Leading Article: Lock 'em up - an easy mantra but a flawed policy

WE DO not have to subscribe to the grotesque tabloid fantasy of a nation stalked by hordes of psychopaths and child molesters to recognise the genuine concern that has been aroused in the public mind by recent cases like that of Michael Stone, who was jailed last year for the murder of Lin and Megan Russell. During his trial it emerged that Stone had told a nurse five days earlier about his violent fantasies, and had asked to be admitted to hospital. Because he was deemed "untreatable" he could not be admitted under existing legislation and was refused a place, with tragic consequences. The release of known "predatory" paedophiles who remain a danger to children after their release from prison also raised a legitimate concern. The Government was right to respond to the public's desire that "something must be done".

The Temp: Shorthand for lager

GLENDA, THE barmaid at the Seedy's, has got a septic hand, and won't be back to work for a couple of weeks. After my fine cry of, "Let me through, I'm a barmaid!", during the emergency period when 20 south London builders found themselves without lager on a Monday night, John the landlord offered me a temporary job filling in for her.

Websites: Beetlemania is back

Icepick

Dance: Dustbins, but no rubbish

STOMP ROUNDHOUSE

The Temp: Oh, to be teetotal

I have one of those Sundays where you go out to lunch at midday and come home at 2am after 14 hours' solid drinking and nothing to eat apart from the ossified heel of a loaf of bread and cheese off which you've had to cut the mouldy bits. And as Monday means new job day for temps, I'm in trouble.

Words cannot describe everyday events in modern life feels

For heaven's sake, was I hoicked out of the pub for this lot of piffling queries?

Show me his pockets and I'll show you the man

' "IT WAS THE body of a man in early middle age," said Inspector Flubbalub. "Well-built, athletic, dressed in immaculately cut tweeds from which the tailor's name had been deliberately removed. In the pockets we found a latchkey, a clean handkerchief, a pocketbook containing pounds 10 in banknotes, and a few odd coppers in change. Nothing to tell us." '

Secretarial: The secret life of desks

Your desk says more about you than your CV - and bosses know it.

Cafe Society: South of the river

Tea Rooms des Artistes 697 Wandsworth Rd, SW4 (0171-652 6526) Former slaughterhouse converted over a decade ago into a bar and now a popular pre-club venue. Small but cosy garden, small but cosy menu, tight squeezes to get to the bar. Entrance charge after 9pm at weekends.

Hacker stole secrets of stars from dustbins

A TRAINEE solicitor collected secret information on some of the top names in showbusiness - including Elton John and Lord Lloyd-Webber - by hacking into their agent's computer and rummaging through his dustbins.

Hunt on for the stoned civil servant

NO WONDER the economy is on a high, writes Paul Routledge. They are smoking pot at the Treasury.

Focus groups to take decisions on drains and dustbins

FOCUS groups of voters could replace committees of councillors as decision-makers under plans to be launched tomorrow. The move could produce the biggest shake-up in local government this century, writes Stephen Castle.

Letter: Smaller units

MUCH AS we welcome Neal Ascherson's stimulating article on the Council of the Isles (18 January), we would like to correct misconceptions about our position.

Smoking: But how do they taste?

On the pleasure-meter, the American Spirit regular filter cigarette does fine. This is a cigarette with a definite bouquet of, well, tobacco. Missing is the slight sweet tinge found at the tongue tip after a Marlboro regular. No liquorice or cocoa in this smoke.

Guinness assigns Panel to the dustbin of history

Jeremy Warner on why the Takeover Panel may find it difficult to survive the Guinness report
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Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

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The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
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Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

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Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

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'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
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Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue