21/05/2016 Reporters - Short Edition


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I'm Ben Bland and from here, in the world's


newsroom, we sent our correspondents to bring


you the best stories from


In this week's programme: inside one of Europe's


Ed Thomas gets exclusive access to Wandsworth in


south London where overcrowding, drugs, violence and corruption are


among the challenges facing the Prison Service.


It's so short-staffed in here, this place


Even a lot of the staff here are in fear.


And finding the dolphins of the Ganges.


Justin Rollins discovers the elusive creatures are surviving despite all


I never expected to see anything like as many dolphins


And it's such incredibly good news because what it


tells us is that this river is capable of supporting these


The British government is promising the biggest


shake-up since Victorian times of the prison system in England and


The move comes as concerns about safety standards have


The Chief Inspector of Prisons has said too many jails are


Under the plans, six prisons will be overhauled.


Ed Thomas has spent the


last week at one of them, Wandsworth prison in south London, where


overcrowding, drugs and violence are rife.


The BBC has been given unprecedented access inside a


Over seven days, we saw the fear and violence.


You've got to be able to defend yourself.


If you can't defend yourself, then you will


And the prison officers pushed to the very edge.


I think I'm probably the most stressed


A prisoner has refused to go back to his cell.


20 years ago, the inmate in the middle of all of this


We can't identify him but he told us he was trapped in a


I've had warfare with politics in jail.


I got sliced down the side of the face.


I've had my arm broken, I've got three broken bones


I've had murders in here left, right and centre.


And I've gone to them and said, look, at the


end of the day, you are putting me in a predicament where I have no


alternative but to utilise violence for my safety.


And with the greatest of respect, they are so


short-staffed in here, this place can't run, it's unsafe.


Even a lot of the staff that are in here are in


Lads, that smell of cannabis is really...


Next, B Wing, and the smell of cannabis is everywhere.


And then we see it, a group smoking below us, in full view.


How do you feel about people smoking cannabis is out there?


Imagine they can't get it next week, there are going to be fights


Where can you get cannabis from around here?


If you want cannabis, I can get you some.


It defeats everything that we're trying


You don't have to look far to find drugs in


He says all drugs are available at all


You can get spice, you can get heroin, you can get crack, you


Right now, all you've got to do is go down to the twos, to the


threes, to the ones, everything is there, anything you like.


Then there is that alcohol brewed in cells.


And the mobile phones, too, all smuggled into Wandsworth.


For a smartphone, ?700 they go for, retail price.


This prisoner asked us not to show his face.


Are you just saying that, though, to get officers in trouble?


I know officers that charge you ?500 a parcel the size of, say,


three tennis balls full of drugs, phones, whatever you want.


The BBC was invited here to hear the stories, to see the


pressure from a governor who is demanding change.


Corruption is the one thing that I absolutely cannot


One of the first things we would do with reform is to think


very carefully about how do we deal with those


issues of corruption and


what do we do to tackle those staff bringing those drugs in because that


will deal with some of the issues that you have highlighted and that


But how long will this prison reform take? The pressure inside is


building now and officers are getting hurt. At the moment, he has


been the victim of an assault. If she could, she would have be out the


job. For Andy, it cannot get any worse. It's because I care, I want


to make a difference, I believe my staff want to make a difference. We


are struggling, we haven't got the staff. I do think people care.


People don't care about my long-term health. I think I'm probably the


most stressed I been in 24 years in this job. What will happen to you?


If I'm like my colleagues, when I retire, I will die. Desperately


reform now. This prison revolution promised to fix broken jails and so


many broken lives. India has launched an ambitious $3 billion


programme to clean up the Ganges, India's greatest and most sacred


river. It's a huge challenge not least because the river is a sewer


carrying away waste from 450 billion people but they are also home to


rare dolphin which somehow survives despite all the pollution. Justin


has been out along the river in search of the elusive creatures.


Farrah Naseem is the holiest city in all of India. But just take a look


at this. It is also a huge source of pollution. The ancient practices of


Riverside cremation one tiny part of it. A far bigger problem is the


waste of the living. We can only treat third of the sewage. The city


generates more than 300 million litres of waste and 100 million


litres are treated. The rest go straight into the Ganges. Figures


elsewhere on the river I even worse. Independent study show 80% of sewage


is untreated. The government says it plans to build massive new waste


treatment infrastructure. Environmentalists say it can't come


soon enough for at least one key species. We have come down to the


Ganges and the hope was we might be able to spot the incredibly rare


dolphin and incredibly, within minutes of arriving here, I saw the


dorsal fin of one of them break the water. The real challenge I think


will be filming them. We have hired a little boat, this is it. And this


is the cameraman. How difficult will it be to film the Dolphins? It's


tough. They pop-out suddenly. You are an expert on the Dolphins here.


One of the programmes is to protect this rare animal. How rare is the


dolphin now? It's an endangered species and it's pretty rare to spot


these animals. But today, there seemed to be Dolphins all around us.


Six, seven! They have to surface every two minutes or so to breathe.


The challenge is getting where they will be. But after a bit, Sanjay


gets his eye in and look at this. This has been extraordinary. I never


expected to see anything like as many Dolphins as we have seen and


it's such incredibly good news because what it tells us is this


river is capable of supporting these wonderful animals. It also shows us


what's at stake, why it's so important that the Indian


government's efforts to clean up river succeed.


And that's all from us for this week. Goodbye for now.


A weekly programme of stories filed by BBC reporters from all over the world, ranging from analyses of major global issues to personal reflections and anecdotes.

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