Crime & the Law

Evidence collected from NHS scandal and other stories

Evidence to be gathered from blood transfusion scandal

A 3D medical animation of the Hepatitis C virus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A public inquiry has begun taking evidence into the blood transfusion scandal which is said to have cost the lives of more than 2,000 patients.

It is reported that during the 1970s and 1980s, nearly 5,000 NHS patients suffering from haemophilia were infected with HIV or Hepatitis C due to contaminated blood transfusions.

Thousands more patients who needed blood transfusions after operations or childbirth around the same period of time are also likely to have been exposed to the diseases.

The issue began when the NHS started importing the essential blood-clotting protein Factor VIII from the US in the 1970s, which had been created at that time from the pooled blood plasma of high-risk donors.

The public inquiry – announced in July 2017 – aims to consider evidence from more than 2,500 ex-patients, and could last up to two years.

University of Cambridge to investigate historical slavery links

Emancipation Badge (1787), commissioned by the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Credit: University of Cambridge.

The University of Cambridge has launched a two-year study on its own historical links with slavery, and whether the University gained from the slave trade.

Universities in the UK and the United States have both faced scrutiny for their involvement in the slave trade during the 18th and 19th Century.

Vice-chancellor Stephen Toope believes that revisiting the past will help the University ‘acknowledge its role during that dark phase of human history’, and assured that although they ‘cannot change the past’, they would not ‘seek to hide from it.’

The University’s archives, libraries and museums will be the primary sources used to find the university’s past associations with slavery.

The investigation will also consider how the university could create a form of reparation for its role in the slave trade, such as renaming buildings, funding foundations and creating monuments.

UK’s social mobility at a standstill

Members of the Social Mobility Commission. Credit: Government Communication Service.

A Social Mobility Commission report from the government has warned that the situation in the UK has remained ‘virtually stagnant’ since 2014.

The body has recommended that ministers spend more on education for older teenagers, and provide more free childcare for low income families.

Dame Martina Milburn, the Chairwoman of the Commission, said she sensed a ‘real commitment’ from the government to act on these recommendations.

The report proposes that the government pays all its employees and contracted workers the voluntary living wage.

The findings could be seen as a setback for the Conservative government, as Theresa May promised to tackle the ‘burning injustice’ of social mobility issues in 2016.

Arrest made after bodies found in London freezer

Vandome Close, where the bodies were discovered. Credit: Google Maps.

A 50-year-old man has been arrested in a murder inquiry, after the bodies of two women were discovered in a freezer within a flat in Canning Town, East London.

The Met Police are still appealing for further witnesses, having discovered the bodies on Friday.

Local residents are reported to have seen a fridge-freezer being carried out of a block of six flats and into a police van waiting outside the property.

The women are yet to be identified, and post-mortem examinations have not yet been carried out.

The incident is one of 40 murder investigations already launched in London this year by the Met and British Transport Police.

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