A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including headlines from Saturday and Sunday.

By Clare Jerrom.

Most asylum seekers are smuggled into

Seven out of 10 asylum seekers are smuggled into Britain, a
study has found.

Of 371 analysed asylum cases, 72 per cent used smuggler gangs
and only five per cent used family contacts.

The asylum seekers, studied by Dr Phil Hubbard, a researcher
from the University of Wales, came from 46 countries but were
dominated by Iraq, Kosovo and Somalia.

In some cases the smugglers were paid £10,000.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 5 January page 10

Boy, 11, charged with murder

An 11-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of a shop
worker found stabbed to death in his flat.

The youth is charged alongside a 16-year-old and 28-year-old
Neil Howard of murdering Jason Manotoyah at his home in Thetford,
Norfolk, in December.

Both the 11 and the 16-year-old were returned to local authority
care after a brief hearing at Thetford magistrates court. Neither
can be named.

The 11-year-old was arrested after neighbours heard a
disturbance in Manotoyah’s flat.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 5 January page 6

Channel 4 postpones Jonathan King film

A documentary on the sex offender and former pop mogul Jonathan
King has been postponed by Channel 4, because one of those
interviewed is found to be involved in a trial unrelated to the
King case.

The 80-minute programme was scheduled for Monday at 10pm, but a
Channel 4 spokesperson said although it would be postponed, it
would not be delayed for long.

King was jailed in November for seven years for sexual offences
against boys.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 5 January
page 4

Blunkett attacked for swift removal of asylum

The home secretary has been accused of being underhand in
slipping through amendments to the immigration rules to remove more
asylum seekers from Britain.

Refugee support groups has claimed the changes could lead to
asylum seekers being rounded up at their homes and put on planes
out of Britain before they have chance to speak to

The changes, which are designed to prevent asylum seekers from
absconding, were introduced during the Christmas period by the home
office. They are due to come into effect on Monday before
Parliament convenes.

Under the new rules, the home office will be informed before the
asylum seeker of the decision made by the Immigration Appellate
Authority, whereas before both parties were notified at the same

Source:- The Independent Saturday 5 January
page 6

Primary school children turning to alcohol

One in four schoolboys aged 11 has at least one alcoholic
beverage a week, according to a study.

The figures also show one in six 11-year-old girls are drinking
alcohol showing alcohol to becoming an endemic among the young,
while parents and the government concentrate on drugs.

The results are from 13,000 children across Britain and were
collated by the Schools Health Education Unit.

A spokesperson for Alcohol Concern said: “It’s a rite of
passage, but young people have to have a sensible relationship with
alcohol. Parents are crucial as role models for their

Source:- The Observer Sunday 6 January page 1

Police chief casts doubt on guilt of some child

Some people jailed for abusing children in care homes may
represent miscarriages of justice, according to the police chief in
charge of the national sex crime policy.

Terry Grange, chief constable of Dyfed Powys, said he has set up
a special research team at Bramshill police college in Hampshire to
improve the effectiveness of sex abuse inquiries.

He revealed that Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo)
would be issuing the first detective’s manual for officers
investigating cases like this next month. Fresh guidelines for
investigating alleged paedophiles would be issued.

He said it was designed to eliminate errors and false
allegations of complainants seeking compensation.

Grange admitted that some police enquiries into alleged abuse in
care homes may have made mistakes.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 6 January page 3

Serious crime by the young doubles in 7

The number of young people committing serious crime such as
murder and grievous bodily harm has almost doubled in seven years,
according to the latest statistics.

Home office figures to be released today show 561 youngsters
aged between 10 and 17 committed “grave crimes” in 2000, compared
with 315 in 1993.

Tom Watson, a Labour member of the Commons home affairs select
committee, said: “We are all aware that far too many young people
get involved in crime. It’s quite terrifying to realise the
number of youngsters sentenced at crown court has doubled in just
seven years.”

“The government is trying to reduce crime, with some success,
but this is a problem for society as a whole,” he added.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 6 January page

Blunkett admits government’s targets in war
against drugs may be ‘unrealistic’

David Blunkett has signalled he is ready to abandon “unrealistic
targets” in the fight against drugs such as halving heroin and
cocaine use among the young.

The home secretary revealed in a memorandum to a Commons select
committee that he has ordered a “stocktaking review” of the
government’s drugs strategy to see “whether there are any
gaps or weaknesses”.

He also plans to bid for an increase in the estimated £1.2
billion home office budget for tackling Britain’s drug
problem in the Chancellor’s spending review.

Source:- The Independent Sunday 6 January page

Child curfews were just spin

The government’s introduction of child curfews to reduce
juvenile crime is in disarray, the home office admitted last

In the three years since the legislation has been in place, not
a single curfew has been implemented.

Local authorities were given powers to ban all children under 10
from being in a public place after 9pm. But the scheme, extended to
15-year-olds, has been branded “unworkable” by councils.

Probation union Napo, which has long campaigned against the
powers, said the law Harry Fletcher, Napo’s assistant general
secretary, said: “The curfew is unnecessary and discriminatory. If
an individual child is problematic then the authorities should
target him or her. In any event, many children are on the streets
because of appalling circumstances at home.”

A home office spokesperson said the curfews had been introduced
following requests from local authorities.

Source:- The Independent Sunday 6 January page

£19,000 for family abused by foster

Foster parents who had a teenage sex offender placed with their
young family have received £190,000 in compensation from the
council responsible for his care.

Essex council failed to tell the family the 15-year-old boy had
been cautioned for assaulting his three-year-old sister, and was
under investigation for rape.

The foster parents discovered he had been abusing their children
when the youngest daughter, who was eight, admitted what had been
going on. After the boy’s removal, the three other children
under 12 revealed they had been sexually abused.

Philip Thomson, head of legal services at Essex council, said:
“The authority always accepted the wrong decision was made. This
boy was placed in the foster home and as a result, people suffered

The three staff involved in the placement were sacked, though
one has been reinstated on appeal.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday 6 January page 45

State leaves charities to pay its bills for

State funded residential care home places for older people are
being subsidised by charities because the government is refusing to
pay their fees.

According to figures released today, there is a large increase
in the amount of money charity-run care homes are having to pay to
subsidise many care home places, because they say, local councils
are not paying enough.

Charitable support to residents with insufficient savings to pay
for their care rose by a fifth from £9.9 million to £11.8
million in the year to March 2001, according to the 14 charities

This means charities had to pay £185 million towards the
care of older people to make up the government’s

Liberal Democrat spokesperson Paul Burstow, who compiled the
results, said: “By starving the care sector of funding, it is
leaving charities to foot the bill. The money that is raised by
charities should not be going on care bills that should be picked
up by the state.”

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 7 January page 7

Asylum seekers turn blind eye to video nasty of British

A “video nasty” aiming to dissuade asylum seekers from entering
Britain, has failed to tarnish this country’s allure.

The campaign, aimed at refugees in the French Red Cross centre
at Sangatte in northern France managed to convince only 17 of the
17,500 residents to go back home.

The campaign “Dignity or exploitation – The Choice is in
your hands” featured a video of the hardships of life in Britain,
and the dangers of trying to cross the Channel.

The home office gave £140,000 towards the campaign, which
has now been wound up.

Source:- The Independent Monday 7 January page





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