Jailhouse stock control

fletcher

When most people think of prison they have an image of Fletch from BBC’s Porridge, his quest for pineapple chunks and his erudite cellmate Godber who had a geography O-level – or maybe it is just me. But the media has a fascination with criminals and by proxy the way we choose to punish criminals […]

Dog cull sets tongues wagging

Nicolae-Ceausescu

Most of the articles I write are based around numbers. The reason for this is although I enjoy writing number-based articles it is just much easier to get hold of information in a numerical form than a document that has been written by somebody in their words. Personally I believe this is because many people […]

The Taxman giveth and the taxman taketh away..

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Earlier this week there was a story that was taken up by the newspapers about the number of households in the country that take more out of the tax system than pay in. Obviously on the back of such shows as Benefits Street and the obsession by some that the country is being brought to […]

The Ins and Outs of the UK’s trade

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One of the things I’m always on the lookout for as a data journalist are any new sources of information that can be used to provide the raw material for an article. Recently I stumbled across a great resource called UK Trade Info, which as you might have guessed logs all the imports and exports […]

Perverts Knot wanted in the Scouts

Baden Powell

Somewhere out there in the digital world are a bank of computers that hold all the information relating to criminal convictions clocked up by the entire population.   After the case of Soham double murderer Ian Huntley, who managed to get a job as a school caretaker despite having a predilection for sex with underage […]

Drugs’ side-effect data reveals the torment of human guinea pigs

pills

I’ve blogged before on the data on drugs’ side-effects held by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and how articles based on those statistics need a health warning attached to them. Why? Because there is no firm link between the drug and the side-effect and there is no data on the numbers of […]

Blobby bobbies on the rise

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Just like the child in the proverbial sweet shop, newspapers can’t get enough when it comes to stories about obesity. The topic of how the nation is getting fatter as well as the more nuanced consequences for our general health and the cost implications on society and the health service are a sure fire winner […]

Social Media crime – Buses of the 21st century?

Showing social media icons on smartphone

About two years ago I did an article for the newspapers on the number of crimes the police logged that were linked in some way to Facebook. At the time Facebook was getting a lot of bad publicity and the article just helped to fan the flames of discontent about the lack of social responsibility […]

Amsterdam loses its cocaine crown to London

Pa sÿe en kanalcÿek.

Who says that Europe is a waste of money and we should pull out quicker than you could chomp down a frogs’ leg starter followed by a healthy portion of bratwurst? Not me. Not after the evidence that scientists around the continent are doing really useful research for the tiny clique that makes up the […]

Don’t let HPV be a foolish re-run of the MMR debacle

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There was a blip of discussion last week about the prospect of bringing back National Service after its potential virtues were promoted by that great social commentator Prince Harry. When not indulging in nude Vegas romps it appears the man who keeps falling down the pecking order to the throne believes that we should have […]