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Issue No. 2187

Suicides rise as recession bites

Suicide rates shot up as the recession started, new figures show.

5,377 people killed themselves in 2008—an increase of more than 6 percent on the year before.

More than 300,000 lost their jobs that year as the financial crisis hit.

The statistic abruptly ends a two-decade trend of falling suicide rates.

Experts fear that the upward rate could continue until the recession ends.

Crime down but prisons fill up

Almost 100,000 people are being sent to prison every year—even though crime is falling.

Home Office statistics released last week showed a 36 percent fall in crime since 1998.

But justice ministry figures showed 99,500 people were jailed this year.

Including suspended sentences nearly 141,000 were sentenced to custody—the highest level since Thatcher came to power in 1979.

25,000 prison places have been built since Labour came to power.

‘Terror’ case appeal win

A man jailed for eight years for being a “wannabe suicide bomber” was the victim of a miscarriage of justice, appeal judges have ruled.

The Edinburgh court last week said it was “minded” to quash Mohammed Atif Siddique’s conviction.

It ruled that the original judge in the case had misdirected the jury.

The 24-year-old student was jailed for possessing articles, CDs and videos about terrorism.

But his lawyers pointed out that much of the material was freely available on the internet.

It did not in any way show he was a terrorist, they said.

Mohammed will have to wait to hear whether he will be released or face a retrial.

Police retreat on tank protest

A group of “police parody” protesters have put one over on the cops by getting all charges against them dropped.

The Space Hijackers came to the G20 protests in London in April last year—in a bright blue tank.

The police arrested them for wearing mock riot gear.

But the charges were dropped on the eve of their trial.

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Article information

Tue 2 Feb 2010, 19:19 GMT
Issue No. 2187
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