Thursday 28 August 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Halving of asylum claims in sight

The home secretary David Blunkett last night announced that
quarterly asylum figures to be published today will show the
government is on track to meet its target of halving the number of
asylum claims each month by September.
The figures are expected to show that under 5,000 claims are made
each month, compared with 9,000 last October.
Meanwhile, the home office announced plans to attempt to tackle
illegal immigration and abuse of the asylum system by tightening up
visa applications. The proposals will require all visitors to
Britain who need a visa to provide fingerprints, iris or facial
scans when they apply.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 28 August page 7
Police to get stress checks to cut sickness
Police officers who often carry guns, work undercover or
investigate paedophiles could be subject to regular psychological
testing to monitor how they are coping with the mental strain of
their jobs under new government proposals.
The move is part of ministers’ £15 million strategy to try to
reduce sickness, absenteeism and early retirement among
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 28 August page 13
Call to tackle social inequality in housing
Homeowners should pay more tax to reduce growing social
inequality, according to a leading centre-left think tank.
A new Institute for Public Policy Research report said that housing
poverty is the greatest form of social inequality in Britain.
It highlighted increasing divides between those living in the north
and the south east, and between homeowners and those who
The IPPR argues that the increasing social  inequality has a
negative effect on school standards, public services and
It calls for the closure of loopholes that effectively exempt first
time buyers from inheritance tax, and for the introduction of
higher tiers of council tax for expensive properties.
Other recommendations include allowing social landlords to buy
homes to rent out in neighbourhoods predominantly made up of
private housing, and diversifying homeownership on social housing
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 28 August page 2
Universal childcare ‘worth £40bn to

Universal childcare provision for all children aged between 1 and 4
would benefit the economy by £40 billion at today’s prices
over the next 65 years, according to new research presented to the
Economists from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) presented the research
showing the benefits of universal childcare to ministers last
It found that over the first two or three decades such provision
would roughly pay for itself in terms of the effect on the economy.
It would start to produce benefits when the children who had
received the care began working.
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 28 August page 5
Scottish newspapers
Scots social workers ‘snatch’ US toddler

An international custody battle was played out in a Scottish town
yesterday as a judge ordered Scottish social workers to
‘snatch’ a toddler from his mother.
Social workers staged a late-night raid at an address in
Stirlingshire to seize a two-year-old boy from his fugitive mother,
who had been missing from the United States for nine months.
Lord Wheatley, a judge at the court of session in Edinburgh, gave
permission for the child named in court as Jaeger Crowley from
Draper City, Utah, to be taken from his mother and delivered to the
nearest social work department.
The order was granted after the child’s mother Frances
Crowley went on the run with her son in December just days before
she was due to face a custody hearing in Salt Lake City,
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 28 August page 5
Stay away Luke
The boyfriend of murdered schoolgirl Jodi Jones will be asked to
stay away from her funeral.
Jodi’s family have made their feelings clear to police, who
will visit Luke Mitchell and ask him not to attend the ceremony
next Wednesday.
It is feared that if the 15-year-old turns up at the funeral it
would lead to a scene and his safety could not be guaranteed.
Jodi was killed in a brutal attack near her home in Easterhouses,
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 28 August page 9
Evil face of sex pest
A teenager was yesterday convicted of a sickening sex attack on a
disabled 15-year-old girl.
The girl, who has cerebral palsy and the mental age of 12 had told
the court of her 45-minute ordeal at the hands of Joseph
A jury at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday cleared Rowlands of
rape but convicted him of indecently assaulting the girl, who
cannot be named for legal reasons.
He will be placed on the sex offenders’ register, but Lord
Emslie deferred sentencing him for three weeks for background
reports to be prepared and continued his bail.
Source:- Daily Record  Thursday 28 August page 11
‘Devil’ rapist jailed
A paranoid schizophrenic who claimed he had raped the devil’s
daughter was jailed for eight years yesterday.
Damian Fowler had denied raping a 23-year-old student in Montrose
last year.
But a jury at the high court in Aberdeen found him guilty last
month, and yesterday Fowler was jailed by judge Lord Mackay of
Drumadoon at the high court in Stonehaven.
Fowler’s mental health problems were diagnosed in 1998.
Source:- Daily Record  Thursday 28 August page 11

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