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This is East Midlands Today, with Dominic Heale, and me, Anne Davies.
Our top story tonight: The heroes facing a new, invisible
enemy. Hundreds of soldiers back from the frontline are facing
stress, alcoholism and debt. young infantry man is normally
between 18 and 30. It's not a mature mind. It might be a mature
body. We talk to the 14-year-old hit-and-
run victim. Also, the thieves who think working
dogs like these are fair game. And find out how this gadget can
protect your cash. Good evening, welcome to Thursday's
programme. First tonight, hundreds of military veterans are to be
helped by a unique new care service in Nottinghamshire. It'll tackle
everything from post traumatic stress disorder to homelessness,
debt and drink problems. Health bosses had been warned that
thousands of veterans in the East Midlands could suffer from a range
of issues when they return to Civvy Street. This exclusive report from
our social affairs correspondent, Jeremy Ball.
Michael has not lost his sense of humour but he is still learning to
talk again, almost 35 years after he was shot in their head by the
IRA. The Royal British Legion is helping him run his home here in
West Bridgford. Before they stepped in, he was damned out of thousands
of pounds and was struggling with a drink problem. -- he was scam and.
I did not know what I was doing. But now, well, it is getting a lot,
lot better now. Now a new battle- hardened generation of young
soldiers are leaving the Army with a complex mix of problems, physical
and mental injuries and alcoholism and debt. Charities and health
services are joining forces and veterans to contact any agency will
be offered a comprehensive care package. The next few years will be
difficult with the numbers being discharged from the Armed Forces.
There are a number living on the streets in Nottinghamshire. They
could have enduring mental health problems and are misusing
substances. They are really in need of help. More than 20 organisations
have already signed up to the partnership. They are facing some
daunting challenges. Around 50,000 veterans across these Midlands are
likely to be coping by drinking too much. That is an estimate from the
NHS. The same resort -- report says 19,000 could develop post traumatic
stress disorder. Well over 2000 veterans across a Nottinghamshire
and Derbyshire were supported by The Royal British Legion. There is
a massive problem. The normal infantry man is between 18 and 30.
It is not a mature mind. It might be a mature body. Some of the
horrors can have an effect on certain individuals and it is those
problems that come back after service. Michael has suffered more
problems than most but now he is getting the help he needs. And the
new partnership is designed to make sure nobody else slips through the
net. Jeremy's joined us in the studio.
How significant is this? Well, they think it's the country's first all-
encompassing veterans service. It actually started as a project to
deal with post traumatic stress disorder. But they quickly found
there were lots of other health problems that needed tackling. And
those veterans were often struggling with everything from
money to finding a home. But there are so many services, they simply
didn't know where to turn. So effectively what they're doing now
is pooling their resources. How much of a problem is there?
It's hard to say because a lot of soldiers are too proud to ask for
help. But these days there are more veterans who've been to war. And
when you go there, you can see why it's so hard to deal with. You
sometimes see that 1,000-yard stare from these guys. They never know
when they're going to get shot or blown up. A lot of them have lost
close friends. Some even struggle to deal with the fact that they
might have killed someone else. And of course PTSD can take more than a
decade to emerge, so there's a good chance we haven't seen the worst of
it yet. It is long-term. Thank you very much indeed.
Next tonight, the father of a boy who was the victim of a hit-and-run
says he's disgusted that the police haven't haven't yet taken action
against the driver. Riaz Khan says his 14-year-old son is lucky to be
alive. He says Leicestershire Police have the full registration
number of the vehicle involved and the force has written a letter to
the owner. Mr Khan says he can't understand the delay and says vital
evidence could have been destroyed. Helen Astle has just sent this
report from Leicester. Qais suffered two fractures to his
knee after being hit by the car. He vividly remembers what happened.
The traffic lights were red so I walked across the road. The car hit
me and I rolled onto the bonnet. I rolled off the car. He is very
lucky to be alive. He could have died. He could have been hit or
seriously injured or died. It is very lucky he survived. This is
where Qais was hurt. The road was busy and it was around 5pm in the
afternoon last Wednesday. Following the incident, a witness took the
boy home. The force have written to the registered keeper of the car.
Qais's father is unhappy with their response. What is a letter? He
could say that he never drove the car, he could sell the car on, he
could make all sorts of excuses. He could even get rid of the evidence.
Anything can happen in those few days. In a statement, the police
say the initial report suggested Qais suffered minor injuries,
letter was only yesterday officers discovered he had suffered two
fractures to his legs. The statement goes on to say, we
apologise for the service of family initially received and we take all
incidents of bad driving extremely seriously. For his father, that is
not enough. He could have come to my house but he did not. People get
arrested for minor offences like shoplifting. Stealing a Mars Bar,
for example. They get arrested, convicted and taken to court. Just
for minor offences. But this man knocked my son over and drove on.
The police have done nothing about it. The family hope the police will
catch the offender as soon as possible. For Qais, he will be on
crutches for the next four to six weeks.
Still to come on the programme, a frosty forecast from Sally. Where
is it? I know it is here somewhere! Ah! Found it! But the question is,
do you know where doors is? You might well need it! -- way yours is.
Police in Leicestershire have arrested a woman after she went to
a school armed with a knife while children were in class. Officers
were called to De Lisle College in Loughborough on Tuesday afternoon,
where they say a 45-year-old woman was found in the grounds. She's
been charged with assaulting a police officer and carrying a
weapon. Police say no-one at the school was hurt.
The funeral has taken place of a Red Arrows pilot who died after
being ejected from his aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham,
a former Nottingham Trent University student, was killed last
month at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln. About 800 people attended the
funeral at Coventry Cathedral. As a mark of respect, two RAF Tornado
Police have released CCTV pictures of an armed robber who threatened
supermarket staff with a knife before stealing the takings. The
man targeted the Nisa supermarket at Sherwood in Nottingham last
month. He can be seen brandishing a large knife before taking money
from the till. No-one was hurt. The man is described as black and
around 6 foot 3 inches tall. Next tonight, the BBC has learned
that the number of dog thefts has doubled this year, with many cases
here in the East Midlands. Working dog breeds like cocker spaniels are
said to be most at risk. Sarah Sturdey has this exclusive report.
Missing, believed stolen from her home near Derby. And this is her in
happier times. Just like Alexa Sidwell's other dog, she was a
member of the family and they want her back. She must be stolen
because she never leaves her friend's side. It is not knowing
what has happened to her. That is the thing I find difficult.
Thousands of dog owners register with the DogLost website for help.
Two years ago, the number of registered missing was in single
figures. Last year, it was getting on for double. This year, it has
doubled again, sometimes up to 40 a day. Next to where the dog went
missing is the local shoot. Half stolen are working dog breeds,
especially Cocker spaniels. Field sports are increasing in popularity.
One owner told me when his dog stolen, he made inquiries but got
it back. But he did not want to be interviewed for fear of
repercussions. There is a sinister undertone to this crime. They can
be worth anything from a few hundred to a few 1,000. They are
not always used for working but it is in the blood so they could just
be used for breeding. But it is not just working breeds. In
Leicestershire, the theft of these puppies were several hundred pounds
was witnessed in the middle of the night. And in Nottingham, this
unusual dog has been cited a few miles away in an emaciated state
with an unidentified person. Do not leave your dog tied up outside a
shop. It is amazing how many do this. You would not expect your
handbag to be outside when you came back, so why you dog? Stella was
not reported it stolen but two months on, her owner is desperate
for news. The type of dog theft is from opportunism to organised crime.
Of the messages clear - if you do not report the theft, the police
cannot investigate it. Get your pet my cricket. It could help them. --
get a microchip put in your pet. From dog thefts to thefts from the
pocket, and purse. The police have begun a crackdown on pick-pockets
in the run-up to Christmas. And to keep thieves at bay, Leicestershire
Police are giving away a rather nifty little gadget. Simon Ward has
been finding out how it works. There is a drama going on in
Loughborough. Bill the burglar is on the prowl, looking for easy
pickings from unsuspecting shoppers. These people are showing how an
alarm can be effective. It sits in your bag and this chain clicks on
to your bag -- your wallet or purse. It is very good. And every little
bit helps. You get that many people... I keep walking around
with my fingers in here because it is so easy for them to take things.
And everything that helps is a bonus. I think it is better for
older people, anyway. Are they giving them away free? Yes. I will
have one, then! And the alarms are proving popular with shoppers.
the alarm goes off, people are looking around. And often, people
do not know they have had their purse stolen, and they then get
home. This is a way of preventing further thefts from happening.
busy streets, especially on a market day and in the run-up to
Christmas, are attempting for would-be thieves. It is very
tempting for them at this time of year and we do see a vast amount of
these sort of things happening around Christmas, so whatever we
can do is a benefit to our residents. Stop! Stop! You can
contact the council to get a free alarm, and, like Billy, they will
not get away with your cash. Four people arrested over a hit-
and-run incident in which a police officer was badly hurt have been
released on bail. Diederik Coetzee, a PC in Mansfield, was critically
injured after being knocked off his bicycle while off-duty. Three men
and a 36-year-old woman were arrested but have since been
released, pending further enquiries. Police say they're still examining
Up to 300 jobs could be created in Leicester. Everards wants to build
a new brewery on land it owns behind Fosse Park in the city. The
company wants to create a new food and drinks park with local
producers of traditional cheese and pork pies opening shops there. Its
existing factory would also be re- located. The planning process has
just begun, but if successful, building could start at the end of
next year. RyanAir has announced six new
routes out of East Midlands Airport. From March next year, the budget
airline will fly to Crete, Corfu and Rhodes, along with Barcelona
and Almeria in Spain. The sixth route is Zadar in Northern Croatia.
The airline will use the existing fleet of four aircraft based at the
airport to cover the new routes. An allotment holder, who has kept
geese for ten years, believes they may be killed if he's forced to get
rid of them. The council at Mansfield Woodhouse in
Nottinghamshire has told Roger Spate that it has had complaints,
and the birds have to go by next week. So, will they end up with a
new, caring home, or stuffed, on a Christmas table?
Enjoying winter sunshine, these it East have been on the allotment for
10 years. But now, they are under notice to go. An allotment holder
since 1985, his original agreement allowed for 12 paltry birds. Three
years ago, that was changed to just chickens and ducks. He was told he
could keep the geese until they died naturally, but now the
district council says they have had complaints. I have had them for 10
years, and nobody has ever complained. They are not causing
anybody any noise issues. I sleep on the back, and I have not heard
them. I think it is silly. council's most recent letter asked
him to remove them. I am very worried about it, because it is
near Christmas. I feel they will be put into the wrong hands. I want
them to go to people as pets, and not Christmas dinners. The council
says his decision it is the end result of a long period of
discussions and negotiations, and, as a result, the decision to have
bid for peace will not be revoked. For the geese to enjoy their home,
it seems time is running out. Still to come on the programme:
Basketball - Leicester Riders look forward to their biggest game in a
decade. I am getting my skates on and heading off into a Winter
Wonderland! Time for sport now. We'll start with cricket, and the
England batsman, James Taylor, has completed his move from
Leicestershire to Nottinghamshire. He has signed a three-year contract,
but having broken into the international one-day team this
year, Notts aren't quite sure how much they'll see of him. We wanted
to play for England. Everybody will want him to go on and have an
international career as well. We want to give them that experience
of playing. Hopefully, that for making better prepared to play
England. An old cry from Nottingham Forest.
The Reds' manager, Steve Cotterill, says he wants to sign a permanent
leftback. Forest were beaten 4-0 at home by Leeds on Tuesday, and
Cotterill admits it's an area that needs strengthening. It would be
nice to have a full-time at left back at the club. That is one
position we would like to have. Greg has done very well since he
has been here, so that would-be one area.
Leicester Riders have signed the Great Britain basketball captain
for the rest of the season. Drew Sullivan has been playing on a
game-by-game basis since October. It's given the team a massive boost
ahead of their biggest game in a decade.
Leicester Riders have made a phenomenal start to the season.
They beckoned Drew Sullivan it is the best in the league. The captain
is a special. A tall player, with incredible finesse, and he has
helped them to their best start to the season. I am proud to be a part
of this. In years to come, I hope they will say this team had the
best start they ever had. He is a not great at ball-handling or
shooting, but his basketball IQ is so high, the highest I have ever
seen. It has been great to have him. He has been fantastic. His
versatility allows him to play in so many ways, and his experience is
something we have not had before. If he was a little bit more
athletic, he would be a star in the NBA. I had been treated amazingly.
Leicester Riders travel to Newcastle tomorrow night for their
second leg. After a draw in the home leg, it is their best chance
of silverware for 10 years. If we don't win the silverware, there
will be a little bit of disappointment. The challenger's
there, but I know what the guys are saying about it. Drew Sullivan it
will captain the GB basketball team at the due the Olympics. It will
mean everything to me. It will be the pinnacle of my career. Tomorrow
night's semi-final kicks off at 7:30pm.
A couple of bits of news from appropriately wintry sports now -
Nottingham Panthers had a fantastic win in Cardiff. They came from two
goals behind to take an overtime win 4-3, and are now just three
points behind league leaders, Belfast.
Staying on the ice, because while most of our Olympic focus in the
past year has been on the 2012 Summer Games in London, there's a
success story developing on the rinks in Nottingham. After a big
funding boost, the British Speed Skating team have had their best-
ever start to a season. They are the hottest team in one of
the coldest disciplines: The speed skaters have won three medals in
the first two World Cup events. A far cry from the Winter Olympics,
when they came home empty-handed. went to win a medal, and I felt
like I was in that position I was building to wards in the Olympics.
It was very disappointing coming home and having nothing. Since then,
they have seen their funding a treble. Some of the world's best
coaches have been brought in. was a bit of a nudge. We wanted to
knock them off their perch, and the last two World Cups have shown by
the medals we have brought home. had to jump of this cliff and be
attached to a harness, but we weren't allowed to use and I hands.
I had to do at first, and I never like going first. I thought, if I
can do that, I can do anything. Team GB is on the right track. If
only the Winter Games when next year as well. -- were next year.
Now, it's December 1st, time to think about Christmas and the
lovely festive things on offer in the East Midlands. After all that
skating, in sport, we're sticking with ice, and if you're wondering
where the outdoor rink in Nottingham is, this year it's found
a new home, appropriately, inside the National Ice Centre! So, that's
where we sent novice skater, Kylie Pentelow.
The ice rink has become a Winter Wonderland. This here, it is under
cover, and there is more than just buys. The last time I tried to ice
skate was when I was 11, and that ended in tears. While I get laced
up, here are some other things you can get up to. Sea ferries in the
woodland, and a wishing tree. -- ferries. Now it is time to me to
get on their eyes. What do I do, I am really scared?! I will not fall
over, well I? No, as long as you don't make sudden movements. We
will start to turn ourselves around on their eyes. Trust me, go for it!
-- on the ice. While I figure out where the brakes are, you may want
to know, there is an ice rink in Derby that is open now. On Saturday,
Matthew -- the lock gets lit up the Christmas. And there are plenty of
pantomimes on until January. That is your level one to Dave. -- today.
Now you will roll back when your knees. Now Pershore sup up. Push! -
- now push yourself up. And they can also make it snowing here, so
no matter what the weather is like outside, inside, it is always at
festive. She is very brave. I cannot ice
skate. And here's our version of a Frozen Planet moment. Have a look
at how our cameraman Adam filmed that. He was actually sitting on a
little seal and pushed around by It will turn chilly in this evening.
After windy conditions, those winds are very light. We have got clear
skies developing overnight. Look at this photo. Can you seek a shared
that has got knocked down? -- see a shed. Hopefully, at the Gardner was
and sat in it! We will see plenty of cloud. That will clear out of
the way. We have had a front sitting on the south-east corner of
the UK. Thus, it has just been that clouding over process. But now, as
we come through the evening period and overnight, we will see that
cloud moving away, and clearing. Particularly to the north, we will
seek frost. But don't be surprised if you wake up to a touch of frost.
Temperatures are very chilly, one or two degrees in the cities. A
chilly start, and chilly day, the Friday. Still keeping those like
when macro. Temperatures struggling to get above the six Celsius. --
still keeping those Allied winds. The rain will clear on Saturday
morning, and it becomes drier and brighter.
And finally, a bit of Children in And finally, a bit of Children in
Need news - well done to 20-year- old Rich Westerman from Clifton who
won a Nottingham City Transport competition to drive their Pudsey
bus around Langer airfield. Rich, who's a volunteer at the Crich
tramway village, said he found the bus really easy to drive. Well, at