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The day in FOIA: uninvestigated crimes in Devon and Cornwall, family suicide in Glasgow, Empty homes in York and Buskers in Liverpool

Devon and Cornwall Police ‘shelve 40% of crimes due to cuts’

Nearly half of a region’s reported crime was not investigated last year following cuts to a police force’s budget, it was said today.

Devon and Cornwall Police did not pursue more than 36,000 cases reported to them, representing 40% of all crime files which landed on officers’ desks.

Those investigations shelved by officers included 11,000 incidents of criminal damage, 4,000 thefts from vehicles and 3,700 burglaries, according to the figures released to the Western Morning News under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Ryan Hooper | The Independent | August 10th 2012

No FAI into the deaths of three asylum seekers who fell from Glasgow’s Red Road Flats

THE deaths of three asylum seekers who apparently leapt from a tower block more than two years ago will not be the subject of a fatal accident inquiry, officials have announced.

The Crown Office concluded that it is “not in the public interest” to hold such an examination of the deaths of Serguei Serykh, 43, his wife Tatiana, and his 19-year-old stepson Stepan.

The trio apparently threw themselves from the Red Road flats in Springburn, Glasgow, on March 7 2010.

She said Positive Action In Housing has asked the Crown Office, via a freedom of information request, for further details about how it arrived at its decision.

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The Daily Record | August 9th 2012

1,200 homes in York stand empty

MORE than 1,000 homes in York are standing empty new figures have revealed – with 734 unoccupied for more than six months.

One privately owned home has lain empty for 15 years, one housing association property had been empty for three and a half years and one council property was empty for 60 weeks, but is now occupied.

The figures, obtained from City of York Council through a Freedom of Information request, exclude second homes.

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Mike Laycock | The York Press | August 9th 2012

Buskers campaign against new policy in Liverpool

Up and down the country, corporate bodies called Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are increasingly administering urban centres, offering their paying members privileged access to unelected officials who are literally ‘on call’ to take their grievances directly to policy makers. In the case of Liverpool City Council’s recent decision to regulate busking and street entertainment, we find a lesson in the pitfalls of charging unnaccountable bodies with directing democracy on the public’s behalf.

However, information acquired under Freedom of Information legislation shows that as of November 2011 the number of city shopkeepers who formally complained to the Council to regulate buskers/street performers was so low that the council themselves do not bother to record complaints.

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Christian Eriksson | The Guardian | August 9th 2012

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