The Spectator

Barometer | 2 November 2017

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Lynx on the loose

— A Eurasian lynx escaped from a zoo in Wales, pre-empting plans to introduce six of the animals to Kielder Forest in Northumberland. The animal was once native to Britain, becoming extinct around the year 700, earlier than the wolf (possibly 1290) or the brown bear (around year 1000).

— However, in continental Europe and near-Asia, numbers have been growing since a low of 700 between 1930 and 1950. There are now believed to be 50,000, spread from Uzbekistan in the east to Germany in the west. Of the smaller Iberian lynx, restricted to Spain and Portugal, numbers fell to 100 in 2002 but now stand at about 400.

Collaring white collars

Gordon Brown said more bankers should have been jailed for actions related to the banking crisis. What are the figures for white collar crime?

Year

Reported offences / Prosecutions

2011

142,991 / 11,261

2013

230,845 / 9,700

2015

617,112 / 9,401

2016

641,539 / 8,304

Source: Pinsent Masons

Losing big

Some facts and figures on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs):

— There are 34,388 of them in the UK, according to the Gambling Commission.

— The gross yield from the machines is £1.8 billion.

— The maximum stake allowed is £100, the maximum prize is £500 and there is a limit of four to be installed on a premises.

— It is theoretically possible to lose £18,000 in a single hour on an FOBT.

— However, the average customer spends £11 an hour on them, according to the Association of British Bookmakers. 74 per cent of users play once a month or less.

Prisoners’ votes

When can and can’t prisoners vote?

Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary General ban.

France General right to vote, but courts can impose ban in individual circumstances.

Germany General right to vote, except where inmates have committed crimes which are judged to have undermined democracy.

Italy Disenfranchisement based on length of sentence.

US Individual states have right to debar criminals from voting, even after they have completed their sentences — with five million prisoners and ex-prisoners across the US banned from voting.

Norway, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Albania, Switzerland No ban.