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32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit

More than a thousand ­sickness benefit claimants died last year after being told to get a job, [the Mirror] can reveal.

[The Mirror] highlighted worries about the controversial medical tests for people claiming Employment Support Allowance which are being used to slash the country’s welfare bill.

The Government has boasted that more than half of new ­claimants are found “fit to work” – failing to mention that over 300,000 have appealed the decision and almost 40% have won.

[The Mirror] used the Freedom of Information Act to discover that, between January and August last year, 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the “work-related activity group”.

Read more here.

Nick Somerlad | The Mirror | 4th April 2012

New police corruption alleged in secret report

Corrupt police officers are accused of deleting intelligence reports from the national police computer on the orders of criminal gangs in a secret report passed to the Leveson inquiry.

The confidential report produced by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) in 2008, found that private investigators, linked to organised criminals, used corrupt serving and former police officers to delete intelligence records from law enforcement databases and access details of police operations. The report has been seen by Channel 4 News Home Affairs Correspondent Andy Davies.

The eight-page report, which has been passed to the Leveson inquiry into police corruption and media ethics, warns of “rogue” private investigators “providing organised crime groups with counter-surveillance techniques” and attempting to discover the identities of informants and witnesses under police protection.

The details in the report entitled “Private Investigators: The Rogue Element of the Private Investigation Industry and Others Unlawfully Trading in Personal Data” have never been disclosed publicly before, because the report is labelled “exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000″.

Read more here.

Andy Davis | Channel 4 News | 30th March 2012

Revealed, snoopers charter will cost YOU £2bn: Huge price of plan to let state spy on websites, emails and texts

Big Brother plans to spy on all internet visits, emails and texts will cost the taxpayer £2billion.

The extraordinary bill was revealed amid revelations that Britain’s snooping watchdog has grave doubts about the mass surveillance project.

The Office of the Information Commissioner said the case had ‘not been made’ to justify the sweeping expansion in the power of the police and other public bodies to trawl through private communications, including visits to Facebook and eBay.

Ministers say the changes are needed to keep pace with technology.  But the concerns of the Information Commissioner’s Office were uncovered by the Tory MP Dominic Raab, using freedom of information requests.

Read more here.

James Black | The Daily Mail | 2nd April 2012

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