A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Yard relaxes approach to cannabis offences

Scotland Yard’s attitude towards cannabis possession will
be more relaxed under controversial new plans.

An initiative in south London will see people caught in
possession of cannabis given on the spot warnings rather than being
cautioned, arrested and sometimes charged. The pilot is seen to be
“sensible and progressive” by senior offices, including
commissioner Sir John Stevens.

Officers hope the pilot in Lambeth, which will start soon, will
be rolled out across the capital after three to six months if

A Scotland Yard source said: “What is the point of spending
hours in the police station charging someone with possession of
cannabis, with all the paperwork it involves, when magistrates
courts routinely only fine users £10 to £20?”

Last night, the plan was welcomed by Britain’s centre of
expertise on drugs, Drugscope. Chief executive Roger Howard said it
was “clearly a pragmatic response”.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 15 June 2001 page 1

Jobs boost in public services

The government’s drive to recruit public sector workers
has resulted in it creating more jobs than the private sector for
more than a quarter of a century.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show the number
of public sector jobs rose by 93,000 last year, while private
sector jobs increased by 71,000.

The ONS said the large increases of employment in health and
education were behind the rise.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 15 June 2001 page 2

Crime fears for children in care

About 11 per cent of the 25,700 children aged 10 or over in the
care of English local authorities were cautioned or convicted of a
criminal offence last year, according to Department of Health
statistics – about three times the national average.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 15 June 2001 page 8

Stowaway found dead in car park

The body of a stowaway was found in a car park in Richmond
south-west London yesterday.

The man had fallen to his death from a jet on its approach to
Heathrow airport. The man suffered severe head injuries.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 15 June 2001 page 8

Dover tragedy relatives in £1m claim

Relatives of the 58 Chinese illegal immigrants who were
suffocated in the back of a lorry on their journey to Britain, are
to make a £1 million claim for compensation in Britain.

British lawyers acting for the relatives will lodge the claims
next week at the Glasgow headquarters of the Criminal Injuries
Compensation Authority.

The 195 relatives of 57 of the illegal immigrants who died on
the lorry while on board a ferry crossing the Channel to Dover from
Zeebrugge last year, include wives, husbands, mothers, fathers and
children. The final victim has yet to be identified.

Each relative may be entitled to £5,500 for their
bereavement, with lone parents claiming twice the amount, and
children may be entitled to more for the loss of a parent.

The compensation claim coincides with the first anniversary of
their deaths. A memorial service will be held on Monday after a
vigil outside the Home Office.

Dutch lorry driver Perry Wacker was jailed for 14 years in April
after a trial was told he closed the air vent in the back of the
container to reduce the noise.

Source:- Independent Friday 15 June 2001 page 1

Asylum seekers on hunger strike

Ten asylum seekers are on hunger strike in protest of their
“barbaric treatment” from the British asylum system.

They say the hunger strike, which started four days ago, was
sparked by delays in processing and “appalling conditions” in the
Liverpool tower blocks where they have been housed.

Source:- Independent Friday 15 June 2001 page 11

Scottish newspapers

Care home owners reject first minister’s plea

Private care home owners in Aberdeen angrily rejected a plea by
first minister Henry McLeish to stop their embargo of
council–funded residents.

During first minister’s question time, McLeish appealed to
the home owners and asked them to be patient as the Scottish
executive and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities sought a
resolution to the issue.

Scottish Care, the umbrella organisation representing 800 of
Scotland’s 1,100 private home owners, described the plea as

Source:- The Herald 15/6/01 page 6

Consultant backs baby death doubts

Leading neuropathologist David Doyle has indicated that “shaken
baby syndrome” takes much less force than most doctors believe, in
a study which will raise controversy over the rate of convictions
for serious assault on infants.

The study of 53 infants suspected of being victims of assault
found that the damage could have been caused by accidental
disruption of the delicate nerves in the neck which control
breathing and can lead to swelling of the brain.

The research has already been accused of undermining the number
of convictions for deaths of babies.

Source:- The Herald 15/6/01 page 10

Racist crime at an all time high

Reports of racist crime in Strathclyde have soared to an all
time high according to figures released yesterday.

Reports of racial incidents have increased by 41 per cent
compared to last year, to a total of 1,241 cases in 2000-1. Over
the past six years, reports have increased by 439 per cent from an
original 230 incidents.

Strathclyde Police attribute the increase to improved reporting
mechanisms and increased confidence of ethnic communities in police

Source:- The Herald 15/6/01 page 13



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