Minister defiant over asylum children in care
The government is refusing to abandon its policy of forcing failed asylum seekers into destitution, which could lead to their children being taken into care, despite admitting it had not been a success.
Immigration minister Liam Byrne told the joint committee on human rights yesterday that an unpublished report had found that the policy had not been a “breakthrough”, but said strong views had been put to him that it may be necessary in certain circumstances.
He also said that proposals would be produced next week to introduce dental checks for young asylum seekers to prove that they are under 18 and that around 6,000 young asylum seekers living in the south east would be dispersed throughout Britain.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 22 February 2007, page 8
Internet police uncover global paedophile ring
Police rescued eight children from alleged sexual abuse after uncovering a global paedophile ring based in Britain, in an operation co-ordinated by the London-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.
Chief executive Jim Gamble said the ring involved hundreds of people who share images, ideas and locations where they can get access to children.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 22 February 2007, page 4
Councils improving but five must do better
Councils have put in their best performance in the annual comprehensive performance assessment since its inauguration in 2002 with almost 80 per cent receiving three or four stars, the top two grades.
Just five authorities – Stoke, Rutland, Sandwell, Bristol and Lambeth – received one star and none received no stars.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 22 February 2007, page 15
Judge drops charges over Rosepark fire in which 14 died
A couple and their son facing trial over the deaths of 14 residents in a care home fire had the charges against them dropped because of the way the allegations were worded.
The High Court in Glasgow was told that Thomas Balmer, his wife Anne and their son Alan could not be held criminally liable on the 12 charges because they had dissolved the firm which owned Rosepark nursing home in Uddingston and set up a limited company – 13 months after the fire, but before the indictment was served.
However, Lord Hardie said the Balmers could be charged again in connection with the 14 deaths and also granted the crown office the right to appeal against his decision.
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 22 February 2007
Dealer who turned villagers into heroin addicts gets six years
A man who brought misery to a Highlands community by becoming its first major supplier of heroin has been jailed for six years.
Once Roy Thomas started dealing on the Black Isle many people turned into addicts.
The judge, Lord Bracadale, said: “It was particularly disturbing to be told that the former users estimate having spent thousands of pounds each to pay for their habits, and many state that until Thomas moved to Avoch, they had no access or introduction to drugs.”
Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 22 February 2007
Police lose track of 13 sex offenders
The police have lost track of 13 registered sex offenders in Wales, the Home Office has admitted.
The government figures were provided in response to a parliamentary question from the Conservative shadow secretary of state for Wales Cheryl Gillan MP.
Source:- icWales, Thursday 22 February 2007