FOI FRIDAY: Ambulance delays, lack of dentists, data-snooping coppers and dodging conviction for assault

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How to dodge a conviction if you assault someone < Brighton Argus

Thousands of criminals including sex offenders, arsonists and violent offenders have avoided conviction.

Sussex Police introduced community resolution in 2011 to deal with low-level crimes.

But The Argus can reveal that the policy has been used more than 11,000 times in the past three years and has even been used in a case of sexual assault against a child.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show it was used 1,200 times to deal with assaults resulting in an injury, and another 1,531 for assaults without injuries.

Struggling to get a dentist? Here’s why < Lancashire Telegraph

CONCERNS have been raised after the number of people visiting hospital for emergency dental treatment tripled in East Lancashire last year.

Staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) gave emergency dental treatment to 322 patients in 2013, which was up from 106 in 2012, according to figures obtained by the Lancashire Telegraph through Freedom of Information laws.

The increase mirrored a national trend which health campaigners said was down to a rise in the number of families struggling to afford regular check-ups on their teeth, with visits to the dentist becoming a ‘luxury’ for many.

Left waiting for an ambulance < North West Evening Mail

FIGURES show since 2012 457 patients in Cumbria have waited for an ambulance for more than an hour.

A Freedom of Information request by the Evening Mail showed 69 of the calls were in Barrow, Ulverston or Millom – with 14 in the area classed as serious Red Two calls.

There were two life-threatening Red One calls in Cumbria which took more than an hour to attend.

Pupil compensation claims continue to mount up < Yorkshire Evening Post

Almost a quarter of a million pounds of public money has been paid out in compensation and legal costs for injuries children have suffered in the city’s primary and secondary schools over the past five years, new figures reveal.

Pay outs include £35,000 after a child broke a limb, and £21,058 given to a pupil who suffered a facial injury.

The figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that there been 188 personal injury claims made against schools in Leeds since September 2008.

Of these 39 have been successful resulting in compensation payments of £221,013 since September 2008. Figures show £35,000 was paid out after a pupil suffered a broken limb in 2009 and £21,058 was given to a pupil who suffered a facial injury in 2010.

Crimes unsolved in Accrington < Accrington Observer

Shocking figures show nearly 13,600 crimes in Hyndburn over the past five years have gone unsolved, the Observer can reveal.

Unsolved rapes in the borough have nearly doubled over the past two years while unresolved sexual offences have also risen by a third.

The number of rapes reported in the borough rose to 15 last year from eight in 2012.

The figures released by Lancashire Police under the Freedom of Information Act also show unsolved shoplifting cases have more than doubled from 67 in 2009 to 146 in 2013 along with non-house burglaries, up from 242 to 348 over the same period.

Drugs destroyed by the police < Llanelli Star

MORE than two kilograms of cannabis have been destroyed in the last year under the orders of Llanelli magistrates.

Figures acquired through the Freedom of Information Act have revealed the amount of drugs destroyed following court orders in 2013.

Across Carmarthenshire, the police made 1,686 drug seizures — of those, more than 65 per cent related to cannabis.

Police sacked for breaching data protection laws < Birmingham Mail

Force says 30 officers have been investigated since 2009, with seven dismissed

West Midlands Police officers have been sacked for a range of data protection breaches, new figures show.

The force said 30 staff, including detectives, were investigated for a string of information breaches since 2009.

Seven were dismissed without notice and resigned following accusations.

A further nine received management advice while five were handed final written warnings.

Breaches included misusing the police database and accessing confidential information.

What are council pension funds investing in? < Essex Chronicle

PENSIONS received by public sector workers in Essex are part-funded by investments in tobacco, junk food and weapons, the Chronicle can reveal.

Tens of millions of pounds have been invested by the Essex Pension Fund, overseen by Essex County Council, into global firms, including £410k into BAE systems, the largest arms dealer in the world, more than £5 million into McDonald’s, and £1.1 million into British American Tobacco.

The news, revealed by a Chronicle freedom of information request, has prompted the leader of the county’s Liberal Democrat group to ask for a review of the pension fund’s investment principles.

Worst dog poo spots in Derbyshire < Derbyshire Times

Furious residents have kicked up a stink about dog muck, with 2175 complaints made to the council in five years.

In figures obtained from a freedom of information request, the Derbyshire Times can reveal the worst spots for dog poo in Chesterfield borough.

Topping the list – with 28 complaints since 2008 – is Middlecroft Road in Staveley. The road, near Springwell Community school, has topped complaint lists year after year, closely followed by South Street North in New Whittington, with 25.

What’s been seized in prisons? < WalesOnline

Porn films, Class A drugs and a “plastic broken hand grenade” are among hundreds of illicit items seized from Welsh prison inmates, we can reveal today.

Jail workers have also confiscated a Playstation console, a sharpened prison knife, home-brewed alcohol and a tattooing kit from cells since the start of 2013.

Information obtained by Wales on Sunday shows lags at Cardiff, Swansea and Parc prisons were caught with contraband drugs including heroin, crystal meth, cocaine and cannabis.

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