Hampshire detectives charge man following investigation into online sexual offences

Hampshire Constabulary have released a statement about a local investigation into online sexual offences:

Officers from the child abuse investigation team at Hampshire Constabulary have charged a man in connection with an investigation into online sexual offences.

Daniel Norton, from Cheadle, in Stockport, has been charged with the following –

  • Three counts of inciting a female aged 13-15 years to engage in sexual activity
  • Three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child
  • One count of distributing an indecent photograph of a child

The 25-year-old is due to appear at Southampton Magistrates Court later today (Wednesday, December 6).

If you are concerned that a child you know has been a victim of online child sexual abuse, report directly to CEOP via the ClickCEOP reporting button –www.ceop.police.uk. If you would like to understand more about keeping children safe from online sexual abuse, please visit CEOP’s Thinkuknow website  – www.thinkuknow.co.uk.

Additional support for children who don’t feel able to talk to a trusted adult is available from ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Government must invest in children’s & youth services

Leading children’s charities and local councils have called on the Government to urgently close the funding gap facing children and young people’s services as new research reveals a sharp rise in families reaching “crisis point”.

An open letter signed by five major organisations warns that children’s social care is being pushed to breaking point, with a £2bn funding gap expected to open by 2020. It urges ministers to “step up” and use the Autumn Budget to invest in vital services in order to save youngsters from serious harm.

The signatories, which include Barnardo’s, Action for Children and the Local Government Association (LGA), state that between them they have “spent years warning successive governments that a failure to invest in these vital services will have long term consequences” for the UK’s children and families.

The letter, comes as a report by three leading children’s charities reveals “crippling” central government cuts have left councils with no option but to close services designed to detect early signs of child neglect and abuse – forcing them to direct to a “crisis” fire-fighting model.

Demand for crisis support for children has risen sharply as council spending on services that are designed to spot signs of neglect and abuse early has fallen by 40 per cent between 2010/11 and 2015/16, the report shows. Central government funding for children and young people’s services has seen a real terms decrease of £2.4bn in that period, while local authority allocations for these services has fallen by £1.6bn.

At the same time, there has been a 108 per cent increase in child protection investigations, as demand for council help soars.

The research, from The Children’s Society, Action for Children and the National Children’s Bureau, also reveals stark geographical discrepancies, with the most deprived councils in England having cut spending on children’s services by almost a quarter (23 per cent) – six times as much as the least deprived councils.

The open letter to ministers reads:

“Children’s social care is being pushed to breaking point, with an unprecedented surge in demand leaving services across the public, voluntary and community sector struggling to cope.

“We believe that all children deserve the chance of a bright future. That’s why we are uniting today to urge the Government to use the Autumn Budget to close the funding gap facing children’s services, which will reach at least £2bn by 2020.”

It states that the number of children needing child protection plans has nearly doubled over the past decade, and last year saw the largest annual increase in children in care since 2013. The organisations also highlight that local authorities overspent on children’s services by £365m in 2014/15 just to keep children safe, and a huge £605m the following year.

The letter adds:

“Our children and young people deserve better than the gradual decline of services – particularly those services that help children early – that have been shown to make a real difference to their lives”

“Councils and the voluntary sector are committed to getting the best for every child. Now we need the same commitment from our government, starting with urgent action through the Budget to give local services the resources they need to help children and families thrive.”

The number of young people subject to child protection enquires increased by 140 per cent – to 170,000 – in the past decade, according to research by the LGA earlier this year.

A separate study more recently revealed that benefit cuts and increased levels of poverty across the UK were the primary cause for this “unprecedented surge” in demand for children’s services, while a lack of resources to provide universal services like children’s centres and youth clubs also played a significant part.

 

 

Syrian children use bomb crater as makeshift swimming pool

Life under siege: Children in Aleppo use bomb crater as swimming pool

More than 2 million people in Aleppo have no access to clean water as the conflict in the Syrian city continues to escalate, according to UNICEF. But that hasn’t stopped some children from playing around in a murky pool that has formed in a crater left behind by a missile strike.

 

The Good Childhood Report 2016

good-childhood-report-2016

Over the last decade the Children’s Society have asked over 60,000 children how they think their lives are going.  The Good Childhood Report 2016 is their fifth in-depth study into children’s well-being, produced in partnership with the University of York.

good-childhood-report-2016-coverThe media picked up on some of its headline findings:

  • 1 in 3 girls are unhappy with their appearance
  • Girls are less happy than they used to be
  • Children’s direct experiences of where they live affect their well-being more than factors further removed from them

It lists three main policy recommendations:

  1. The Government should introduce a legally binding entitlement for children and young people to be able to access mental health and well-being support in educational settings in England and Wales. This must include sufficient funding.
  2. The Government must commit to understanding and acting on children’s well-being. At the moment there is no firm commitment from the Government that children’s well-being will continue to be measured. With a new Government in place, now is the time to reaffirm the commitment to monitoring well-being – and particularly children’s well-being – across the UK.
  3. Local authorities across the UK should develop a process to make sure that children have a voice in decision-making about their local areas, including:
  • Developing a process to allow children and young people to debate the issues affecting their lives and to assist in decision-making over setting priorities for the year ahead.
  • Bringing people together at a neighbourhood level to improve children’s access to, and their perception of safety in, their local environment – including local parks and open spaces.
  • Producing an annual children and young people’s local profile that brings together the range of data that is available on children’s lives in the area.

You can read the summary report here or have a look at the full report.

And if you want to tackle some of the issues raised by the report such as self-esteem, relationships and well-being, get hold of the Seriously Awkward resource which has 6 creative sessions to use with young people.

CCTV shows hero rescuing fallen man from London Underground tracks

commuter-rescue

A man has been rescued after collapsing on the London Underground and falling onto live train tracks.

The 47-year-old who fell is pictured below wearing a yellow hard hat and fluorescent jacket. He fell onto the tracks after becoming ill and stumbling, according to a statement released by British Transport Police.

The incident took place around 5 p.m. London time on Tuesday at the busy Tottenham Court Road tube station.

The CCTV images below show what happened when a fellow commuter came to his rescue.

commuter-rescue-1
The man can be seen in the yellow jacket, standing close to the platform’s edge.
Fellow commuters look on in shock as the man collapses onto the tracks.
Fellow commuters look on in shock as the man collapses onto the tracks.
The man in the blue t-shirt leans forward and reaches out to the fallen man.
The man in the blue t-shirt leans forward and reaches out to the fallen man.
As other commuters gather round, he helps pull the fallen man back to safety.
As other commuters gather round, he helps pull the fallen man back to safety.

British Transport Police confirmed that the man will make a full recovery and praised the stranger who came to his rescue.

“Whilst the approaching train was immediately put on a red signal, the quick thinking of him and other passengers on the platform avoided what could have been a tragedy,”

Superintendent Chris Horton said in a statement.

“On behalf of everyone at British Transport Police, I’d like to commend this man for his brave actions; his quick thinking most likely saved the man’s life.”

Man accidentally tips more than £1 million on dinner

Everybody makes mistakes, but not every mistake costs its victim masses of money.

In Scotland, a restaurant diner was shocked to realize that he’d accidentally tipped more than £1 million on a £100 meal. Oops.

The Evening Express reports that the massive transaction happened at an Indian restaurant in Inverurie, Scotland. After the diner finished his meal, he approached owner Abdul Wahid to settle his bill.

Pictured is the receipt for the meal at Rajpoot Indian Restaurant in Inverurie where a customer was accidently billed over a million pounds for their meal. Picture by DARRELL BENNS     Pictured on 21/07/2016
Pictured is the receipt for the meal at Rajpoot Indian Restaurant in Inverurie where a customer was accidently billed over a million pounds for their meal.

As Wahid tells the Express, when the diner input the tip amount in the restaurant’s credit card reader, the transaction didn’t go through. After phoning the diner’s bank and obtaining a confirmation code, the transaction was successful.

It wasn’t until the diner handed the card reader back to Wahid that the owner realized his customer’s £1,006,082.04 mistake.

All was not lost, however. After calling the bank to note his mistake, the customer got his money back and paid a more sensible amount.

Good News Story: Filipino boy studying on street given a college scholarship

A little boy who was photographed doing his homework in the glow of a McDonald’s neon light has received an outpouring of support after the heart-rending image went viral.

Now Daniel Cabrera could be on track to achieve his dream of becoming a policeman after he received donations of cash, school supplies and even a college scholarship, his mother Christina Espinosa told AFP. 

Widow Espinosa and her three youngest children, including nine-year-old Daniel, have been homeless since a fire destroyed their home in Mandue City, Phillipines, five years ago.

Joyce Gilos Torrefranca - Inspired by a kid

The family currently live in a back room in a mini-grocery story owned by Espinosa’s employers.  She told AFP:

“We’re overjoyed. I don’t know what I will do with all of these blessings.  Now, Daniel will not have to suffer just to finish his studies.”

Among the donations received by the family are school uniforms and a reading lamp.

Espinosa added:

“He is a very studious and determined boy… he would insist on going to school even without his lunch money because I had no money to give.  He always tells me: ‘Mama, I don’t want to stay poor. I want to reach my dreams’.”

DANIEL-CARBERA-570

Daniel’s plight went viral after student Joyce Gilos Torrefranca spotted him bent over his school work at a wooden bench.  She posted the image to Facebook, remarking the little boy had “inspired” her.

One commentator said: “This kid’s perseverance in studying makes this picture such an inspiration. Despite the lack of personal space or inadequate lighting, still he chose to study.”

Since the donations poured in, the city’s social welfare office chief Violeta Cavada told AFP:

“Our problem is how to manage all this financial assistance.  He has become a symbol of poor slum boys in the city who can’t study because they don’t have electricity.”

Funny headlines from around the world

news - schoolswork

Some of the more random headlines from the BBC News website over the last week or so:

Funny headlines from around the world

Some of the more random headlines from the BBC News website over the last week or so:

Funny headlines from around the world

Some of the more random headlines from the BBC News website over the last week or so:

The worst place to have a car fire – the lions enclosure in a drive-through safari

Car fire at Longleat

Where would be the absolutely worst place for your car to catch fire? In the lion enclosure of a drive-through safari. And that’s what happened to Helen Clements and her two children when they visited Longleat Safari Park:

Mrs Clements said she thought her car had overheated when it stopped inside the enclosure.

“Then basically, we thought: ‘That’s not steam, that’s actually smoke’,” she told BBC News.

“It was getting thicker and thicker and obviously coming into us, and then we saw flames.”

She sounded her horn and both she and George opened their doors, before rangers came running towards them.

“Unfortunately they were shouting to us: ‘Get back in the car, do not get out of the car’,” she added.

Her son ran out but she called him back and within moments, a ranger had pulled up in a vehicle and got them out of the car.

They could not see the lions at the time as other cars were in front of them.

The lions did not approach, because they are smart enough to know fire when they see it. Still, it was a frightening incident. Rangers moved the lions out of the enclosure before firefighters extinguished the flames.