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Tobacco investments to be reconsidered by Norfolk and Essex councils

Tobacco investments to be reconsidered by Norfolk and Essex councils

Two councils in the East region are to reconsider multi-million pound pension fund investments in tobacco before they take a lead role in NHS anti-smoking campaigns in 2013.

The move comes after a BBC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed councils across the region have invested more than £167m in tobacco.

Norfolk has invested £25.9m while Essex has invested £9.1m.
The two councils have said they would now review their investments

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BBC | 18th of June 2012

Devon and Cornwall Police Taser use nearly doubles

The number of times police have used Tasers in Devon and Cornwall has nearly doubled over a two-year period.

Figures obtained by the BBC through the Freedom of Information Act show the stun guns were used 34 times in 2010 and 65 times last year.
Human rights groups say they were being used too readily. Devon and Cornwall police said the rise could be linked to the increased number of officers now trained to use Tasers.

Of the force’s 3,200 officers, 480 are trained to use Tasers, up from 150 before 2009 and spending on the weapon rose from £33,470 in 2009 to £101,379 last year, according to an FoI request.

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BBC | 19th June 2012

Fife Ness Coastguard Station continues ‘life-or-death’ work as closure approaches

A significantly understaffed workforce at Fife Ness Coastguard Station has coordinated more than 400 potential life-and-death rescue operations since it was announced last July that the centre is to close.

A Freedom of Information request by The Courier has revealed that between July 2011 and June 7 the rescue centre — which will close on September 28 — handled 426 incidents recorded as alarm, distress or uncertainty requiring rescue coordination.

The news that Fife Ness, along with the base at Clyde, would be shutting was confirmed by the UK Government last summer following a lengthy consultation period.

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Michael Alexander | The Courier | 18th of June 2012

Court out: Shocking haul of 10,000 deadly weapons seized every year from people going into court

At least 35,000 dangerous items such as guns and knives have been recovered by court staff in the last three years.

More than 10,000 deadly weapons are seized every year from suspects, witnesses and the public as they go into court. Figures reveal at least 35,000 dangerous items such as guns and knives have been recovered by court security staff across the country in the last three years.

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Mirror | 18th of June 2012

Fear of bullying claims hits public-sector reform

Senior officials express grave doubts over viability of Croke Park deal. Public-sector reform is impossible because managers “fear” they will not be “backed up” and could be accused of bullying if they try to tackle underperformance, top civil servants have said.

Confidential Department of Finance documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show senior officials have expressed grave doubts over the viability of the Croke Park deal.

These documents come amid fresh concern that the agreement is not delivering and follow comments by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar that compulsory redundancies must form part of any new Croke Park deal.

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Daniel McConnell and Tom Lyons | Irish Independent | 17th of June 2012

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