Thursday 31 October 2002

Child abuse trawls by police ‘snaring

“Overenthusiastic” investigations of child abuse allegations by
police are creating miscarriages of justice, according to an MPs
report published today.

There should be safeguards to protect children’s home workers
who are accused of abuse incidents alleged to have occurred 30
years ago, according to the home affairs select committee.

Committee chair person, Chris Mullin said: “I am in no doubt
that a number of innocent people have been convicted and that many
other innocent people…have had their lives ruined.

Source:- The Guardian  Thursday 31 October page 11

Blunkett defiant on psychopaths

Legislation that could result in non-offending people with
psychopathic tendencies being imprisoned was defended by David
Blunkett yesterday, despite fierce criticism from psychiatrists and
concern in Downing Street that the approach could endanger civil

Complaints from the Law Society, Royal College of Psychiatrists
and mental health campaigners were dismissed by the home secretary
as special pleading by professionals just interested in defending
themselves rather than doing their best for the community.

Blunkett said it was essential to balance the interests of the
mentally ill against the need to protect the community from those
with dangerous personality disorders.

Source:- The Guardian  Thursday 31 October page 15

Hooligan spot fines widened

Fixed penalties for antisocial behaviour are to be extended
nationwide after a successful pilot scheme in four police

Tony Blair introduced on-the-spot fines to widespread criticim
but police in the four areas are claiming they have been successful.

The prime minister suggested that he would extend the spot fines
to under-18s who throw fireworks. Currently the fines only apply to
over 18s.

The four pilot areas are Croydon, south London, West Midlands,
Essex and the central section of north Wales.

Source:- The Guardian  Thursday 31 October page 15

Adoption ban on gay couples ‘wrong’

Banning homosexual couples from adopting children would
contravene European human rights legislation and is fundamentally
wrong, according to a parlimentary select committee yesterday.

Preventing unmarried hetrosexual and gay couples from adopting
would violate the European Convention which specifies that people
should not be discriminated against due to their marital status,
the committee which includes three Conservatives said.

Source:- Daily Telegraph  Thursday 31 October page

Scottish news

Birth rate is Scotland’s lowest ever and death rate
falls too

Scotland’s birth and death rates are at the lowest levels since
registration began in 1855.

The  number of babies born in Scotland is lower than in any
other country in the UK but similar to the EU average.

Source:- The Herald  Thursday 31 October page 8

Ageing population is a positive development, not a

The ageing population is a source of opportunity as well as

Source:- The Herald  Thursday 31 October page 8

Welsh news

Fostering gay priest speaks out

A former gay priest who was at the centre of a fostering
controversy this week says people’s sexuality should not be a
factor in deciding who can offer a child a home.

The former priest who does not want to be named says that he and
his partner have given 10 years respite care to 15-year-old Richard
who has severe learning difficulties and now give him full time

Earlier this week it was mistakenly believed that he and his
partner had adopted the teenager but in fact the couple had
fostered the boy since last June.


Source:-  South Wales Argus Wednesday 30 October page


 MPs fear risk of miscarriage high in child


An influential select committee of MPs will today recommend a
wide –ranging set of safeguards to protect workers in
children’s homes who face false allegations of abuse.

Chris Mullins, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee said
he was in no doubt that a number of innocent people had been
convicted following miscarriages of justice from false abuse


Source:-  Western Mail Thursday 31 October page 11





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