Daily News Summary

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Main Stories

A&E closures put lives at risk
A study has found that the chance of a seriously ill patient dying, increases with every kilometre they have to travel in an ambulance. The Conservatives have called for a moratorium on A&E closures. Gdn1, Mail8, DT1. Meanwhile, the DT5 reports - `5,000 new nurses left jobless after squeeze on budgets'.

Dangerous offenders, early release and prison crisis
The Gdn4 reports that a high court judge has given a warning of `truly disastrous' consequences for public safety due to legal difficulties over indeterminate sentencing and the inability of prisons to provide facilities for `dangerous offenders'. He said `lifers will have to be released whether or not they remain a risk to the public'. `Cameron accused of stoking fear of crime with "anarchy" claim' - David Blunkett. Cameron should stop playing to people's fears, Ind4. The Sun8,9 runs a double page spread - `Lawless thugs terrorise our streets'. `Back families to beat anarchy, says Cameron', DT10. Richard Garside said 'If one wants to talk about anarchy, and there are 64,000 knife related robberies in a population of 50 million one needs to keep things in proportion', Ind4.

All papers report on the release of the man responsible for the death of headteacher Philip Lawrence, whose wife has been speaking out against a decision to allow him to stay in the UK.

Eye in the sky
Remote control spy drones were used to monitor crowds at the V festival last weekend. They did not lead to any arrests, but police claim they deterred thieves. The company that distributes the technology is also developing a `smart water' spray capability - where a liquid can be squirted onto a suspect and then later the police can use DNA in the substance to identify them. Noel Sharkey of Sheffield University said `how long will it be before someone gets Tasered from the air for dropping litter or even relieving themselves down an alleyway under the cover of night?'. Gdn6. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats will launch an attack on `Brown's "surveillance society"' at next month's party conference, Ind8.

Other Stories

`Straw backs mentors plan for youths'
Continuation of yesterday's story involving Trevor Phillips who is drawing together senior figures to promote plans to help inner city black youths `avoid the temptations of crime with successful black mentors, including army officers'. Jack Straw says that more should be done to divert people from a culture of violence and hopelessness. Gdn12

UK cancer survival rate lags behind most of Europe
Findings in Lancet Oncology has revealed that cancer survival rates in the UK are trailing behind much of the continent, despite have received significantly more funding. Gdn12, Mail10, DT4

`Science world riven by man on a mission to make research pay'
Scientists have voiced concerns about US style business oriented agendas taking clinical research in the wrong direction. Medical Research Council scientists have claimed that the Head of the Council has too narrow a focus on business opportunities at the expense of basic research. Times11

Editorial, letters, comment

Anarchy in the UK?
The Ind26 leader says that Cameron's claim that anarchy rules, `smacks of desperation'. It argues that fear is amplified by sensational reporting, crime overall has been falling, the perceived threat posed by teenagers is hardly new, there is a paucity of youth centres and Asbos risk criminalizing a generation.

`All the billions spent to curb drug use have been in vain'
David Rowntree (Blur's drummer) argues that most addicts aren't interested in treatment because they don't believe they have a problem. He says that whilst treatment facilities are important, more should be done to reduce the harm caused by addiction. In 2008, he's hoping for a strategy based on research, education and harm reduction. `Some evidence suggests that the proportion of people who may be at risk of becoming dependant could be as high as one in six. If so, taking drugs is really like Russian roulette. Most people will get away with it, but for some it will mean their death.' Gdn28. Meanwhile, Pete Doherty is arrested for possession of drugs. Again. Ind12

Targeting gangs
Series of letters in the Gdn31. One author wonders what kind of conversation will take place between army officers and young black youf - `Don't waste your time shooting each other with handguns when you can have a state of the art army issue machine gun - or maybe a small nuclear weapon? And why on earth get yourself nicked when you can join the army and kill people with impunity?'. Sun37 letters, `Yob culture is parents' fault'.

`For the Kids' sake, listen to Batman'
Libby Purves urges the government to support organisations such as Kids Company, run by Camilla Batmanghelidjh. Times17

`What use is human rights without responsibility?'
Philip Johnston, DT2 on the Human Rights Act and the man who killed Philip Lawrence.

Prostitution and drugs
Letter from Dr Helen Self says that if drugs amongst street workers is a serious problem then the government should stump up the cash. `This should not be done in a coercive way, with threats of imprisonment, since this only leads to reoffending and suicide', she says. Ind28

`Guantanamo in Germany'
Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen highlight the targeting of a sociologist in Germany under terror laws and warn that `persecution seems to have taken the place of prosecution'. Gdn28

These newspaper summaries are drawn up by staff at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. They are not intended to be comprehensive, or wholly uniform in their approach. Instead, they reflect our individual and collective perspectives on the day's coverage, including our judgements in terms of relevance to the Centre's concerns. On occasion, they also reflect the inevitable time constraints within which we work.

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