A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

French rail firm to spend £4.8 million on security
for Channel Tunnel

Security at the freight depot at Frethun near Calais is to be
given a boost of £4.8 million, according to the French
national rail company SNCF.

SNCF’s security chief Bruno Chretien said his company
would be erecting a double layer of fencing and barbed wire around
Frethun’s three-mile perimeter fence. Infra red cameras will
also be installed at the freight yard, which has become the focus
of attempts by asylum seekers from the Sangatte refugee camp to
reach Britain.

Chretien said: “Today we are facing new arrivals, mainly Kurds,
who are much more aggressive than two months ago. They are
organised like a mini army with leaders and groups to cause
diversions. They are ready to do anything to achieve their
objective, and have absolutely no fear of uniform.”

Yesterday, violence broke out at the centre following a game of
football. Around 300 asylum seekers hurled rocks at French police,
who responded with tear gas. Four Afghan asylum seekers were

Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 May page

Users of heroin and cocaine should not go to jail, say

A review of drugs policy in Britain is expected to recommend
that users of illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin should be
offered treatment to help kick the habit, rather than be put into

MPs on the committee will recommend the best way to ensure drug
addicts overcome their problems is through better access to
treatment programmes, and not through prison.

The long-awaited report will say that police and court time
should not be wasted on punishing people who use small amounts of
drugs for recreational purposes.

The report is expected to endorse the programme in south London,
where cannabis users are warned and have their drugs confiscated,
but not pursued.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 May page

Parents are main barrier to tackling

Despite government entreaties, and the jailing of a mother in
Oxfordshire, parents are still allowing their children to miss
school and go shopping.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 May page

Young offenders take off the tags and run

Young offenders are removing their electronic tags and
absconding, making a mockery of the government initiative,
according to an internal memo.

There have been “numerous” instances of tag removal in the first
few months of the £45 million home office initiative, which is
expected to be extended with £6.5 million funding, according
to the memo.

The absconders, who are tagged as an alternative to prison, are
able to go back onto the streets undetected once they have removed
their tags.

The memo, written by Oxford university researchers, is an
evaluation of the government’s 41 intensive supervision and
surveillance programme.

It says there have been more than 650 youths placed on the
programmes by the end of February, and adds: “There have been
numerous breaches for young offenders missing supervision
appointments, failure to adhere to curfew requirements, removing
tags, absconding.”

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 19 May page 2

Hi-tech ID card may curb migrants

The home office is to unveil plans for an identity card,
modelled on the high-tech Italian system, in a bid to curb the
influx of illegal immigrants into Britain.

Every citizen will be issued with a card to produce when voting,
getting a job, registering with a doctor. Ministers believe the
scheme will deter illegal immigrants who enter Britain seeking work
or to use the NHS.

Home office officials have begun liasing with Italian
counterparts, who will shortly begin their trials in 83 communities
including Naples.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 19 May page 28

Heroin on the NHS for addicts

Britain’s soaring drug addiction rates will be tackled as
thousands of addicts are to be prescribed with heroin at GPs

The move follows a detailed investigation by the House of
Commons home affairs select committee. This week it will recommend
a network of ‘safe injecting areas’ where addicts can
use diamorphine or ‘medical heroin’ prescribed on the

The report will say the chaotic lifestyle of Britain’s
240,000 heroin addicts has to be addressed.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 19 May page 1

Why are so many teenage girls cutting

Thousands of teenagers across the country are using knives and
razors to injure themselves. Nicci Gerard reports on this alarming
new blood cult

Source:- The Observer Sunday 19 May page 17

Home office ‘loses’ 137 asylum seekers a

More than 130 asylum seekers a day are vanishing and living in
Britain illegally despite repeated government pledges to tackle the

The latest figures show 276,214 refugees who have been ordered
out of Britain have now absconded over the last 12 years, and the
home office has no idea where they are.

Shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin said: “This is truly
appalling. We were told just a year ago that the government was
getting its removal policy in to order. These figures make it
perfectly clear that nothing of the sort has happened. The chaos is
getting worse.”

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 19 May page 1

Care workers disregarded murder clues

Two social workers at Haringey council found two blood stains in
a flat, but failed to report the matter for three days, has bought
the council, already under scrutiny for failing to protect Victoria
Climbie, under fresh controversy.

The social workers found bloody handprints on the wall, blood
stains on the sofa and discovered the carpet was missing on a visit
to a flat. But Heather Phillips and Nicola Joseph did not believe
the situation required police attention and went home.

Police were eventually called to the flat and discovered the
tenant Momadou Ceesay had killed his wife by stabbing her more than
100 times. Her body remained in the bathroom for days.

The police describe the event as a “huge cock up by social

This latest case involving Haringey social workers came to light
at Ceesay’s trial at the Old Bailey, which ended last

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sent to a mental
hospital indefinitely after he admitted using three knives and a
blade to stab his wife, then leaving his18-month-old daughter in
the flat with the body.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 19 May page 2

Elderly patients sent home from hospital too

The number of older people re-admitted to hospital as emergency
cases has risen over the past two years, according to figures

Emergency re-admissions among patients over 75 has increased
from 26,523 in the last quarter of 1999 to 31,427 in the same
period in 2001.

Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for older people,
who compiled the research, said the findings were further evidence
of a worsening crisis in care for older people.

Hospitals are under acute pressure to discharge patients as
quickly as possible because the beds are needed to meet government
waiting list targets.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 19 May page 4

One in four children is a lawbreaker

One in four school children have admitted they have committed a
crime in the past 12 months.

Nearly two thirds of pupils excluded from schools have been
responsible for a crime, with expelled pupils committing an average
of 44 offences in the last year.

The government’s Youth Justice Board will publish the
findings tomorrow, which are based on research by Mori.

The figures will increase concern about soaring crime levels
among young people.

Source:- The Independent on Sunday 19
May page 1

‘Keep women out of jail’ says home

Women should not be jailed for offences such as not paying fines
or shoplifting, according to the home office last night.

The government, which is setting up a special justice board to
deal with women offenders, is determined to reduce the spiralling
female prison population.

The body, which is to include ministers and representatives from
the prison and probation services, will bring in new ways to look
after the special needs of women prisoners once in prison.

But home secretary David Blunkett has said that ending sentences
for women, particularly those with young families, is in many cases

Source:- The Independent On Sunday 19
May page 10

Unwed couples unfit to adopt, says Duncan

Unmarried couples should not adopt children, according to
Conservative party leader, Iain Duncan Smith.

Duncan Smith, who is to oppose for the second time measures to
increase adopters when they go before MPs today, said that
unmarried couples were very likely to break up. He suggested that
adoption agencies tackle the problem of children needing homes by
outing more black and Asian children with white families.

He said: “What we know from all the figures is that couples that
are not married, their systems, their allegiances break up far, far
quicker than married couples.”

The Tory leader denied he was making a moral judgement about the
40 per cent of couples in Britain who are unmarried.

Source:- The Times Monday 20 may page 2

Girl, 12, tagged

A 12-year-old girl from Walsall is the first person in Britain
under the age of 16 to be fitted with an electronic tag.

Magistrates took the action after she broke a bail condition to
stay out of the town centre.

She was accused of mugging another girl for her mobile phone and

Source:- The Times Monday 20 May page 4

Village protests at proposal for asylum seekers holding

More than 1,000 people protested against plans to build an
asylum seeker accommodation centre in rural Worcestershire

They vowed to campaign for as long as necessary to defeat the
government’s project.

Crowds of campaigners joined the village of Throckmorton’s
100 residents in a show of public opposition at the centre at a
nearby RAF base.

The village is one of three sites where the accommodation
centres are to be placed. Asylum seekers groups agree the rural
locations are not suitable.

Peter Luff, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire, described
the campaign as “a battle we can and will win”.

Planning laws and the “moral argument” would see off the
government’s proposals.

Source:- The Times Monday 20 May page 6

Childcare for students

Free childcare worth up to £120 a week will be awarded to
teenage parents to enable them to study for A-levels.

The government agency responsible for post 16 education and
training, the Learning and Skills Council, is to invest £1.5
million to fund at least 400 full-time child care places in an
experimental scheme lasting a year.

The council hopes the programme will become permanent.

There are around 350,000 teenage parents in England, 5,000 of
whom are at further education colleges.

Source:- The Times Monday 20 May page 11

Immigrants should learn English, say ethnic

New immigrants should learn English and attend citizenship
classes, according to the vast majority of black and Asian people
living in Britain.

Seventy five per cent of blacks and 68 per cent of Asians
support David Blunkett’s plans to send immigrants to classes
to learn about English culture.

A survey on race and immigration also found that most people, 51
per cent, whether white, black or Asian, thought that Britain was a
racist society. But 55 per cent thought it was a more tolerant
place than it was 10 years ago.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 20 May page 1

Benefits ‘penalise married

Unmarried mothers are prevented from marrying by a welfare
system that rewards them for staying single, according to a wealth
reform think tank today.

Labour is undermining marriage with a tax and benefit system
that makes marriage an unattractive option for the less well off,
the Institute for the Study of Civil Society says.

The situation has become so “skewd” that poorer couples where
one partner works, both work or both live on benefits, are all
penalised if they co-habit or get married, it says.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 20 May page 7

Scottish newspapers

MSPs talking tough on youth crime fall foul of

Politicians found themselves under attack from a leading
children’s charity, as they pledged to step up their fight
against youth crime.

Labour emphasised its proposed youth courts resulting in
imprisonment for parents who made no effort to curb persistent
young offenders, while the SNP defended its costing plan to double
the number of secure places for those youths.

But Liz Barrett, head of Barnardos UK, said Britain already had
more children in custody than any other European country, and that
the current debate was detrimental to solving the problems.

“Sending parents to jail is ridiculous and fining people already
in poverty smacks of stupidity,” she said.

Barrett said it was vital the government worked in partnership
with communities in developing initiatives to help parents. She
added that encouraging courts to give out more community service
orders was better practice in the long term.

Source:- The Herald Monday 20 May

Welsh newspapers

Valleys pupils least likely in Wales to go to

A new report shows that people in the south Wales valleys are
the least likely to go on to higher education.

The report from the education and training body Elwa, says that
in Blaenau Gwent the numbers going on to university are almost half
the national average, and the constituency MP, Llew Smith, is
calling on the Welsh assembly to provide more money for the

He said that there was an obvious link between deprivation and
the number of people going to university, and that bringing back
student grants and scrapping tuition fees would be likely to give
more people the opportunity to go on to higher education.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 20 May page 1

Police investigate death of prisoner found

Two investigations have been launched into the death of a remand
prisoner found hanged in Cardiff prison.

Wayne Tranter was found in his cell after he was remanded in
custody following a domestic disturbance, and both south Wales
police and the prison service are investigating the incident.

A spokesperson for the prison service said that two members of
staff had found Tranter hanged in his cell. She added that he was
not regarded as a high-risk prisoner, and that he had not been on
suicide watch.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 20 May page 3










More from Community Care

Comments are closed.