Friday 28 May 2004

    By Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex
    DobsonBy Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex
    Dobson

     

    Hodge favours year off for maternity

    Children’s minister Margaret Hodge called for paid maternity
    leave to be doubled for new mothers to a year yesterday.

    While speaking to think tank the Social Market Foundation, Hodge
    also said that some of the time should be reserved as “daddy
    leave” to encourage fathers to stay at home.

    Mothers are allowed 26 weeks paid leave after a birth, and fathers
    are given two weeks.

    Source: The Financial Times, Friday, 28 May, page 6

    Charity law shake-up to licence chuggers

    Strict restrictions on ‘chuggers’ professional street
    fundraisers were contained in new legislation announced
    yesterday.

    The measures were outlined in the draft Charities Bill which aims
    to modernise the laws on charities, some of which date back 400
    years.

    Source: The Times, Friday, 28 May, page 17

    Paedophile jailed

    A former language school teacher was sentenced to 15 years in jail
    for 19 counts of indecent assault and two of indecency involving
    girls under 16.

    John Keeler, 59, who was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court, recently
    served three years in a Thai jail after making indecent videos of
    girls as young as 8.

    Source: The Times, Friday, 28 May, page 18

    Sex offenders may face lie detector tests

    Compulsory lie detector tests for convicted sex offender released
    from prisons could become a reality the government has
    indicated.

    Ministers are due to decide on whether to introduce the tests this
    summer. The home secretary David Blunkett has also announced that
    serious offenders are going to be electronically tagged to track
    their whereabouts.

    Source: The Guardian, Friday, 28 May, page 1

    Jail staff face ‘race fight’ bet
    inquiry

    Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into allegations that
    prison officers at a young offenders institute took bets on fights
    between black and white inmates, it emerged yesterday.

    The officers at Feltham young offenders institution are alleged to
    have put black and white inmates together in cells at and taken
    bets on how long it would take for a fight to start.

    Source: The Guardian, Friday, 28 May, page 3

     

    Scottish newspapers

    Reliance expects go-ahead in weeks to extend operations
    across Scotland

    Reliance Security said yesterday it was “100 per cent
    confident” it will get the go-ahead to roll out its prisoner
    escort operation across Scotland in the next few weeks.

    Campbell O’Connell, the Scottish operations director of the
    company, said he expected it to be allowed to fulfil the rest of
    its contract.
    The company has come under increasing criticism after mistakenly
    releasing a number of prisoners from custody within weeks of taking
    on the prisoner escort contract with the Scottish executive.

    Source: The Scotsman , Friday 28 May

    Concern at rising number of women in prison
    system

    The number of women held in Scotland’s prisons system has
    increased significantly, according to a new report.

    An inspection of Cornton Vale prison has shown there were 340 women
    being held at the jail at the time of inspection, compared with 137
    in 1990.

    The report by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons into Scotland’s
    only all-female jail said the number of women admitted to the
    prison with mental health problems, addiction problems and a
    history of abuse was “very alarming”.

    Source: The Scotsman , Friday 28 May

    Refugees called to fill skills gap

    The business community in Glasgow is calling on refugees to fill
    the skills gap in hospitality and catering industries.

    The Glasgow Chambers of Commerce yesterday launched the first in a
    series of events to highlight the wealth of experience within the
    city’s refugee community.

    Source: The Scotsman., Friday 28 May

    Anger at plan to replace nursery nurse strikers with
    teachers

    Scotland’s largest local authority yesterday announced plans
    to use teachers to break the strike of nursery nurses over the
    summer months.

    Glasgow Council said it would ensure pre-school children are given
    a nursery place from next week and the disruption over the summer
    would be minimised. However, it provoked an angry response from
    unions by asking teachers to provide cover for striking nursery
    staff.

    Unison accused the authority of trying to employ
    “strike-breakers”, while the Educational Institute of
    Scotland said its members have been advised not to carry out
    additional duties.

    Source: The Herald , Friday 28 May

     

    Welsh newspapers

    Batman Fathers’ Rooftop Protest

    Two fathers fighting for better access to their children staged
    a rooftop protest in Cardiff.

    The men, members of the lobby group Fathers4Justice, which
    flour-bombed Prime Minister Tony Blair last week, said they were
    protesting on behalf of fathers across the UK. Dressed as Batman
    and Robin they brought a city centre street to a standstill as they
    perched with placards on a 25ft-high ledge at the Civil Justice
    Centre.

    Source: South Wales Echo, Thursday 27 May, page 1

    Secret deal to cut hospital waiting

    Hundreds of Welsh patients will be treated in the private sector
    under secret plans to slash long-term waiting lists.

    A deal with Cardiff Bupa is being drawn up to take 1,600 patients
    waiting more than 18 months for treatment. The deal is likely to
    cause embarrassment for the Welsh Assembly which until now has
    opposed using the private sector to tackle the crisis in NHS
    waiting times.

    Source: Western Mail, Friday 28 May, page 1

    Internet images make child abuse trauma burden
    worse

    A Welsh conference will be told today that child victims of
    sexual abuse suffer far worse trauma if they think images of their
    ordeals are being distributed on the internet.

    Child protection organisation Trafod is hosting a conference in
    Cardiff where delegates will be told of the effect of the internet
    on victims of child abuse. Victims are often left with deep
    psychological scars as a result of images of their abuse being
    passed among paedophiles, researchers will tell the conference.

    Source: Western Mail, Friday 28 May, page 2

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