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Tonight at Six: Suicides, assaults and self-harm -
the human cost of the prisons crisis.
Suicides have reached record levels in England and Wales
and attacks on prison staff number in the thousands.
It's like a soldier on a battlefield.
You don't know what you're going to be faced with and,
"Am I going to make it home tonight?"
Ministers say they're investing more in the system,
Theresa May is on her way to meet President Trump.
She's under pressure to say that she disagrees
And he's stepping into another row - the Mexican President calls
off his meeting with Mr Trump in a stand-off over that wall.
A bleak future - one in five children in the UK now live
And washed up on a Welsh beach and close to death -
And coming up in the sport on BBC News:
Roger Federer's into the Australian Open men's final,
with Serena Williams up against sister Venus.
Good evening and welcome to the BBC News at Six.
There's been a record rise in suicides, assaults and self-harm
inside prisons in England and Wales, and the latest figures are a stark
reminder of the crisis in the penal system.
There were 354 deaths in prison custody last year.
Nearly 6,500 staff were assaulted in the year to last September -
And incidents of self-harm are up by nearly a quarter.
Our Home Affairs Correspondent, June Kelly, has been speaking to one
prison officer about what these figures mean once you walk
The rise in assaults, suicides and self harming is relentless.
The sense of crisis in the system was underlined by a riot
in Birmingham prison, where inmates posed
Just one of a string of jail disturbances in recent months.
Amid the volatile atmosphere, today's figures show that
in the past year a record number of prisoners have
It's very hard when you've got members of your family who...
Sarah is a long serving prison officer whose
She describes having to deal with a teenage suicide.
A self-inflicted death is a horrific experience.
You feel, is there something more I could have done?
I came on duty, and I went to perform a roll check.
I lifted the flap, and this young man was suspended in his cell.
We lay him on the bed, and I saw a note to his sister on the side,
and I saw it was his birthday, and I thought, what a waste.
Just describe the thoughts in your head as you're going into work.
When you open a door, you don't know what you're
I've had everything from urine, faeces, televisions thrown at me.
Prisons are awash with drugs and psychoactive substances that
All adding to the underlying problems of staff shortages
Vulnerable prisoners are suffering in the increasingly threatening
I am very clear that the levels of violence in our prisons are too
high, and the levels of self harm are too high.
Since I became Justice Secretary, I have focused on dealing
That's why we are investing an extra ?100 million.
2500 extra prison officers across the estate, so that we are able
to have a caseload of one prison officer for every six prisoners.
But Sarah says the challenge is not recruiting staff,
It's like a soldier on a battlefield.
You don't know what you are going to be faced with.
And on top of that, you've got the fear.
I've never been in fear of my life until now,
and we just don't get paid enough to have that fear everyday.
Our Home Editor, Mark Easton, is with me here.
We have seen those figures. How bad is it? Very serious, totally
unacceptable, not my words but the words of Liz Truss, the Justice
Secretary, describing prisons in England Wales. Though very few weeks
at the end of last year, we had all those rights in Bedford, Birmingham,
the Isle of Sheppey, Hull. We know that assaults on staff and suicides
are at record levels. Post a half of prisoners reoffend within a year of
leaving jail, two thirds among juvenile offenders, so the Ministry
of Justice has an enormous challenge. Its annual budget has
been cut by 15% and some of those savings come from prisons. They
somehow got to reduce running costs at the same time as reducing
violence and self harm and reoffending. There are more promises
of officers, more right teams and new legislation to cut reoffending,
but many offenders would argue that -- campaigners would argue that the
only sustainable solution is to either spend a lot more money or
lock up a lot fewer people. And there's a lot more detail
about the pressures on the prison That will take you to
the latest news and analysis Theresa May is flying
to America today, on her way to becoming the first
foreign leader to meet But, as she left, President Trump
sparked off a new controversy, saying that he thought torture
should be used when There's been widespread condemnation
of his remarks and MPs here are demanding that Mrs May
reaffirm Britain's In the last half an hour, Mrs May
has made her position clear, saying that there would be a question over
huge areas of security cooperation if America permitted torture again.
Theresa May setting out for Washington to collect what is
arguably a great prize, as the first foreign leader invited to sit down
with President Trump. But there are big risks as well. Of getting too
close to a man openly backing torture. When they are chopping off
the heads of people because they happen to be Christian in the Middle
East, when Isis are doing things nobody has heard of since medieval
times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I'm
concerned, we have to fight fire with fire. The president has not yet
decided to return to waterboarding of terror suspects, a technique
designed to simulate drowning in the hope of extracting information but
if he allows it, the Prime Minister suggested to journalists she could
withdraw some sharing of British intelligence, a significant threat.
Back home, the opposition had demanded clarity. I want to be very
blunt that you cannot approach the problems of the world on the basis
that you will bring back torture, bring back waterboarding, you will
build a wall against your nearest neighbour. Britain has long opposed
the use of torture, although previous governments stand accused
of complicity in torture by others in the post-9/11 word. -- world.
Today, the Foreign Secretary we stated the official position. The
Prime Minister answered that in the House of Commons yesterday and she
was clear that our principal position and our objection to
torture remains unchanged. When Theresa May meets Donald Trump, she
must balance her desire to renew and to strengthen the special
relationship with a political requirement to confront the special
challenges which he poses. As well as torture, the two leaders disagree
on the threat from Russia and the usefulness of Nato. They disagree on
climate change, and yet both say they want a strong post-Brexit trade
deal, although Britain favours free trade and Mr Trump -- Mr Trump's
America does not. In America, Mrs May will first meet leading
republicans, many of whom do not support the president on torture and
do want a deal with Britain. The fact that she is coming to meet us
is testament to this being a very important relationship. In
Philadelphia, the security is in place and already it's clear that
her face-to-face talks with President Trump will be far from
straightforward. In the last hour, the President
of Mexico has cancelled his plans It follows Mr Trump's latest remarks
on Twitter about his controversial plan to build a border wall
between the two countries. Whether it's on social media
or his first TV interview since entering the White House,
Donald Trump has demonstrated once again that he is unlike any
previous president. Donald Trump's new executive toy,
his first ride today an Air Force One, one of the most potent symbols
of US presidential power. In prime time last night, America's new
reality show, the former property tycoon giving a tour of the
country's most prized piece of real estate. It is a picture of the
crowd. The audience was the biggest ever. And stopping repeatedly to
point out the new pictures, showing the crowd size at his inauguration.
I see it the sea of love, is something special. This was the
letter given to me by President Obama. He showed off the hand
written note given by his predecessor and was asked whether
taking over his office and wielding such awesome power had changed him.
I don't want to change much. I can be the most presidential person ever
apart from possibly the great Abraham Lincoln, but I can be the
most presidential person. He also stood by his widely dismissed claim
that millions of people voted illegally in the presidential
election, the reason he thinks Hillary Clinton won more votes
nationwide. Do you think that talking about millions of illegal
votes is dangerous to this country? Not at all because many people feel
the same. He is expected to sign an executive order later calling for an
investigation to vote fraud, and we are also expecting an order
temporarily banning immigrants from seven mainly Muslim countries from
entering the United States. Would that cause a Muslim backlash around
the world? The world is a mess, as angry as it gets. You think this is
going to cause a bit more anger? The world is an angry place. The world
is total mess. But there were more angry words this morning over the
wall along the Mexican border, with the Mexican president refusing to
pay for it and cancelling a planned visit to Washington next week after
Donald Trump suggested in a tweet that he should rethink his travel
plans. Almost a week into his term in office, it's already becoming
clear that Donald Trump is changing the presidency more than the
presidency is changing him. Mick Bryant, BBC News, Washington.
Let's get the view from our North America Editor, Jon Sopel.
Mexico - US stand-off, arguments about torture, quite a female
atmosphere for Theresa May to be walking into. Yes, and Theresa May
and Donald Trump could could not be more different in terms of
personality and character. Theresa May was asked about this on her
flight to Philadelphia. She said that sometimes opposites attract.
She will want the purpose of this to be an Brexit, trade, Nato, on the
potential of the special relationship but, in America and
Washington in particular, they talk about stray voltage. Just look at
the stray voltage there has been today. We have learned that the
senior management team at the State Department has resigned en masse. We
have heard that the Mexican president isn't coming any more
because of their Twitter spat. We have heard there has been a major
row in the Republican Party over torture and that Donald Trump is
going to sign this executive order on voter fraud, some of which,
according to the New York Times, the evidence for is based on a
conversation he is supposed to have had with the German golfer Bernhard
Langer. Apart from that, it's been a quiet morning in Washington.
Unions at Tata have recommended steel workers at its UK
plants accept a deal which includes pension reform.
The three unions said the offer was the "only credible and viable
Agreements on changes to pensions have been seen as essential
to future investment, including ?1 billion
at the Port Talbot plant in Wales over ten years.
A ballot on the offer is expected to go ahead on Monday.
There was some good news on the economy today.
New figures for the final three months of last year show the economy
It's quite a contrast from the gloomy predictions before
last year's referendum, suggesting that a vote to leave
But, as our Economics Editor, Kamal Ahmed, reports,
there could still be pain on the way.
It was Napoleon who famously and sarcastically called us a nation of
shopkeepers, and the government will be pleased today that the UK economy
is still one based on consumers and the high street. Britain's services
sector, 80% of the economy, was the reason for the positive figures for
shoppers in Reading, it was good business as usual. A lot of people
thought that the referendum and the vote to leave would mean consumers
might be nervous, what is the future, and would stop spending. Did
you find that was true? I haven't seen any difference personally. I
think consumer spending will maintain itself and, long-term, I
think we are in for a good ride. I think we are in an unstable
situation, I really do. We have got nothing that is filling us with
confidence. Instability, lack of confidence, they drove a myriad of
warnings before the referendum. There would be a hit to the value of
peoples homes, at least 10% and to 18%. Material slowdown in growth,
increase in inflation. Higher prices, less growth means less jobs,
so higher unemployment. We are indeed a nation of shoppers and,
frankly, those gloomy predictions before the referendum haven't come
to pass. Consumer confidence is still strong, business confidence is
still strong but, with inflation rising and Britain actually still to
start the process of leaving the EU, which of course we haven't done yet,
will that confidence remain? - The Chancellor meeting apprentices
at Microsoft, a company that is investing in the UK. I asked him
about the Bank of England forecast that said growth could slow next
year. This is economic pain cancelled or it delayed? What the
figures show is that the UK economy continues to be resilient and
continues to confound the sceptics. Of course, we recognise that as we
go into this period of negotiation with the European Union and we
absorb the impacts of deappreciation of sterling, there will be more
uncertainty ahead during this year. British built cars off to the
continent today as production reached a 17-year high. But there is
still that breb ever Brexit shadow. We are getting comments from our
members saying they're waiting to see what the future's going to hold
and for that greater certainty about the future relationship with Europe.
The nation of shoppers forges on. Britain's growth last year was the
highest of any of the major western economies. Are we still waiting for
the full Brexit effect? There's been a record rise
in suicides, assaults and self-harm And still to come:
and Wales. Why Menai the rare turtle is
receiving the best medical attention Captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Root
lead the way for England's cricketers in a seven-wicket win
over India in the first of three Poverty is blighting the lives
of nearly one in five children in the UK and those
from the most deprived backgrounds are experiencing
significantly worse health compared That's according
to a new study by the Royal College of Paediatrics
and Child Health. Britain is ranked 15th out
of 19 Western European countries on infant deaths
under the age of one. 40% of children in England's
most deprived areas And half of adult mental
health problems start Our health correspondent,
Dominic Hughes has more details: What happens in the early years of
childhood is crucial to our health in later life. But today's report
into the state of children's health in the UK shows many children are at
risk of missing out on the best start in life. And as these parents
in Oldham know, it is not always easy. I think it is like the money
side, there is so many single parents and it is children bringing
up children. A lot of people who are unemployed don't seem to know about
anything to do with child health. There is a lot of young mums that
haven't got the support from their mum or haven't got a partner. That
that situation and they don't know where to go for advice. Oldham is
one of the most deprived towns in the UK and it is in such places that
the health of children tr poorer families is at risk. The report
shows when it comes to children's health the UK is falling behind
other European nations. And it lays bare the impact that poverty can
have. But the picture within the UK is extremely mixed. In Scotland, 19%
of mothers smoke during pregnancy. The highest rate in the UK. 40% of
children in England's most deprived areas are overweight or obese.
Northern Ireland has the highest infant mortality rate. And in Wales,
13% of 15-year-olds are reported to consume alcohol once a week. But
poverty is the common factor. It blights in a number of ways, whether
it is access to services, education, whether it is ability to live a
healthier life. All of these things are much more manifest when you're
poor. For those who work with families to improve children's
health, part of the solution at least is simple. There is a role for
education with young people before their pregnant, perhaps in schools,
with teenagers. I don't think we have perhaps do enough there around
preparation for parenthood and what it will be like to be a parent and
what sort of parent they would like to be. All four Governments in the
UK have welcomed the report and pledged to improve the prospects of
next generation. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn,
has said his MPs will face a three-line whip compelling them
to vote to invoke Article 50. The Government has published
legislation allowing the process A draft two-line law
entered the Commons today, Our Deputy Political Editor John
Pienaar is in Westminster for us. So this Brexit bill, will it get
through? Well, this, the Government's plan has had to change.
Theresa May hope's to start the EU divorce without having to get the
nod from Parliament. But she lost the fight in the courts and we have
this, which gives Theresa May the right to start negotiations at a
time of her choosing. Will it get through? Very comfortably. Most MPs
don't feel they can defy the referendum and Jeremy Corbyn has
been telling his MPs they have to vote with the Government. They have
got to go with the referendum result. So it does look as if
Theresa May at this stage will get her way. That is causing Labour some
big problems isn't it? Yes, we always used to see the Conservative
Party as the party with the fault line on Europe. And Labour has the
fault line as big. Labour MPs represent areas where people want to
leave and Jeremy Corbyn has asked his MPs to vote in favour of the
talks, but one has resigned and others will again vote against the
bill and he will have to decide whether to sack them. It is a
dilemma. A choice between tolerance and accepting the differences in the
party or enforcing discipline. But ministers can be confident or at
least getting to the starting line of the long, hard slog towards
Brexit. Thank you. A brief look at some of the day's
other other news stories. The mystery of a body found a year
ago on Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester
has been solved. Police made numerous public appeals
for information after he was found lying on the hillside with no
identification or phone. A DNA match has now
confirmed his identity The families of the victims
of the Birmingham pub bombings will get legal aid funding
at new inquests, because of Lawyers for the families of some
of the 21 people killed in the 1974 blasts had called for an "equality
of arms" on funding to allow them The comedian, Rory McGrath,
has been given a suspended ten-week jail sentence,
after he admitted stalking a married A five-year restraining order
was also imposed on him. Huntingdon Magistrates Court
heard that the 60-year-old sent the woman messages,
followed her in the street and sent her husband
letters when she tried Now, turtles being washed
up on British beaches is quite unusual, but this
one - found stranded near the Menai Straight -
has caused a real stir. It's a critically endangered
Olive Ridley and it's a long way from its home on the other side
of the Atlantic. Now it's being cared
for at Anglesey Sea Zoo, as our Wales Correspondent
Sian Lloyd reports. An early morning start and another
step on a journey that could eventually lead to this tropical sea
turtle being released She was driven all the way
from Anglesey, where she was found Six hours later and the team at
the Royal Veterinary Hospital were They have never seen an Olive Ridley
here before, Menai is the first to be spotted in British
waters since records began almost Getting a sea turtle
into the scanning machine is no easy task, but experts need
to check her lungs for damage. Look and see her shell
and we can see her lungs and we can see also that there is some
gas, which is black and that is So it is free gas and that's
potentially responsible Staff caring for her on Anglesey had
noticed that Menai was unable She may be struggling
to dive, but the team are delighted by her appetite,
which is helping her regain weight. She is a real character,
we have got to know her, she is sort of starting
to to eat really well now. She is demolishing
sort of a couple of kilos of calamari a day
and she's a real personality. Olive Ridleys can travel
vast distances, but it's thought this one was carried
by currents thousands of miles Menai the Turtle has been
through a lot and now it's time Gel is being applied to prevent her
skin from drying and she is being kept warm, ready for her
journey back to Anglesey, while It has been beautifully sunny in
Anglesey. But this is Norfolk. Look at this grey picture and it was
bitterly cold. The sunshine shone not just in north-west Wales, but in
much of Scotland. What a contrast. There is your 13 in Highland
Scotland. Minus two in East Anglia under that continental cloud and
that cloud is moving north-west, tending to diminish and allowing the
frost to form. There will be some hill fog across the Pennines, the
Peak District and the Welsh mountains. These are the city
temperatures. And there will be some drizzle and even some snow,
particularly in central and eastern areas and that means it will be icy.
You can see the change in Northern Ireland, a weather front, yes, a
cold and frosty morning, not so much in Northern Ireland and the South
West. But there could be some slippery conditions tomorrow morning
through the rush hour. Particularly on untreated roads and pavements.
But we keep that continental air in the east, but through the day
although those showers could fall as snow, its will get less cold. Come
Saturday, we are all in that less cold south-westerly wind. Not
particularly warm. Only five or six degrees. This is our fly in the
ointment for the weekend, how far north this low pressure will push
the rain. At the moment it looks like the central areas will get that
and dry in the north. That's all from the BBC News at Six,
so it's goodbye from me and on BBC One we now join the BBC's
news teams where you are.