Big disparity in Asbo breaches

Big disparity in Asbo breaches
Seventy four per cent of antisocial behaviour orders issued in Co Durham were contravened between June 2000 and December 2005, according to Home Office figures. The north east county tops a table of Asbo breaches. Northamptonshire is at the bottom on 11 per cent. Figures released under Freedom of Information laws show that Dorset is second on 66 per cent and North Wales and Cleveland third on 64 per cent.
In Greater Manchester 56 per cent of the 1,227 Asbos issued were breached and in Greater London 40 per cent of 1,163 Asbos were broken, the figures published in Regeneration and Renewal show.
Matt Foot, the co-ordinator of the Asbo Concern lobby group said it is clear Asbos are not working.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 26

Council accused of failing tortured girl
Lord Laming has blamed Westminster Council for failing to prevent the torture of a four-year-old disabled girl by her parents. Laming, who led the inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié, the nine-year-old girl killed in 2000 by her great-aunt, said that social workers and their managers at the council failed to follow even the basics of good child protection practice in their dealings with the family.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 43

Child torturer cannot keep baby
Pregnant child torturer Kimberly Harte will not be allowed to keep her baby. Social services will rule out allowing her to live with the child in a special prison mother and baby unit. They will take the infant away at birth and 23-year-old Harte may never see it again. Harte was jailed on Thursday for torturing her four-year-old daughter, who has cerebral palsy.
Source:- The Sun, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 7

Sisters join list of blameless asylum-seekers facing deportation
Kamila and Karina Kaya, who are 18-year-old twins, want to be doctors. Ambitious, diligent and personable, they have exemplary college records and spend their spare time babysitting or helping in a Birmingham nursing home. Suddenly, their education is on hold and this weekend they are in custody facing imminent deportation to the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan. Campaigners said the harsh treatment the sisters, had endured was further evidence of an increasingly inflexible attitude by the Home Office to asylum-seekers and other immigrants.
Source:- The Independent, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 26

CSA pays £25m in staff bonuses
The Child Support Agency, which is to be wound up by the government for poor performance, has paid out £25m in staff bonuses over the last five years, John Hutton, the works and pensions secretary, has revealed to MPs. Altogether 92,000 staff benefited, with nearly £4m going to nearly 11,000 in the last year.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 8

Sex attacker given passport by mistake
A convicted sex attacker who was ordered to be deported was given a British passport after a serious blunder by a Home Office official, a court was told yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 25

Watchdogs check on teenager’s death
Sixteen-year old Jay Milne survived a brain tumour and was then killed after throwing himself into the path of an unmarked police car. This week a coroner ruled his case should be referred to the Healthcare Commission and the Commission on Human Medicine after hearing evidence that Jay’s “unbalanced mind” was most likely caused by a drug to reduce the swelling in the brain called dexamethasone.
The inquest was told by two doctors that Jay’s behaviour could have been affected by the drug, which has a proven 5% risk of serious depression or mood swings and up to 50% for mild effects.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 10

Social worker shot in neck
A 24-year-old man shot a social worker in the neck after a bag brushed against his friend on a busy high street, a court heard yesterday.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 10 February 2007, page 11

Hundreds of runaways never found
At least 600 children in care who went missing last year have disappeared, according to a charity part-funded by the Home Office. The National Missing Persons’ Helpline said it recorded 4,500 incidents of children running away from care in 2006. Two thousand children were involved – many had run away repeatedly – and 70 per cent were found or came back. But the other 30 per cent – about 600 – disappeared and have never been found.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 11 February 2007, page 2

Youth jail faces death probe
Damaging questions about the treatment of teenagers in jail will be revealed this week during the inquest into how a 15-year-old boy died in custody after being restrained by three adult members of staff. Gareth Myatt lost consciousness after being held in a Home Office-approved armlock that has since been banned. He is the youngest person in living memory to die in such a way in a British prison.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 11 February 2007, page 17

Give City’s bonuses to the poor
City high-fliers should lose two thirds of their bonuses to deprived communities, claims Peter Hain, a candidate for Labour’s deputy leadership.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 11 February 2007, page 1

Women trafficked into prostitution tell their stories
A new exhibition features young Lithuanian women sold into the British sex industry starts at St Paul’s Cathedral in London next week. It is organized by Amnesty, the Poppy Project and Unicef to mark the bicentary of Britain’s abolition of the slave trade.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 11 February 2007, page 26

Ketamine breakthrough in treating depression
Class C drug Ketamine, which is abused for its hallucinogenic effects, is now being hailed by US scientists as a breakthrough treatment for severe depressives. However, mental health charities have reacted with caution to the results of the ketamine trials. The charity Sane points out that many people with mental health problems already self-medicate using illegal drugs, and that not enough is known about their long-term side effects.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 11 February 2007, page 22

‘Shameless’ writer tells of suicide thoughts
Paul Abbott talks about the bipolar disorder he has battled for much of his life, after first realising he had psychiatric problems as a teenager. His traumatic early years in Burnley, Lancashire, were scarred by his desertion by both parents and a “brutal” rape when he was 11.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 11 February 2007, page 18

‘Sentence reforms are crowding jails’
Sentencing reforms introduced by the Government have put a strain on jail resources and added to the problem of overcrowding, prison governors are warning.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 11 February 2007, page 13

Cameron admits: I used dope at Eton
David Cameron got into serious trouble at Eton after admitting smoking cannabis, it was revealed last night.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 11 February 2007, page 1

See Peter Beresford’s Blog

Call time on the culture of drink
Alcohol kills an ex-MP and Westminster weeps. Better, though, if ministers did more to help the addicted.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 11 February 2007, page 33

Have you ever read a headline that praised a social worker?
Column by author Lionel Shriver on torture case of disabled daughter.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 11 February 2007, page 41

After Climbie, even more children are at risk
Column on the torture of young disabled girl by her parents by Jill Kirby, author of The Nationalisation of Childhood, published by the Centre for Policy Studies.Source:- Sunday Times, 11 February 2007, page 18

Fife social work department criticised
A public inquiry into the murder of Karen Dewar, 16, was demanded by politicians yesterday after it emerged that social workers failed to tell the police about her killer’s long history of disturbing sexual behaviour.
Karen was strangled by Colyn Evans, 17, in January 2005, after Fife Council housed him in a flat in Tayport, alone and unsupervised, after he was released from a residential unit for young people displaying inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The failings of Fife social work department were so serious that Strathclyde Police considered bringing criminal charges.
Source:- The Times, Monday 12 February 2007, page 2

Flexible work rights should be for us all, says minister
Labour is putting itself on a collision course with business today by proposing that all employees should have the right to request part-time work.
All 29 million workers should have a right that is at present granted only to parents with young families, according to the minister in charge of family policy.
Beverley Hughes, the minister for children, calls for changes to reflect the growing demand of people to be able to work flexibly. She proposes that all jobs be advertised as possible part-time or flexitime positions, unless there is a sound business case not to.
Source:- The Times, Monday 12 February 2007, page 4

Charity watchdog
A self-regulatory body, the Fundraising Standards Board has been set up to boost public confidence in charities. The RSPCA, NSPCC and Barnardo’s are among those that have joined. Research showed that only 22 per cent of donors knew how to make a complaint.
Source:- The Times, Monday 12 February 2007, page 7

Battle over fate of adult social care funding
A battle appears to be being fought over adult social care’s fate in this year’s comprehensive spending review between the Treasury and the Department of Health.
The Treasury is repeatedly saying it wants a real term freeze in adult care expenditure.
Source:- Financial Times, Monday 12 February 2007, page 2

No 10 backs plan to force lone parents back to work
The government is considering placing duties on lone parents to seek work when their children reach the age of three, it has emerged.
Work and pensions secretary John Hutton has spoken of cutting the current minimum age from 16 to 12, but some in Downing Street believe that as childcare improves this could be reduced to three.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 12 February 2007, page 2

Shifting costs for councils
The number of people moving in, around and out of London increases the cost of providing council services across the capital by more than £100 million a year, a report by the London School for Economics for London councils has said.
The costs are not recognised in grants to councils from the government, it said.
Source:- The Times, Monday 12 February 2007, page 2

One home in three gets most of its income from benefits
One in three households across Britain is dependent on the state for at least half its income, a report by right-wing think-tank Civitas says today.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Monday 12 February 2007, page 1

Failing care homes exploit loophole in law to stay open
Lengthy appeals procedures are enabling care homes that have been ordered to close to continue operating, a BBC Panorama documentary will reveal today.
The programme focuses on a home in Yorkshire where there have been allegations of abuse and which was ordered to close last year by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, but remains in business.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Monday 12 February 2007, page 7

Conviction rate for domestic abuse just one in five
Only one in 20 domestic violence cases ends in a conviction, a study reveals today. The study by Newcastle and Bristol universities, which studied cases in Northumbria, found most of those found guilty were fined and half re-offended within three years.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 12 February 2007, page 18

Childhood lost
A climate of fear created by high-profile child killers such as Ian Huntley is robbing children of their childhood, new research says. Children are far more likely to be killed in a road crash than by a child murderer from outside the family, but parents keep their children too close, says a team from Bournemouth University.
Source:- The Times, Monday 12 February 2007, page 2

Scottish news

£12m debt service helps only 202 people in three years
The Scottish executive is still ploughing millions of pounds into a controversial debt advisory service although it has helped only 202 people in three years.
The debt arrangement scheme which helps people rearrange their debts so they can pay them off, was launched in 2004 to tackle Scots’ spiralling debt. Yet in that time, 90 support advisers have received 273 applications and helped with a total of only £3.2 million of debt.
The executive admitted the take-up of debt payment plans was “lower than hoped for” but said it would be reformed.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 10 February 2007

Cop faces disabled parking badge rap
A policeman is being investigated over claims he used a disabled badge to park outside his station.
Constable Andrew Higgins is alleged to have used the blue pass, which belonged to a family member, to park his car outside Gayfield police station in Edinburgh during his shifts.
The officer, who has been in the force for more than 10 years, has been signed off sick since the probe was launched.
Source:- The Record, Monday 12 February 2007

Welsh news

Sick days plague council
Up to 6, 488 sick days were taken at Flintshire  Council in November and December according to new figures produced by the local authority.
Staff in the adult social care department were off for 1, 667 days during this period.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 10 February 10

Paedophile at war with neighbours
Paedophile Derek Williams is fighting against hundreds of his neighbours who want him to be made to leave his home.
Williams was spared jail for downloading 180 images of child porn. More than 400 people have signed a petition calling for him to be evicted from his council house on the Penygwndwn estate, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, 11 February 2007

Care home left ‘to rot away’
Campaigners fighting against the closure of a nursing home have claimed that it has been “deliberately run down”.
Neath Port Talbot Council says the Glyndulais home does not meet modern standards. A spokesperson denied claims that staff were told to turn away 23 potential residents in 2006 and said there was a falling demand for places.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, 11 February 2007

Shocking truth about Welsh schools
Police go into schools across Wales 16 times a day to deal with criminal activities according to information uncovered by a Freedom of Information Request.
The figures show that police went into schools on 3, 169 occasions.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, 11 February 2007


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