A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

‘wrong to claim child poverty success’

government has failed to reach its target of lifting more than a million
children out of poverty in its first term, children’s rights groups and
opposition parties said yesterday.

figures published yesterday showed that the number of children living below the
poverty line had fallen by just 500,000 in spite of claims in Labour’s 2001
election manifesto that more than one million children had been taken out of
poverty since 1997.

Households Below Poverty Average Income report shows that the number of
children living in poverty, after housing costs, fell from 4.4 million in
1996-97 to 3.9 million in 2000-1. That is a fall of 10 per cent but still means
that 13 million children in Britain are living below the poverty line.

work and pensions secretary Alistair Darling said the government’s approach to
tackling poverty was clearly paying off: “We promised that everyone would share
in the nation’s rising prosperity, and that is happening,” he said.

The Times  Friday 12 April page 10

of high crime to have fast track courts

areas with the highest street crime will fast track robbery cases through the
courts under proposals announced yesterday.

these areas, 41 magistrates’ courts have been set aside to deal with street
offences such as robbery and car jacking. The courts were chosen because they
had the best facilities to prevent intimidation of witnesses by suspects.

the Lord Chancellor’s department was unable to provide details of how the cases
would be “fast tracked” and said these were matters for individual courts.

The Times  Friday 12 April page 12

of refugees face jail

could face up to 14 years in prison for knowingly harbouring illegal immigrants
under a reform of the asylum law to be announced today by David Blunkett.

home secretary is to publish the immigration and asylum bill, which will
increase the jail term for companies employing illegal immigrants from six
months to 14 years.

will also be required to disclose information about employees.

The Times  Friday 12 April page 12

immigrants forcing police to ignore
rail crime

fight against vandalism, theft and violence on the railways is being ignored by
the police as they are forced to concentrate on illegal immigrants, it emerged

needed to round up “clandestines” were seriously undermining the force’s
ability to tackle crime at stations and on trains and car theft from station
car parks, according to the operational head of the British Transport Police
covering the Kent region.

David Brady said his Ashford office attended calls most days from Dollands
Moor, the Folkestone freight depot where more than 80 Afghans and Kurds were
detained earlier this week after stowing away on a train through the Channel

duties daily impinge on my officers’ abilities to get on with their core tasks
of protecting staff and passengers, tackling car crime and robberies, and,
generally, making the railways safer for the travelling public,” he said.

Daily Telegraph  Friday 12 April page 1

judge points to phone call evidence

phone records may suggest that the two defendants in the Damilola Taylor murder
inquiry were more than a mile away when the boy was injured, the jury heard

series of calls made from the defendants’ phones soon after Damilola was hurt
proves the two boys were not at the scene, the defence counsel has claimed.

Justice Hooper told the jury it could not convict the two brothers accused of
murdering Damilola unless it was certain the boys were not using the phones.

prosecution alleges that the 16-year-old brothers were part of a group which
stabbed 10-year-old Damilola as he walked home from an after school club in
Peckham, south London in November 2000.

The Guardian Friday 12 April page 7

and Welsh papers

Prison manager suspended

male senior manager at trouble-torn Cornton Vale, Scotland’s only all female
prison, has been suspended from duty following allegations that he groped two
female inmates. 

Vale was the scene of eight suicides by young women between 1995 and 1998 and
two more last year. The man is described as having an “unblemished record”. The
Scottish Prison Service refused to comment on an individual case.

The Scotsman Friday 12 April page 7

Child poverty increases in Scotland

government’s plans to reduce child poverty have failed in Scotland as official
statistics indicate an increase from 29 per cent to 30 per cent since 1997.

in the UK the reduction in child poverty was half of what the government
intended to achieve. Child Poverty Action Group described the figures as
“deeply disappointing”.

The Scotsman Friday 12 April page 2

Councils appeal for £2.5 billion funding

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has appealed to the Scottish executive
to provide an additional £2.5bn funding shortfall it calculates will effect all
Scottish local authorities by the year 2005-6. 

also said that its figures showed a “massive” need for capital investment in
local government of some £4bn.

The Herald Friday 12 April page 6

Young adults to go before children’s

adults involved in offences could in future be referred to children’s hearings
rather than the courts according to proposals of a Scottish executive
feasibility group.  The Scottish
Conservative Party has criticised the proposals as effectively increasing the
age of criminal responsibility to 18 years.

The Herald Friday 12 April page 2

John Owen inquiry offers to pay for lawyers

row over legal representation for alleged victims of abuse appeared to be
settled yesterday.

commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke has offered both the alleged victims
and the supporters of John Owen, £10,000 each for legal representation
at the Clywch Inquiry which is due to resume next week.

inquiry was set up to examine the circumstances surrounding alleged abuse at
a school in South Wales. It almost collapsed before Easter when the eight alleged
victims said that they would not take part without independent legal representation
paid for by the Commissioner.

group’s solicitor Lynda Roberts said that while the eight were now prepared
to give evidence they were unhappy that a ceiling of £10,000 had been

Western Mail Friday 12 April page 5

Campaign to name ‘one boy crimewave’

South Wales Echo is calling for the 11-year-old boy who has been called the
worst car thief in Britain to be named.

newspaper says that the boy, who the police have described as a "serious
danger to the community" should be named to protect the public. He has
been in court 153 times in the last year and is believed to have
stolen a car a day for the last two years.

is due to appear in court again on April 23 when he faces a further 20 offences.

South Wales Echo Thursday April 11
page 11

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