Government acts to stem probation crisis
Minister are working on an emergency package of measures to stem the growing crisis of confidence in the probation services triggered by a cluster of high-profile failures involving supervision of offenders.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 1

Incapacity benefit initiative pays off
Employers will be told this week to recognise incapacity benefit claimants as potential employees. A pilot scheme in Easington, County Durham, has demonstrated that many IB claimants want employment, countering beliefs they do not want to work.
Source:- Financial Times, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 4

Police mergers
Charles Clarke will unveil plans for a super northern police force, merging the three Yorkshire forces with Humberside. The Home Secretary announced four super forces in the Midlands, one in eastern England and two for the Home Counties. The number of forces would fall from 43 to about 20.
Source:- The Times, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 2

Some more equal than others
Women with children, black boys excluded from school and gay people targeted with homophobic abuse are among those most at risk of “chronic and persistent” disadvantage, according to the Equalities Review interim report, chaired by Trevor Phillips.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 11

‘I hoped our baby would be deaf’
Most parents would be distressed to learn that their child had been born unable to hear.  But for Paula Garfield and Tomato Lichy, it means daughter Molly can share their special culture.
Source:- The Guardian, G2, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 14

Lack of new housing a scandal
A third of English authorities failed to build any social housing during the 12 months to the end of March 2005, according to a GMB union survey. Only 8.4 per cent of the 174,472 new homes started in 2004-5 were housing association or council dwellings.
Source:- Financial Times, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 4

Problem of NHS deficits far worse than admitted, with real debt at £900 million
The financial crisis in the NHS is worse than ministers have admitted with hospitals and primary care trusts expected to be £900 million in debt by the end of the financial year.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 10

Home care will not be cheap, nurses warn
Plans to increase care at home to reduce the financial pressure on hospitals will only work with more money, more community nurses and more training, the government was warned yesterday by the Community and District Nurses Association.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 10

Thousands may lose right to free care home places
Thousands of sick and elderly people face losing their free care home places under a health service spending clampdown. Ministers have ordered trials of tightly-drawn national criteria which would bring significant differences in the threshold of eligibility for NHS continuing care.
Source:- The Daily Mail, Tuesday 21 March 2006, page 8

Scottish news

Drug tests for parents to keep children
Parents who use drugs could be forced to undergo tests to prove they are clean in order to avoid having their children removed into care.
The idea of drug testing has come from Bernadette Doherty, of the Association of Directors of Social Work, during discussions with Peter Peacock, the minister for children.
Doherty, social services director at North Ayrshire Council, said: “Every case is different and you require a multi-agency assessment of the child’s needs. The critical question is, is the addictive behaviour of the parent causing the child significant harm?”
Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 21 March 2006

Call for action in schools as racist crime in Scotland hits all-time high
More racist crimes are being recorded by Scottish police than ever before, with offences running 11 per cent higher than last year.
The total number of racist incidents recorded by police is set to exceed 4,800 in the year to the end of April – compared to 4,349 in 2004-5.
Since police began recording racist crimes in 2000, the number of incidents has soared by around 75 per cent.
Source:- The Scotsman, Tuesday 21 March 2006

Welsh news

‘I want killer caught’
Sion Jenkins has called for the reinvestigation of the murder of his foster daughter Billie-Jo. Jenkins, who is originally from Aberystwyth, has always denied killing Billie-Jo. He has stood trial for her murder three times and fought two appeals to clear his name. He was finally cleared of killing her in February of this year.
Billie-Jo died in February 1997. Her body was found in a pool of blood at the family’s home in Hastings, East Sussex.
Source:- South Wales Echo, Tuesday 21 March 2006

Ben looked like he was sleeping, says jogger
A schoolboy who is thought to have been murdered “looked like he was sleeping” the 65-year-old jogger who found his body told a court yesterday.
Edward Jenkins told Swansea crown court that he alerted a community officer that he saw walking nearby about the body.
Olchfa comprehensive student Ben Bellamy, 17, of Sketty Park, Swansea, had been attacked in the early hours of that morning while walking home from a nightclub on Mumbles pier in the city.
Source:- Western Mail, Tuesday 21 March 2006





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