Worried ministers move to tackle rise in gang violence

By Mithran Samuel, Maria Ahmed, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Worried ministers move to tackle rise in gang violence

A government-commissioned study will say today that much more needs to be done to prevent young black men getting involved in gang violence, by providing more positive role models.

Clive Lewis, who carried out the research, said there was a link between low aspirations and a lack of positive role models and involvement in gangs. He called for a move away from “raps stars, sports personalities and celebrities” as role models for young black men to successful professionals and business people.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 8 August 2007 page 1

Watchdog to review its restrictions on blindness drugs

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is to re-examine its proposal to restrict access to two drugs to combat blindness, following protests from patients’ and doctors’ groups.

In June, Nice proposed that Macugen should not be available on the NHS and that Lucentis should only be available to 20% of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration – a chief cause of blindness.

During its consultation, 13,000 comments were received and in response Nice said it would re-examine the cost effectiveness of both drugs.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 8 August 2007 page 6

Care officials ‘could not have prevented murder’

Social services and other agencies in Bury, Greater Manchester, could not have prevented a bullied boy from murdering a disabled pupil, a report said yesterday.

Michael Hamer, 14, who is serving 15 years in a secure unit, killed Joe Geeling, 11, who had cystic fibrosis, in March 2006.

The report said that though agencies should share information with each other, improved communication could not have prevented the murder.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 8 August 2007 page 10

Skilled migrant rules unfair to 49,000 in UK, say MPs

Parliament’s human rights watchdog has roundly criticised immigration rule changes that could leave up to 49,000 highly skilled migrants who have settled in Britain facing deportation.

The joint committee on human rights said the rules, introduced last November, should not have been applied retrospectively to migrants who had already settled in the UK, saying this was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 8 August 2007 page 15

Offender monitoring under threat as new IT programme crashes

A multimillion-pound government project to give greater protection to the public by managing offenders more closely is threatened with collapse because of financial problems.

Source:- The Times, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 2
Britain employs 600 Iraqis who might need asylum, not 20,000

Six hundred Iraqis would be eligible to settle in Britain if asylum regulations were relaxed for those now working for British forces.

Source:- The Times, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 4
Child protection officer exposed as paedophile is still on police payroll

A police force is continuing to pay a former child protection officer’s £35,000 salary despite his conviction for serious paedophile offences.

Source:- The Times, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 9
Eye drug cost rethink

The government’s drugs watchdog is reconsidering its draft guidance rejecting funding for drugs to treat the wet form if macular degeneration, the commonest cause of loss of sight in the elderly.

Source:- The Times, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 9
Escaped detainees named

Campsfield: Police released details about four escaped asylum-seekers yesterday as the hunt continued for 11 men who absconded from Campsfield House immigration removal centre on Saturday.

Source:- The Times, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 22
Rule change ‘cheats’ skilled migrant workers

Thousands of skilled immigrants face deportation after the government unlawfully and unfairly changed the rules allowing them into the country, a parliamentary committee says.

Source:- The Times, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 26
Malcolm and Barbara: flawed but virtuous

Review of Paul Watson’s documentary about Alzheimer’s.

Source:- The Independent, Thursday 9 August 2007, page 5
Scottish news

Outcry as survey puts rape blame on victims

Nearly a third of Scots think women can be partly to blame for being raped, according to a survey, which has sparked calls for a campaign to shift attitudes.

The poll, carried out for the Scottish Executive, shows one in 20 Scots think women are mostly or totally responsible if they are raped when drunk or after flirting.

Public attitudes to rape are being considered as part of a major reform of the way rape is treated within the justice system. Much of that is aimed at increasing the conviction rate for rape, which last year fell, for the first time, below 4% of those reported to police.

Source:- The Herald, Thursday 9 August

£3m bid to help children in care lead independent lives

A £3 million grant to help children in care go on to lead independent lives has been announced by ministers.

The money will help ensure such youngsters can make the change to living alone once they are no longer in care and help them find work or training.

The one-off grant will be distributed between 227 residential establishments, where it can be used to adapt the living accommodation to encourage youngsters to become more self-sufficient.

Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 9 August

Jail sentences for sex offenders now shorter

The average length of time served in prison by offenders convicted of sex crimes is at its lowest period for five years.

In 2001-2, sex offenders given custody were sentenced to an average of just over three years. By 2005-6, the average sentence fell to just over 2½ years.

Government research, highlighted yesterday by SNP MSP Christine Grahame, also found wide inconsistencies in the length of time sex offenders spend in jail for different offences.

Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 9 August

Welsh news

Website slammed over escorts ads

A government website which aims to help people to find jobs has been slammed after it emerged it was advertising work at escort agencies in Wales.

The Department for Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus website contains adverts for escorts with rates of around £100 and hour for the role.

Frances Broaderick, for charity Eaves, said that she was “shocked” by the adverts and escort roles could lead women into prostitution.

Source:- Western Mail, Thursday, 9 August

Judge calls for prison action

A judge has said a new prison needs to urgently be built in north Wales.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans, speaking to an audience at the Justice Wales tent at the Eisteddfod festival, said that the lack of such a facility made it difficult to reintegrate people back into society.

Source:- Western Mail, Thursday, 9 August


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