Monday 12 August 2002

Including headlines from Saturday and

(scroll down for Scottish and Welsh

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Crackdown on internet paedophiles

Police are to be given new powers to enable them to arrest
internet paedophiles before they hurt children, as part of an
overhaul of sex crime to be announced by the government this

The Sexual Offences Bill will include a specific offence of
“grooming” children for abuse amid growing fears of paedophiles who
pose as children themselves in chat-rooms before arranging meetings
with their victims.

The legislation will also include a new civil protection order
designed to prevent suspected sex offenders contacting individual
children in any way.

Those who breach the orders will face prison sentences of up to
five years.

Source:- The Times Saturday 10 August page 1

Mother charged

A housewife has been charged with murdering her nine-year-old
son, David, in August last year.

Petrina Stocker was released on bail at Hendon
magistrates’ court, London, to appear at the central criminal
court on August 29.

Source:- The Times Saturday 10 August page 4

Youth crime war won on playing fields of St

A project that allows young offenders to use the facilities of a
leading school has proved successful in reducing crime in the

Police in Barnes, west London, say that criminal activity has
fallen by more than a third since children from local estates
joined a sports camp at St Paul’s school.

The idea, which will be copied across the country, comes as the
government puts pressure on independent schools to open their
facilities to the public to justify their charitable status, worth
around £83 million a year in tax benefits.

Source:- The Times Saturday 10 August page 9

Paedophile campaigner jailed over child

A man who has campaigned for sex with children to be legalised
was jailed yesterday after eluding the police for 20 years.

Thomas O’Carroll, who was supported in the court’s
gallery by other paedophiles, was jailed for nine months for three
counts of importing indecent photographs of children into

O’Carroll, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was co-founder
of the Paedophile Information Exchange, and had lobbied parliament
to lower the age of consent.

He was caught last October when customs officials seized three
albums containing 94 photographs, 54 of which were of naked or
scantily clad children.

Source:- The Times Saturday 10 August page 10

Three-year-olds to grade teachers

Children as young as three are to be asked to grade their
nursery teachers as part of the government’s drive to make
public services more accountable.

Before they learn to read, children will become part of the
Ofsted inspection when the schools watchdog for England pilots
questionnaires next term in primary and secondary schools.

The questionnaire will only play a small part in the inspection

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 10 August page 1

1 million on hospital waiting lists

The number of people on hospital waiting lists has increased by
17,000 compared with this time last year, according to the latest

The department of health said yesterday there were more than 1
million people waiting to be admitted to hospitals in England
during June, which is a rise of almost 17,000 on the same time last

More than 20,000 patients had been waiting for more than a year.
However, the total waiting fell by 770 between May and June this
year, and there has been a drop of 103,300 compared to March

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 10 August page 10

Lottery money helps illegal asylum seekers

Two senior cabinet ministers yesterday questioned the award of
hundreds of thousands of pounds of lottery money to a campaigning
group that helps illegal immigrants stay in Britain.

Home secretary David Blunkett and culture secretary Tessa
Jowell, who oversees the national lottery, both condemned the
granting of lottery money to organisations that engage in political

Their criticism followed the disclosure that the lottery’s
community fund has given three grants totaling £723,000 to the
National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns.

The fund is now reviewing its grants to the coalition, which
organises support for failed asylum seekers.

Source:- The Sunday Times 11 August page 2

Paedophile ring hunted inside armed forces

A network of suspected paedophiles in the armed forces, who are
downloading child pornography from the internet are being
investigated by military police.

There are growing numbers of paedophile inquiries in which
members of the Royal Marines, the RAF and Royal Navy are being
targeted by ministry of defence police, legal experts say.

Source:- The Sunday Times 11 August page 9

Fines for thugs

People indulging in antisocial or drunken behaviour are to be
given on-the-spot fines by police in the west Midlands.

The year-long pilot project follows a rise in rowdy behaviour
and vandalism.

Source:- The Sunday Times 11 August page 22

Police make two arrests in search for missing

Detectives investigating the abduction of two girls from Soham,
Cambridgeshire, have arrested two local men.

As Cambridgeshire police staged a reconstruction of the last
known movements of 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman,
they were continuing to question the men, who were detained
separately on Friday afternoon and yesterday morning.

As police intensified the search for the two girls, they
announced that they would begin interviewing suspected paedophiles
across Britain tomorrow.

The two girls have been missing since last Sunday evening, but
police believe they are alive.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 11 August page 1

10,000 asylum seekers allowed to disappear

More than 10,000 asylum seekers who were sent to a detention
centre set up to deport unfounded claimants have been sent back
into the community despite having their asylum applications

When the Oakington detention centre in Cambridgeshire was opened
two years ago, ministers promised that it would “fast-track” 13,000
asylum seekers each year, assessing claims within seven days and
deporting those rejected.

Last night the home office said that although it was assessing
initial asylum applications as promised, it was unable to deport
those rejected because they were entitled to appeal. Immigrants
were being released while the appeal process was underway because
Oakington, which holds 400, could not contain them all.

Figures show 12,152 refugees have been processed in the
centre’s first 22 months to the end of December last year. Of
these, 10,075 were refused the right to stay, but not one had been
sent home. All had been released to other addresses.

It was not clear if any of the 2,077 applicants processed had
been deported.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 11 August page 10

Lib Dems endorse ‘IoS’ fight against Mental
Health Bill

The Liberal Democrats are to use their annual conference to
highlight the “dictatorial and distorted” government plans to
change mental health laws, and to back the Independent on
campaign on the issue.

The party’s health spokesperson, Dr Evan Harris, will ask
the Lib Dems to call for a reform of the Mental Health Act 1983
based on respect for patient autonomy and care with consent.

The party’s concerns centre on the government’s
failure to strike a balance between public safety and civil

Source:- Independent on Sunday 11 August page 1

Playgrounds full of racial abuse

Many ethnic minority children in mainly white schools are
suffering a constant stream of racist abuse and hurtful
name-calling, according to government sponsored research.

The worst cases of abuse take places in areas where race-hate
groups such as the British National Party have been active, the
study for the department for education and skills shows.

It reveals that one in three children from ethnic minority
groups were the victims of verbal abuse either at school or on the
way home.

Twenty six percent said they had suffered race-related name
calling in the past week.

Source:- Independent on Sunday 11 August page 14

Chips part of get-fit scheme for children

Free chips and fizzy drinks are being offered to children to
bribe them to turn up for a publicly-funded get-fit scheme for the
school summer holidays.

Warwickshire council has donated £5,000 for the scheme to
help occupy their six-week break.

Organisers said the scheme had been a success and youth crime in
the town had dropped dramatically, so they had been forced to
extend the age qualification.

The scheme, called “Chips and Sport” runs two afternoons a week
and coaches children in football and basketball. Around 40
youngsters regularly turn up.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 12 August page 6

£1.8 million

The man who spent 27 years in jail for the ‘Bakewell
Tart’ murder is due to receive a record £1.8 million in

Stephen Downing is to be offered the huge damages by the home
office and the police.

He was 17 when Wendy Sewell was murdered in the cemetery where
he worked in his home town of Bakewell, Derbyshire, in 1973.

In January this year the appeal court quashed Downing’s
murder conviction, paving the way for him to receive compensation
for wrongful imprisonment and the trauma of spending so many years
in prison.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 12 August page 5

Scottish newspapers

Postcode lottery for hyperactivity pill

Hyperactive children in certain areas of Scotland are seven
times more likely to be treated with the controversial drug,

Scottish executive figures show that children living in Fife,
Tayside and Grampian regions are several times more likely to be
prescribed Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) than those living in Lanarkshire, Glasgow and Ayrshire.

Ritalin has provoked fierce debate within the medical profession
and family support groups with one side singing its praises while
the other believes labelling a child as suffering from ADHD and
prescribing the drug which keeps them quiet does long term

Source:- Sunday Herald 11 August page 6

MSPs to push gay marriage on Whitehall

The Scottish parliament’s equal opportunities committee is
to press Holyrood and Whitehall to introduce a form of gay

The committee is carrying out an inquiry into sexual orientation
issues, and is to report later this year. It is expected to
recommend a form of same sex marriage similar to that allowed in
Holland, Germany and France.

The Scottish executive has already said that such issues would
have to be dealt with jointly with Whitehall to prevent major
inconsistency of rights within the UK. At the same time, the
executive is believed to be desperate to avoid a repeat of a
morality debate similar to that surrounding the repeal of Section
28 in Scotland last year.

Source:- The Sunday Times – Scotland 11 August
page 2

Dunblane handgun ban under review

The national ban on handguns imposed in 1992 after the massacre
of school children in Dunblane is being reviewed by Westminster to
improve Britain’s medal prospects at international
pistol-shooting competitions.

The controversial move follows a one-off lifting of the ban to
allow small calibre pistol shooters to take part in the
Commonwealth Games in Manchester. A reversal of the legislation
would put hundreds of pistols back in the hands of marksmen at a
time when police forces are becoming increasingly concerned about
the circulation of illegal weapons. Any relaxation of the law is
bound to face strong opposition in Scotland.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 11 August page 1

Executive to ignore new rules on right to buy

The Scottish executive is set to ignore its own proposed
limitations to the right to buy of council homes fearing it will
prove too unpopular in next year’s election.

In spite of being the first administration in the UK to propose
such a ban, the executive is set to proceed with certain aspects of
the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 next month, but will suspend the
restrictions on council house sales in the meantime. The move is
designed to slow the depletion of public housing throughout

Source:- The Herald Monday 12 August page 1

‘Bullied’ pupil sues school

A teenage girl is to sue her local authority for failing to
prevent her being bullied in what could be a landmark case in

Natalie King, aged 13, is seeking compensation of up to
£20,000 from Aberdeen council for psychological damage
allegedly suffered by her as a result of bullying at Dyce

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 12 August page 1

Welsh newspapers

Parents’ fear must not stop child’s

Children need independent play to help them develop as
individuals, experts say.

But high profile cases like that of missing Cambridgeshire
10-year-olds, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, have highlighted the
dilemma that parents face when deciding how much freedom to allow
their children.

Catriona Williams, chief executive of the charity, Children in
Wales, said that research shows that children are more likely to be
harmed by accidents in the home or on the roads or by someone known
to them, than by strangers.

She added that while cases of child abduction and murder were
deeply upsetting it was very important to realise that they are

Marianne Mannello, of national play charity Play Wales, said
that she understood parents fears, but that play was a key part of
child development and that exposing children to small risks helped
them to develop skills that would assist them later in life.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 12 August page 5

Council to increase truancy prosecutions

A local authority is getting tough with the parents of

Pembrokeshire council in west Wales has warned that if parents
do not ensure that their children attend school regularly, they
will be prosecuted.

The council says that it will be increasing the number of
prosecutions when the school year begins in September.

The move follows two recent convictions of parents in the

Source:- Western Mail Monday 12 August page 5

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