foi

FOI Friday: Hospital parking, strange police phone calls, cheating students and criminals applying to work in schools

Toilet seats and compensation < < < Birmingham Mail

A WORKER sued Birmingham City Council and won £1,750 after a toilet seat collapsed causing him injuries, it has emerged.

The man was one of 274 successful claims in the last five years leaving taxpayers with a bill of almost £5 million.

Trips, exposure to deadly asbestos and problems with training were behind some of the most costly compensation payouts by the city council last year, the Birmingham Mail can reveal.

The cost of defending claims by a police force < Carlisle Times and Star

Cumbria Constabulary has paid out almost £50,000 in five years defending itself against employees who made claims of racism, sexism and unlawful deduction of wages.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show 12 employees made claims against the force between 2008 and 2011.

Of these cases, Cumbria Constabulary lost three following an employment tribunal, won three and settled five without the need for an employment tribunal.

Bomb alerts in a city < < < Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion after a smoke grenade was found in a Bradford alleyway in the 15th Army call-out to the city in three years.

Statistics from the Ministry of Defence released to the Telegraph & Argus under the Freedom of Information Act show the Catterick-based Army bomb disposal unit had been deployed to 14 other reports of suspicious packages, bomb hoaxes and improvised explosive devices in the district before the latest incident on Monday night.

Violent criminals apply to work in schools < < < Sunderland Echo

VIOLENT thugs, benefit fraudsters, drink drivers, drug users and a witness who lied under oath.

These are just some of the people who have applied to teach your children.

Today the Echo reveals the long list of convictions held by people applying to work with children in Sunderland’s schools.

The criminal offences were discovered when the past of applicants was scrutinised by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

A Freedom of Information Act request found that 72 applications made in the city in the last two years were flagged up by the checking process, which unearthed 180 previous convictions.

A parking ticket issued every five minutes < < < Western Morning News

Motorists in Cornwall are being punished with parking tickets once every five minutes, the Western Morning News has discovered.

Parking officers handed out more than 36,000 tickets across the county in the past year, with drivers paying out more than £1.5 million in fi1nes.

Student plagerism on the rise < < < Nottingham Post

THE number of university students in Nottingham getting caught for cheating in coursework is on the rise.

In the past year 340 students in the city have been caught for plagiarism – almost 100 more than last year.

According to figures obtained by the Post, through a Freedom of Information request, the number of students found guilty of plagiarism at Nottingham Trent University has more than doubled, shooting up from 94 students in 2009/10 to 211 students 2010/11.

Crazy calls made to police < < < Sunday Sun

FROM vampire chases and alien attacks, to UFO and zombie sightings… these are just some of the spooky calls taken by North police forces.

Dozens of members of the public believe they have had a brush with the supernatural over the last five years.

The Sunday Sun can reveal the wacky calls received by forces in the region after a Freedom of Information Act request unearthed some ghostly goings-on.

Since 2007 more than 80 calls in relation to UFOs, aliens, zombies, vampires, ghosts and witches have been made to police by concerned members of the public.

Police officers who quit while conduct probed < < < Manchester Evening News

A total of 26 officers resigned from Greater Manchester Police over 12 months after investigations were launched into their conduct, the M.E.N. can reveal.
Details released through Freedom of Information show the public complained 1,374 times about GMP officers and staff in 2010.
This figure was a significant drop on the 2009 figures – when 2,167 complaints were made. In the vast majority of the 2010 cases, officers were cleared or the complaints were resolved through mediation.

CAMPAIGNERS have demanded an end to hospital parking charges for seriously ill patients after a Sunday Sun investigation revealed £8m was raked in by health trusts last year.

A probe has revealed nine NHS trusts in the region raised a whopping £8,287,429 in parking fees – that’s up £106,000 on the previous year.

But many scrap all charges in some special cases, making parking free or discounted for cancer and renal patients and long-stay relatives.

Parking fines rebooted < < < The Birmingham Post

The ‘please name your top 20 streets for parking fines’ story is almost as old as the Freedom of Information Act itself but put in the context of tough economic times for businesses, it is perhaps more relevant than ever. To that end, the Birmingham Post got hold of Birmingham’s top 20 list – with one small street raking in almost £100,000.

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