News round up: Carers admit abusing relatives with Alzheimer’s

Asylum system not coping with backlog of cases, says watchdog

The asylum system is developing a backlog of new cases that threaten to undermine efforts to clear an existing bank of more than 200,000 “legacy cases”, some dating back more than 10 years, a Whitehall spending watchdog warns today.

It reveals that the new system is “struggling to cope”, and although new asylum claims are being dealt with much more quickly, it discloses that a fresh backlog is building up. The number of cases awaiting an initial decision doubled last year from 4,200 in June 2007 to 8,700 last July and continues to grow.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Gypsies on greenbelt site face eviction after court ruling

More than 100 Gypsy families living illegally on greenbelt land in Essex were yesterday told they would be evicted after a senior judge ruled that allowing them to stay would encourage others to follow their lead.

Three judges at the appeal court in London ruled that Basildon council was right to order the forcible clearing of pitches on long-standing caravan sites at Dale Farm and Hovefields Drive in Basildon, Essex.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

MPs consider plan to expand free childcare

Free childcare for up to 600,000 children under the age of three could be funded with money saved by tightening the rules on benefit claimants, under proposals being considered by ministers.

The plans, to be set out next week, are part of a government attempt to deflect the criticism which surrounded a package of welfare reforms regarded as too draconian by critics who feared parents with very young children were being forced back to work.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Fresh inquest ordered into teenager’s death in prison

The high court yesterday ordered a fresh inquest into the death of Adam Rickwood, 14, who hanged himself in a privately-run children’s prison hours after he had been restrained by staff.

Mr Justice Blake said the coroner for the north and south districts of Durham and Darlington, Andrew Tweddle, acted unlawfully when he refused to rule on the legality of the force used on Adam shortly before his death. He concluded that this had resulted in a flawed verdict being returned by the jury.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Big rise in number of under-18s seeking treatment for alcohol and drug abuse

Nearly 24,000 children were treated for drug and alcohol abuse last year, a rise of more than 40 per cent in two years. However, experts suggested that part of the increase was because access to services was improving.

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) said 23,905 under-18s in England were helped with drug and alcohol problems in 2007-08, compared with 17,001 two years before.
Read more on this story in The Times

Single mother who allowed her son aged three to smoke cigarettes walks free from court

A young mother allowed her three-year-old son to smoke, a court heard yesterday.
The boy was apparently familiar with cigarettes and knew how to use a lighter and inhale.
Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

More than half of carers admit abusing relatives with Alzheimer’s

Half of family members who look after someone with dementia admit they behave abusively towards them, say researchers.
And a third own up to ‘significant’ levels of abuse, according to the first study of its kind.
Those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are frequently the butt of swearing and shouting, and may even be hit by members of their own family, the study says.
Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Seized homes shoot up by 92%

The number of people who lost their homes nearly doubled during the third quarter of last year, the City watchdog announced yesterday.
The 13,161 repossessions in the three months to the end of September were up 92 per cent, the Financial Services Authority said.

Read more on this story in The Sun


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