A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Stevens lays blame for crime wave on courts

criminal justice system contributes to the rise in violent crime, according to
Britain’s most senior police officer.

John Stevens last night accused judges, defence lawyers and court
administrators of “riding roughshod” over the rights of victims and intimidated
witnesses. The Metropolitan Police commissioner said police were treated with
“utter contempt” by the system, despite their efforts to lock away criminals.

too often the criminal trial is simply an uneven game of tactics played out by
lawyers in front of an uninformed jury with the disillusioned victim and
bemused defendant looking on. The public are more than disenchanted with the
criminal justice system, they are fed up with it,” Stevens said at a lecture at
Leicester University.

The Times  Thursday 7 March page 2

Brown may veto police, prison cash

Brown and David Blunkett may come head to head over the government’s spending
review because the Chancellor is reluctant to finance the home secretary’s
ambitious plans for reform of the police, prison and asylum services.

has asked the Chancellor for extra time to raise the quality of his bid, as
other spending ministers have submitted their proposals on schedule.

is fighting a wave of headlines about a nationwide crime epidemic and is
seeking extra funding for his police reform package.

this has put him at odds with the chancellor, who is inclined to put more money
into long-term prevention that chime more with his own views on tackling social
exclusion and poverty.

second of Brown’s spending reviews will run for three years from the financial
year 2003-4.

The Guardian  Thursday 7 March page 1

Damilola stabbed for being ‘lippy’

teenage boy, who admitted he murdered Damilola Taylor with his brother, claimed
they would both escape justice as the police had no evidence and they were
“untouchable”, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

youth also allegedly told a fellow offender at Feltham young offenders’
institution that Damilola was killed because he was “lippy” and that he would
do the same thing again.

conversation allegedly took place three months after Damilola’s death while the
brothers were on remand on unrelated charges at Feltham, south-west London.

18-year-old witness is one of a series who claim the brothers made admissions
about murdering Damilola while they were in Feltham and another young
offenders’ institution.

brothers and a 15-year-old boy deny murder, manslaughter and assault with
intent to rob.

was stabbed and bled to death in Peckham, south London in November 2000.

case continues.

The Guardian  Thursday 7 March page 13

Rush for London mini-homes

of London’s key workers rushed to sign up for one of the new mini flats, which
could ease the capital’s housing problems.

Quarters are expected to sell for around £65,000 or be rented for around £70
per week and priority will be given to nurses, teachers and transport staff
with an income of less than £30,000 per year.

homes were previewed at the Ideal Home Show at Earls Court yesterday. London
mayor Ken Livingstone said he hoped the scheme would play a vital role in
housing essential workers.

The Times  Thursday 7 March page 2

Mass jail release ruled out

prisons will not be eased by the release of thousands of petty offenders, David
Blunkett ruled yesterday.

home secretary confirmed his decision as the population of the 137 prisons in
England and Wales went over 70,000 for the first time.

Prison Governor’s Association spoke out after a meeting with Blunkett: “We are
confronted with the scenario of entirely exhausting our stock of cell space.”

is expected to announce a number of measures to deal with over crowding next

The Times  Thursday 7 March page 6

and Welsh newspapers

Depute director of social work named in
‘officegate’ scandal

McLeish, wife of former first minister Henry McLeish and a depute director of
social work for Fife Council, is to be named in the council’s inquiry into the
payment of grants to a charity that no longer existed. 

Age, a charity set up to establish day care facilities for older people, had
been one of the sub-tenants in McLeish’s Glenrothes parliamentary constituency
office.  McLeish admits to not declaring
rent from six sub-tenants and resigned as first minister over the issues of

McLeish is to be named as one of the senior officials who authorised council grants
be paid to Third Age after the charity ceased to exist. The inquiry, undertaken
by Fife Council’s chief executive Douglas Sinclair is to be issued to the
council tomorrow. Only a summary will be released to the public due to the
number of individual staff named.

The Scotsman Thursday 7 March page 1

Summonses could be issued in child sex
claims inquiry

commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, could issue summonses to anyone who
refuses to co-operate with the inquiry into alleged paedophile
John Owen.

inquiry into the events that occurred during Owen’s time as a drama teacher in
South Wales was prompted by a campaign by his alleged victims. He was
due to stand trial last year on sex abuse charges but committed suicide just
before the case was due to start.

commissioner will have wide powers to call on evidence during his examination
into all the events surrounding the alleged abuse, including  hearing representations from pupils and
teachers at the school.

inquiry is due to begin on March 25.

Western Mail Thursday 7 March page 1

Court orders children’s charity to close

charity for disabled children has been closed down following an investigation
by the Charity Commission.

Care and Action Trust for Children with Handicaps, known as Catch, was found to
have breached tax regulations and an audit also revealed that 80 per cent of
its income was being spent on wages and overheads rather than on the children
it claimed to help.

a month-long inquiry the High Court ordered the winding up of the Swansea-based
charity after learning that it had received £680,000 in tax benefits it was not
entitled to in less than two years.

also revealed that of £1.3m raised last year only £262,000 was spent directly
on children and during the last three years just 20 per cent per pound
of income went on direct charitable expenditure.

Western Mail Thursday 7 March page 5

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