Tuesday 17 September 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Blair’s on-the-spot-fines are just the

The prime minister’s idea of on-the-spot-fines to curb
street crime and anti-social behaviour appears to have been

Police are praising the scheme as the perfect financial “clip
round the ear” for offenders, giving officers extra authority on
the streets and more time on patrol.

Early figures suggest the scheme has worked in the pilot areas,
and it is now likely to be introduced nationally as early as next

Source:- The Times Tuesday 17 September page 3

Boy, 16, killed baby

A 16-year-old boy was ordered to be detained for 12 months
yesterday after he shook his girlfriend’s baby to death.

The teenager, who was described by his girlfriend as a “Jekyll
and Hyde” character, became stressed with the four-month-old child
when he was left to look after her. He shook her to stop her crying
and put her to bed.

But the teenager from Leicester told the police that when he
went to wake her she was limp.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted
manslaughter at Nottingham crown court.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 17 September page 5

‘Cot death’ couple lied to hide

The parents of a baby concocted a false story after one of the
adults shook the child to death, a coroner concluded yesterday.

Angus Fell was thought to have been a victim of cot death when
he died at his home in Ormsgill, near Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria,
in December three years ago.

Coroner Ian Smith concluded that the child had been unlawfully
killed. There was overwhelming medical evidence that the baby had
been shaken, but if it cannot be proved which parents shook the
child, neither can be prosecuted.

The couple, Anthony and Angela, lost another son, Gareth, to cot
death syndrome when he was three months old in 1993.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 17 September page 5

Girl, 13, forced to smuggle £900,000 of

The case against a 13-year-old girl accused of smuggling heroin
into the country was dropped yesterday.

A court was told how the teenager accused of smuggling
£900,000 worth of heroin into Britain from Pakistan, was
coerced into acting as a drug “mule”.

The child’s future will now be decided by a family court
after the case against her was dropped, and a formal verdict of not
guilty was recorded at Manchester crown court.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 17 September page 7

Strategy seeks to cut number of suicides by 20 per cent
in eight years

The first national suicide prevention strategy was launched
yesterday by ministers in a bid to reduce the number of people
taking their lives by at least 20 per cent in eight years.

Young men, prisoners, farmers, alongside other high risk groups
in England, will be targeted to identify better ways of providing
mental health services to the people who need them most.

Factors such as unemployment and poor housing will be examined
by a cross-government network, to see how they can impact on people
with mental health problems.

Safety at suicide hotspots such as cliffs and railway bridges
will need to be improved by local authorities.

Health minister Jacqui Smith said that £329 million was set
aside in the NHS Plan to improve community mental health services,
including the provision of more crisis resolution teams.

Around 5,000 people commit suicide in England each year. It is
the most common cause of death in men under 35, and the main cause
of premature death among people with mental health problems.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 17 September page 7

Hanging victim had record of self-harm

A 16-year-old boy found dead at Feltham young offenders’
institution, west London, had tried to hang himself at least once
in the previous fortnight, an inquest heard yesterday.

Kevin Jacobs had been found semi-unconscious and “seconds away
from death” after he tied a sheet around his neck and the bars of
his prison cell, 15 days before he was found hanging on 29
September last year.

The jury at west London coroners court also heard how three days
before he committed suicide, staff found ripped up sheets hidden in
his single cell. They were “extremely concerned” for his safety
after he tried to smash a chair and wardrobe door through his
window, and had been found playing with a plastic knife.

The inquest also heard how the 16-year-old who was serving a
six-month detention and training order for robbery and assault, had
a well documented history of self-harm.

The hearing continues.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 17 September page 9

Independent review of Soham evidence

An independent review was ordered yesterday into the handling of
exhibits collected during the investigation of the murder of
Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.

Police want to ensure that the integrity of the investigation
has now been compromised after one of the officers responsible for
the exhibits was charged with child pornography offences.

PC Antony Goodridge was one of five exhibits officers involved
in the inquiry into the deaths of the two ten-year-old girls. He
was charged last week with four counts of child pornography

Police have insisted that the arrest of Goodridge and DC Brian
Stevens, who faces three charges, is not connected to the murder

However, there are fears that if the review is not undertaken, a
defence barrister may try to use the situation to put doubt in a
jury’s mind about the investigation.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 17 September page 11

A child’s well-being ‘can be blighted by
where they live’

Research has found that the likelihood of children becoming
teenage parents, suicidal or binge drinkers can be dependent on
where they live.

Those in Scotland tend to be the best educated, but the most
prone to suicide, while young people in Wales are most likely to
turn to drugs, drink too much and become teenage parents.

Northern Ireland has the highest infant mortality rate, but the
lowest teenage fertility rate, according to the research by save
the Children and York University.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 17 September page

Scottish newspapers

Executive in £10m drive to boost education of
teenagers in care

Proposals to improve the education of Scotland’s 11,000
children in care will be announced by the executive today.

Jack McConnell, the first minister, will unveil a scheme worth
up to £10 million to help disadvantaged 16 and 17-year-olds in
care to get to university or college.

Source:- The Scotsman September 17 page 9

Nearly every child in one area of Dundee is living in

Children in Scotland live in some of the most deprived areas,
have the worst diets and the highest youth suicide rates in the UK,
according to a study from Save The Children and York

It shows one district of Dundee, Whitfield South, as having the
UK’s highest local concentration of poor children with 96 per
cent living in poverty.

Source:- The Herald September 17 page 1

Save Our Kids

Suicide among young Scots is soaring. Today we ask readers to
donate to our appeal to save Scottish kids.

Source:- The Daily Record September 17 pages 1, 2, 3, 4
and 5

England versus Scotland

Scotland is lagging behind England in the fight to protect
children and young people from the pressures which can lead to

The government launched England’s first ever suicide
prevention strategy yesterday as part of a £329 million
investment in community health services.

There has been no similar plan in Scotland – despite a vow
from the executive two years ago.

Source:- The Daily Record September 17 pages 6 and

Nightmare of kid hookers

Joanne was just 14 when she sold her body on the streets of

The depressed youngster ran from social work care to the
city’s “drag”.

Source:- The Daily Record September 17 page 9

Welsh newspapers

Our children are Britain’s poorest

Welsh children are the poorest in Britain and with a third
living in poverty the impact on their later lives can be

A new report from the charity Save the Children says that
parents on low incomes ” simply do not have enough money or other
resources to be able to eat a healthy, balanced diet”.

The charity suggests that the mental and physical stresses on
children caused by being unable to afford an adequate diet may be
so severe as to contravene the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child.

The 400-page report published just one day before the Government
unveils its own child poverty report reveals that the most deprived
ward in Wales is Tredegar Park, Newport, where 81.7 per cent are
judged to be living in poverty.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 17 September page 1

Time to help all the victims of heroin

An interview with North Wales chief constable Richard Brunstrom
about ways of tackling the escalating drug problem in Wales:

The chief constable calls for a ‘seamless approach’ where
agencies would work together rather than have separate agendas, but
he stresses that for this to happen the Welsh Assembly needs to
show greater leadership.

He says that in England there is an agency that has been set up
to improve treatment for drug addicts, and that it is important to
think beyond arrest to more effective ways of dealing with

“If you treated these offenders not just as offenders, but also
as patients, or as victims of their addiction, then as a society we
start thinking of these things differently,” he said.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 17 September page 11

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