FOI Friday: Dirty schools, lying parents, superbug deaths and attacks on postment

Children lose school places after parents lie < < < Birmingham Mail

RECORD numbers of Birmingham children are being left devastated by the city council withdrawing their prized place at school because the youngsters’ parents lied on their application form.

The local authority has taken places off eight pupils who were due to start their new schools this month after being tipped off by the mums and dads’ neighbours.

The number has shot up from five youngsters having their place withdrawn in 2010 and three in 2009.

Dirty School kitchens < < < Liverpool Echo 

A FILTHY school canteen plagued by rodents posed an “imminent risk” to Merseyside pupils’ health, a report has revealed.

Mounds of mouse droppings were discovered in the kitchens of Bedford primary in Bootle in a surprise hygiene spot-check.

Pellets were even found in a bain-marie, a hot cupboard used to keep food warm for the 220 children who are served school meals, and near to where sandwiches were prepared.

40 deaths related to superbugs < < < Teesside Gazette

MORE than 40 people have died at two Teesside hospitals over the last three years after contracting a killer superbug.

A Freedom of Information request has shown the number of patients who died at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton, and the University Hospital of Hartlepool after contracting Clostridium Difficile (C.diff).

Attacks on postmen < < < Sunderland Echo

ASSAULT, harassment and dozens of animal attacks have all been suffered by Wearside postal workers, new figures show.

Posties in the region have suffered 120 attacks from pets while making deliveries over the last five years. There were seven complaints of verbal or physical harassment at the hands of aggressive residents. The information, obtained by the Echo through a freedom of information request to the Royal Mail, has left the Communication Workers Union (CWU) shocked.

One year on, asking about stolen goods at the police station < < < Gloucestershire Echo

POLICE in Gloucestershire have seen a substantial drop in the number of items stolen from their premises.

In the last 12 months, the only items to have been stolen from stations in the county was a bicycle from Cheltenham and a high visibility jacket from the station in Stonehouse.

However, in the year before that a dozen thefts occurred. Handcuffs, satnav systems, work boots, diesel and a baton all went missing. The most valuable item was a police-issue radio, valued at £1,000.

The figures were revealed under a Freedom of Information request by the Echo.

Inmates committing crimes behind bars < < < Daily Record

Inmates at Scotland’s jail for young thugs have committed 13,539 offences behind bars in the last five years.

That’s an average of almost eight per day, more than at any other state-run nick in the country.

The figures, obtained under freedom of information law, reveal that there were 2137 brawls at Polmont in five years – an average of nearly two per day.

Homeless people winning appeals against the council < < < Sheffield Star

HUNDREDS of homeless people have won appeals against decisions by Sheffield Council to refuse them accommodation.

A request made under the Freedom of Information Act showed that 312 of 2,375 applicants – some 13 per cent – who challenged the council’s decision to deny them housing between 2006 and 2011 were successful.

The figures also show during the same period, only 6,161 of 19,742 applications for housing from those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness were approved.

Cost of the Bristol Riots < < < BBC

Dealing with disturbances in Bristol in April in a row over a new Tesco store cost Avon and Somerset Police at least £666,000, the BBC has learned.

Demonstrators were embroiled in running battles with police in the Stokes Croft area on 21, 22 and 29 April.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the force said it incurred costs of £464,095.

Nationality of drink driver convictions in Cambridgeshire < < < Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Figures obtained by the Evening Telegraph show that the number of Eastern European motorists convicted of drink driving in Peterborough more than doubled between 2009 and 2010.

Statistics released by Cambridgeshire police following a Freedom of Information request show that the number of convicted drink drivers from Eastern Europe rose to 139 in 2010, from just 66 in 2009.

Drivers from Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, who form a larger population in Peterborough than other Eastern European nations, make up the vast majority of the convictions.

Council cuts tell a different story under FOI < < < Ellesmere Port Pioneer

Rows over the level of council cuts don’t end when the budget is set – as the Pioneer proved this week. Cheshire West and Chester Council (yes, the one which wanted to charge for dealing with FOI requests) said it was taking around £300k off budgets for childrens centres this year. The Pioneer asked for figures on the changes in budgets for childrens services under FOI – and the answer was nearer £900k.

There’s someone out to murder you < < < Reading Post

More than 80 people in the Thames Valley have been warned they are the subject of a murder plot or other conspiracy to do them harm in the last three years, getreading has learned.

Statistics released through a Freedom of Information request show that Thames Valley Police has issued warning notices, formerly known as Osman warnings and handed to people whose life or safety is thought to be threatened by another, to 81 people since January 2009.

One comment

  1. That first story makes me laugh – the number has “shot up” from 3 to 5 to 8 over three years. Out of how many applications? Tens of thousands? Very probably. So in statistical terms, there’s probably next to no difference between 3, 5 or 8 out of how ever many thousand applications. A basic understanding of how to interpret statistics might help that journalist…

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