A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Killers may be called to give evidence at Anna Climbie

The killers of Anna Climbie (also known as Victoria), the girl
who died after months of neglect and child abuse, may be called to
give evidence at the public inquiry into her death, it emerged

Anna’s great aunt Marie-Therese Kouao and her boyfriend
Carl Manning were convicted of her murder at the Old Bailey in
January and could be brought to the inquiry, or asked to give
evidence from video links in prison.

Lord Laming formally opened the inquiry and said he was
determined to discover how Victoria had died from appalling
neglect, despite the involvement of social services, police and the
NHS in her case.

“I have a very strong commitment to ensure something good comes
out of the tragedy of Victoria’s death and to ensure
tragedies of this kind will be prevented,” Laming said.

Anna was sent to Britain by her mother in 1997 in the hope of a
better life in this country than the Ivory Coast.

A year after arriving in Britain, she died from neglect,
malnutrition and hypothermia with 128 separate injuries.

The inquiry intends to refer to the eight-year-old girl as
Victoria throughout the inquiry, as opposed to Anna, the name Kouao
gave her.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 1 June page 12

Robberies ‘turn child victims to

Police have warned that young serial victims of robberies at the
school gate are turning to violence and mugging, in a bid to prove
their toughness and avoid being bullied.

The robbery of dinner money and mobile phones is hardening some
youngsters into criminals, according to a senior police officer, as
Scotland Yard faces record levels of street crime.

There were 50,000 street crimes in the Metropolitan police area
alone last year.

Deputy assistant commissioner Tim Goodwin said: “It’s
likely they feel the only way they can be safe is to be the hardest
on the block.”

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 1 June page 12

Research rebuts idea that drug users commit

Senior officers in the Metropolitan police have been forced to
rethink the effectiveness of their strategies after a study into
the relationship between drugs and crime has cast doubt on home
office policy.

Two recent crackdowns on drug dealing in London has had no
effect on crime levels, according to research, challenging the
assumption that users commit crime to sustain their habit.

Deputy assistant commissioner Tim Goodwin revealed details of
the study yesterday and said it was wrong to suggest “drugs equals

The study was conducted for the Met by Mike Hough of South Bank
University in London.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 1 June page 4

Check on sex offenders’ travel

New regulations will take effect today to force registered sex
offenders to give details of holidays abroad planned for more than
a week, otherwise they will face imprisonment. The new law closes
this loophole.

Sex offenders who intend to leave Britain for eight days or more
will have to attend a police station at least 24 hours before
departure, and tell the police when they will be travelling and

If the information is available they need to inform police which
flights they are taking.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 1 June page 6

Cannabis law faces court challenge

A court challenge under the Human Rights Act could decriminalise
the possession of a small amount of cannabis for personal use in
the UK.

The civil rights organisation Liberty is backing the case of
Jerry Ham, former director of homelessness charity Groundswell, who
faces a jury trial at Southwark crown court next month for
possession of 1.8 grams of cannabis.

Owen Davies QC will argue that the prosecution breached his
right to respect for private life.

A similar challenge in Germany led to a ruling by the German
constitutional court in 1994 that turning people who were found
with limited quantities of cannabis into criminals was

Source:- The Guardian Friday 1 June page 10

Brown rules out tax on child benefit

Gordon Brown put the record straight on child benefit yesterday,
saying that it would not be taxed nor means tested in the next

As the Conservatives claimed that changes to child support
planned by the Chancellor in 2003 would provide a smoke screen for
ending universal child benefit, Labour accused the Tories of
planning to hit poorer families through benefits reform.

Shadow social security secretary David Willetts claimed that
Labour’s plans would allow the Chancellor to “camouflage his

Brown angrily denied the charge.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 1 June page 18

‘Tortured’ tribal chief fights Straw over
asylum claim

Jack Straw’s refusal to grant a tribal chief from the
Amazon rainforest asylum in Britain, will be challenged by the
chief who claims he was tortured by the Bolivian authorities for
fighting for the rights of his people.

Eduardo Poroso Flores has been examined by doctors in Britain,
and they claim he shows the typical side effects of someone who has
suffered torture.

He suffers epilepsy and psychological problems known to relate
to torture.

His application for asylum was refused and Flores will appeal to
the home secretary against the decision on Monday.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 1 June page 12

Brown – our radical second term

Fighting child poverty will be one of the main focuses of Labour
in its last six days of campaigning, alongside schools and
hospitals the Chancellor said yesterday.

Opinion polls have shown the state of hospitals and schools as
main concerns for the electorate, and Labour will hold both
“education” and “health” days to highlight the difference between
the parties.

Gordon Brown attacked the Conservatives, accusing them of
proposing huge cuts in benefits for single parents with children
over the age of 11 that would cost some families £64 a week to
save £500 million for tax cuts.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 1 June page 1

Scottish newspapers

Winning: our asylum shame

Cardinal Thomas Winning condemns our handling of asylum seekers
as “an affront to the human dignity of the individuals concerned”.
Winning also hits out at the “ugly and brutal violence which some
of those fleeing persecution have suffered since being housed in
Glasgow”. He goes on to condemn the system of voucher payments, and
the ban on asylum seekers working for six months in spite of many
possessing valuable skills.

Source:- The Herald Friday 1 June page 1

Alex Ferguson may lead £300 million drugs

Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United, has revealed he
is considering an offer to lead the government’s £300
million drugs crusade when he retires from football next year. At a
breakfast meeting to launch a drugs campaign in his native Govan,
Sir Alex revealed he had been asked to spearhead a national drugs
campaign by Chancellor Gordon Brown. Sir Alex said he would give
the offer serious consideration when it came time for him to

Source:- The Herald Friday 1 June page 1

Care home bonus threat denied

Two private care homeowners claimed yesterday that Aberdeen
Council had offered them cash bonuses to withdraw a threat to
refuse all new publicly funded admissions from 13 June. The two
home owners, who did not wish to be named, made the allegations
following the formal notice to refuse new admissions had been given
to the council by the private home owners’ organisation,
Social Care. Alan Pilkington, assistant director of social work for
Aberdeen Council, dismissed the claims as “absolute rubbish”.

Source:- The Herald Friday 1 June page 5

Care assistant loses sack fight

Care assistant, Pauline Gibb, sacked for tipping a nursing home
resident out of her chair, has lost her unfair dismissal claim at
an employment tribunal in Dundee. Gibb was previously employed at
Lunan House Home in Arbroath.

Source:- Daily Record Friday 1 June page 37



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