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Over 2,800 sex crimes reported in schools in three years

Over 2,800 sex crimes have allegedly taken place in British schools and been reported to police the past three years, according to new figures.

More than 320 were alleged rapes, according to the figures taken between 2011 and 2013 that were released to The Independent newspaper.

Provided by 37 police forces across the UK, the statistics showed more than half of the offences were alleged to have been committed by children and 90% of the alleged abuse victims were children.

The National Association of Headteachers told the newspaper any increase in reports may be down to victims being more confident in coming forward.

The NSPCC's Claire Lilley said "prevention is key," adding that schools must ensure they have adequate safeguarding procedures in place and that parents and teachers are able to recognise warning signs early so they can take swift action when required.

The Department for Education told the paper safeguarding arrangements in schools are inspected regularly to ensure all abuse allegations are taken seriously.

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Hamas will 'pay a heavy price' for four-year-old's death

Hamas will "pay a heavy price" for the death of a four-year-boy who was killed in a mortar attack, according to a spokesman for the Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ofir Gedelman said on his Twitter account that the Israeli military and security forces would "intensify" operations as a result of the strike.

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PM Netanyahu sends his condolences to the family of the 4 year old boy that was killed this afternoon by a mortar round fired by Hamas 1/2

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PM:Hamas will pay a heavy price for this attack.IDF & ISA will intensify ops against Hamas until the goal of #ProtectiveEdge is achieved 2/2

People 'should think before buying illegal cigarettes'

People would "think twice" about buying illegal cigarettes if they knew what they contained, local authority leaders said.

Black market cigarettes seized in raids across England were found to contain human excrement, the Local Government Authority revealed today.

The LGA said the illicit trade was "costing taxpayer billions", and affecting council efforts to cut smoking.

Counterfeit tobacco being sold cheaply through the black market by rogue traders is hampering council efforts to reduce smoking.

This illicit trade is also funding organised criminal gangs, damaging the livelihoods of honest businesses and costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year.

People buying cheap cigarettes might think they are getting a great deal - but the truth is that they're not. If they knew what they might contain, they might think twice about buying them.

Council prosecutions should serve as a strong warning to any shopkeeper thinking of stocking their shelves with illegal tobacco and not thinking twice about selling them cheaply to children and others.

– Councillor Joanna Spicer

Warning over illegal cigarettes 'containing excrement'

Illegal cigarettes seized in a crackdown on black market trade have been found to contain human excrement, council officials have warned.

PA Wire
Some fake cigarettes were found to contain human excrement. Credit: PA Wire

The Local Government Authority (LGA) said the illegal market is hampering efforts to reduce smoking, while many products posed a fire risk and cost the UK economy around £3 billion a year in unpaid duty.

In some cases fake cigarettes contained human excrement, rat droppings, asbestos and dead flies, the LGA said.

Hundreds of thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in Wolverhampton, Bristol and Nottingham, as part of the council's bid to tackle the practice.

Trading Standards Officers reported finding cigarettes inside vacuum cleaners, under floorboards and in toilet cisterns.

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Rocket explodes shortly after take off

A prototype rocket exploded shortly after launching on a test flight from a base in central Texas, according to the company that launched it.

A statement on the SpaceX website said: "During the flight an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission."

The explosion was wintessed by one Twitter user.

No one was hurt during the experiment which the company said had pushed the vehicle to limits further than any previous test.

They added: "With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program."

'Confusing' financial jargon explained

New research suggests financial jargon could be driving customers away from banks and building societies.

Here are definitions of the terms that prove most confusing for customers.

  • FSCS stands for Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is a safety net for people whose bank or building society goes bust that will compensate a consumer by up to £85,000
  • AER stands for the annual equivalent rate, which is used to help people compare returns on savings accounts means
  • Bacs is a central payment system used to process several different types of electronic payment, such as wages and pensions
  • Gross interest refers to interest that is paid before the deduction of tax

May: UK may struggle against extremism for decades

Britain may struggle against extremist ideology for decades, the Home Secretary has warned.

Announcing plans to toughen laws to tackle British jihadists, Theresa May said Britain needed to introduce all the legal powers necessary to combat extremism.

We are in the middle of a generational struggle against a deadly extremist ideology

We will be engaged in this struggle for many years, probably decades. We must give ourselves all the legal powers we need to prevail.

I am looking again at the case for new banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of the legal threshold for terrorist proscription, as well as for new civil powers to target extremists who seek to radicalise others.

For those who have dual nationality, I have the power to strip them of their citizenship and exclude them from the country.

Following the recent Immigration Act, I can, in certain circumstances, remove citizenship from naturalised Britons who are fighting overseas and exclude them too.

– Theresa May

Banking customers 'bombarded' with financial jargon

Consumers are being "bombarded" with financial jargon by banks and building societies, according to the director of retail at National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

While new research has found that jargon is driving customers away from banks and building societies, Julian Hynd said it was important for people to check the information supplied to them.

He said: "It's clear that customers are being bombarded with financial jargon, not only from their bank/building society but other financial service providers too."

He added: "But it's important for customers to remember that although the information supplied to them won't be a riveting read, it will provide essential information relevant to them."

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