FOI Friday: Rammed trains, enforced redundancies at councils and a gun licence for a 12-year-old

1. Reasons why teachers are disciplined

The Bradford Telegraph and Argus reports on the number of teachers who faced disciplinary action last year, 69 in total. The local council also reported that the allegations included theft, child protection issues, gross misconduct and drugs misuse. (Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

2. Restorative justice for children

Remember the restorative justice schemed launched by the government a while back? The Derby Telegraph reports on the results, or rather the numbers involved, and the ages of those involved. A boy of 4 was among 166 under 10s – and it was used to sort out more than 7,000 crimes. (Source: Derby Telegraph)

3. Most overcrowded trains

I blogged the other week about the farcical situation at the Department for Transport, which won’t release details on overcrowded trains in case they upset (!) the train operating companies, who then wouldn’t give the department the numbers it needs to work out the new franchises. Really. Anyway, the data they would release – the most overcrowded services into London from two years ago, has been put to good use by the Reading Post, which also put a reporter on one of the trains to see what life was like two years on. A public interest case waiting to happen, I think. (Source: Reading Post)

4. Compulsory redundancies

Many councils are now at the point where they know how many volunteers they have had for redundancies as part of the government’s cuts. The Express and Star in Wolverhampton was able to predict compulsory redundancies in Walsall thanks to FOI, after it disclosed the number of volunteers they had received. (Source: Express and Star, Wolverhampton).

5. Gun licence for a 12-year-old

The Northern Echo reports on an FOI request which revealed that a 12-year-old had been issued a gun licence by police. (Source: Northern Echo).

6. See the diaries

A lot of FOI requests are all about getting data, but a good example, mentioned in passing in the East London Advertiser, makes reference to using FOI to get a copy of the Mayor’s diary. Could be lots of interesting stuff in there (Source: East London Advertiser)

7. Fined for riding a bike on the pavement

I always thought this offence was a myth invented by grumpy old men who also spent some of their time popping footballs which landed in their back garden, but apparently not. The Teesside Gazette reports on an FOI by a ‘keen cyclist’ locally who learnt more than 60 people had been fined for cycling on the pavement. (Source: Teesside Evening Gazette)

8. Gun crime

How widespread is gun ownership? Judging by this story in the North West Evening Mail, even in somewhere like Cumbria, there are lots of guns knocking around. Using FOI data, the paper reported on 600 guns being taken off the streets in three years. Source: (North West Evening Mail).

9. Cannabis farm raids

Sticking with the ‘how big are XXXX crimes’ the BBC in the East Midlands used FOI to find out how many cannabis farms had been raided in the area: 900 in recent years. (Source: BBC)

10. Cost of hospital temps

With many operations on the NHS now under threat due to spending pressures, it’s interesting to see FOI being used to work out how much is still being spent on temps – More than £31m in the North East. (Source: Sunday Sun)


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