A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including Saturday and Sunday.

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Mentally ill man with sword shot dead by

A mentally ill man who was shot down by police last week, should
still be alive, according to his family.

The family of Andrew Kernan, who repeatedly ignored requests by
the police to drop a sword he was brandishing, said there was no
need for police to open fire. They have demanded an inquiry into
the event.

Mike Tonge, assistant chief constable of Merseyside police,
defended the action saying that 25 minutes of negotiations with
Kernan did nothing to diffuse the situation.

“Mr Kernan continued to cause a serious risk to the public and
police officer safety which ultimately led to the discharge of a
firearm,” Tonge said.

Kernan became mentally ill around 15 years ago and was a patient
at Broad Oak mental health unit at Broadgreen hospital.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 14 July page 5

Parents who starved baby admit cruelty

A couple have admitted child cruelty having starved their baby
to death, at the Old Bailey last week.

The three children of Garabet and Hasmik Manuelyan were allowed
only to eat uncooked fruit.

Their nine-month-old daughter died last year of a chest
infection brought on by malnutrition.

The couple denied unlawful killing, and a manslaughter charge
was left on file.

They will be sentenced on September 14.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 14 July page 11

Pensioners drop to the foot of the poverty

The poorest group of people in the country are pensioners, now
worse off than single mothers, figures revealed last week.

The number of older couples among the poorest sections of
society has risen over the last few years while lone parents have
seen their incomes grow dramatically.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics, were
greeted with anger by pensioners’ groups.

Seventeen per cent of older couples were in the poorest third of
the population, with single pensioners worse off with between 33
and 40 per cent in the poorest group.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 14 July page 19

Arrested in one night, 158 asylum seekers on their way
to Britain.

The continuing trend of illegal immigrants going to extreme
lengths to enter Britain was revealed as 158 asylum seekers were
detained in one night.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 14 July page 40-41

Abusers given free access to children

Child abusers are granted unsupervised access to children by

Judges continually hand over children to their fathers, despite
a history of child abuse and domestic violence, a survey by charity
Women’s Aid has revealed.

Men whose previous abuse has caused the child to be placed on
the child protection register, are still granted contact orders by
courts, as well as those men whose partners have been warned by
social services that their children will be taken into care if they
do not leave the man. Access has even been awarded to offenders
convicted of cruelty to a child.

The evidence come a year after the court of appeal ruled that
proved domestic violence should be taken into account in decisions
on child contact orders.

Margaret Moran, chairperson of the parliamentary group on
domestic violence, said: “Clearly despite the guidance, children
are being put in danger and being reconnected with abusive parents.
Why are we not protecting our children in circumstances where there
is domestic violence?”

Source:- The Independent Sunday 15 July page

Prison warnings ignored by Straw

Jack Straw deliberately suppressed reports on prisons and
ignored warnings about the awful conditions, according to the chief
inspector of prisons.

David Ramsbotham said no minister bothered to join him on a
prison inspection and said he had been “depressed” by the former
home secretary’s behaviour towards him.

The man nicknamed Rambo for his hard hitting reports, said Straw
and the prison service tried to get him to change his views, made
him rewrite sections and delayed reports.

The comments come weeks before Ramsbotham steps down from the
position he has held since 1995.

Source:- The Independent Sunday 15 July page

Blair tries to defuse row over

The prime minister faces an ultimatum from Labour supporters
about his plans to introduce private sector funding to public
services: ‘reassure us or face a summer of protest’.

Tony Blair will seek to diffuse the growing row over
privatisation at a meeting with the party’s core supporters
setting out the limits of private sector involvement in the running
of schools and hospitals.

The GMB union has prepared a poster campaign, which will be run
throughout the summer, unless Blair manages to reassure the public
sector union, said a close source of general secretary John

Source:- The Independent Sunday 15 July page

France withdraws port refugee police

Dozens of immigration officials have been withdrawn by the
French government from some of the Channel ports used by illegal
immigrants to enter Britain.

Up to eight ports have no border police patrols and
overstretched customs officials have been asked to cover.

Immigration minister Angela Eagle has asked home office
officials to monitor the situation and is prepared to ask the
French to reinstate its immigration police.

An estimated 2,000 asylum seekers enter Britain through the
Channel ports each month.

Source:- Sunday Telegraph 15 July page 8

Jailing young causes crime says charity

The risk of youth crime is increased by locking up young
offenders, according to a report by charity Nacro this week.

Nacro chief executive Helen Edwards will say in a speech on
Tuesday that prison stops young people growing out of crime, with
three quarters of young people going on to re-offend.

She will warn David Blunkett that tougher sentences for
persistent offenders, many of whom are teenagers and in their early
twenties, will increase the prison population.

Edwards will say: “The effective use of prison means less use of
prison. Because prison disrupts and retards the process of growing

The report ‘Grow up and be responsible’ claims that
young offenders institutions have been an unmitigated failure and
calls for a root and branch reform of prisons for young people.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 July page 6

Our society is hooked…here’s how we can fix

As the Tories debate the legalisation of soft drugs and Labour
grapples with the perceived link between drugs and crime, a visit
to a rehab unit in Oxford reveals one vital truth – every
addict is different.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 July page 10-11

Boy, 16, banned from home for race terror

A teenager has been banned from his home area for 10 years, due
to racism.

David Young is thought to be the first person placed on an
anti-social behaviour order, made on such grounds.

Magistrates imposed no restrictions to protect his identity, and
police have issued a photograph for people in Cheltenham to watch
out for the youth, in case he breaks the order.

The court was told how Young terrorised black and Asian workers
in shops.

He is now prevented from entering a square mile of the town on
the grounds of his racist and intimidating behaviour.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 16 July page 36

Children ‘likelier to offend’ if parents are

Adolescents controlled by firm but fair treatment from their
parents, are much less likely to be attracted to drugs, crime and

Researchers have found that youths with lax, overbearing or
inconsistent parents are more likely to become problem

Parenting style was a main influence on whether young people
engaged in criminal or delinquent behaviour, according to David
Smith, who is leading a study of 4,300 young people at Edinburgh

“Parents who trust their children but are firm and active in
supervising them have a lower degree of conflict than parents who
try to lay down the law,” Smith said.

Source:- The Independent Monday 16 July page

Blair ‘will not flinch’ in drive for

The prime minister will tell opponents in unions today that no
vested interests will have a veto on his proposals for public
service reforms.

Tony Blair will acknowledge the growing opposition to his
proposals, but declare he ‘will not flinch’ from the
decisions needed to improve services.

He will defy unions by saying the government believes the
private sector can provide better services.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 July page 2

Surprise divorces ‘worse for

Children are harmed more by parents who rarely row and divorce
unexpectedly than by those who argue frequently and are violent
before they split up, according to research.

A 20-year study of 2,000 couples and 700 of their children in
America found that children can suffer significant emotional damage
if one unfulfilled parent leaves the marriage early to find
happiness elsewhere.

Sociology professor at Pennsylvania university Paul Amato said
the only thing more damaging was for children to remain in a family
where there was constant violence between parents who did not

Amato said: “Divorce brings turmoil to these children. They
don’t anticipate the divorce and find it inexplicable.”

These children demonstrated poor mental health by the time they
reach adulthood and do not trust relationships.

Amato’s findings will be presented at a seminar in London
by relationship charity One Plus One.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 July page 5

Scottish newspapers

BNP leader cancels visits to sensitive

The leader of the far right wing British national party, Nick
Griffen, cancelled his planned visits to two sensitive areas of
Glasgow because of what he described as “hysteria” among
anti-racist groups and “irresponsible” press reporting. Griffen was
due to make appearances in Pollokshields where there is a large
Asian population and Sighthill where the majority of refugees in
Scotland are based. Instead, he headed to Edinburgh to launch a
week-long series of events across Scotland highlighting what the
BNP call “black on white” attacks.

Source:- The Herald Monday 16 July page 5

Pro-Life attacks chemists’ plans

Anti-abortion campaigners yesterday attacked plans to dispense
the morning after pill free in a pilot project in some pharmacies
in Fife.

Precious Life leader, Jim Dowson, said the money would be better
spent on efforts to change sexual attitudes and behaviour. The
Roman Catholic Church said the morning after pill could act as an
abortion agent, and the scheme was “tackling the symptom rather
than the cause”. The Scottish executive maintained there were no
plans to extend the pilot, but it was up to local health boards to
decide on the best use of their resources.

Source:- The Herald Monday 16 July page 8

Crack cocaine use increases in Scotland

Scottish police forces have reported a dramatic increase in the
consumption of crack cocaine mainly through the club scenes in the
major cities. The rise in rack cocaine is also related to the
availability of cocaine. Last year Scottish police forces reported
a 38 per cent rise in cocaine seizures.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 July page 8

Parents blamed for teenage crime

More than half of all 12 and 13 year-olds questioned in an
Edinburgh survey admitted to committing two or more “delinquent
acts” including drug taking and carrying knives in the previous 12
months, and the blame has been laid at the door of parents. The
study of 4,300 children by the Economic and Social Research Council
concludes that parenting style was crucial in determining whether
or not children turned to crime. Parents who supervised their
children closely, but were willing to negotiate most often avoided
problems. The research also concludes that children who have been
bullied are far more likely to turn to criminal behaviour.

Source:- The Herald Monday 16 July page 9



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