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The Day in FoIA: Rise in disabled hate crime, dentist’s hygiene breaches and Ireland’s Stormont facing FOIA battle

Ipswich/Suffolk: Shock rise in reports of hate crime against disabled people in Suffolk

Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request by the Ipswich Star show that last year there were 165 reports of disablist hate crimes to Suffolk police – a jump of nearly 20 per cent from 138 in 2009/10. So far this year there have been 118 reports.

The reports include 12 instances of people with learning difficulties being assaulted and 19 cases of people with physical disabilities becoming victims of harassment. Bosses at Ipswich-based disability charity Optua said the rise shows disabled people have more confidence now to report the crimes. Read more.

Matt Burn | East Anglia Daily Times | 8th October 2012 |

Dirty dentists putting patients at risk of infection

One in nine dentists inspected by the health care watchdog were found to be in breach of strict guidelines on cleanliness and infection control designed to prevent the spread of conditions such as HIV, hepatitis and vCJD.

Under Freedom of Information laws, The Daily Telegraph obtained a copy of a database detailing the results of inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the healthcare regulator.

An analysis reveals that of the 1,667 dental practices inspected by the CQC last year, 189 were found to not be following Department of Health instructions on how to clean instruments and surgeries. Some 8,100 dentists are registered in England. Read more.

Matthew Holehouse | The Telegraph | 7th October 2012 |

Ireland: Stormont facing Freedom of Information legal battle

PETER Robinson and Martin McGuinness’s Stormont department is facing unprecedented legal action as its failure to answer a Freedom of Information request threatens to enter the courts, the News Letter can reveal.

In recent years the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) has acquired a reputation as Stormont’s most closed department and last year it was threatened with an investigation after refusing to answer a series of requests from the News Letter.

However, a retired civil servant who asked for information about the law which exempts Roman Catholic schools from fair employment legislation has now filed for leave for judicial review after more than 300 days passed without a response – far beyond the legal time limit of 20 days. Read more.

Sam McBride | Newsletter | 7th October 2012 |

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