Children smuggled in for life of crime on the street

Children smuggled in for life of crime on the street
An international gang is smuggling children as young as 5 into Britain and exploiting them in crimes ranging from pickpocketing to prostitution. The children are brought in by women couriers, who pose as their relatives and then hand them over to gangmasters.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 9 December 2006, page 9

Britain’s official ‘yob capital’ turns its back on Asbos
A report this week revealed that half of people in Corby fear anti-social behaviour. What has gone wrong in the former steel town?
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 9 December 2006, page 6

Home Office admits ‘slippage’ in effort to reduce crime
The Home Office’s autumn performance report reveals “slippage” in its efforts to reduce crime by 15% in the five-year period to April 2008. The British crime survey shows offending rates had fallen by 10.74% in the year to June 2006, compared to a fall of 12% on the previous statistics.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 9 December 2006, page 7

The £20 billion annual cost of family breakdown
Family breakdown costs the country £20 billion a year, a report produced for the Tory party found yesterday. It estimated the cost of family collapse including the burden of welfare benefits on the taxpayer, the amount of debt incurred by single parents trying to survive, and the price to society of coping with associated problems like drug abuse.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 9 December 2006, page 2

Asylum riot firm hit by £5m penalty
The company running the detention centre at which hundreds of asylum seekers rioted last month is to be forced to pay the government more than £5m for a series of performance failures. The huge amount, believed to be a record sum for a private contractor to have to return to the public coffers, is likely to be seized upon by critics of Britain’s asylum system, who have long campaigned for better conditions at the Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 10 December 2006, page 4

Tories on social justice and antisocial behaviour
The Tories are to demand he right for citizens to tackle teenage yobs physically and calling for a reduction in family breakdowns. Dominic Grieve, the shadow Attorney General, said that people who slapped others or scuffled with youths while trying to stop crimes being committed should not be prosecuted.
His words mark a clear break with David Cameron’s ‘hug a hoodie’ rhetoric. His words come as former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith prepares to publish a report on social justice tomorrow, blaming the breakdown of traditional families for poverty, school failure and crime. But rather than attack single mothers, he will blame men shirking their responsibilities. The report backs tax breaks for married couples, arguing the present tax credits system makes some couples better off apart. The report by the Conservatives’ social justice policy group also questions why absent fathers are common in some communities: 57 per cent of Afro-Caribbean children are raised by lone parents, against 25 per cent of white children.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 10 December 2006, page 1

More UK pensioners choose new life abroad
Older Britons are moving abroad in search of a new life in ever greater numbers, a new study by the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank.reveals.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 10 December 2006, page 12

Name and shame on internet for fathers who fail to pay up
The details of fathers taken to court for failing to pay maintenance for their children will be posted on the internet. The deliberate shaming is intended to become a powerful deterrent to parents trying to avoid taking financial responsibility for their children.
John Hutton, the work and pensions secretary, will propose the measure on Wednesday as part of plans to reform the Child Support Agency.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 10 December 2006, page 34

Hain calls for big cut in jail population
Too many people are being sent to jail, the Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Hain, has warned in a salvo which is in sharp contrast with the government’s increasingly tough rhetoric on crime.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 10 December 2006, page 18

Racist: A damning report on our schools
A high-level official report has found a compelling case that Britain’s schools are “institutionally racist”, but ministers are refusing to accept that conclusion.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 10 December 2006, page 1

The real truth about murder and Britain’s mentally ill
Mental health campaigners are furious over what they say is the demonisation of people with psychiatric problems after they were portrayed as violent and potentially murderous.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 10 December 2006, page 28

Difficulties of achieving convictions in rape analysed
A legal case involving the rape of a teenage girl has provided new and disturbing evidence of the difficulties in achieving convictions in rape trials.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 10 December 2006, page 11

Fear that ‘East Anglia Ripper’ has killed six
Detectives hunting the murderer of two prostitutes whose bodies were found a week apart in the same millstream near Ipswich fear that an East Anglia Ripper may have killed up to six street girls.
Source:- Sunday Times, 10 December 2006, page 14

No school, no job for record numbers
The numbers of young people not in education, employment or training has risen by 15 per cent since 1997 to 1.24m, with a growth of one-third in those aged 16 or 17.
The figures, produced by the Office for National Statistics, found that young people whose parents are manual workers are twice as likely to be in this position than those whose parents are professionals.
Source:- The Times, Monday 11 December 2006, page 1

NHS told to tackle superbugs, cut waiting times and save money
The NHS must return a budget surplus of £250m by 2008 despite a net deficit of almost £550m in 2005-6, its chief executive has said.
David Nicholson made the call in a report, which also demanded that almost all hospitals met its 18-week waiting time target by March 2008.
Source:- The Times, Monday 11 December 2006, page 4

Cannabis warning
Half of young cannabis users suffer side-effects such as paranoia and blackouts, a survey suggests. The poll by YoungMinds found that more than 80 per cent had tried the drug, and 80 per cent of those had done so by the age of 18.
Source:- The Times, Monday 11 December 2006, page 25

Scottish news

Drug addicts to sign ‘good behaviour’ contracts for methadone
The Scottish executive is considering the introduction of contracts for drug-addicted parents as a way of protecting vulnerable children.
Health minister Andy Kerr is “investigating” options for formalising the responsibilities to be met by addicts in exchange for treatment.
Measures being weighed up include compulsory drug testing and other commitments to wean parents off illegal substances.
Source:- The Herald on Sunday, 10 December 2006

Child refugees to be protected by ‘guardians’
Asylum seeking children who arrive in Scotland on their own are to be assigned “guardians” after research found they are being failed by mainstream social services for young people.
The Scottish Refugee Council’s decision to develop the separated children’s service comes in response to research by the Glasgow Centre for the Child and Society.
Guardians will be responsible for monitoring each child’s asylum application. The service will also help the children access mental health services to deal with the trauma of leaving their families as well as the conflicts they may have witnessed in their home countries.
Source:- The Herald on Sunday, 10 December 2006
Councils set for cash boost from executive
Councils are to get a pre-election cash hand-out, as the Scottish executive helps them restrain council tax rises next year.
Tom McCabe, the finance and local government minister, will announce this week how much councillors can expect in support from Holyrood in 2007-08.
The three-year spending period which ends in 2007-08 was budgeted to leave a particularly tough final year for councils, but it was also a year when the executive had left substantial amounts uncommitted.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 11 December 2006
Deaf blind care home to close
Scotland’s only home for deaf-blind pensioners is to shut after Christmas after its private owners failed to secure enough council referrals to make it viable.
The 19 residents of the former Craigholme home in Bearsden will have to find new homes by January 19.
Craigholme, which is now officially called Bearsden care home, had been sold to the private firm, Allan Water Ltd, in July by Deaf Connections, a charity.
The firm had thought it could make a go of the home as a commercial business but is understood to have operating losses of £20,000 a month.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 11 December 2006

Nursery in child abuse allegations
Three nursery staff have been suspended amid allegations of abuse against children.
It’s understood student nursery nurses complained about behaviour they saw while on placement at Wee Rascals nursery in Kintore, Aberdeenshire.
Management immediately suspended the three female staff pending the findings of the inquiry and are running the centre with temporary cover. Police and the Care Commission are investigating the allegations but confirmed they are not of a sexual nature.
Source:- The Record, Monday 11 December 2006

Welsh news

Fear assembly will target schools in cash cuts
Education spending has been cut in 18 of Wales’ 22 councils according to a survey by a head teacher’s union.
The study, carried out by the National Association of Head Teachers, found the majority of local education authorities had cut their budgets by between 1 per cent and 3.6 per cent.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 9 December 2006

Adults in the frame as 30-second film demands respect for teens
Children and young people are challenging adults’ perceptions of them through a new short film produced with a children’s charity.
The film, which is part of an NCH Cymru campaign, highlights the widening gap between generations in Wales.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 9 December 2006

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