Fracking – is it on your radar yet? Coming to the south west in 2014….

This is an article which appeared in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald on January 2 2014 and includes an interview with mum Becky Martin, a scientist by profession. As 2014 dawns, it could be a very important year for one campaigning mum from … [Read more...]

The police, young people and mental health…in Wiltshire…

Today I'm reproducing an article I wrote for my family column in the weekly newspaper, The Gazette & Herald, which covers much of the county of Wiltshire. It was published on Thursday August 29 2013  and I'm reproducing it here at the request of … [Read more...]

Hope in the midst of horror – the killing of a soldier in Woolwich

Let's not let anger and fear make us blind to the good things.....

A young soldier is attacked and killed in full public view on our streets, seemingly by extremists intent on creating fear and panic among the population at large. An act of violence and abomination. A  terrible, terrible event for the family, … [Read more...]

Has the murder of Stephen Lawrence made you reflect? Are you rascist?

Rascism can be fought - one step at a time....

Stephen Lawrence was a young man murdered by rascists. We've known this for 18 years. Many of us have looked at the Lawrence family and been inspired by their dignity in the face of such horror - again and again and again. It seems that we should … [Read more...]

Appropriate adult – appropriate story? Fred met Janet.

The web spun by Fred & Rose West - prepare for more dramas around this story

The serial killings of Fred and Rose West was a case that dominated the early part of my career in newspapers. I didn't cover the story on a day-to-day basis but I knew several journalists who did - and working down the road in Swindon, it was close … [Read more...]


Police worry about some children who are out of control

Watching the news tonight and I listened to the mum of 13-year-old boy justifying why her son went to the riots with a hammer strapped to his leg. He wasn't rioting, but he was there. The hammer was for his own protection. She was lamenting the … [Read more...]


Have you seen the mob mentality close up?

I'm listening to Question Time talking about riots as I'm writing this. Here in Swindon, for three evenings in a row there has been rumour and counter-rumour about trouble in the town centre. To my knowledge, nothing's happened.   Shops … [Read more...]

High drama outside bedroom window!

police car parked across road

As I was quietly contemplating today's first new blog post, one literally popped into my head. Well, 'pop' is not quite the right word, more like 'screeched'. I'm not joking. On the little housing estate where I live, it is quite sedate so loud … [Read more...]

Motorhome story – a pr dilemma?

row of caravans in woodland setting

Last week I described a scenario to you where a police officer had almost come to blows with a company over the purchase of a very expensive motorhome.   To re-cap, the £40,000 vehicle was a lemon and the company was refusing to replace it, … [Read more...]

The Media Giving Out The Wrong Message?

small spider hanging from thread with bright blue background

I went on a course last week about ‘safe recruitment’ in my role as chair of a local pre-school. Even as volunteers, we’re expected to develop a knowledge of safeguarding children – a sentiment I applaud. The course on the whole was good and … [Read more...]