FOI Friday: Children at risk, data lost in the post, unsolved murders and the not-so-smart motorways

Criminals avoid jail despite dozens of crimes < Get WestLondon Criminals in London are escaping jail sentences for serious crimes, despite dozens of previous convictions for similar offences. A burglar in London was not given a custodial sentence at a court appearance in June 2014, despite 33 previous burglary offences and 58 total previous convictions,Continue reading “FOI Friday: Children at risk, data lost in the post, unsolved murders and the not-so-smart motorways”

FOI Friday: 10 stories which show how FOI helps local media make a difference

This week is Local Newspaper Week, run by the newspaper industry and the Newspaper Society, to promote the important work done by the local and regional press. The theme this year has been ‘making a difference’ – highlighting the campaigns regional newspapers have run which have helped change the communities they live in for theContinue reading “FOI Friday: 10 stories which show how FOI helps local media make a difference”

FOI Friday: Prostitutes wanting to work in schools, hunger on the rise, counselling on the underground and 11-year-old drug runners

Prostitutes applying for jobs in schools (or reasons criminal checks failed) < Nottingham Post PROSTITUTES, shoplifters and even someone who assaulted a child have applied for jobs in schools in Nottinghamshire over the past three years. Other crimes committed by those wanting to work with children include assaulting a police officer, growing cannabis and raciallyContinue reading “FOI Friday: Prostitutes wanting to work in schools, hunger on the rise, counselling on the underground and 11-year-old drug runners”

Five reasons UGC has made the regional Press better

WARNING: This is a very long piece, written over several periods of time, looking at the power of UGC. In summary, its sets out why I think UGC has been good for the regional Press. * * * The other week, former editor and Holdthefrontpage blogger Steve Dyson turned his critical (often very critical!) eye toContinue reading “Five reasons UGC has made the regional Press better”

FOI Friday: Rammed trains, enforced redundancies at councils and a gun licence for a 12-year-old

1. Reasons why teachers are disciplined The Bradford Telegraph and Argus reports on the number of teachers who faced disciplinary action last year, 69 in total. The local council also reported that the allegations included theft, child protection issues, gross misconduct and drugs misuse. (Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus) 2. Restorative justice for children Remember theContinue reading “FOI Friday: Rammed trains, enforced redundancies at councils and a gun licence for a 12-year-old”

Hear the one about the council spying on the newspaper?

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act  has been mentioned a few times on this blog – normally in relation to Freedom of Information requests from newspaper journalists seeking to find out how it had been used by councils. RIPA allows councils to turn private eyes and snoop on people, and has been used to gatherContinue reading “Hear the one about the council spying on the newspaper?”

Proof that FOI can be used in ‘old fashioned’ investigations?

Part of my job involves delivering Freedom of Information Act training sessions at various newspaper offices around the Trinity Mirror group. Every now and again someone will suggest that, good as FOI might be for getting information out of public bodies might be, it’s not substitute for ‘real’ investigations. The reference to ‘real’ tends toContinue reading “Proof that FOI can be used in ‘old fashioned’ investigations?”

FOI Friday: 10 things we’ve learnt this week thanks to the Freedom of Information Act

1. Anti-social behaviour in the library There was a time when it was the contents of some books which caused most offence in libraries. Apparently that’s not the case now in Lincolnshire, when indecent exposure, public urination 2. Dog attacks The Southport Visiter reports on the number of dog attacks in Southport – based onContinue reading “FOI Friday: 10 things we’ve learnt this week thanks to the Freedom of Information Act”