FOI Friday: Air bag thefts, obese toddlers, asbestos in schools and the £26,000 chairs

FOIFRIDAYLOGOHow much is a broken arm worth? < Eastern Daily Press

Victims of crime in Norfolk have been awarded compensation payments of up to £370,000 for injuries including a broken arm, collapsed lung, and even serious brain damage, new figures have revealed.

Data from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) show that in the past three years it has awarded payouts totalling £5.8 million to victims of crime in the county.

The list of more than 850 payouts, obtained by a Freedom of Information request, includes compensation for injuries including £370,000 for moderate brain damage, £43,500 for the loss of an eye and £93,000 for a permanent back injury.

The obese toddlers who are treated in hospital for being fat < WalesOnline

Obses toddlers are among almost 100 Welsh children deemed so fat they have been taken into HOSPITAL for treatment, WalesOnline can today reveal.

Dozens of kids – some just pre-school age – have been admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of obesity in recent years, according to the nation’s health boards, with some treated for ‘extreme obesity’ so serious it could lead to heart failure.

At least 97 children aged under 15 have been diagnosed as so overweight that they needed round-the-clock care from doctors and nurses – a statistic branded “repugnant” by chair of the Child Growth Foundation Tam Fry.

Rescuing obese people < Gloucester Citizen

FIRE and rescue crews are being called more than ever to help move overweight patients.

Figures released by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service show an average of just over one such call out per month was dealt with in 2013 and the first two months of this year.

The figure had dipped to just five in 2012 but it appears the numbers are rising again.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show there were 25 incidents between April 2007 and March 2009 in Gloucestershire in which fire crews were asked to help stricken obese people.

£26,000 on chairs at council < Sheffield Star

Hard-pressed households are footing a hefty bill for the comfort of Sheffield Council.

A Freedom of Information Act request has revealed that £26,000 has been splashed out on new furniture for its Moorfoot offices in just one year.

Of that, £17,000 was spent on 230 chairs – equating to around £73 each.

Had IKEA’s plan for a Sheffield store not been held up the council might have been able to save money with the Swedish brand, where office chairs start at £13.

The crimes committed by gangs < London Evening Standard

The full impact of gang crime in London is revealed today by new Met figures showing 6,600 violent offences were committed by gang members in just three years.

The crimes include 24 murders, 28 attempted killings, 170 firearms offences, as well as stabbings and kidnappings. Other offences include grievous bodily harm with a weapon and also robbery. Each of the violent crimes was carried out by one of 3,484 gang members logged on an official Met database. It includes two 13-year-old gang members, another 24 aged 14 and nearly 550 older juveniles.

The average age of gang members is 21. Virtually all are male, although 38 females are on the database.

The £10million cost of redundancies < West Briton

Cornwall Council has paid out nearly £10 million in voluntary redundancy payments over the last five years.

The council released the figures in response to a Freedom of Information request asking for the total payments since the authority was created in April 2009.

Fines for parents taking kids out of school in term time for holidays on the up < Batley News

The number of parents fined for their children’s unauthorised absence from school has tripled since a new ‘zero tolerance’ approach on term-time family holidays was introduced.

Figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show the tougher stance has been applied by schools – but for many parents trying to avoid higher travel costs during normal school holidays, it has not been a deterrent.

Between September 1 and December 31 last year, 45 penalty notices were issued to Batley parents, compared to just 14 in the same time period the previous year.

 The latest crime wave …air bag thefts < Manchester Evening News

Thieves are cashing in on a ‘big market’ for stolen airbags.

Police say criminals can strip cars of the life-saving devices in just six minutes, with one being stolen every four days in Greater Manchester.

Officers have now issued a warning over the rising demand for stolen parts, with airbags being sold on for up to £1,000.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the M.E.N. show 83 airbags were stolen from vehicles last year – an average of one every four days. Over the last four years a total of 374 airbags have been stolen across the region.

Asbestos in half of Coventry’s schools < Coventry Telegraph

Asbestos can be found lurking in more than half of Coventry’s schools, figures show.

Some 50 of the 96 council-run schools in the city contain the material which can be dangerous if disturbed.

Out of the 80 primary schools in the city, 44 were shown to contain asbestos which has been linked to causing diseases such as terminal mesothelioma and often fatal lung cancer.

Six of the city’s eight special schools – caring for youngsters with physical or learning disabilities – were also found to contain the material.

The data was revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Telegraph to the council.

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