Monday 8 March 2004

By Amy Taylor, Natasha Salari, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Police admit new Soham vetting failure

Cambridgeshire police admitted that it “was more likely than not”
that they did not send a fax requesting Humberside police to carry
out a local vetting check on Ian Huntley when he was being
considered for his job as a school caretaker.

The chief constable of Cambridgeshire admitted the failure at the
Bichard Inquiry yesterday into how Huntley was able to get the job
despite having a dubious past.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 6 March page 2

Targets for public sector to be slashed

Hundreds of public service agreements for schools and hospitals are
being scrapped next week in an aim to transfer power from central
government to the frontline.

Over 500 targets are to be ended to give public sector managers
greater flexibility to run their services.

The Treasury is also set to keep many of the central public service
agreements which it will set for other departments, but it is set
to cut them from 137 to well below 100.

Source:- The Times Saturday 6 March page 4

Child murders could rise, doctors warn

Child murders could increase due to the campaign against doctors
working in child protection by the parents of children taken into
care, the president of the Royal College of Paediatricians warned

Professor Alan Craft, head of child health at the Royal Victoria
Infirmary in Newcastle, said the attack had increased since the
Court of Appeal criticised Sir Roy Meadow in December.

Meadow was a witness in the cases of Sally Clark and Angela
Cannings, who were released from jail after their convictions for
killing their children were quashed.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 6 March page 2

Lid blown on migrant cover-up

Thousands of Eastern European immigrants are being allowed into
Britain without going through the proper checks it was alleged last

Steve Moxon, a civil servant in the Immigration Service, alleged
that bogus migrants have arrived under the European Community
Association Agreement which allows some self-employed Eastern
European businessmen into the UK.

Moxon said that a lack of checks were being applied to the scheme
in an attempt to help ensure that it does not look like there has
been a massive influx of people from Eastern Europe when 10 new
countries join the European Union on 1 May.

Source:- The Sunday Times  Sunday 7 March page 1

Move to curb parents’ right to smack

Parents who punish their children with anything more than a
‘minor smack’ will be breaking the law under plans
being drawn up by Downing Street and the Department for Education
and Skills.

Senior Whitehall sources said that the government is willing to
look at reforming the defence of reasonable chastisement for people
who hit children.

The reform will be the first step towards an almost total ban on
smacking, although the government will make it clear that it has no
wish to criminalise parents who give their child a quick smack at
moments of frustration or to keep them out of danger.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 7 March page 1

Blunkett may yield on appeals

The Home Office could back down on plans to curb asylum
seekers’ rights of appeal if a workable alternative can be

David Blunkett, the home secretary, said that the government was in
“listening mode”, but would not back down on preventing
asylum seekers having multiple appeals against decisions to deport

Clause 11 of the present asylum bill, which will be debated in the
House of Lords next week, prevents asylum seekers using the
judicial review process against decisions to remove them from the

Source:-The Observer Sunday 7 March page 2

Battle to save children from gang terror

Over 100 young people who could be drawn into Manchester’s
gang wars have been identified by police and social workers.

The names of the youths, some as young as nine, have been put on a
confidential database run by the city’s multi-agency gang
strategy (Mags) after intelligence showed they risked ending up
either as killers or victims of gangland hitmen.

Most live in the city’s “gang triangle” between
Longsight, Moss Side and Hulme.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 7 March page 9

Lonely life of elderly revealed

One in ten older people see nobody on an average day, according to
a report.

One in five older people is often or always lonely and as many as
32 older people die alone in their homes everyday, the equivalent
of nearly 12,000 people a year.

The report, by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service,
challenges companies, governmental organisations and charities to
ensure that by 2010 all older people in Britain have daily human

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 8 March page 8

Gallery closed over naked pictures of girl

Police were called to an art gallery in east London last night when
concerns were raised over an exhibition featuring photos of an
artist’s naked daughter.

The police were alerted after visitors to the exhibition at the
Spitz gallery complained that they considered the images, showing
the girl as a baby, toddler, and a five-year-old, to be

The doors of the gallery were closed and the windows covered while
the gallery took advice from officers.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 March page 1

Sperm donor clinic for lesbians

A fertility clinic which will focus on helping lesbian couples and
single women to become pregnant is to set up in Britain.

The businessman behind two websites offering sperm and human eggs
is taking over an existing clinic in Bristol, which will be renamed
the Man Not Included New Life Centre.

John Gonzalez will target his services at lesbians and single women
despite the Human and Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Act
1990, which says clinics must take into account a child’s
need for a father.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 March page 2

Scottish newspapers

Nursery nurses up pay protest with march and rally

Striking nursery nurses stepped up their fight for better pay and
conditions yesterday by taking to the streets of Glasgow.

Around 2,000 nursery nurses from across Scotland gathered to march
through the city’s streets before congregating on Glasgow
Green for a mass rally.

The protest marks the sixth day since nursery nurses walked

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 6 March

Call to halt deportation of hunger strikers

A cross-party group of MSPs joined refugee support groups
yesterday to demand that the government lift deportation orders on
three asylum seekers who have been on hunger strike for 16

The Kurdish men, who have stitched their own mouths closed, have
said they would rather die in Scotland than be sent back to

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 6 March

No action against social workers in baby Caleb death

Five social workers will not be disciplined over the death
of Caleb Ness, Edinburgh Council announced this week.

The 11-week-old baby died after his father Alexander Ness shook him
violently. Ness was jailed for culpable homicide and an inquiry
into the baby’s death found fault “at almost every
level in every agency” involved.

Yesterday, the council said no disciplinary action would be taken
against social workers involved following an investigation into
their actions.

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 6 March

Social workers ‘not to blame’ for
Caleb’s death

The mother of Caleb Ness has exonerated social workers for
any part in her son’s killing.

Shirley Malcolm has said the only person to blame for her
son’s death was his father Alexander Ness who shook the
11-week-old baby to death when she was out collecting a methadone

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

City babies are an endangered breed

Scotland’s largest cities are becoming child-free zones,
according to new figures which show a pattern of falling birth
rates behind the country’s dramatic population decline.

The number of babies born in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and
Stirling has plummeted to all-time lows.

The new figures also show that rural Aberdeenshire and Perth and
Kinross are the only Scottish areas where women are listening to
politicians’ calls to “breed for Scotland”.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

Fresh start plan for ex-convicts

Offenders leaving prison could face being relocated to a new part
of the country in a bid to cut them free from crime-ridden
backgrounds and tackle the revolving door syndrome.

Hundreds of released offenders return to jail within months of
leaving and around 60 per cent are convicted of another offence
within two years of release.

The relocation proposal put forward by the Scottish Council
Foundation thinktank, is being considered by justice minister Cathy

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

Single MMR jab demand soars despite claims

Demands for single vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella has
risen sharply in Scotland despite controversy over claims that the
triple vaccination poses a health risk.

Accusations that research linking the triple MMR vaccination to
health risks was “fatally flawed” has only served to
further entrench public scepticism over the jab’s safety,
according to doctors providing single-vaccine alternatives.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

Jodi suspect’s life ‘wrecked’

Police and education chiefs have been accused of destroying the
life of the sole suspect in the murder case of Jodi Jones.

The mother of 15-year-old Luke Mitchell said her son has received a
stream of hate mail since his girlfriend’s death.

Corinne Mitchell said her son’s personality changed overnight
following the death of the Midlothian schoolgirl. He is now being
taught at home after being banned from returning to St
David’s RC School in Dalkeith, where he and Jodi were both

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

Rugby star hits out as yobs go unpunished

A former Scottish rugby international has criticised the lack of
action to tackle violent ‘neds’ in his

Cameron Glasgow said he intervened to catch teenage vandals and
stepped in during a racist attack on a young boy by a gang.

However, police told him nothing could be done because of the age
of the youths.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

Teenagers held over disabled death

A teenager has been arrested in connection with the death of a
disabled man who died in a street attack last month.

James Black was allegedly attacked in the city’s Bridgetown

A police spokesperson confirmed a 17-year-old had been arrested and
was being detained in police custody in connection with the

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 7 March

Drugs policy fails to tackle virus threat

Just 10 per cent of the millions of needles needed to prevent the
spread of killer viruses among injecting heroin addicts are being
distributed by drug agencies in Scotland’s largest

Services dealing with harm reduction and rehabilitation of drug
users are in disarray, according to a Sunday Herald

Most needle exchanges are not supplying enough equipment to prevent
needle-sharing while new laws allowing a range of drug
paraphernalia to be distributed are making no difference because of
a lack of resources.

The investigation comes just days after first minister Jack
McConnell called for “an end to patchy (drug rehabilitation)

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 7 March

Behaviour bill ‘threat to children’s

Plans to electronically tag children and give police powers to
disperse groups of youths face criticism from influential Scottish
figures this week ahead of a vital vote on the Antisocial Behaviour

The children’s commissioner and chief prisons inspector for
Scotland have warned executive ministers that the bill may breach
children’s rights.

Their criticisms follow those of numerous pressure groups.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 7 March

Call for extra funds to tackle alcohol abuse

Scottish executive funding to tackle alcohol misuse has been
criticised by clinicians and campaigners as merely “a drop in
the ocean”.

The executive announced £8 million over two years to increase
resources for alcohol treatment and rehabilitation services.

But chief executive of Alcohol Concern Scotland, Jack Law, said
given that alcohol problems cost Scotland £1 billion a year,
£8 million was not enough to tackle the issue

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 8 March

Uncool’ Bach has youths fleeing

Residents who felt besieged by large groups of youngsters
congregating outside a high rise flat have been saved by Beethoven
and Bach.

Youth loitering around tower blocks in Cambuslang, near Glasgow,
fled after classical music was piped round the clock in the
entrance lobbies.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 8 March

Huge rise in racist attacks

Racist attacks in Scotland have risen to unprecedented levels with
many immigrants facing abuse and violence every day.

The details emerged as another report raised concerns that
increasing numbers of child asylum seekers could fall prey to
organised criminal gangs.

The charity Positive Action in Housing revealed that complaints
about racist harassment in Glasgow have risen by 75 per cent in the
last year.

Source:- The Herald Monday 8 March

Worries over young asylum seekers on their own

Numbers of unaccompanied asylum seekers in Glasgow have
soared increasing fears about child prostitution, drugs couriers
and illegal working in the city, according to a new report.

The study also shows that more asylum seekers are coming from
sub-Saharan Africa rather than eastern Europe and have a
potentially higher prevalence of TB and Aids.

Almost £750,000 was spent supporting young asylum seekers in
2002/3 and David Comely, director of social work services at
Glasgow Council highlighted concerns in a document which will be
used to back the council’s case to the executive for
additional funding given Glasgow’s exceptional

Source:- The Herald Monday 8 March

Only in Scotland are men dying younger

Men living in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas can
expect to die up to 10 years earlier than the average Scot.

Opposition politicians rounded on the Scottish executive after an
NHS report revealed that men living in certain parts of Glasgow are
expected to die before they reach retiring age.

SNP leader John Swinney called the figures a national

Source:- The Herald Monday 8 March

Welsh newspapers

Police cells holding jail spills

Criminals are being locked up in police cells because the
country’s prisons are ‘more or less full’.

Prison reformers are calling on the home secretary David Blunkett
to reduce the number of prison inmates instead of having to resort
to using police cells to house prisoners.

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said
that keeping prisoners in police cells was not appropriate because
it was not safe, was extremely costly and prevented the police from
doing their job properly.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 8 March page 4

Let’s cure the NHS of party politics

A half-page feature looking at the state of the NHS in Wales.

Dr Tony Calland, chairperson of the British Medical
Association’s Welsh Council and Dr Richard Lewis the
BMA’s Welsh Secretary argue that it is time for a radical
root and branch rethink of the way that health services are
structured in Wales.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 8 March page 12




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