Monday 24 May 2004

By Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Judges throw out Blunkett asylum appeal

The appeal court scuppered David Blunkett’s policy of
denying support to asylum seekers who fail to make their claim
“as soon as reasonably practicable”.

The court rejected appeals by the Home Secretary against three high
court rulings that destitute asylum seekers were made to suffer
inhuman and degrading treatment. This is in breach of Article 3 of
the European convention on human rights.

Source: The Guardian, Saturday, May 22, page 2

Mistakes by staff at psychiatric unit led to
patients’ suicides

Three mental health patients were able to commit suicide by
jumping off a cliff because of mistakes by staff at an acute
psychiatric unit, an inquest jury found yesterday.

Staff at the Cedars acute in-patient unit failed to take on board
warnings that two teenage boys and a mother of three were suicide
risks. They also did not raise the alarm that the three were
missing for more than two hours after they disappeared.
The trio died together after jumping off a cliff near the unit,
which is part of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation

Source: The Independent, Saturday, May 22, page 20

MS sufferer can be allowed to choke death, council

A council has agreed to allow a woman with multiple sclerosis to
be left to die if she begins to choke, a symptom common to her
Mrs C has drawn up a living will demanding that council carers do
not try to save her life. The document is recognised by the courts
as her only legal alternative to euthanasia.
Durham County Council has accepted Mrs C’s will and told its
carers to allow her to die.

Source: The Sunday Times, May 23, page 7

Spinners plan a makeover for migrants

The government is set to market its immigration and asylum
policies in an attempt to get the public on side.

The Home Office plans to attempt to place positive stories about
migrants on the BBC and other broadcasters according to a leaked

Source: The Sunday Times, May 23, page 8

Abuse is ‘systematic’ at asylum detention

Systematic physical, mental and verbal abuse of asylum seekers
is taking place in British detention centres.

A criminal investigation and civil claims are now taking place
after a string of incidents.

Source:  The Observer, May 23, page 5

‘Stranger danger’ kids fear going

Children choose to stay in doors and play because they are
terrified of the world outside, according to new research.

The education secretary Charles Clarke will announce finding that
show that children are concerned that they could be kidnapped by a
stranger, sexually abused or be a victim of terrorism.

The study, which was carried out by children’s charity
Barnardo’s and the Green Alliance, surveyed more than 1,000
children aged 10 and 11.

Source: The Observer, May 23, page 8

Soham chiefs could resign over murder

Pressure is mounting for the resignation of two chief constables
as the report into the vetting blunders that allowed the Soham
murderer Ian Huntley to gain his school caretaker’s job is
handed to Home Secretary David Blunkett.

Blunkett has the power under the 1996 Police Reform Act to set in a
motion a procedure that could lead to the resignation of chief
constable of Humberside David Westwood and chief constable of
Cambridgeshire Tom Lloyd.

Source: The Times, Monday May 24, page 10

BNP stirs up Bradford sex claims

The British National Party (BNP) is making its own film detailing
allegations that Asian men grooming young white girls for sex in
Bradford to be used in its party political broadcast on

Channel 4 postponed the documentary after it emerged the BNP was
trying to exploit the issue in the run up to next month’s
local and European elections.

West Yorkshire police have arrested Asian and white men in
connection with the allegations following a two-year

Source:  The Guardian, Monday May 24, page 8

Met police to liaise with young Muslims

Scotland Yard is to set-up a special team to liaise with the
Muslim community to discover what drives young people to become
fanatical terrorists.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir John Stevens said gaining the
trust of Muslims, many who feel the police have stereotyped them
all as terrorists, is vital in reducing the threat of an attack on

Source:  The Guardian, Monday May 24, page 10


Scottish newspapers

Reliance ‘is fined £20,000 per

Security firm Reliance is fined £20,000 for every
prisoner that escapes, it has emerged.

According to a report in the Daily Record, the company, which
escorts prisoners to and from court, has been fined £60,000
after three lapses in security, including the accidental release of
a convicted murderer.

The report also claims that the private company would face a fine
of £25,000 for a death in custody of a prisoner and £2
for a late appearance in court.

The Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish executive did not
comment on the figures.

Source: The Daily Record, Saturday 22 May

Thousands of children are misled over

One in seven people are not related to the man they believe is
their father, according to a leading geneticist.

In areas of Dundee and Glasgow, around 15 per cent of the
population were the offspring of someone other than the person they
believed was their biological father, claims Dr John Gow from
Glasgow University, who has recently set up a company offering DNA
testing. This rate is three times the national average.

Source: The Scotsman  Saturday 22 May

OAP wardens threaten strike over shake-up

Wardens at sheltered housing complexes in Edinburgh are
threatening strike action over plans to extend their duties.

Union leaders fear sweeping changes to the wardens’ role will
mean they have to take responsibility for people living in the
community as well as those older people in sheltered

It is also believed that wardens, some of whom live on sheltered
housing complexes, could face losing their accommodation.
Older people’s organisations fear strike action could lead to
a reduction in care for many residents.

Source: Evening News, Saturday 22 May

Disruptive pupils to get own school

A new primary school for children with behavioural difficulties is
set to open in West Lothian.

The school in Livingston, will take 30 children from across the
county with emotional, learning and behavioural problems.

Disruptive pupils will be removed from mainstream school on a
part-time basis or for intensive support and assessment at the

Source: Evening News, Saturday 22 May

Airborne-style project on drawing board

Leading charities are designing a programme which could replace
the controversial Airborne Initiative for young offenders, it
emerged yesterday.

The Prince’s Trust for Scotland and social care charity
Turning Point are believed to be working together to provide an
alternative to prison sentences for serious and persistent young

The project has been developed to use the skills of the staff who
built up expertise working with this group during the decade that
the Airborne “boot camp” project existed. However, it
would need government approval and backing to get off the

Source: The Scotsman, Monday 24 May

Children will say sorry to victims of crime

Scottish ministers are drawing up plans which would see children
as young as eight who commit crimes given an official police
warning and offered the opportunity to apologise to their

First time offenders aged between eight and 16 years old who admit
to minor offences such as drunkenness and minor breaches of the
peace, will be presented with these options rather than being
reported to children’s panels.

Specially trained officers involved may invite the victim to meet
the offender formally. Once the offenders have received a police
warning, they may be offered other services such as anger
management classes or cognitive behavioural therapy.

The guidelines will be published later this month.

Source: The Herald, Monday, 24 May

Scottish police call for tougher paedophile stance

Scottish police are calling for ministers to introduce a
specific offence of internet grooming similar to that in

In England the crime carries a potential sentence of 10 years. The
move follows more than 24 investigations into internet grooming of
young girls in the past year but only a handful of

Currently police can only charge with breach of peace an offence
which usually carries a fine if it can be proven at all.

Source: Scotland on Sunday, Monday 24, page 8


Welsh Newspapers

‘Mr Blobby’ claim teacher

A teacher has been disciplined after allegedly calling a
12-year-old schoolboy “Mr Blobby” in front of his

Twelve-year-old Jarhyd Rees said he felt terrible when his
classmates laughed at him following the alleged incident at Lewis
Boys School at Pengam near Bargoed. His parents have now received
an apology from the school.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 24 May, page 1

Anger as poor lose promised £20m IT

Plaid Cymru has questioned the decision to scrap a £20m IT
project that was to connect Wales’ most deprived and isolated

The e-Communities initiative was a central part of a Welsh assembly
strategy that had the core aim of connecting and enabling 100
deprived urban communities to computer use and new technology.
Welsh assembly economic development minister Andrew Davies has
confirmed that the project has been scrapped following concerns
about the effectiveness of the programme.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 24 May, page 1

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