A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including Saturday and Sunday.

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

16 Romanians ride under Eurostar

Sixteen Romanian asylum seekers were found hiding beneath a
Eurostar train in London on Friday after a high-speed journey from

Police found five women, two men and nine children aged between
three and 15 in cramped compartments at the train in Waterloo
station. They were suffering dehydration, but none needed hospital

A home office spokesperson said they were awaiting interview by
immigration officials.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 4 August page 1

Seven face paedophile trial

Seven men are to stand trial in connection with an alleged
paedophile ring at Liverpool crown court.

Among the seven is Stanley Claridge who faces a series of
charges including the rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 4 August page 7

Rough sleepers down by 3,000

More than 3,000 rough sleepers have been taken off British
streets during the past year, according to the government, but
homelessness agencies claim the problems are not solved.

The target of cutting the number of rough sleepers by two
thirds, was in sight, according to the progress report to the prime
minister from the rough sleepers’ unit.

Head of the unit Louise Casey said: “Because of the hard work
and determination of the public, charities, local authorities and
others, many vulnerable people have now come in from the cold. It
is vital that all our efforts continue to ensure that anyone who
needs it has an alternative to the doorway.”

The report says there are 703 people sleeping rough in England
each night compared to 1,180 last year. In London, the number has
nearly halved from 621 to 357.

Ceri Sheppard, acting director of the Homeless Network, a London
alliance of voluntary organisations, raised concerns about
initiatives to help people stay off the streets: “This needs
co-ordination of government policy, particularly on housing, drugs,
crime, health, community care, prison and army discharge policy and
support for vulnerable people.”

The homelessness agencies want a three-point programme. Firstly,
assurance that resources for the vulnerable will be available, a
national long-term strategy to prevent people ending up on the
streets and the speedy implementation of the homelessness bill.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 4 August page 11

Priest jailed for sexual abuse

A priest was sentenced to five years in prison for sexually
abusing a 12-year-old boy at Newcastle crown court on Friday.

Father William Jacks, former secretary to the Bishop of Hexham
and Newcastle, carried out the abuse over a four-year period
starting in 1987.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 4 August
page 6

National register to improve adoption

The government is launching a national register this week to
match children with families who wish to adopt.

The measure is one of many in a £66.5 million package over
three years to improve the lives of young people in care.

A set of national standards will be introduced to eliminate
regional disparities.

Recent figures show there are around 2,400 children waiting to
be adopted.

Source:- The Sunday Times 5 August page 26

Scandal of the innocent asylum seekers locked up in
British jails

More than 1,000 asylum seekers are being detained without charge
in British jails as a result of the collapse of the immigration

The 770 places in Britain’s detention centres are full,
and as a result the immigrants are being held and denied basic
privileges granted to convicted prisoners.

Detainees include mentally vulnerable people who have suffered
torture and who are being held in some of Britain’s worst
prisons. Often locked up for 23 hours a day, they are sharing cells
with Britain’s hardened criminals, forced to wear a prison
uniform and allowed a shower once a week. They are restricted of
access to solicitors.

A demonstration was held on Saturday outside HMP Liverpool,
Walton, where it is thought 50 asylum seekers are on hunger

Source:- The Independent 5 August page 1

In-charge Prescott warns off the unions

Deputy prime-minister John Prescott has come out fighting
against the unions who plan to disrupt Labour’s annual
conference as a result of plans to privatise public services.

Prescott, who takes control of the government while Tony Blair
is on leave, warned union leaders planning a confrontation at the
autumn conference that scrapping plans to inject private funding
into public services would result in raising taxes or cuts in other
public spending.

He strongly defended the private finance plans for schools,
hospitals and other public services, that he objected to in the

Source:- Independent on Sunday 5 August page 4

Fridges to watch over the elderly

Carers can be warned when older people fall or become ill by the
introduction of tiny spy cameras fitted to fridges, cupboards and
cookers in their homes.

If a pensioner fails to use the utilities for a long period of
time, social services will be alerted.

Camden council in north London is considering using the
equipment to monitor older people.

A spokesperson for Age Concern said: “Nothing can replace human
contact and our main concern is that some elderly people could
become very isolated as a result of a scheme like this.”

Source:- Independent on Sunday 5 August page

Paedophile priests are to be treated in secret safe

Roman Catholic and Church of England priests who are jailed for
sexual offences are to be treated in halfway houses following their

Parishes from both churches will finance the cost of £500
per week for the safe houses at secret locations.

Allegations of child abuse in both churches has damaged their
reputations in the last five years and leading clergymen have been
accused of failing to root out paedophiles.

Sex offender counsellor Ray Wyre, who is setting up the homes,
said: “The Churches recognise that offending priests have specific
problems as they struggle with their faith, their guilt and
confront the damage they have inflicted.”

According to Wyre religious retreats, where priests who abuse
children are currently sent, are wholly inadequate.

Child abusers sent to the safe houses will receive counselling
in “relapse prevention therapy” to help them to control improper

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 5 August page 15

Why Chris Morris had to make Brass Eye

The man who set Britain talking with a 30-minute TV satire is
already moving on to his next target

Source:- The Observer Sunday 5 August page 13

Asylum seeker killed in park

Protests broke out in Glasgow yesterday over the killing of a
22-year-old Turkish man, in what police say could have been a
racist attack.

Riot police backed by a helicopter were called to calm violent
outbursts from some of the 400 asylum seekers and campaigners who
massed close to the scene of the stabbing.

They chanted anti-racist slogans in the Sighthill area, which
has been the scene of 70 racist attacks in the last 14 months.

Firsat Yildiz arrived in Glasgow two weeks before he was stabbed
in a park by two men, after returning home from a restaurant with a
fellow asylum seeker.

A Strathclyde Police spokesperson said they could not rule out
the possibility that the attack was racially motivated and are
treating the case as murder.

Source:- The Times Monday 6 August page 2

(see below for Glasgow Herald’s coverage of same story)

Bulger mother condemns play about son’s

The mother of James Bulger has joined children’s
campaigners in condemning the decision to stage a comic play that
tells of a child who is abducted and killed, at the Edinburgh
Fringe Festival.

Denise Fergus said the death of her son should not be used as
the basis of ‘The Age of Consent’ play, which has close
parallels with the death of James eight years ago.

Fergus said: “It is just designed to try to shock people and
grab publicity, and to sink so low, they are clearly desperate.
Anyone who would stoop so low as to use my son’s death as a
subject for comedy is sick and pathetic.”

Source:- The Times Monday 6 August page 11

The asylum tourists

Desperate to start a new life in Britain, Czech families pose as
holidaymakers to sidestep airport crackdowns.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 6 August page 31

Scottish newspapers

Back to square one on secure psychiatric

Greater Glasgow Health Board has revealed that it will start
again in the process to select a site for an extension to the State
Hospital Carstairs. In June, campaigners against the original site
at Stobbhill Hospital in the residential area of Balornock had been
advised that it was no longer being considered.

The next option at Belvedere Hospital in the city’s east
end also attracted opposition from local groups. Now, the health
board has announced that it will start the selection process again
with all possible options being considered for the location of the
76-patient medium secure unit.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 4 August page 5

UK’s first tolerance zone for

Prostitutes in Edinburgh have been given until 15 August to move
to an identified tolerance zone in the first initiative of its kind
in the UK.

In an initiative similar to that found in the Netherlands and
Australia, prostitutes will be allowed to work from an identified
area likely to be a former industrial site on the outskirts of the
city. Tom Wood, deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders
Police, said that the term ‘tolerance zone’ was inaccurate in that
it implied acting in any way with impunity.

Wood said the police thought of the area as a “zone of
discretionary prosecution”. The initiative is being supported by
the Scottish Prostitutes’ Education Project as offering
greater safety and protection.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 4 August page 7

Scots face second HIV epidemic

Alarming new figures indicate that Scotland is heading for the
highest number of HIV diagnoses since the mid 1980s.

The statistics, from Health Education Board Scotland (HEBS),
show 91 new cases in the first six months of 2001 with the
projected annual total set to exceed 200, the highest since 1987.
HEBS says the rise in HIV is due to a generation of young people
becoming sexually active without being exposed to the safe sex
message. HEBS has called for urgent action on pushing the safe sex
message if a major disaster is to be avoided.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 5 August page 8

Murder of asylum seeker sparks mass

The murder of an asylum seeker, the first of its kind in
Scotland, sparked violent demonstrations on the streets of Glasgow
yesterday. Firsat Yildiz was stabbed to death by two white men
early yesterday in what the police have described as an unprovoked

Yildiz, a Turkish Kurd, had been in the city for only two weeks.
His killing provoked mass demonstrations by hundreds of Turkish,
Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers. The demonstrations started in
Sighthill where the majority of asylum seekers are housed and
erupted into violence. The protestors moved on to the City Chambers
where they demanded action from Glasgow Council in providing

Source:- The Herald Monday 6 August page 1








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