NSPCC '100 day challenge' for Gordon Brown
THE NSPCC is
urging Gordon Brown to use his first 100 days as Prime Minister to
help tackle violence against children. The charity says an urgent
action plan is needed to combat bullying and provide counselling and
therapy for all abused children. Over a 100 day period, it is
estimated that 205,000 children will witness domestic violence. Last
year, ChildLine counsellors spoke to nearly 50,000 children who had
been affected by bullying or physical abuse. 1 in 6 children will be
sexually abused before their 16th birthday.
Dame Mary Marsh, director and chief executive of the NSPCC, says:-
"There couldn't be a better way for Gordon Brown to start his
new premiership than by relieving the misery of children in
desperate need of help. 1 in 3 children who call ChildLine
tell us they are suffering violence and abuse, sometimes on a daily
basis. Bullying has been the main reason why young people call
ChildLine for 10 years. They are only the ones we hear from. There
are many more who don't speak out and don't know how to protect
Further insight into violence has come from children in a new NSPCC
survey carried out by GfK NOP. 1172 boys and girls aged 11 to 16 were
asked about violence in their lives. 81% said violence is 'a
major problem for young people nowadays', with 2 in 5 seeing it
as simply 'part of growing up'. 35% of the young people
say they find it difficult to talk to anyone about violence. 44% say
that there is enough support and help for them to deal with violence
and 28% want specialist anti-bullying counsellors and school lessons
on how to stay safe.
Dame Mary Marsh says:- "Although a snapshot, this survey shows
how children themselves feel that violence invades their lives at
school, home and on the streets, sometimes daily. Children should
not have to accept violence as part of growing up. Much of it could
be stopped if governments across the UK took action."
The survey found:-
42% of children said they had been hit, punched or kicked - and 9%
attacked with a weapon or object - at school. 75% said they had been
bullied at school and 22% said they are scared of violence directed
against them in school.
1 in 4 children said
they had witnessed domestic violence between adult family members.
Around half of the most recent incidents involved physical assaults
and 13% the use of an object or weapon. 32% of young people believed
that those responsible for the abuse last time had been drinking
alcohol or taking drugs.
16% children said
they had been hit, punched or kicked - and 7% attacked with a weapon
or object - on the streets. Many more - 59% - had witnessed violence
or bullying between young people on the streets. 38% said they had
been 'really scared' of violence towards them by young people
they didn't know.
1 in 6 young people said they took no action the last time they saw
a violent or abusive incident on the street or at school, because
they did not know what to do. 3 in 5 said they were scared weapons
would be used against them or their friends and only 1 in 4 believe
young people know how to protect themselves.
Last year over 1
million children contacted the NSPCC after it encouraged them to
speak out sexual abuse. This year's Don't Hide It initiative, aimed
at 11 to 16 year olds, is urging children to speak out on all forms
of abuse. The campaign is currently running on TV, radio and in
viral ads and teen magazines. Don't Hide It is part of the
NSPCC's FULL STOP campaign to end cruelty to children. Children can
find help, advice and support at
www.donthideit.com and by
phoning ChildLine on 0800 1111.
you want to borrow my toothbrush? You could catch ANYTHING…
would be happy to lend their toothbrush to somebody else according
to a new UK-wide dental survey. The National Smile Month
Survey, commissioned by the British Dental Health Foundation in
association with Healthplan provider HSA, found that over 60% of
people would be willing to let their partners, children, friends and
even celebrities borrow their toothbrush. Interestingly, men
were far more protective of their brushes than women with almost
half saying they wouldn’t lend their brush to anyone, as opposed to
only a 3rd of women.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation, commented:-
“Sharing a toothbrush leaves people susceptible to all sorts of
oral and general health problems. There are many hundreds of
different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing a
toothbrush could be passing these on to others. Whilst this might be
something relatively harmless, such as a common cold or cold sore,
if the person you are sharing with is infected with hepatitis B or
HIV these could also be passed on via the toothbrush with life
threatening consequences. People need to take good care of
their toothbrush, changing it once every 3 months, and not letting
anyone else borrow it. You should brush twice-a-day with
fluoride toothpaste, cut down how often you have sugary foods and
drinks and visit the dentist regularly as often as they recommend
for a good oral healthcare routine.”
The survey was commissioned to mark the 31st National Smile Month.
The campaign will run until June 12 under the tagline ‘Two
Minutes Twice a Day’.
“It’s worrying that so many people either aren’t aware, or
don’t care, that by sharing a toothbrush they could be running the
risk of catching a serious infection. Especially those in London,
who are most likely to share their brush with their favourite
important for individuals and families to look after their oral
health and we would encourage regular trips to the dentist. And, if
you’re are worried about the cost, a range of funding options are
available.” said Abby Bowman from HSA.
MERSEYSIDE POLICE - "BURIED IN PAPER"
CLAIMS by the
Liberal Democrats that Merseyside Police spent almost 1.8 million
hours filling in paperwork last year have been disputed by one of
their own Euro-MPs. Official figures cited by the party
suggest that police officers spend around a fifth of their time on
paperwork. For a force the size of Merseyside Police this is the
equivalent of 1,764,105 million hours of form filling.
But Chris Davies says that police officers tell him that the
situation is in fact much, much worse. "Forget the
figures and listen to the people who are actually filling in the
forms. Police officers tell me that
as much as 80% of their time can be spent completing the mountains
of paperwork. It's a scandalous waste of time and public resources,
and it leaves police officers feeling demotivated and cynical."
Accurate records are essential if convictions are to be secured,
says the MEP, but he has hit out at the duplication of forms that
could be replaced by modern technology. Liberal Democrats
nationally are calling for a full assessment of how the use of IT
systems, voice recognition technology and hand-held equipment could
free police time from form-filling. They are also calling for
civilian staff to provide greater clerical support to relieve
officers from paperwork.
Mr Davies commented:- "Officers and the public share one very
strong view in common - both want the police to be spending more
time doing the work for which they are trained and less time stuck
in the office."