Justices of the Peace to be replaced by ‘district
judges’ who will try minor crimes and can sentence offenders
to up to three months imprisonment.

The change will mean thousands of offences such as drink
driving, assault and vandalism, which currently go before sheriffs,
will instead go before the more junior court.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 29 February

‘Fresh talent’ won’t come to

Citizens from the countries about to join the EU are unlikely to
head to Scotland, according to a new study by the European
Foundation for the Improvement in Living and Working

Around one per cent of the population of the new member states
is likely to settle west and northward – a figure “much
less than predicted by some politicians in the public
debate”, the report claims.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 29 February

Scots police forces’ failure to meet Soham

Scottish police forces are failing to meet stringent government
targets to prevent offenders gaining employment in childcare,
according to disclosures to be made to the inquiry into Soham
murderer Ian Huntley.

All eight Scottish police forces have breached the deadline for
logging criminal convictions on the Police National Computer, which
is a UK-wide database for schools and childcare institutions to
check the criminal background of potential employees.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 1 March

Jamieson commits executive to bringing in laws on
corporate killing

New laws to deal with so-called corporate killing are to be
brought forward by the Scottish executive, according to justice
minister Cathy Jamieson.

Speaking at the Scottish Labour Party conference in Inverness,
Jamieson also re-affirmed the executive’s promise to
legislate on child internet grooming.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 1 March

University will offer places to

Places at Edinburgh University are to be offered to ex-offenders
in a bid to break down the barriers faced by people with

The move will see those with a criminal record integrated with
students at Napier University in a range of courses from business
to nursing.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 1 March

Lib Dem tells of pressure to vote against

A senior Liberal Democrat MSP has admitted he gave in to
pressure from ministers in a vote on the future of the Airborne
Initiative for young offenders.

Donald Gorrie said he decided not to vote for an SNP amendment
demanding the executive reconsider its decision to close the
rehabilitation scheme to “prevent the coalition

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 1 March

Deals may break strike

Plans for an all-out strike by nursery nurses have been dealt a
blow as two more councils have agreed local settlements.

As 5,000 nurses are expected to begin indefinite strike action
over pay from today, it emerged that staff in East Renfrewshire and
Falkirk have reached agreements with their local authorities. Eight
out of 32 councils have now settled locally.

Public sector union Unison said the local agreements would make
no difference to the decision to take industrial action.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 1 March

£13m could have averted huge slopping out

The Scottish executive is facing a compensation bill of hundreds
of millions of pounds, part of which could have been avoided if
former justice minister Jim Wallace had not agreed to divert
£13 million from the prison budget.

Lord Bonomy is expected next month to return his decision on the
case of Robert Napier, the prisoner who claims his human rights
were breached when he was forced to slop out his cell in Barlinnie

Napier is claiming damages for £5,000, but other prisoners
detained for longer would submit far larger claims. Hundreds of
inmates are waiting to lodge claims if Napier’s case is

Legal and prison experts claim the bill, which could be one of
the largest ever paid out by the executive, could have been avoided
if ministers had not agreed to divert funds away from the prison
refurbishment programme in 1999.

Source:- The Herald Monday 1 March

Welsh newspapers

Data delays raise Soham fear for Wales

Delays in logging information about criminals by police in Wales
has led to fears that there could be a repeat of the blunders that
allowed Soham murderer Ian Huntley to work at a school.

Evidence to the Soham murder inquiry revealed that all forces in
Wales have breached government targets on recording arrests and

Welsh children’s commissioner Peter Clarke has expressed
concern at the delays.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 1 March page 1

Schools ‘should provide

Schools should open for longer and provide childcare to match
the changing patterns of modern family life, according to a charity
this week.

4Children is calling for a radical overhaul of the
nation’s childcare and claims that an extra £10 billion
a year must be spent to create 10,000 children’s centres in
or around schools in the UK.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 1 March page 7

Support services fail blind people in Wales

Blind people are living in poverty and isolation in Wales,
according to a new report.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and British
Gas found that many blind people are struggling without the support
they are entitled to.

The report says that blind people in Wales are worse off than
those in Scotland and England, with more than three quarters living
in a household with an income of less than £195 a week.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 1 March page 8




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