Tuesday 12 November 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry, and Alex

Parents of truants face on-the-spot fines

Parents who let their children play truant will face on-the-spot
fines in a crackdown on ill-discipline in England’s schools,
according to Charles Clarke.

The education secretary suggests that legislation in the
Queen’s speech will give police and welfare officers powers
to fine parents who allow their children to miss school.

Officials declined to say how much the fines would be.

Local authorities already have the powers to take wayward
parents to court where they may be ordered to attend parenting
classes or even fined up to £2,500. However, these measures
have rarely been used.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 12 November page 1

Children failed by social services, says

Cherie Booth castigates the government today over the failure of
social services to protect children from death and neglect.

In an article in The Times, which coincides with a test
legal challenge against the home secretary over children in prison,
Booth says that the care system “often fails the very children it
is set up to serve”.

“It is an unbearable fact that between one and two children die
every week in England and Wales as a result of abuse and neglect,”
she says.

The repercussions are devastating too, she says as too many
young vulnerable people end up in the criminal justice system.

She calls for the government to create a Children’s Rights
Commissioner to bring Britain into line with most of Europe.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 12 November page 2

Human rights ‘risk’ in mental health

A wide range of people could be subject to compulsory treatment
under the government’s mental health bill, the joint
parliamentary committee on human rights warned ministers last

The committee of MPs and peers said that the proposed definition
of what constitutes a “mental disorder” goes much further than is
necessary to ensure dangerous people can be removed from situations
where they put themselves or others at risk.

It says epilepsy sufferers and people with diabetes could be
subject to compulsory treatment too as the new definition will
cover illnesses such as epilepsy, which can interfere with the
functions of the brain.

They also warn the proposed legislation is in danger of turning
psychiatrists into “guardians of morality” by deleting safeguards
which prevent the compulsory detention of the sexually deviant,
alcoholics and drug addicts.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 12 November page 10

Riot police seal off church used as sanctuary by 100
Sangatte refugees

A church in Calais where more than 100 asylum seekers on their
way to Britain had been sheltering, was seized last night by French
riot police.

Officers from the national CRS stormed through a crowd of human
rights activists when the deadline for the asylum seekers to leave
the church expired. Sixteen officers sealed the area.

A stand-off developed as the police were reluctant to use force
and the asylum seekers warned they would go on hunger strike rather
than leave, as it emerged that the closure of the Red Cross Centre
yesterday would not deter asylum seekers from trying to reach

Source:- The
Independent Tuesday 12 November
page 1

Police want more cash to fight paedophiles

The government was urged to provide more money for police
officers to fight internet paedophilia.

The Association of Chief Police Officers is said to be concerned
that some forces do not have the funds to prosecute suspected child
abusers operating on the internet.

The demand follows an FBI investigation identified up to 7,000
people in the UK who were downloading child pornography from a

Details of British users were passed to the authorities six
months ago, but some individual police forces with few resources
were left to investigate the suspects.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Carole Howlett of ACPO told the
BBC that she had no doubt there were going to be similar scale
operations to Operation Ore.

“We need to be properly resourced in order to deal with that,”
she said.

Source:- The
Independent Tuesday 12 November
page 6

Scottish newspapers

One in four young women drinking too much

One in four young Scottish women drink in excess of safe levels
of alcohol, an investigation into binge drinking has found.

The figure has almost doubled in the last decade.

The Scottish executive, which this year launched an alcohol
action plan for Scotland, is concerned at the trend.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 12 November page 3

Red wine may halve risk of senile dementia

Drinking red wine may halve the risk of developing dementia, but
beer might make people doubly prone to the condition, according to
Danish scientists.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 12 November page 7

Man admits having sex with girl, 15, he met in internet
chat room

A naïve 15-year-old girl had sex with a man who swept her
off her feet with flattery.

Phillip Bugler, aged 45, an occupational health nurse, yesterday
faced allegations at the high court in Edinburgh of abducting and
raping the girl.

Bugler was put on the sex offenders’ register and remanded
in custody for background reports.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 12 November page 6

Welsh newspapers

Harman in blitz on domestic violence

Solicitor General Harriet Harman wants Welsh women to contribute
their views to tough proposals aimed at cracking down on domestic

Harman was speaking at the Welsh Labour Women’s conference
that was held last week in south Wales.

She said that 25 per cent of all violent crime was domestic
violence, and one third of all murders were domestic killings.
Changes in the law and people’s attitudes to such crimes were

Harman also called for local agencies to work together after
every domestic homicide to find out what had happened and work to
prevent such tragedies in the future.

Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 11 November page

Asylum row builds up

The row over where to site a controversial asylum appeals centre
in south Wales has intensified with the intervention of Newport
East MP Alan Howarth.

Howarth says that centre should be built in Newport itself
rather than on the outskirts, following protests by community
leaders and residents.

Howarth said that he appreciated the need for the centre, which
would accelerate the appeals process, but that the proposed site at
Langstone was unacceptable. He said the area could not provide the
range of facilities that asylum seekers would require while
awaiting their appeal.

Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 11 November page

I’m happy I left world of crime

A new joint project by police, probation and schools in south
Wales is helping to deter young people from becoming involved with

Former young offender Alana Davies is visiting schools as part
of the initiative called ‘The Crime of Your Life’ that
presents drama workshops aimed at showing children how destructive
getting involved in crime can be.

Following the workshop, young people are able to talk to members
of the police, prison service, youth offending team and

Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 11 November page

‘It’s been a three-year living
nightmare…I don’t know if I can stay around here

A care home manager who had her conviction for wilful neglect of
an older patient quashed, says that she may not be able to remain
in her home community.

The court of appeal quashed Karen Morrell’s conviction
last week. She had spent 19 days in prison in June 2001 after she
was found guilty of wilful neglect of a 73-year-old resident but
was then released on bail pending appeal.

Morrell says that the experience has left her scarred, and that
she may not be able to return to her former life.

Source:- South Wales Echo Monday 11 November page 9

Cardiff social worker claiming unfair

Charles Faber, the social worker at the heart of a whistle
blowing controversy in Cardiff, has taken his case to an industrial

Faber says that he was dismissed because he raised concerns over
the way that children’s services in Cardiff were being

The council says that he was dismissed because of financial

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 12 November page 5

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.