Thursday 12 September 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Blair crime plan is failing

The government’s crackdown on street crime is failing in
half of the target areas across the country, according to home
office and police figures.

Muggings will drop overall by 7 per cent across the 10 target
forces, but five of these will fail to reduce them, internal home
office figures predict. There are also fears that where the
initiatives have proved successful, it has been at the expense of
tackling other crimes.

The home office is expected to claim success today for the
£67 million project showing that only one force has failed and
others have achieved huge cuts.

But internal home office predictors say that Merseyside, Greater
Manchester, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire
will not be able to meet the government’s demand

Source:- The Times Thursday 12 September page 1

Monks warns Blair: you will fail without us

The government was attacked by unions yesterday over public
services as they condemned partial privatisation and the treatment
of public servants.

TUC general secretary John Monks said the organisation was
seeking an urgent meeting with the prime minister over “two-tier
workforces”, the practice of private employers giving workers
poorer conditions than they would receive for the same job in the
public sector.

He said: “You won’t deliver your objectives without

General secretary of Unison Dave Prentis said that public sector
workers were not motivated by greed or by a dividend cheque and
that they “deserve more from this government than the failed
privatisation policies of the last”.

Source:- The Times Thursday 12 September page 12

Accused mother ‘was abused as a

The mother of the two-year-old girl who starved to death said
she had been abused as a child in court yesterday.

Leanne Labonte denied harming her daughter Ainlee Walker, and
told the Old Bailey that she did not know of the 64 injuries on her
daughter’s body until the day the child died.

Ainlee was found dead on a table at her mother’s flat in
east London in January. Her emaciated body was covered in bruises
and burns and her feet had been scalded.

In her evidence, Labonte said she had been abused as a child by
her mother’s boyfriend and her older brother. She had also
been beaten by her alcoholic mother.

She also admitted she had previously been arrested for
neglecting another of her children when he was aged one. In
December 1998 she left him alone in a hostel while she went to find
some cough medicine for him.

She was cautioned by the police and a protection order was
issued for the child

She later wrote to Tony Blair and her local MP complaining about
the way council officials had treated her family and about the
foster care her son received.

A transcript of Ainlee’s father, Dennis Henry’s
comments after he was arrested in January were also read to the

Labonte and Henry deny manslaughter and child cruelty.

The case continues.

Source:- The Times Thursday 12 September page 14

Deportation of Afghan family was unlawful

The home secretary acted unlawfully when he ordered the
deportation of an Afghan family who had sought refuge in a British
mosque, a high court judge ruled yesterday.

Farid and Freiba Ahmadi and their two children were removed to
Germany where they had first claimed asylum.

In a decision that will embarrass the government, judge Mr
Justice Scott Baker ruled the Ahmadis should have remained in
Britain to challenge their removal on human rights grounds. The
family will be able to appeal against their deportation.

However, he adjourned until today the decision as to whether the
family should be returned to Britain for the hearing.

Lawyers argued, prior to the family’s removal, that they
should remain in Britain because the mental health of Mrs Ahmadi,
and her children Hadia, aged 6, and Seear, aged 4, would
deteriorate if they were returned to Germany where they did not
have the support of family and friends they had in Britain.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 September page 9

Minorities hit by homelessness

Ethnic minority households are almost three times more likely to
be homeless than their white counterparts, according to government

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 September page 13

Scottish newspapers

Carry On Smacking

Jim Wallace’s plans to ban smacking have been rejected by
his fellow MSPs.

The remainder of the justice minister’s key proposals in
the Criminal Justice Bill have taken a savaging as well.

Source:- The Record September 12 page 15

Treatment of heroin addicts a disaster

A former home office drugs chief has branded government handling
of the heroin issue in the 1960’s an “unmitigated disaster”,
and one which helped nurture the current culture of addiction and

In a book just published, ‘Bing Spear’, a drugs branch officer
from 1952 until 1986 gives a highly critical account of the
evolution of policy. A number of problems, he says, arose from the
decision to ban doctors issuing heroin.

The book is released just as home secretary David Blunkett is
examining the possibility of increasing the number of clinicians
who can provide heroin as part of their treatment programmes.

Source:- The Herald September 12 page 6

Welsh newspapers

Pushers target children

As part of a campaign ‘Dump the Dealers’
highlighting the escalating drug problem in south Wales, the
newspaper looks at the way that dealers are targeting children.

Police say that they are seeing children as young as 10 becoming
addicts, and that there is a cheap and ready supply of drugs like
heroin available in valley communities.

Research by the police shows that the price of heroin dropped
dramatically in south Wales between 1998 and 1999 because of
supplies coming from the nearest port of Newport.

Detective inspector Steve Webber, head of the Organised Crime
Group for Gwent Police, said that there were children as young as
10 on class ‘A’ drugs such as crack cocaine.

“Because it gives them such a high, they get in such a
depression when they come down they have to have more and more just
to bring them up to normality. This evil scourge destroys families
and breaks down the whole fabric of society,” he said.

Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 11 September page

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