Not surprising crime figures fall if reports of crimes are ignored!

An inquiry – commissioned by Rotherham’s Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Martin Kimber – has highlighted a variety of historic & serious child protection failings within the authority and other agencies which led to young people not being protected in the past.  In responding to the report, Mr Kimber has apologised to the young people who were let down by services, and has accepted the report and its recommendations in their entirety.

The report points to serious failings, both within and between all organisations involved.  These are attributed almost without exception to senior managers in child protection services and elected members within the Council and senior police officers, not to frontline social or youth workers who are acknowledged in the report as repeatedly raising serious concerns about the nature and extent of this kind of child abuse.

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Public Sector Data Breaches: 10 Imperatives....download here 

Public Sector Data Breaches:10 Imperatives

Ever since public sector data breaches (along with the inevitable and sizeable penalty fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office) started dominating headlines, your charter has been to investigate the technologies and methods that will keep your organisation from being the latest casualty.

In your research, you’ve no doubt found a number of likely solutions, like putting rules at the perimeter to prevent sensitive data from leaving the network or locking down individual documents.

So, which of these approaches is best to minimise the risk of data loss?

The answer is probably all of them, in layers, because the problem is multi-faceted.

This white paper centres on the notion of data governance – a comprehensive means to see, control and audit all aspects of unstructured data access. The ten “must haves” for data protection and comprehensive data governance are detailed in the discussion that follows.

Click here to download your free copy of 'Public Sector Data Breaches: 10 Imperatives'

ICO ‘on the ball’, but do individual ‘responsible managers’ ever get disciplined?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has served a £180,000 penalty on the Ministry of Justice over serious failings in the way prisons in England & Wales have been handling people’s information.  The penalty follows the loss of a back-up hard drive at HMP Erlestoke prison in Wiltshire in May 2013. The device was not encrypted.  The incident followed a similar case in October 2011, when the ICO was alerted to the loss of another unencrypted hard drive containing the details of 16,000 prisoners serving time at HMP High Down prison in Surrey.

In a second press release the ICO is warning businesses that they must be prepared for a targeted attack.  The warning comes as the Racing Post signs a commitment to improve its IT security practices after 677,335 accounts were compromised during a data breach in October 2013.  The attack exploited existing vulnerabilities in its website that allowed a hacker to gain access to the  database of registered customers.  The information compromised included the customer’s name, address, password, DoB and telephone number.

An investigation by the ICO found that the company had carried out penetration testing on its website in 2007, but failed to apply up-to-date security patches after this time leaving a vulnerability which the attacker exploited. The ICO also found problems with the way the company stored its customers’ information.

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Police will have to ‘Stop & Think’ first

Home Secretary has officially launched a new scheme to reform police use of stop & search powers.  The Best Use of Stop & Search scheme is designed to contribute to a significant reduction in the overall use of stop & search, deliver better and more intelligence-led stop & search, and improve stop-to-arrest ratios.  It will also provide the public with information on the outcome of searches.

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It’s enough to make one give up smoking!

Millions of illegal cigarettes filled with dead flies, human excrement and abnormally high levels of cancer-causing chemicals are being taken off the streets by councils cracking down on the black market trade.  The Local Government Association (LGA) said efforts to reduce smoking and improve health are being hampered by the illicit trade, which also costs the UK economy around £3bn in unpaid duty.

Some have contained asbestos, mould, dust, dead flies, rat droppings and human excrement.  Many also contain much higher levels of toxic ingredients such as tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium and arsenic than genuine brand-name cigarettes.

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Evening up the odds for an ‘equal’ start

From this week, around 40% of 2-year-olds will be entitled to 15 free hours of free early education per week - up from 20% last year.  Evidence suggests that children from less advantaged backgrounds often start school 19 months behind their peers, but also reveals that good quality childcare can reduce this gap and have a significant benefit in terms of a child’s development.

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Funding charitable work overseas

An international development funding finder tool is now live on the GOV.UK website.  It is a new way to help organisations such as charities and NGOs find suitable funds that they can apply for.  The funding finder has a number of dropdown menus to help identify the most relevant funds. You can search by sector, country, amount of money required and type of organisation.  The funding finder includes DFID-funded grants, funds or business support which relate to international development work.

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Recognising benefits of Social Investment

The social investment market helps ventures that might otherwise struggle to get funding, so that they can grow and make a difference in their local communities.  The new awards aim to highlight the important impact that social investment is having on communities.  They will also help to show investors that it is a market that will grow and become a conventional way to invest.  The awards are free to enter and nominations are open until 30 September 2014.

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Another chance for justice & fairer compensation

In an update on its Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) redress work, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reported that firms have improved the way they handle complaints.  In another positive move, banks, credit card providers and personal loan companies have agreed to reassess more than 2.5m complaints from 2012 and 2013, which they may have either unfairly rejected or paid too little redress to.

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Start of Scottish Referendum voting period special

More contributions to the Referendum debate during August

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

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Previous contributions to the referendum debate in from end of July going back to mid-May 2014:
One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven ~ Eight ~ Nine ~ Ten ~ Eleven ~ Twelve

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