News round up: A parent’s guide to gang culture

A parent’s guide to gang culture

An advice booklet telling parents how to spot whether their children are involved in a gang and detailing the practical steps they can take is to be published today by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith.

It coincides with the launch of a victim support charity, the New Year Shooting Memorial Trust, set up by Beverley Thomas and Marcia Shakespeare, whose teenage daughters were killed in a drive-by shooting in Birmingham in 2003.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Gordon Brown launches £1bn plan to help homeowners

Gordon Brown will today launch the first phase of his autumn economic fightback when he unveils a package of measures to revive the ailing housing market targeted at first time buyers and vulnerable families.

Launching his housing plan with the communities secretary, Hazel Blears, Brown will announce a £1bn three-point plan which will involve:

· A new mortgage rescue scheme to help the most vulnerable families at risk from repossession.

· A new shared equity scheme aimed at helping first-time buyers, called Home Buy Direct, where government and developers would offer a loan of up to 30%.

· Bringing hundreds of millions of pounds forward to allow social landlords and councils to build more affordable homes.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

UN says sexual discrimination is rife in Britain

British women are under-represented in Parliament, paid less than men at work and increasingly being sent to prison for committing minor offences, a report on sex discrimination has found. The report, which was published by an influential committee of the United Nations, paints a damning picture of daily life for women living in the UK who continue to fight for a fairer deal in society.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Police find three young children alone in house

Three children have been taken into care after police officers found them hiding under a bed in the house where they had been living alone for two weeks (Ross Parry writes).

The mother of the children — two girls and a boy aged 11, 6 and 5 — was allegedly on honeymoon with a wealthy Austrian barrister. The police found them after receiving a tip-off from a neighbour.

Read more on this story in The Times

Charity Nacro in bid to run two new prisons

Nacro, which attempts to cut crime by finding practical work for offenders, has formed a consortium with the private security firm G4S, a drugs charity and a construction company, its chief executive Paul Cavadino has confirmed.

Together they are planning to build and run two 600-bed jails: Belmarsh West in south-east London and Maghull in Merseyside, both of which should open in 2010.

The bid marks the first time that a voluntary group has attempted to operate a prison.
Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph


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