Communities left ‘terrified’ by rise in shootings

September 30, 2006

The recent growth in gun crime on the streets of Britain’s inner-city areas is “terrifying”, police have admitted, following a spate of shootings in London and Manchester on Thursday night, which left three teenagers injured.

In Manchester, detectives denied they were losing control of the Moss Side area after a 16-year-old girl was shot in the street in an attack which some have linked to the murder of Jesse James, 15, earlier this month. At the same time in London, community leaders said the shooting of two black teenagers in a McDonald’s in Brixton had left people in a state of shock.

The shootings come in the wake of a series of violent incidents this week. In Nottingham, Nathan Williams, 17, was shot dead while cycling through the city in Tuesday, while four unconnected shootings in London over the past week have left four people seriously injured and one man, aged 22, dead.

According to the British Crime Survey, around 15 per cent of young men aged between 16 and 24 have experienced some kind of violent crime.

Independent Online Edition > Crime

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Two out of three ASBOs breached

September 30, 2006

THE Government’s drive to curb yobbish behaviour was dealt a serious blow yesterday as it emerged that rising numbers of ASBOs were being flouted.

Two out of three antisocial behaviour orders obtained by councils in areas where the Home Office pioneered the policy were being breached, it was revealed.

Two out of three ASBOs breached – Britain – Times Online


NHS criticised over mental health therapy

September 30, 2006

Health inspectors criticise the NHS in England in a report today for failure to provide talking therapy for the mentally ill, as an alternative to medication.

The Healthcare Commission said the government recommended counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy for all patients with schizophrenia or suspected schizophrenia. But the inspectors’ first national review of mental health services found only 50% were given access to it.

They also discovered that mental health patients living in the community cannot rely on getting NHS help in a crisis. Just over half are not provided with an out-of-hours number of a mental health worker who can be contacted in an emergency. Anna Walker, the commission’s chief executive, said: “For care in the community to work for the mentally ill more access is needed to talking therapies and out-of hours crisis care.”

SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Social care | NHS criticised over mental health therapy


September set for weather record

September 30, 2006

This month is set to be the hottest September on record across the UK, the Met Office has said.

The average figure for the month has been 15.4C (59.7F), which is 3.1C (5.6F) above the long-term average.

Weather forecasters have put the high temperatures down to warm winds and mild nights but warn the good conditions are about to break.

The previous record high for September had been 14.7C (58.5F), which was set in 1949.

BBC NEWS | UK | September set for weather record


Prison damned as ‘vermin-ridden’

September 28, 2006

London’s busiest jail is “overrun with cockroaches” and has an “unusually high” number of assault allegations against staff, a report has said.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, published her findings into Pentonville Prison following an unannounced inspection in June.

Ms Owers also accused the jail of “institutional disrespect” of inmates.

BBC NEWS | England | London | Prison damned as ‘vermin-ridden’


UK still borrows most in Europe

September 27, 2006

People in the UK are still borrowing more money than citizens of any other European country, a report has found.

According to business research firm Datamonitor fresh unsecured lending in the UK totalled £316bn euros in 2005.

That means the UK accounted for more than a third of all new non-mortgage borrowing in Europe last year.

BBC NEWS | Business | UK still borrows most in Europe


Retirement on hold for one in seven homeowners

September 25, 2006

Around one in seven homeowners will be forced to delay retirement so they earn enough to meet their mortgage repayments.

New research shows that 14 per cent of mortgage borrowers anticipate that they will still be paying off the loan when they are over 65.

More than 20 per cent say they will not make their final payment until they are aged between 60 and 65.

But even those who have paid off their mortgage may be forced to work into old age. More than 40 per cent of homeowners say paying their monthly mortgage bills prevents them from saving for their retirement.

Younger homeowners are also being hindered by the financial strain of meeting their mortgage payments, according to The One Account, the mortgage lender. Nearly 20 per cent of 25 to 29 year olds said the financial pressure of paying their home loan was forcing them to put their plans for a family on hold.

Retirement on hold for one in seven homeowners – Money – Times Online