Round-up of the week

    Round up of the week

    Week beginning 28 February 2005

    Monday 28th February

    The Scottish deputy justice minister Hugh Henry announced that
    councils would have £30.83 million for tackling antisocial
    behaviour in 2006-7 and this would rise to £33.16 million in
    2007-8. At the same time it emerged that no local authorities have
    used powers which came into force in October to issue antisocial
    behaviour orders to children as young as 12-years-old.

    The Department for Education and Skills biannual national
    truancy sweep also began in a bid to ensure as many young people as
    possible attend school.

    Tuesday 1 March

     
    Charles Clarke

     
     

    Home Secretary Charles Clarke launched guidance to “name
    and shame” individuals issued with antisocial behaviour
    orders claiming that “publicising should be the norm not the
    exception”. The guidance was criticised by directors of
    social services and charities who claimed there was “no
    evidence” to show that “naming and shaming” acted
    as a deterrent to criminal behaviour”.

    Wednesday 2 March

    The government announced the appointment of Professor Al
    Aynsley-Green as the first ever children’s commissioner for
    England. Aynsley-Green’s previous post was the National
    Clinical Director for Children within the Department for
    Health.

    New Asset  

    Community Care launched the ‘Election 2005: Putting
    Social Care in the Picture’ campaign which aims to raise the
    issue of social care during the coming general election. The
    campaign will include a series of reports and parliamentary
    briefings which will probe how party policies on key election
    issues often miss the vital role of social care and social work.
    For further details, go to www.communitycare.co.uk/election.

    Thursday 3 March

     
    Stephen Ladyman

    Health minister Stephen Ladyman announced funding of £60
    million for councils to help older people live independently
    longer.

    The government’s Equality Bill which includes plans for a
    new body with powers to tackle discrimination and prejudice was
    also published. The Commission for Equality and Human Rights will
    be set up from October 2007 and would bring together the work of
    the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights
    Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.


    Friday 4 March

    The man accused of instigating the ‘Gladiator-style’
    games at Feltham Young Offender Institution denied the allegations.
    The branch chair of the Prison Officers Association at Feltham
    Young Offender Institution Nigel Herring told the public inquiry
    into Zahid Mubarek’s death that he had never placed
    unsuitable prisoners into the same cell deliberately in the hope
    that violence would occur.

    For more information, see below.

    This week at the Mubarek inquiry

    New Asset  
    Zahid Mubarek

    The chair of the Feltham branch of the Prison Officers’
    Association at the time of Zahid Mubarek’s murder Andrew
    Darken claimed that he was victimised by the Prison Service for
    “lawful” union activities.

    He claimed that in July 2001 the Prison Service tried to move
    him from his position at Feltham Young Offender Institution to a
    position at Head Office. They told him that the attitude of the
    Prison Officers’ Association was preventing change at Feltham
    YOI and that as chair of the branch, he was partly responsible for
    this.

    Darken said that the misconduct alleged against him solely
    consisted of carrying out his trade union duties and he challenged
    the action in the High Court. He added that the service had
    subsequently backed down from moving him away from a job working
    with prisoners and transferred him to HMP Latchmere House.

    This week the inquiry also heard that Mubarek was killed by his
    racist cellmate Robert Stewart after they were placed together in a
    game created for the “perverted pleasure” of prison
    officers.

    Duncan Keys, assistant general secretary of the Prison
    Officers’ Association, told the inquiry Mubarek was killed as
    the consequence of a game called “Gladiator” or
    “Coliseum,” which involved pitting
    “unsuitable” inmates against each other as prison
    officers bet on the results. Keys named Nigel Herring, chair of the
    Feltham POA, as the “instigator” of the practice.

    However, Herring denied the allegations and said that he had
    never placed unsuitable prisoners into the same cell deliberately
    in the hope that violence would occur.

     

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