FOI Friday: Roadworks hell, hidden art, naughty nurses and bedblocking patients


Plagues of roadworks < Get Surrey

Dismay has been expressed over a ‘plague’ of roadworks on a stretch between Bramley and Guildford in the past three years.

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that more than 860 individual projects were carried out on the A281 from 2012 to 2014 – an average of 1.3 per day.

The majority of work was carried out in Bramley, with 477 roadworks in the village, with the remainder, 388, on the road through Shalford.

Broken down by year, there was disruption on the Shalford stretch for 160 days in 2012, a drop to 68 days in 2013 and rising to 160 last year.

Hidden Art < South Wales Argus

JUST two per cent of the almost 5,000 pieces in the fine art collection at Newport Museum and Art Gallery is on display, an Argus Freedom of Information Act request reveals.

The museum and art gallery building, which is at risk of closure in Newport City Council’s 2015/16 budget proposals, has 98 works of fine art on display compared to around 4,800 pieces in storage.

NHS staff breaking social media rules < Carlisle News and Star

A nurse resigned after online behaviour threatened to disgrace the profession.

This is just one example of action which has been taken because of the way NHS staff in Cumbria have behaved on the internet.

Figures released through a Freedom of Information request have revealed there have been 12 cases this decade across two of the county’s trusts – the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for community and mental health in the county, and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven – of staff breaking social media policies.

Bedblocking patients spending up to two months in hospital < Dundee Telegraph

A patient in Tayside spent 67 days in hospital because of bed-blocking.

The case was revealed in figures released by NHS Tayside through Freedom of Information legislation, which also show more than £5,633,850 was spent on delayed bed days — at a cost of £150 per day — in 2014.

And the biggest bill over the past five years was £7,072,950 in 2011.

Cautions for indecent images < Get Surrey

More than 80 offenders were let off with cautions for crimes linked to indecent images of children in the four years from 2010 to 2013.

Surrey Police revealed a total of 84 people were cautioned for offences involving indecent photographs of children during that period, with the highest annual number – 25 – coming in 2011.

The force stressed each person had to sign on the sex offenders’ register – which can impact on employment and travelling abroad – and that each case was “judged on its own merits”.

Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request showed 23 cautions in 2013, 18 in 2012, 25 in 2011 and 18 in 2010.

Rise in sex crimes against men < Northern Echo

A MASSIVE rise in the sexual abuse of County Durham men is down to an increase in the reporting of historical offences, say police.

Shocking statistics taken from a Freedom of Information request show that the number of sexual offences against men in the county surged from 44 in 2012 to 300 by 2014.

Consett had the most striking rise in sexual offences involving male victims – going from one reported in 2012 to 201 by 2014.

The figures show that 123 sexual assaults on over-13s were investigated in Consett in 2014 while 69 men reported being raped.

Crimes committed in schools < North Wales Daily Post

Schools across North Wales have been targeted more than 700 times by thieves and thugs in the last three years.

Figures obtained by the Daily Post via a Freedom of Information request show that between April 2011 and September 2014, schools in the region reported 760 incidents of burglary, theft and criminal damage.

Flintshire schools were the most targeted across North Wales, with 227 incidents being reported during the three year period. Schools in Wrexham were the second most hit with 164 incidents while Denbighshire reported 88 incidents, Gwynedd 67, Conwy 45 and Anglesey 22. While the location of 147 reported incidents was unable to be determined.

Full schools < Northampton Chronicle

A total of 56 of Northamptonshire’s primary schools are either at or over their official capacity.

A Freedom of Information request was sent by the Labour Party to Northamptonshire County Council covering 268 schools in the county.

Headteachers of 19 schools say they are full and a further 37 said they are over the official limit for pupils.

The Labour Party claimed it showed that 7.1 per cent of the county’s primary schools are at capacity, with a further 13.8 per cent over capacity.

Begging arrests < Oxford Student

Oxford police made 96 arrests for begging over 2013 and 2014, according to new Freedom of Information figures obtained by The Oxford Student.

Police conducted 63 arrests for offences related to the 1824 Vagrancy Act in 2013, and 33 in 2014. Whilst Oxford residents account for only 6.7 per cent of the Thames Valley population, Oxford begging arrests accounted for 62.7 per cent of the total begging arrests made in the Thames Valley area over the same period.

Library use falls after council cuts < Manchester Evening News

Seven Manchester libraries have seen visitor numbers plummet by as much as 90per cent since funding cuts led to them being run by volunteers with drastically reduced opening hours.

Barlow Moor Library in Chorlton has lost 90.6 pc of its visitors. The community-run library is run from Barlow Moor Community Centre, replacing the smaller one introduced after the original library was axed in council spending cuts.

Six other Manchester libraries – Burnage, Fallowfield, Levenshulme, Miles Platting, New Moston and Northenden – are also run by volunteers.

Which mobile phones are thieves stealing? < Coventry Telegraph

Mobile phones are being snatched at the rate of 21 A DAY in the West Midlands, according to new police figures.

In 2013, the last year for which full data is available, a total of 7,792 handsets were stolen in the region.

And the information revealed that the robbers are getting picky – numbers of Blackberry and Nokia devices taken have plummeted while Apple iPhones represent almost half of all mobiles snatched..

Overall, the number of thefts in 2014 was predicted to fall to 6,900, although police say they do not have the final figures for the year yet.

Most active speed cameras in Gloucestershire < Gloucester Citizen

Speeds cameras in Gloucester are among the most prolific in the county in catching drivers over the speed limit, figures have revealed.

The highest-grossing fixed speed camera was in London Road, which clocked 384 drivers in 2013 and 918 in 2012.

Eastern Avenue was also found to be a hotspot for drivers getting caught, with 129 cars flashed by the camera near the Royal Mail depot in 2013, and a further 28 caught in the same year by the camera near the Ambulance Station.

A staggering 4,642 speeding tickets were issued from a single mobile speed camera in 2013 on the southbound carriageway of the A417 at Dartley Bottom, near Cirencester.

Stolen pets < Halstead Gazette

A bizarre collection of animals have been stolen from Halstead over the past five years.

A Freedom of Information Request to Essex Police has revealed that 49 animals have been taken from the town since 2010.

No pets were reported being stolen in 2012 or 2013, but last year, 7 ducks and 30 fish were taken

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