Archive for January, 2012


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Street-level crime and ASB in December 2011

Grouped by crime types. To protect privacy, individual addresses are not pinpointed on the map. Crimes are mapped to an anonymous point on or near the road where they occurred.

All crime and ASB 545
To show crimes of a specific type click on the links below. To view details of individual crimes click the markers on the map.
Burglary 16
Anti-social behaviour 135
Robbery 3
Vehicle crime 9
Violent crime 74
Public Disorder and Weapons 10
Shoplifting 35
Criminal damage and Arson 29
Other Theft 37
Drugs 12
Other crime 185

Street-level crime and ASB in December 2011

Grouped by street

Street name Total

There have been no crimes reported in this area

Neighbourhood crimes and ASB for Abbey

The level of crime and ASB in this neighbourhood is LEVEL (How was this calculated?) compared with the rest of England and Wales

Discuss this at your next neighbourhood policing meeting

Crimes and ASB in this neighbourhood

Month Total Rate*

* number of crimes per 1,000 people

Sorry, there is no crime data available for this area.

28
343
15
11
18
1
12
12
46
8
15
23
8
1
2
2

Map DataMap data ©2012 Google – Terms of Use

Map Data
Close
Map data ©2012 Google
1 km
2000 ft

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Pedophile Gary Glitter could make  hundreds of thousands from Super Bowl song royalties, report says

  • Gary Glitter Jail

    2006: Gary Glitter, former British rock singer, is led into court,  Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. (AP)

Disgraced rocker and convicted child molester Gary  Glitter is set to make hundreds of thousands of dollars when his hit song “Rock  and Roll Part II” is played at the Super  Bowl, a new report claims.

According to a the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Glitter’s 1972 hit, known as the “Hey Song,” has been adopted by the New  England Patriots as a theme song when a touchdown is scored.

When the Patriots face off against the New York  Giants on Feb. 5, that could spell a big payday for Glitter, who was convicted  in 1999 of possession of child pornography and in 2006 of child sex abuse.

In 2006, the NFL declared that they did not want  teams to play Glitter’s version of the song. But that has not stopped teams from  using a cover version of the song by other bands, most notably by the Tube Tops  in 2000.

As a result, Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd,  is still entitled to royalties from the song , the Mail reports.

Swimming Pool Branded “Sick and Eerie by Funeral Directors and Residents Opens it’s Doors in Redditch Today

Picture simonpreston31.wordpress.com

the £6.5 million Abbey Stadium is scheduled to open it’s new pool Today (Monday January 30th 2012)

The Abbey Stadium will have reduced opening hours during its first week and is set to open full time from Monday, February 6th

Redditch Council’s refuse and recycling vehicles (Bin Lorries/Garbage Trucks) are now advertising the opening of the Abbey Stadium

REDDITCH residents are being encouraged to watch their waist and their waste in a promotional drive to coincide with February’s reopening of Abbey Stadium after a £6.5m refit.

Redditch Council’s refuse and recycling vehicles are now sporting brand new campaign artwork encouraging residents to make good use of Redditch’s redeveloped main sports and leisure venue, with the slogan “Watch your waist! Leap into Springs fitness now at the NEW Abbey Stadium”.

Council portfolio holder for leisure, Councillor Derek Taylor, said: “Residents will love the excellent new facilities at the Abbey Stadium and swimming pool, and what better way to promote them than by using our own highly visible vehicles that will be seen all round the borough as they collect the recycling.

“Why not take this opportunity to try something new and spring into a more active lifestyle.”

Springs fitness at the new Abbey Stadium can cater for all fitness needs. For more details about facilities and membership, call 01527 60206 or e-mail springs@redditchbc.gov.uk.

THE BACKGROUND BEHIND THE PLANS

A controversial plan to re-use energy generated by a crematorium incinerator to heat a public swimming pool has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Members of Redditch Borough Council hope the scheme to divert heat from waste gases from the crematorium into a nearby leisure centre will save the authority more than £14,000 a year.

When the plans were first announced last month they were attacked by a local funeral directors as ‘strange and eerie’ and ‘a bit sick’.

Eerie: Redditch Council has given the go ahead for plans to heat a public swimming pool in by plugging it into a crematorium
Eerie: Redditch Council has given the go ahead for plans to heat a public swimming pool  by plugging it into a crematorium

But work on the link between the Worcestershire town’s crematorium and the nearby Abbey Leisure Centre, which is being redeveloped, will now begin in the summer.

It will use the heat from the incinerators, which can reach 800C (1,472F), rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere.

After the full council’s decision last night, leader Carole Gandy, acknowledged that the cremation process was a sensitive matter but stressed that the proposals had widespread support.

Council leader Carole Gandy: 'It will make absolutely no difference to the people using the crematorium'
Council leader Carole Gandy: ‘It will make absolutely no difference to the people using the crematorium’

The councillor said: ‘I am pleased to say that since news of the proposals broke and following consultation we undertook in Redditch, about 80 to 90 per cent of the responses received by email, letter, phone calls and messages posted online, have been in favour of the idea.

‘Many respondents have in fact praised the council for being so innovative and for being willing to discuss the idea openly.’

Cllr Gandy added: ‘Throughout we have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden.

‘We already support our residents to insulate their homes and be energy efficient, so it seemed only right for us to explore this re-use of energy, on top of introducing solar panels and electric vehicles and other climate change measures we are currently putting into practice.’

The scheme has previously been criticised by the Unison trade union, which described the Conservative-run council’s cost-saving proposals as ‘insulting and insensitive’.

Despite the council’s talk of positive feedback, when the plans were first announced last month there was criticism from the cremation trade.

Simon Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, said: ‘I don’t know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one.

‘I think it’s a bit strange and eerie. I’m not comfortable with it at all and I think trying to save money due to the death of someone’s family member or friend is a bit sick.

Swimming pool: Abbey Stadium Sports Centre
Swimming pool: Abbey Stadium Sports Centre

‘I think it will cause uproar and may even put people off using the facilities which would lose the council money. It just doesn’t feel right.’

There has been opposition from residents in Redditch too. Simon Preston, a 32-year-old electrician from Redditch, said, ‘I think it’s disgusting, using burning bodies to heat a pool.

‘I don’t think anyone will use it and it will be closed down in 12 months if that’s the case.

‘The council says they have 90 per cent of people in favour of it but I don’t know who they have talked to because everyone I speak to about says they won’t use the pool.

‘The plans were leaked about two weeks ago and if that hadn’t happened I don’t think they would even have put it out for public consultation, and what “full” consultation can they have taken in that time?’

10 Creepiest Abandoned Morgues on Earth

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-morgues-attempt-2?image=12

I thought this was the job of the Police?

Hate Crime Reporting Form

Guidance Notes

Hate Crime will not be tolerated in any form and the reporting of will be treated sensitively. Any information given will only be shared with agencies that need to know. This Hate Incident reporting form has been designed to be completed by any person who feels they have been a victim or a witness of a Hate Incident.

The form also allows people to report any incident that they know about but may not have witnessed themselves. This is known as third party reporting. The form is also designed for people in the work environment to report any Hate Incident which they have suffered.

The form is designed to allow people to provide reports anonymously, however if contact details are provided the person reporting may be able to receive additional support from other agencies who may be able to take action on their behalf.

What is a Hate Incident?

A Hate Incident is motivated by a person’s hatred of other people because of their actual or perceived.

  • Race, Colour, Ethnic Origin, Nationality or National Origins
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender or Gender Identity
  • Disability
  • Age

In 1999 a nationally recognised definition of a racist incident was developed and adopted as a result of the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. It is this definition that guides our approach to recording, investigating and acting on all incidents motivated by Hate.

Therefore, a Hate Incident is defined as:

“Any incident, which may or may not be a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate”

Hate Incidents can take many forms including:

  • Physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
  • Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
  • Verbal abuse or insult – offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes and bullying at school or in the workplace

A victim of a Hate Incident does not have to be a member of a minority group or someone who is generally considered to be ‘vulnerable’. For example, the friend of a minority ethnic person, lesbian or refugee may be victimised because of their association.

Completing the Form

When completing the form please provide as much detail as possible.

Section A – Asks for details of the incident(s) including the type of incident, when and where it happened and whether the person reporting is the victim, a witness or a third party. It is important that we know if these incidents have happened before and also if they have been reported to any other agency.

When providing a description of the incident please include how the incident made the person reporting it feel and expand on why they feel this hate incident has happened. For example was it motivated by any issues relating to their religion and if so, is the victim Christian, Muslim, Sikh or Hindu. In addition please include details of whether any other family members have been affected by either this incident or a similar incident.

Section B – Asks for details about the victim. This information will enable us to record and deal with incidents in the most appropriate way. If the person reporting is a witness or third party they should be asked to provide as many details as they can about the victim of the incidents.

Section C – Asks for details about the perpetrators. It is important that we gather as much information as possible about the people who may be carrying out these incidents in order to identify patterns in behaviour and prevent further incidents. Names, addresses, descriptions or even nicknames could provide links to other incidents and all information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Section D – Asks for the person reporting the incident’s contact details and authorisation to share any personal information provided. Reports can be provided anonymously however we would like people to give their details so that we can provide them with additional help and support.

The Hate Incident reporting scheme is operated by a multi-agency panel. Partners include the local Borough Council, West Mercia Police, Local Housing Associations, Victim support. This multi-agency approach means that all relevant agencies will work together to offer professional support, take effective action to stop harassment and abuse and with the victim’s consent prosecute the perpetrator. If the person reporting provides authorisation for details of the incident to be disclosed, the information will be shared with appropriate agencies in order to identify what action can be taken and what additional support can be offered. The person reporting will be kept informed and any proposed action will only take place with their knowledge and agreement. If the person reporting chooses not to provide authorisation for the incident details to be disclosed then the information provided will be used for monitoring purposes only. If an incident is reported when there is immediate danger to a victim and authorisation isn’t given the details WILL have to be referred on to the police.

In some circumstances if the victim is a child (under 18 years old), there may be a duty of care to disclose certain information. In these circumstances the victim

 Bromsgrove district Council provided Drama training, including dealing with race equality scenarios to all staff for Equality and Diversity see link below

http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/cms/PDF/Review%20of%20the%20Inclusive%20Equalities%20Scheme%20-%20December%202009.pdf

http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/cms/pdf/LGBT%20History%20Month%20event%2018-2%202011.pdf

LGB&T History Month 2012

Full listings of programme of events for the District of Bromsgrove and the Borough of Redditch February 2012

This page gives all the latest information about what is going on in Bromsgrove and Redditch during February 2012 in recognition and celebration of LGB&T History Month 2012. New events and any changes to the programme will appear here. All content on this page will be family friendly and links to other information will be limited strictly to family friendly websites and events.

For the month of February, the Gay Birmingham Remembered exhibition will be on show at various locations in Bromsgrove and Redditch. You can download the details here. For more information about the Gay Birmingham Remembered project click on this link here http://gaybirminghamremembered.co.uk/

The programme for the month is shown below. You can download the brochure here. Please note that the date of Gay Night at Fever, Redditch (18s and over only) has been changed to Sunday 19th February (not 12th February).

  • 1st February – official launch at Bromsgrove Library of the Bromsgrove and Redditch LGB&T History Month programme for 2012 and the Gay Birmingham Remembered exhibition.Opening by Councillor Mrs C Spencer, Civic Head of Bromsgrove District Council followed by talk and presentation by David Viney, Birmingham LGBT Community Trust. Ticket entry only. The launch event is now full.
  • 3rd February – 4 Poofs and a Piano, 8.00 pm at Artrix, Bromsgrove. Tickets £17.50.
  • 8th February – film Tomboy (U) 7.30 pm at Artrix, Bromsgrove. Normal film ticket prices apply.
  • 11th February – film Weekend (18) 7.30 pm at Artrix, Bromsgrove (in the studio). Normal film ticket prices apply.
  • 14thFebruary – family and social event at Artrix Bromsgrove, doors open at 6.00 pm.
    • Gay Birmingham Remembered exhibition, displays and information from LGB&T History Month partners.
    • Free buffet and social event with children’s entertainer, Magic Russ, from 6.15 pm to 7.15 pm.
    • Film The Kids Are All Right (15) at 7.30 pm. Normal film ticket prices apply. As usual we recommend that people buy their film tickets in advance to avoid queuing at the box office before the start of the film.
    • Free prize draw (prizes to be announced at the event) 9.30 pm.
    • Close 10.00 pm.
  • 17th February – film We Were Here (15) at Artrix, Bromsgrove (in the studio). Normal film ticket prices apply.
  • 19th February – Gay Night at Fever, Redditch (18s and over only) from 9.30 pm onwards. For more information see http://www.feverredditch.com/
  • 22nd February – Pink Sou’westers (South Birmingham LGBT group) is meeting in Rubery where they will be going to the ten pin bowling alley, Great Park at 7.00 pm followed by a meal at a local Italian restaurant (booking essential). For further details contact them on swbgroup@blueyonder.co.uk or phone 07976 274271 or 07855 624649.
  • 25th February – Simon Callow reads excerpts from his exciting new biography “Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World” at 3.00 pm, Artrix Bromsgrove. Tickets £15.00 (nearly sold out)

For further information about LGB&T History Month and events elsewhere in the country and the West Midlands see http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/event-calendar/

For full details of events at Artrix, Bromsgrove see http://www.artrix.co.uk/

This programme of events has been organised by the recently formed LGB&T History Month Steering Group for Bromsgrove and Redditch. This is not a formal group, just a partnership between public authorities in Worcestershire, community groups and individuals particularly in Bromsgrove and Redditch. Members of the Steering Group will be attending all the events taking place in Bromsgrove and Redditch during February 2012 and will be available to contact during those events.

The Steering Group is made up of the following partners :-

  • Bromsgrove District Council
  • Redditch Borough Council
  • Bromsgrove District and Redditch Borough joint Hate Crime Partnership
  • Artrix, Bromsgrove
  • Bromsgrove and Redditch Libraries
  • Barnardos, Bromsgrove
  • St.Basils, Bromsgrove
  • Core Assets and F.A.B. (Families Around Bromsgrove)
  • New Road Parents Support Group, Bromsgrove
  • The Gender Trust (now based in Worcestershire)
  • Worcestershire Health and Care Trust (Sexual Health)
  • NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters and Women Teachers)
  • LGBT Unison
  • Rainbow Globe, Worcestershire
  • Rainbow Picnics, Worcestershire
  • Victim Support, Worcestershire
  • HMP Hewell
  • Bromsgrove District Housing Trust
  • Fever, Redditch

We would like to acknowledge the following partners for their support and contributions to the 2012 LGB&T History Month programme for Bromsgrove and Redditch :-

  • Fever, Redditch
  • Worcestershire County Council, Libraries Service
  • Bird and Co and Core Assets, Bromsgrove for designing and printing the 2012 leaflet
  • Artrix Bromsgrove for providing the venue for the headline event on 14th February
  • NASUWT for supporting advertising for the 2012 programme

We can now anounce that there will be a series of Rainbow Picnics in Worcestershire in June 2012. You can download the poster with the details here.

For further information about Equality and Diversity events and initiatives contact Bromsgrove District Council on 01527 881288 or send your enquiry to equalities@bromsgrove.gov.uk

Hate Crime Reporting Form

Guidance Notes

Hate Crime will not be tolerated in any form and the reporting of will be treated sensitively. Any information given will only be shared with agencies that need to know. This Hate Incident reporting form has been designed to be completed by any person who feels they have been a victim or a witness of a Hate Incident.

The form also allows people to report any incident that they know about but may not have witnessed themselves. This is known as third party reporting. The form is also designed for people in the work environment to report any Hate Incident which they have suffered.

The form is designed to allow people to provide reports anonymously, however if contact details are provided the person reporting may be able to receive additional support from other agencies who may be able to take action on their behalf.

What is a Hate Incident?

A Hate Incident is motivated by a person’s hatred of other people because of their actual or perceived.

  • Race, Colour, Ethnic Origin, Nationality or National Origins
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender or Gender Identity
  • Disability
  • Age

In 1999 a nationally recognised definition of a racist incident was developed and adopted as a result of the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. It is this definition that guides our approach to recording, investigating and acting on all incidents motivated by Hate.

Therefore, a Hate Incident is defined as:

“Any incident, which may or may not be a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate”

Hate Incidents can take many forms including:

  • Physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
  • Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
  • Verbal abuse or insult – offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes and bullying at school or in the workplace

A victim of a Hate Incident does not have to be a member of a minority group or someone who is generally considered to be ‘vulnerable’. For example, the friend of a minority ethnic person, lesbian or refugee may be victimised because of their association.

Completing the Form

When completing the form please provide as much detail as possible.

Section A – Asks for details of the incident(s) including the type of incident, when and where it happened and whether the person reporting is the victim, a witness or a third party. It is important that we know if these incidents have happened before and also if they have been reported to any other agency.

When providing a description of the incident please include how the incident made the person reporting it feel and expand on why they feel this hate incident has happened. For example was it motivated by any issues relating to their religion and if so, is the victim Christian, Muslim, Sikh or Hindu. In addition please include details of whether any other family members have been affected by either this incident or a similar incident.

Section B – Asks for details about the victim. This information will enable us to record and deal with incidents in the most appropriate way. If the person reporting is a witness or third party they should be asked to provide as many details as they can about the victim of the incidents.

Section C – Asks for details about the perpetrators. It is important that we gather as much information as possible about the people who may be carrying out these incidents in order to identify patterns in behaviour and prevent further incidents. Names, addresses, descriptions or even nicknames could provide links to other incidents and all information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Section D – Asks for the person reporting the incident’s contact details and authorisation to share any personal information provided. Reports can be provided anonymously however we would like people to give their details so that we can provide them with additional help and support.

The Hate Incident reporting scheme is operated by a multi-agency panel. Partners include the local Borough Council, West Mercia Police, Local Housing Associations, Victim support. This multi-agency approach means that all relevant agencies will work together to offer professional support, take effective action to stop harassment and abuse and with the victim’s consent prosecute the perpetrator. If the person reporting provides authorisation for details of the incident to be disclosed, the information will be shared with appropriate agencies in order to identify what action can be taken and what additional support can be offered. The person reporting will be kept informed and any proposed action will only take place with their knowledge and agreement. If the person reporting chooses not to provide authorisation for the incident details to be disclosed then the information provided will be used for monitoring purposes only. If an incident is reported when there is immediate danger to a victim and authorisation isn’t given the details WILL have to be referred on to the police.

In some circumstances if the victim is a child (under 18 years old), there may be a duty of care to disclose certain information. In these circumstances the victim

UPDATE

This is an update on the police investigation into the unexplained death of an 18 month-old boy in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent yesterday.
 Tragically, examinations have revealed that the cause of death was head injury.
 Detectives are now treating the incident as an unlawful killing.
A 32-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent has this evening been charged with murder.
 He has been remanded in custody and will appear before Stoke-on-Trent Magistrates on Monday
morning.
The 29-year-old woman has been released without charge and will receive support from specially trained officers.
Thank you to all who have posted messages of sympathy. We will ensure that these are passed on.
Arrests made in baby death

Two people have been arrested in connection with the sudden death of an  18-month-old boy, police said.

Paramedics took the toddler from a house in Woodgate Street, Meir, Staffs, to  the University Hospital of North Staffordshire yesterday morning but he could  not be saved.

A spokeswoman for Staffordshire Police said the boy’s death is being treated  as unexplained.

She added: “Police have arrested a 32-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman,  both from the Stoke-on-Trent area, in connection with this incident.

“They are currently being questioned by detectives.”

The identification of the youngster has not yet been released and a post  mortem examination is to be carried out to establish the cause of death.

Officers are carrying out house-to-house inquiries and investigations at the  scene, the spokeswoman added.

Anyone with any information about the incident is being asked to call the  force on 101.

West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed it was called to the Woodgate  Street property just after 10.05am.

A community first responder, a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew  attended before the boy was taken to hospital.

Bored of the same old box of chocolates and tired roses? Then give your loved one something different this Valentine’s Day

Would you want a Fruit Tree as a Valentine’s gift?

County Council sells Valentine’s Trees

Have you had enough of giving the special person in your life the same old presents on Valentine’s Day? Then this year why not buy them a Fruit Tree and help protect Worcestershire’s dwindling orchards?

It’s thought that around 85 per cent of Worcestershire’s famous orchards have been lost over the last 50 years. To tackle this problem Worcestershire County Council’s Countryside Service team manage the Fruit Trees scheme that offers residents the chance to purchase Apple, Pear and Plum trees.

So, whereas flowers wilt and end up in the bin a fruit tree will blossom for many years to come and with spring just around the corner it’s the perfect time to get involved.

There are 5 varieties of apple tree’s available including the popular Worcester Pearmain, Pitmaston Russett, Hope Cottage Seedling, Edward VII and Colwall Quoining all priced at £14.00 each. 2 plum varieties which are the ever so popular Yellow and Purple Pershore at £15.50 each. Pear trees this year are The famous Worcester Black Pear and Pitmaston Duchess priced at £16.25 each.  Trees are available until 16th March 2012.

To purchase a tree simply visit http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/environment-and-planning/countryside/countryside-service-news.aspx, email communitygreenspace@worcestershire.gov.uk or call the Worcestershire Hub on 01905 766493. Anyone with any questions at all about fruit trees can speak with one of the Community Greenspace Team by calling the Worcestershire Hub.

Joanne Taylor, County Council Community Greenspace Officer, said: “There’ll be thousands of people across Worcestershire thinking about what to get for that special person in their lives with Valentine’s Day fast approaching. Buying someone a fruit tree will mean this year’s gift will continue to grow and help protect our heritage rather than ending up in the bin after a few days.

“This time of the year is perfect for planting so why not give something a little bit different?”

All the trees are specially grown on behalf of the County Council by Walcot Organic Nursery, in Drakes Broughton.

 

Worcester County Council are barking up the wrong Tree with this.

I think if the Council aimed this idea at children by growing a tree it might get them to eat more fruit as they could water it and watch it grow.

But the idea of giving a fruit Tree as a Valentine’s gift is laughable and will back fire on them. It will also leave the person giving the gift in the dog house.

Escaped prisoner back in custody

A prisoner who went on the run after being sprung from the clutches of prison officers as they escorted him to hospital has been arrested, police have said.

Andrew Farndon, 26, has been at the centre of a nationwide manhunt since an armed accomplice helped him escape custody outside West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Wednesday evening.

Suffolk Police confirmed the prisoner, who is serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection, was in custody after being detained by officers from another force area. The force did not reveal where he was discovered.

A police spokesman said: “In relation to the investigation into the escape of Andrew Farndon from Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday evening, Suffolk Constabulary can confirm that Farndon has been detained by police and is in custody in another force area.”

Farndon’s arrest came as his mother made a public appeal urging him to contact police. Asking her son to hand himself in on Sky News, Kate Farndon said: “Hi Andy love, it’s mum. I would like to know that you’re ok, I would like to know how your wound is, if it’s serious, if you need medical attention, but most of all sweetheart, I would like you to hand yourself in.”

It is understood Farndon suffered a knife wound at Highpoint prison in Stradishall, near Newmarket, before being taken to the West Suffolk Hospital’s Accident & Emergency (A&E) department in a taxi accompanied by two guards at 6.50pm on Wednesday evening.

On arrival, a waiting gunman confronted the male and female prison officials and threatened them with his weapon, before fleeing with Farndon across the car park.

His escape was the second in just a week, after an “extremely dangerous” category A prisoner, murder suspect John Anslow, was sprung from a prison van after it left Hewell Prison in Worcestershire. He remains at large.

Farndon previously escaped by leaping from the dock at Coventry Crown Court in 2007, but was sentenced in his absence to an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) and told he must serve at least two years before being considered for parole.

He was found guilty of grievous bodily harm after a hammer attack that left his victim with a fractured skull, but officials only classed him as a category C prisoner – meaning he was deemed unlikely to make a determined escape attempt.

Fines threat for credit text messages

Firms face raids and fines of up to £500,000 for sending unsolicited text messages about credit or compensation.

Good article by Catherine Burns Business reporter, BBC News

Text message
Various text messages are sent out trying to encourage people to take out loans

Firms face raids and fines of up to £500,000 for sending unsolicited text messages about credit or compensation.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said tackling the issue was a “high priority”.

Typical messages claim recipients are entitled to money, promise to write off debts or find a loan, or suggest accident compensation can be claimed.

But in many cases, the products they are selling can actually make people financially worse off.

The ICO said it was investigating several cases at the moment, and had identified certain companies to target.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) charity is running a campaign against unsolicited texts, and believes the messages cynically target vulnerable people.

Late-night texts

Sarah Stocks, from Plymouth, said she started to be bombarded by texts after enquiring online about applying for a loan. She decided not to go ahead with the application, but by then, her contact details were already being used.

“I got [texts] all the time, sometimes four or five a day. You know, you’re lying in bed reading, about to switch off the light, and you get a text at 10.30pm. But when you pick it up it says ‘Do you want a loan for £5,000?’,” she saiOur recent survey reveals that half the population has received this type of spam texts, causing people alarm and distress

“It is just absolute harassment. I think they have sold my details on to more companies.”

Many of these texts can be from legitimate companies, and come after a box is ticked, or terms and conditions are agreed to that allow the company to get in touch.

But others are randomly generated, and are against the law if no consent has been given to allow such messages to be sent.

These companies do not know anything about the recipient or their finances, or even if the phone number is real. If a reply is sent, the number becomes more valuable because the sender knows it is genuine.

Christmas concerns

The CCCS is highlighting this issue on social networking site Twitter. It is asking people to tweet every time they get an unwanted spam text.

Matt Hartley, who is helping to run the campaign, said one person received 90 messages from debt and loan companies on Christmas Day

Tips on dealing with unsolicited texts

  • Be careful when giving out a mobile number
  • When shopping online, ensure the trader does not contact you by text
  • Check the privacy policy when buying online
  • Report spam texts to the mobile network
  • Inform the Information Commissioner of spam texts

 

“These companies are really preying on financially vulnerable consumers. In many cases they are offering services that could make their situations much worse. It is a really big problem,” he said.

Many of the texts were from fee-charging debt management companies, even though charities would help people sort out their finances for free, he said.

Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, said the issue had been elevated to a “high priority”.

“Our recent survey reveals that half the population has received this type of spam texts, causing people alarm and distress. I am particularly worried about vulnerable people in the community, that they are being targeted,” he said.

It can be difficult to pin down who is sending these texts, because many come from unregistered pay-as-you-go SIM cards.

But he said the ICO had made progress and was investigating the possibility that some cases were linked to organised crime.

“We have been able to identify where these text messages have been sent from. And that is really important to us because we have been able to focus our activities around particular premises,” he said.

“The next stage of our investigation is to execute search warrants, and we have got several premises identified that we are going to target.”

‘Helpless’

After more than a year of constant texts, Sarah Stocks has finally got some peace – by changing her mobile number.

“I begrudge having to do that, but I did not know what else to do. I feel really annoyed, angry at times, quite helpless,” she said.

The ICO said the best way to prevent companies sending spam messages was to be very careful about giving out a mobile number.

It suggests that anyone buying something online should check the privacy policy carefully, and tell companies not to contact them by text.

But if it is too late for that, people already receiving them can take certain steps.

Mr Hartley, from the CCCS, said: “Don’t reply. Instead, report it to your mobile network. You can also complain to the Information Commissioner, online, by e-mail or over the phone.”

Former England and Aston Villa footballer Lee Hendrie has been declared bankrupt.

lee hendrie Image 2

A petition for bankruptcy was brought against the midfielder by HM Revenue and Customs on December 19, the High Court was told.

The 34-year-old, who did not attend the hearing in central London, has not paid back any of his debts.

Mrs Registrar Derrett heard that there had been no contact from Hendrie, no letters had been returned and no payments made.

She said she was making the bankruptcy order “in the absence of any contact”.

Hendrie, who now has also played for Sheffield United, Leicester and Blackpool and is now signed with Kidderminster Harriers, reportedly earned £24,000 a week at the height of his career.

The former Premier League player, who won his only England cap in 1998, has homes in Solihull, West Midlands, and Rowington, Warwickshire. He was signed for Bandung FC in Indonesia last year on a two-year contract but returned before the end of 2011.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/insmanual/ins11437.htm

http://www.courtserve.net/court-lists/case-list-archive/case-list-archive.htm