Monday 16 September 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Sex offenders move home to ‘hotspots’ close
to jails

The government’s aim of bringing sex offenders together
under one roof is encouraging them to set up home close to prison
after release.

High numbers of paedophiles are living in areas where there are
prisons specialising in their care. Experts say that when sex
offenders are released, they often choose to live close to jails
rather than returning home to their previous home communities,
where they could be shunned.

Nottinghamshire has the highest proportion of registered sex
offenders in England and Wales, according to statistics compiled by
The Times. The county is home to Whatton prison, 12 miles
from Nottingham which can hold 275 sex offenders.

Source:- The Times Saturday 14 September page 1

Soham policemen charged

The detective who comforted Jessica Chapman’s family
following the death of their daughter was last night charged with
possession of child pornography.

Following an FBI investigation into child pornography websites,
police seized a computer belonging to detective constable Brian

Stevens worked as a family liaison officer with Jessica’s
parents after the 10-year-old was abducted and murdered with her
friend Holly Wells.

A second policeman involved in the investigation into the
girl’s disappearance last month was also charged with
possession of indecent images of children. Constable Tony Goodridge
was responsible for storing and cataloguing evidence in the

Both men were due to appear before magistrates at Bury St
Edmonds, Suffolk, on Saturday

Source:- The Times Saturday 14 September page 1

Home therapy breakthrough for autistic

A new method of home therapy for young autistic children has
proved so successful that nearly all the children in the study were
able to start school, researchers said yesterday.

One-to-one training carried out at home is now being evaluated
to see how it can be extended.

Professor Alec Webster, who led the research which was funded by
Bristol council, said: “It is a major breakthrough for a number of

“All of the children without exception have made huge gains in
their development,” he added. “There is nothing negative to say
about it.”

The National Autistic Society has welcomed the research saying
it might prove to have key pointers to helping autistic children
take part in every day life.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 14 September page

Pre-trial children can be locked up

Children as young as 12 could now be locked up while awaiting
trial under new powers to come into force across the country next

Children could now be remanded in custody by magistrates as
opposed to automatically being granted bail in all but the most
serious cases.

The law was introduced following complaints from police that
thousands of street robberies were being committed by young
offenders on bail.

Courts in 10 crime hotspots have had the powers since April, and
these will be extended across the country from Monday.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 14 September page

IDS pledges to slay the ‘five giants ‘ that
ruin life for millions

The Conservative party leader promised to slay the ‘five
giants’ he claimed were stalking the land and making life a
misery for millions.

Iain Duncan Smith pledged to champion the vulnerable who have
been left behind by New Labour.

In a speech to mark his first year as Tory leader, Duncan Smith
placed reform of public services at the heart of his political

The five giants of today are failing schools, sub-standard
healthcare, crime, child poverty and insecurity in old age, he

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 14 September page 2

90% of asylum rejects do not leave Britain

Nine out of 10 asylum seekers, whose application to stay in
Britain were rejected last year, remained illegally in Britain,
according to a new study of the country’s immigration

The study says that 97,500 immigrants who should have been
deported last year as a result of home office decisions remained
illegally in the country.

The report is to be presented by former British ambassador Sir
Andrew Green, who is now chairperson of Migrationwatch UK, an
independent thinktank set up last October to monitor the
government’s immigration and asylum policies.

In evidence to the select committee on home affairs, Green will
say the government’s policy of removing illegal refugees is a

Source:- The Sunday Times 15 September page 30

British paedophiles make mockery of

The government’s crackdown on sex tourism is being defied
by British paedophiles, who are travelling to Cambodia and sexually
abusing children, a Sunday Telegraph investigation has

The sex offenders who come from America, Canada, Australia,
Germany, Holland as well as Britain, were recorded by reporters
boasting about sexual exploits with children as young as six.

The behaviour is occurring despite government promises to tackle
the problem of paedophiles travelling abroad for sex. In 1997, the
government introduces a Sex Offenders Act, under which paedophiles
can be prosecuted for offences committed abroad.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 September page 1

Two Soham police officers in court over child

The family liaison officer who comforted the family of Jessica
Chapman appeared in court yesterday charged with possessing and
seeking to distribute child pornography.

Detective constable Brian Stevens faced three charges of
inciting the distribution of indecent photographs of children.
Alongside him, constable Antony Goodridge faces four charges.

Both were arrested on Thursday as part of a world-wide
investigation into child pornography. Both officers were remanded
into custody until tomorrow when another hearing will discuss

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 September page 4

Revealed: the true cost to children of a marriage

Children who grow up with both parents are more likely to be
happier, healthier and more likely to succeed than those born to
single parents, according to a study.

The children of married couples were also less likely to suffer
physical and mental illness or turn to crime or drugs, according to
the study by thinktank Civitas. This remained the case even when
their background was as poor and underprivileged as the children of
lone parents.

Single mothers were found to be poorer, less healthy and more
depressed than married women, while lone fathers had higher death
rates, drank more and indulged in unsafe sex.

Author of the report, Rebecca O’Neill said her findings
proved the benefit of traditional family life, and called for the
government to admit publicly that marriage is the best way to raise

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 September page 14

Immigrants told to speak English – even at

The home secretary said yesterday that immigrants should abandon
their mother tongue and speak English instead.

David Blunkett said parents should speak English to their
children to prevent “schizophrenic rifts” between generations.

Blunkett said children should be encouraged to talk to their
mothers “in English as well as in their historic mother

Acting chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality,
Beverley Bernard, said: “The commission has always supported the
view that proficiency in English is a springboard to future
independence. This is true for ethnic minorities as it is for white
working class people.

“But the suggestion that we might prescribe, what, how and when
a language is spokes in people’s private homes is not
acceptable,” she added.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 September page 1

‘Disabled’ car cheats may dodge £5

Thousands of drivers are likely to evade the £5 traffic
toll in central London next year by exploiting free access for
disabled people.

Measures are to be introduced by Transport for London as it is
so concerned about the prospect.

There are 1.93 million holders of blue badges, up by a million
in a decade.

Disabled groups claim that up to 700,000 badges are used
fraudulently to obtain parking privileges.

Transport for London will now ask badge holders to sign
declarations that they may be jailed for two years or fined
£5,000 if they abuse the system. Random checks are to be
carried out.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 September page 2

Unvetted trainees face teaching bans

Thousands of trainee teachers could be prevented from teaching
placements in schools because they have not been vetted by the
Criminal Records Bureau.

Up to a third of students embarking on teacher training courses
have still not had their checks completed.

Those taking the Postgraduate Certificate in Education are due
to begin placements in schools as early as this week.

Universities are concerned that some may not qualify as teachers
if they cannot spend adequate time in schools as head teachers
refuse to accept them without clearance.

A survey found 11,000 of the 30,000 people starting courses this
month had not been cleared.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 September page 7

Paedophile name change curb demanded

The government has been urged by the head of a child protection

to close a loophole in the law that allows sex offenders to
assume an alias and re-offend.

Mary Marsh, director and chief executive of the NSPCC, said that
a police background check should be compulsory for anyone applying
to change their name.

She said the ease with which child abusers could get close to
children by changing their names was shocking.

“It’s crucial that your identity has some integrity, so
that people can trace you right back,” she said.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 September page 7

Law increases danger, prostitutes say

A television programme tonight will claim that Britain’s
30,000 prostitutes are more likely to be beaten or raped because of
a new law aimed at deterring kerb crawlers.

Nearly three out of four prostitutes said they had been sexually
assaulted or seriously beaten in the last year.

Police crackdowns led to a quarter of those interviewed agreeing
to unsafe sexual practices as clients decreased, makers of the
Channel 4 programme found.

New laws introduced last October mean that kerb crawlers are at
greater risk of arrest or having DNA taken by police.

The film will be broadcast tonight at 9pm.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 16 September page 2

Blair attacked over ‘failing’ family

The government is accused today of marginalising the role of men
as fathers and undermining women who try to combine raising
children with a career.

Three leading government-funded organisations says the emphasis
on men as wage earners rather than fathers prevents mothers
achieving an influential role in the labour market. Men’s
child-rearing role is not respected.

The report by the Fawcett Society, the Equal Opportunities
Commission and Fathers Direct calls for a “gender audit” of
government departments and public services to address the

Blair should examine the work of the health, education, legal
and social services to identify where they fail to support women in
fulfilling their potential at work.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 16 September page 7

Violence against refugees reaches new high

Two thousand racially motivated attacks have been inflicted on
asylum seekers who have dispersed around Britain under the
government’s dispersal scheme, which began two years ago.

The home office figure raises doubts about the validity of the
dispersal scheme, which was introduced by the government to take
pressures off local authorities in London and the south-east.

Nearly 100 of the “racial incidents” have been reported in
Sunderland, and the home office said that it has stopped sending
asylum seekers there.

Source:- The
Independent Monday 16 September
page 1

Blunkett and Brown argue over cash for prison

David Blunkett and Gordon Brown are arguing over the home
secretary’s aim to squeeze more money out of the Treasury for
Britain’s overcrowded prisons.

Blunkett has ordered an independent inquiry into the prison,
probation and youth justice services that is designed to strengthen
his hand in his battle for extra money.

Brown was furious at the way Blunkett originally set up the
value for money prisons inquiry in his spending review. According
to Brown’s allies, the home secretary agreed not to go ahead with
the inquiry without his backing.

But the plan was then added to Blunkett’s home office
white paper at the last minute.

The Chancellor clashed with Blunkett over the home
secretary’s bid for extra money before the Budget in April,
and the home office was given a less than generous cash boost than
health or education in the July spending review.

Home office ministers hope the investigation will strengthen the
case for alternatives to prison, including offenders serving
“weekend” sentences so they can hold down a job during the

They are concerned that the prison population is now a record
71,000, and half of all prisoners released in 1997 were reconvicted
within two years.

Source:- The
Independent Monday 16 September
page 7

Scottish newspapers

Climbdown on smacking hits Wallace

Fresh humiliation has been heaped on justice minister Jim
Wallace who has been forced to abandon plans to ban the smacking of

The beleaguered Liberal Democrat announced that the proposal to
criminalise parents who struck a child of under-three would be
dropped after an all-party parliamentary committee rejected the

Source:- The Herald September 14 page 1

Fears over high rate of young suicides

The suicide of a 12-year-old girl, the latest in a series of
deaths among young Scots, led to accusations that the government
was clinging to policies that no longer worked.

Emma Morrison was found hanging from her bunk bed by her mother
at their home in Edinburgh.

She is the tenth young person to have taken their own life in
the Lothians since January.

Source:- The Herald September 14 page 8

Suicide prompts calls for action on

The family of a 12-year-old girl who killed herself after being
taunted by classmates has called for the government to set up units
to tackle bullying in schools.

Source:- The Sunday Times September 15 page 8

Conti ‘ignored confession claim of sex

Scotland’s most senior Catholic clergyman faces
accusations that he turned a deaf ear when an eight-year-old boy
told him in confession he was being abused at a Catholic care

The alleged incident is said to have happened in 1961 when Mario
Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow, was a parish priest in Aberdeen.

One of the nuns in charge of the home was Sister Alphonso who
was charged in September 2000 and convicted last year for
physically abusing children in her care.

Source:- The Sunday Times September 15 page 1

Fears for elderly over shortage of places in care

Older people hoping to spend their retirement in the comfort of
a care home could be shunted into sheltered housing instead.

Edinburgh council has estimated that, despite plans to build six
more care homes, hundreds of extra places will be needed in the
next five years.

Source:- The Scotsman September 16 page 3

Schools fight web porn

Access to internet pornography will be removed from the
classroom, using new software aimed at protecting children.

Source: The Scotsman September 16 page 7

Survey uncovers shock legacy of the single

The full price paid by children for the breakdown of the family
has been spelled out for the first time.

A new analysis reveals that children without fathers face a
higher chance of death as babies and, in adulthood, they are more
likely to be unemployed, homeless or imprisoned.

The analysis from the Civitas civic affairs think tank blames
the collapse of the two-parent family for rising crime and
violence, for the erosion of community spirit and for growing
welfare dependency.

Source:- Daily Mail September 16 page 26

Posters highlight obscenity of child

A hard-hitting advertising campaign highlighting the problems of
child prostitution will be launched across the UK today by

In the first national campaign of its kind, a series of
disturbing adverts depict child victims of abuse with prematurely
aged faces.

The campaign is accompanied by a report urging the Scottish
executive to do more to protect children from abuse through

Source:- The Herald September 16 page 3

Welsh newspapers

Children, six, forced to work as

Children as young as six are being abused and exploited by
adults and forced to work as prostitutes, according to new

The report, ‘Stolen Childhood’, released today (Monday) by the
charity Barnardo’s calls for new legislation that will make
it a criminal offence to buy the sexual services of a child. The
new law would also make criminal, recruiting, inducing or
compelling a child into commercial sexual exploitation illegal.

Sally Jenkins, project manager for the Barnardo’s
Marlborough Road project in Cardiff, said that young people were
being charged with prostitution offences, which was sickening and
farcical. She added that children were not the purveyors of crime,
but were being grossly abused by adults.

The charity’s policy officer Andy James said that children
as young as six are known to have been abused through prostitution.
These children have been entrapped, coerced, beaten and abused.

Barnardo’s Cymru, Wales’s largest children’s
charity, says existing legislation in Wales and England regarding
sexual offending is complicated and outdated.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 16 September pages 1 and
7, and comment page 10

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