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Barometer

As lettuce grows scarce, who’s growing our fruit and veg

Also in Barometer: Britain’s private police forces; how wrong is Wikipedia

18 February 2017

9:00 AM

18 February 2017

9:00 AM

Special forces

Cathedral constables at York Minister got back their powers of arrest, which they had held from the 13th century until the 1930s. They will be allowed to carry batons and handcuffs. Other private police forces:

British Transport Police, which is almost entirely funded by the rail industry, has 3,069 officers with similar powers to those of regular police.

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary, with 1,500 officers, secures nuclear power plants and the transport of nuclear materials around the country.

Cambridge University Proctors, who used their powers of arrest mostly to detain prostitutes and unruly students, gave up policing powers in 1970 and now perform more of a ceremonial role.

Oxford University Bulldogs kept their powers until 2001 but the force was disbanded two years later.


EU Plots

Bad weather in Spain has led to a shortage of salad. Where are Europe’s vegetables and fruit grown? Some leading producers, and the percentage of the EU’s vegetable- and fruit-growing land they contain:

Veg

Italy 19.5
Spain 16.6
Poland 11.1
France 10.9
Romania 7.1
Germany 5.7
UK 5.4

Fruit

Italy 17.3
Spain 38.8
Poland 10.4
France 5.1
Romania 4.5
Germany 1.7
UK 0.7

Private needs

A higher proportion of independent school pupils are getting extra time in exams on the basis of special needs than is the case with state school pupils. How have numbers of these ‘access arrange­ments’ grown over the years?

Year Total
2011-12 232,350
2012-13 342,550
2013-14 352,350
2014-15 380,450
2015-16 410,800

Wrong move

Wikipedia said it would stop using the Daily Mail as a source on the grounds of unreliability. But how reliable is Wikipedia itself?

— A 2005 study in Nature compared it with the Encyclopedia Britannica and found that in 42 entries both had four serious errors. Wikipedia had 162 minor errors and Britannica 123.

— The Leveson Report misattributed the foundation of the Independent to a Californian student thanks to Wikipedia.

— For some time Wikipedia contained references to a bogus medical condition called glucojasinogen, which in turn came to be quoted in two learned journals.


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