11/02/2017 Midlands Today


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11/02/2017

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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We are back with the late news at 10.15pm.

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Good afternoon. the late news at 10.15pm.

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Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioners are calling

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on the government to end the practice of charging victims

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of domestic abuse for medical letters proving they've been abused.

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Sue Arnold, who is the County's Deputy PCC says the practice

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is "insulting" and can cost as much as ?300.

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Louisa Currie reports.

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It's a crime so often committed behind closed doors.

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Domestic violence can be difficult to spot.

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And even harder to prove.

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But is charging victims for medical evidence the right thing to do?

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Those fees are being charged so that someone can be safe.

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GPs are there to protect people, and help them.

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I think it's absolutely outrageous that a victim would then be faced

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with that challenge.

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In Staffordshire, reports of domestic abuse have risen by 18%

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with more than 13,000 crimes reported over the last 12 months.

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And the force is making tackling it a priority.

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The problem is letters from GPs are not paid for by the NHS.

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But they take time to write and that means costs,

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which are often passed on to patients.

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You have to have evidence for any court case.

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And we understand and accept that.

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But not to be charged by a GP to be able to prove that before you can

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access that legal system.

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The fundamental principle of Legal Aid is to support

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vulnerable people who can't afford to go through the system.

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The British Medical Association says victims of domestic violence should

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not need to seek a letter from any source, including a GP.

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They should be believed in the first place.

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Sue Arnold is calling on the Department of Health to look

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again at the charges, or to make sure the costs

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are covered by Legal Aid.

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A report's found that the man found guilty of murdering the Coventry

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toddler Daniel Pelka refused medical treatment while in prison

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for fear he'd be recognised.

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Mariusz Krezolek, who'd been jailed for life for his cruelty,

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died from a heart attack in January last year.

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The Ukip party's candidate in the Stoke on Trent by-election

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has been forced to move house in Stoke.

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The party says it's because of concerns

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for Paul Nuttall's personal safety.

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Incidents have included hate mail being posted through the letterbox

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of his registered address in the city and intruders

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being found in the garden.

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The refit of a hotel in Malvern is being used to support

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the homeless in Worcester.

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Instead of skipping or selling their old furniture and bedding,

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the owners chose to donate it to a recycling business.

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And that in turn supports a local hostel.

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Amy Cole reports.

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Getting out of the cold, Thomas has been here for three weeks

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after being found sleeping rough on the steps of the hostel.

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I used to be a chronic drug user.

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Since I've been in the hostel, I haven't touched no drugs

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for nearly three weeks.

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I've been giving clean samples.

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So I'm looking well.

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And Jonathan knows me.

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My mum's here too.

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So I found it quite nice to been around family.

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It's given me a bit of stability back in my life again.

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Jonathan runs St Paul's hostel.

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It's funded purely by profits made from the sale of furniture that's

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been donated to the second chance furniture company.

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We have our own onside counsellor, and we have to pay for that.

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And also allows us to pay for trips away the people,

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perhaps buy tickets to visit family and friends.

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Julia and Nick are refurbishing their hotel in Malvern Morven

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and have donated a lot of bedding and tables to the charity.

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It's really nice to see things being recycled, and being reused.

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If we can input back into the community in any way

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we can, I always think it's a fantastic thing to do.

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Would you like to see more businesses do that?

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Certainly.

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It's important businesses give back to the area

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where they are living and growing.

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The community doing its best to help those less fortunate.

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Many of us woke up to snow this morning.

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So what does the forecast have in store for us tomorrow?

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Rebecca Wood has the details.

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Good afternoon.

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It was certainly a cold start to the day.

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A winter wonderland at the top.

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We've had more snow showers even to lower levels and,

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as we head through tonight, we're likely to see them continuing,

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particularly over high ground.

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The Staffordshire Morland is likely to see someone snowflakes.

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We could even get some to lower levels as it meets that cold air.

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A chilly night with temperatures dipping down to 1-3 Celsius.

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More of the same tomorrow.

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A cloudy, grey day, plenty of showers, again,

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as they touch that much colder air, they are likely to fall

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as something snowy.

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Clearing away, temperatures getting up to 3-4 C but it's going to be

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a bit brighter by Monday.

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Before we go, just a reminder that tomorrow's Sunday Politics

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has a live debate from Staffordshire University

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with some of the candidates in the Stoke-on-Trent Central

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by-election.

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Join Patrick Burns from 11 o'clock on BBC one.

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But, from all of us here, goodbye.

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