FOI Friday: Shoplifted goods, secret council reports, GP police call outs and NHS money in private hospitals


What gets stolen by shoplifters? < Sheffield Star

Shoplifting is having a ‘devastating impact’ on Sheffield businesses – with daily thefts ranging in value from just 10p to £15,000.

As police today released a rogues gallery of 16 wanted shoplifters, The Star can reveal 11 thefts a day are reported from city shops.

The toll represents an increase of 18 per cent in five years, to 4,211 between April 2013 and this March.

A total of 19,642 thefts from shops was reported to South Yorkshire Police in the five years since April 2009.

Victims of ‘sextortion’ < Sunday Sun

Teens are being lured into online sex chats by blackmailers who threaten to post their naked images on the internet.

Officers have received reports that youngsters in the North are being caught up in the frightening scam, labelled “sextortion”.

Across the country hundreds of victims are targeted by fraudsters who flirt with them to get them to perform sex acts and then threaten to release the images if they don’t receive money from the victim.

What do councils commission internal reports about? < York Press

SECRET reports released this week have revealed concerns about social care, information security, health and safety and budget savings at City of York Council.

The Press has obtained 26 internal reports previously not made public, and council bosses have pledged to end similar secrecy in the future.

The papers, obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) laws, cover topics from routine school audits to reviews of services for vulnerable older people, health and safety, and information security, and even the sale of scrap metal from Hazel Court recycling centre.

Now council officials have confirmed that in future, reports like this will be published, with redactions, when they are presented to a council committee.


Which schools get the most money spent on them? < Surrey Comet

SURREY County Council has spent almost £30 million in two years maintaining school buildings in the county – and a trio of East Surrey schools were atop last year’s bill.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed the five most expensive schools for the council to maintain in each of the last two financial years.

In the year 2013/14, the council spent £11,276,200 on building-related maintenance for all schools and de Stafford School in Caterham, Reigate Priory School and Merstham Primary School were among the five most expensive.

The most expensive school was King’s College, in Guildford, which cost the council £667,220 in the last financial year.

Why police get called to GP surgeries < Warrington Guardian

VIOLENCE, harassment and adults fighting are just some of the incidents police were called to at the town’s surgeries and Warrington Hospital in the past 12 months.

A Warrington Guardian Freedom of Information request found officers had been called 72 times to GP practices across the town in the last three years.

During the same period, Cheshire Police were called to Warrington Hospital on Lovely Lane more than 1,600 times however a large proportion of those calls were due to sudden deaths where the police are alerted to ensure there are no suspicious circumstances.

How close to flood defences come to being breeched? < Eastern Daily Press

Officials feared King’s Lynn’s flood defences would be overwhelmed, as last December’s storm surge tore down the North Sea towards Norfolk, newly released documents show.

The revelation is included in logs made by Environment Agency officers, as the night of the December 5 storm unfolded.

Copies of the documents have been released to the EDP under Freedom of Information (FOI) rules.

A note made during the early evening warns: “This forecast tide is the highest that the defences in K/Lynn will ever have been subjected to. A 5.8m tide will put 0.8m against the gates. Forecast includes F7 WNW wind + 1-2m waves. HWQ is expected 19:15.”

Thefts and crimes in religious buildings <

Over 70 incidents of theft or criminal damage at Wrexham’s religious buildings have been recorded since April 2011, new information has revealed.

In data obtained by Assembly Member Ken Skates under the Freedom of Information Act, Wrexham is revealed as the county in North Wales with the highest number of incidents, with 79 recorded since April 1st 2011.

The FOI requests details of every recorded theft from criminal damage offence at churches in North Wales from April 1st 2011 to April 1st 2014. Along with this the date, location / name of church and a short description of each incident is also provided.

How likely is an operation to be cancelled? < Hull Daily Mail

THE number of cancer operations being cancelled in the region has risen by almost 50 per cent, the Mail can reveal.

Overall, 56 operations were cancelled last year at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham – an increase of 47 per cent on the previous year.

In the first seven months of this year, 35 operations were cancelled.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said the number of cancellations is small when compared with the number of people being treated for the disease.

Pet thefts soar < Barking Post (really)

The number of animals reported stolen from Barking and Dagenham more than doubled in the first three months of this year, new figures show.

A total of 26 animals were snatched in March alone, while police received two reports of seized bees the month before.

Fewer than half that number were taken in January to March last year.

NHS money spent treating patients in the private sector < Daily Record

THE NHS in Scotland have spent nearly £100million of public money on sending patients for private treatments since 2011, it was revealed yesterday.

The figure will cause huge embarrassment to Alex Salmond , who said three years ago that the private sector had been “eradicated” in Scotland’s NHS. Figures released to the Daily Record show that since the First Minister’s pledge, NHS spending on private care has soared – leading to huge profits for care firms such as Bupa.


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