My finding of the week: Cocaine can be delivered 'more quickly than a pizza’ in Glasgow, with 36.7% of users reporting delivery of the drug 'within 30 minutes.’ Source: Global Drug Survey.
164 known organised crime groups, with 3,282 members, are under investigation in Scotland. The threat posed to the general public by 'ongoing feuds, violence and firearms’ in the central belt by these gangs is rising. Source: National Crime Agency. Drug users in Scotland consume the most cocaine in a single session – 1.2g. This is more than double the global average. Source: Global Drug Survey. The most deprived areas of Glasgow have more outlets offering alcohol, tobacco, gambling and fast food than in the more affluent areas. Source: Glasgow University. Perpetrators and victims of people trafficking for slave labour in Scotland tend to share the same country of origin, including Latvia, Vietnam and China. Sex-trafficking in Scotland mainly involves adult women brought in from Romania or Slovakia. National Crime Agency. There’s been a sharp increase in the number of children under 11 years old referred for mental health treatment by schools in England in the past four years. 18,870 children were referred in 2017-18 – 5,183 more than in 2014-15. Source: NSPCC. One third of white Brits don’t have any friends from an ethnic minority background. Source: YouGov. Over a quarter of UK Punjabis have a family member with an alcohol problem. Source: BBC. More people play a musical instrument in the East Midlands than anywhere else in the UK. Source: Classic FM. You are twice as likely to be burgled during the first year of moving house. Part of the problem lies in not having all locks replaced – others could have duplicate keys from previous owners. Source: Home Office. 37% of Brits who have shopped in Asda in the past month have also shopped in Sainsbury’s during that time. Source: YouGov. Despite only being in the 20th week, 21 school shootings have taken place in the US this year. Source: CNN. Age is the single most important indicator of self-perceived ordinariness – the older someone is, the more likely they are to consider themselves ordinary. Although only 58% of 20-24-year-olds consider themselves ordinary, this figure rises with age and 93% of 70-74-year-olds consider themselves so. Source: YouGov.
Wages are finally rising faster than inflation and unemployment is at the lowest rate – 4.2% – since 1975. Source: Office for National Statistics. Although more employees are going to their managers with mental health concerns, only 17% of companies offer appropriate training. Source: Institute of Directors. The town centre vacancy rate rose to 9.2% last month, and all areas of the UK reported an increase with the exception of Greater London. Source: British Retail Consortium. House prices fell at their sharpest rate – 3.1% – since September 2010 last month. Source: Halifax. In 2017, Centrica lost 1.3m energy accounts to its competitors. It still, however, has 13m active accounts in the UK. Source: Centrica.
Eleven students – all men – have been suspended from Warwick University after making jokes about rape in Facebook group chat messages. The university’s online student papers, The Boar and The Tab, obtained screenshots of the alleged comments, one of which spoke about raping ‘100 girls.’ Source: Warwick University.
A spider called Kim has been trained to jump on command by scientists. They hope to study Kim and use the bio-mechanical information found to design agile mini-robots. Source: Manchester University. A helicopter, shrunk down to the size of a football, will be taken to Mars with the rover in 2020. It will be the first test of a heavier-than-air aircraft on another planet. Source: NASA. 15 new species of cuckoo bees have been discovered in American museum collections, all of which relate to one genus, Epeolus. There are now 43 known Epeolus species in America and one has been named after David Attenborough. Source: York University, Toronto. A team of scientists have successfully transplanted memories from one snail to another by transferring a form of genetic information called RNA. The research could provide new information in the search for the physical basis of memory. Source: California University. Scientists studying annual deposits of ice layers on Greenland’s ice cap have found spikes and dips in lead pollution which mirror the timing of many historical events during the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Although 2,000 years ago, the Romans polluted the atmosphere by melting ores in clay furnaces, extracting silver and belching lead into the sky. Source: Oxford University. The number of forests around the world is increasing due to rising incomes and an improved sense of national wellbeing. Source: Helsinki University.
Scientists may have found a way to cure the common cold. Instead of attacking the virus, they are blocking a protein found in the host’s cells which enable the virus to spread. It is hoped that newly developed treatment will be inhaled, to avoid any side-effects. Source: Imperial College London. A drug developed to treat brittle bones – compound WAY-316606 – may cure baldness. It has a 'dramatic stimulatory effect' on human hair follicles. Source: Manchester University. Drinking cranberry juice doesn’t help urine infections. Instead, those affected should drink plenty of water and take painkillers. Source: NICE. Babies whose pupils react more strongly to sudden changes in light are more likely to later be diagnosed with autism. Source: London University. A gene found in the male-only Y chromosome – UTY gene – can protect against a particularly aggressive form of leukaemia. Source: Cambridge University. More than 70,000 NHS staff are assaulted by patients each year in the UK. Nurses, in particular, may be asked to wear body cameras, similar to those worn by the police and fire service. Source: Royal College of Nursing.
Brighton has been named the world's 'most hipster city.' It has 37 vegan restaurants and cafes, 125 coffee shops, and nine record shops for every 100,000 people who live there. Portland, Oregon, came second and Lisbon and Helsinki were the only other European cities in the top 20, the rest being in the US. Source: MoveHub.
40% of Brits believe food myths and old wives’ tales such as carrots make you see in the dark, and eating your crusts will give you curly hair. Source: Spatone. Different areas of the UK favour particular types of lager and cider. In Scotland, Tennents is the preferred tipple; Yorkshire, John Smiths; North East, Fosters; West Midlands, Carling; South West, Carlsberg; Wales, Peroni; London, London Pride and Heineken; and South East, Greene King. Source: YouGov.