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traditional Brexit transition deal
Tonight on BBC London News.
The families of the four men
murdered by serial killer
Stephen Port learn of missed
opportunities and failures
by the police in their
Officers were interviewed and some
of them remain under the microscope
for damning failings.
We'll hear how the victims families
are frustrated about how
long investigation into the police
response is taking.
Hundreds of homeless people leave
a central London building they'd
been squatting in during cold
weather, ahead of bailiffs arriving.
A court hears how a French nanny
living in south London was held
captive and badly beaten
before her death.
We'll hear from Russians living
in the capital concerned
for their safety after the nerve
agent attack in Salisbury.
Thank you. Thank you from you
And we'll be finding out
why our school reporters got a big
thank you from Star Wars
actor John Boyega.
Good evening and welcome
to the programme.
I'm Louisa Preston.
First tonight - the families
of the men murdered
by serial killer Stephen Port have
learnt of "multiple
failures" and "missed
opportunities" by the Met.
Port drugged and raped four young
men and dumped their bodies
in a graveyard near his
home in Barking.
He was given a life sentence
for their murders in 2016.
The families of the victims say
they are frustrated about how slow
the investigation has been.
Frankie McCamley reports.
The graveyard in Barking where
Stephen Port dumped three of his
four victims' bodies. He invited
them to his home using dating apps
before killing them with a gleeful
dose of a
-- with a lethal dose of a drug.
Police were asked multiple times
whether they thought the deaths had
been connected, but officers missed
all signs there was a serial killer
at work. Today the victims' families
say they have been told a report
into the net's response to the
murders will be damning.
been told the reporter is likely to
be critical of the Metropolitan
Police and a good number of officers
employed by the Met. 17 officers
have been interviewed and a fair
number remain under the microscope
for some damning failings.
refuses to comment that the
Independent office for police
conduct launch the enquiry after
families raised concerns.
had done what they were supposed to,
lives would have been saved. People
would not have gone through what
they went through.
mother accused the force of ignoring
the death simply because the men
It was homophobic. They
refuse to investigate anything. No
matter what you said to them.
former chef was given a life
sentence despite a catalogue of
errors by police. But questions
still remain. Why did it take so
long for police to take notice and
what can be done to stop it
Frankie joins us now.
You spoke to the lawyer working
with the victims families today -
how are they feeling?
The families have spoken to the BBC
on a number of occasions expressing
frustration towards the police and
since their meeting with the
independent office for police
conduct I still think that is the
case, especially as they are not as
far down the line in this as they
wanted. It is a complex enquiry,
looking into more than a dozen
officers and also sadly into a
number of deaths and the family are
unaware of that. They say they are
understanding towards that because
their main priority is to get to the
bottom of what happened in the
investigation. Are we clearer on
when they will find out more
information? We understand the
report will be sent to the
Metropolitan Police by May. It does
not mean the findings will be made
public and the families will see it,
that will happen further down the
line but we know 17 officers are
being investigated, seven of whom
could be sacked if found guilty of
gross misconduct. The Metropolitan
Police say it is inappropriate to
comment and it is said that the
independent office does not have
views on the findings.
Lots more to come including....
The people living on the River Lea
who say it's taking too long
to clean up the the worst oil
spill in years.
Some homeless people who have been
squatting in a central London
building during the cold weather say
they don't know where they will
sleep tonight, after leaving ahead
of a court deadline.
More than 150 people were staying
in the Great Portland Street site,
and left voluntarily.
But many were worried
about where they would end up,
as Helen Drew reports.
Midday today, the deadline for
around 150 homeless people to leave
They waited for the bailiffs,
who did not show up.
But they left anyway.
Nearly all without a plan.
Where are you going to go now?
This is the thing, we don't know.
We have not got
a clue at the moment.
We could be heading
back to the streets.
In corners, with rubbish.
We could be eating out of bins.
We don't know.
We don't know what's
going to happen tonight.
They have had somewhere to sleep
since the beginning of the
month, when activists took over this
four-storey building on great
Portland Street because
of the cold weather.
The primary object of this building
was to try and beat the
Beast from the East.
To try to raise awareness
of empty buildings.
Trying to save people'slives.
I have been speaking
to volunteers who have
told me stories of the amazing
generosity they have experienced
They tell me supermarket
shops delivered straight
to the door here.
And one lady told me
when she gave the man a pair of
socks he cried and said
it was the first time he had had
a pair of socks for years.
But there are local residents
who say they have seen
people urinating outside
and are worried about aggressive
and drunken behaviour.
Last week, the building's
landlord went to court
saying these people had
no right to be here.
And the judge backed
their eviction order.
Westminster Council tells us
they are aware of the
situation and have been offering
support to those with a genuine
They say they offer over 400
bed spaces every night
through local partners and the Mayor
of London says his team have spoken
to Westminster Council and
made sure help is at hand.
But most of the people we met
did not have a bed for
tonight and volunteers
They will have food
in their bellies,
they would have had
hot cup of coffee.
That is the best we can do.
We will keep in touch
with them as best as we can.
It is absolutely terrible.
People are going to go
out on the streets to
With all the buildings spare in this
country, I don't understand
what is going on.
I think it is disgusting.
After we spoke to Andrew,
he headed out to Bexley for
a meeting with the charity
about a place to stay,
but they have nothing just yet
so tonight he has come back
to central London.
He may well rejoin the group.
It is not confirmed, but many told
us they had found another
building just down the road.
But they would not say where.
A French nanny, whose body
was found in a garden
in South London, was held captive
and badly beaten before her death,
a court has heard.
21-year-old Sophie Leonnet
was discovered at a
house in Southfields.
Her former employers are on trial
at the Old Bailey for her murder.
Richard Lister was in court.
Opening the prosecution, the QC told
the jury that Sophie Leonnet's last
hours must've been truly wretched.
He said she was found with four
broken ribs, a broken jaw and
fractured sternum and said the
defendants tried to conceal her body
by burning it in their garden. He
told the court that Sabrina had a
fixation with the former member of
the band Boyzone. He's said that she
had accused her nanny of conspiring
with him, an accusation he denies.
The court said he had not met Sophie
Leonnet and not in touch with her
and lives in Los Angeles. The court
heard that other allegations were
made against the nanny, that she had
beat and interrogated her and refuse
to let her go home. Sophie Leonnet's
parents were in court to hear the
sometimes distressing account of her
life. Both defendants deny murder.
Police are looking for a man
who burgled an elderly
woman as she lay in bed.
The 90-year-old was in her home
in Blackbrook Lane in Bromley
when a man forced open the window,
climbed inside her bedroom
and took her jewellery.
climbed inside her bedroom
Her family had installed CCTV in her
home as she suffers from Alzheimers.
A man has been charged
with attempted murder after a car
was driven into a busy nightclub
injuring at least 13 people.
It happened in Gravesend
on Saturday night.
21-year-old Mohammed Abdul
from Deptford has been remanded
in custody and will appear
in court next month.
The incident isn't being
treated as terror-related.
Residents in Croydon
were evacuated from their homes
overnight after a car drove
into an energy plant
and caused a gas leak.
It happened on Whitestone Way
and cordons were put in place.
Roads have now reopened
and residents will be able to return
home once safety checks
are carried out.
Two men found guilty
of organising hundreds
of cockfights have escaped jail.
The RSPCA says the case against
Bill Ripley and Moses Brinkley,
who both live in Kent,
is the biggest of its kind
they've ever seen.
More than 45,000 pieces
of evidence were gathered,
showing the men were obsessed
with the illegal sport, often
forcing birds to fight to the death.
They were handed a 14-week
In May, Londoners will be
heading to the polls
for the local council elections.
Today a campaign to crack down
on voter fraud was launched.
One of the measures being trialled
in some parts of the capital
will require people to show
ID to vote.
But as Marc Ashdown reports,
some are questioning
what difference it will make.
Your vote belongs to you. Your
voice, your vote is the message
behind the campaign to tackle voter
fraud. Three areas in London will
run a pilot at local elections and
voters will have to present photo ID
to cast their ballot. But it has
prompted a group of 40 charities,
campaign groups and academics to
write to the government to outline
their concerns. The letter
effectively says it is like using a
sledgehammer to crack a nut and
notes according to official figures
there were 44 allegations of voter
impersonation in 2016, compare to
3.5 million voters in the UK who do
not have access to photo ID and
concerned that the 7.5% of the
electorate might be put off trying
I think it is a concern
that is not founded and risk
People have said it,
the electoral reform Society and
organisations saying people do not
have access to photo ID.
authorities who have taken part in
the pilots have made sure everybody
has an alternative method. If you
are concerned you do not have the
IDE, you do not need to worry, speak
to the council if they are part of
the pilot and they will help with an
In Tower Hamlets
they are focusing on postal ballots
after the 20 14th scandal. There
will be checks and home visits were
multiple people registered. The main
challenge is getting people engaged.
Will you vote?
Yes. In the local
elections, do you know when they
I don't know.
I am not
put you off if you had to show ID?
No. You would still vote?
This is a
solution looking for a problem and
people should focus on getting the
turnout up and not creating new
barriers at the polling station.
Turnout can be 40%, or lower, so we
should focus on people exercising
their democratic right.
this is keeping democracy safe.
It's more than a month since the oil
spill on the River Lea
and people living on the north
London canal are calling
on the government to investigate
the inadequate clean up.
Boaters and businesses say it's
taken too long to clean the polluted
stretch of the canal,
and they've been
exposed to toxic waste.
Gareth Furby reports.
Today it look pretty but five weeks
after a massive oil spill on the
River Lea, some patches have still
not been cleared up. The lorry lives
on a canal boat and showed as one
location -- Laurie Watkins.
not healthy for wildlife and for
people living on the boats. If it
happens again I want to make sure
there is something in place to
prevent it from spreading to the
scale it has.
No one yet knows who
is to blame but the theory is it was
dumped into a Zurich chip pipe that
went into the river. Some think it
is wrong they had to play such a
large role in the clean-up.
industrial spill of this size should
not come down to volunteers. When
the agency who are responsible have
not done enough about it after
weeks, that is where we felt we
needed to step in.
An open letter
has been written calling on the
authorities to rethink their
approach. So that if it happens
again, the response is better
We would like to see a
faster response in future if a
future disaster happened, in order
to contain the oil quicker and not
allow it to spread as far as it has
Today we filmed as the
official clean-up continued. This
was the Environment Agency.
unprecedented. This event that has
happened to us has never happened in
the past. We have never had anything
on this scale. We have kept up with
it but because of the flow of the
river it continuously comes in. In
future we would deal with it the
same way, working multi-agency and
Today at last
the canal was reopened. The blooms
that have blocked traffic finally
removed. But some river users will
not rest until all remnants have
gone and they have been reassured
that any future emergency will be
dealt with differently.
Still to come....
Talking school, stardom
and science fiction.
What happened when our
school reporters met
Hollywood actor John Boyega.
At last, today the sun was out and
the snow was melting. Could we at
last be about to see Spring? Join me
Some Russian families living
in the capital have told this
programme that they feel anxious
about their safety after
the nerve agent attack
just over two weeks ago.
Few are willing to speak on camera
for fear of getting into trouble
with the authorities
in their home country.
But as Sarah Harris reports
the mayor is keen to reassure them
they are living in a safe city.
Queensway in west London. Known
locally as little Russia. That is
where many of the shop and stall
owners and customers originate from.
It is eerie quiet. Nothing much to
do that count the stock. Katya came
to the capital with her family when
she was nine will stop her child
goes to a Russian school here. She
is not surprised many of her friends
and family are lying low.
I have had
a few of my friends cracking jokes
and telling me, better that I don't
eat from your house because you
might poison me. When I meet
strangers over the last month they
are like, I need to be careful
around you, I do not know if I
should make friends with you. It is
weird and silly. What the
politicians are doing has nothing to
do with us.
A luxurious £24 million
house for sale in an exclusive
square in Belgravia. The ideal pad
for a Russian oligarch, to Google
client for estate agent Becky, who
also runs a concierge service or her
-- a typical
client. They're looking at close,
personal security and air that comes
into rebuilding. We have certain
requests from the IP clients for
masks with a charcoal filter,
because that is the best for
counteracting an attack.
of London is keen to reassure
Russians living here.
It is really
important to distinguish and
separate Londoners of Russian origin
or Russians in London on business
from reactions of what appears to be
the Russian government. My message
to law-abiding Russians is you are
With President Putin
now serving his next term in office,
many Russians in London are hoping
to get on with their lives, even if
any that means for now staying at
home and keeping a low profile.
They're a common sight
in the capital.
Box trees cut into hedges
of all shapes and sizes.
But, they're under threat
from box tree caterpillars.
Now horticulturalists in Surrey
are trying to find the best
way to tackle the pest.
Our Environment Correspondent, Tom
Edwards, has been finding out more.
The boxtree caterpillar
arrived from China
around 2011 and since then,
it has been destroying the capital's
boxtrees, leaving them
looking like this.
Last summer this was eaten
completely by caterpillars of the
And in particular it seems to be
a problem in gardens in
They can completely
strip the plant of
leaves and do not
look very attractive.
They covered them in webbing.
It does not look or smell
very nice at all.
At the Royal Horticultural
Society in Surrrey, they
are now breeding the caterpillars,
because they want to test the best
way to tackle them, including
when and how to apply insecticide
or natural control methods
such as nematodes.
We probably start off quite simple
or basic with how well do these
nematode biological control work
on the Boxtree Caterpillar?
Perhaps how well does
some pesticides work on
them, are there different ways
we can apply them to make them more
effective and eventually
we would piece together the separate
research projects into the advice
we can give
The other alternative is to use
other types of hedges that
the caterpillars do not eat.
Experts believe these pests will be
difficult to get rid of. And we will
see changes to the capital's and is
permanently. -- Gardens.
Now it's not very often you get
to see behind the scenes
when a new Hollywood film
is being promoted but as part
of the BBC's School Report we sent
two students from Lewisham
to experience it first hand -
and for their first assignment
they spoke to Star Wars'
actor John Boyega.
Wendy Hurrell was also
there to give them some pointers.
Welcome to the baffling world of the
movie junket, into which we have
brought our intrepid school
We are here in a 5-star
To interview John Boyega
about his new film.
Don't give up.
He plays Jake Pentecost, fighting
off sea monsters in Pacific Rim
Uprising. We are in a small room at
a posh hotel filled with production
staff and a startling array of
light, sound and camera equipment.
We are really nervous. It is an
intimidating situation. In a holding
room, a pep talk from me.
be people hiding in the corner and
you are wondering what they are
Ignore them and that is fine.
The movie stars have been sitting
here all day answering pretty much
the same questions over and over.
Taking presents always goes down
Do you know what, other people
keep the mind me it is my birthday
and I had totally forgotten. Thank
you for this.
Thank you so much.
There was a battle scene in the film
and there were weapons like light
sabres from Star Wars.
I wish we
could have won from Pacific rim.
are known as a peck boy. Does this
help to fulfil your acting dreams?
-- peck. I am blessed. I have had a
good time in theatre schools with
friends who were aiming for the same
thing as myself. I was there when I
had the biggest role in my life.
What a brilliant start!
Let's find out when it's going to
get a bit warmer with Matt Taylor.
Plenty of snow across London during
the weekend. Today at least we will
see some sunshine. Probably felt
warmer when you are out there but
still a cold wind out of the wind
and sun it felt nice. It has started
to snow -- it has stopped snowing in
and around London. A few problems
with the graphics of the Locatelli
what will happen for them tonight at
the moment clear skies around for
the temperatures are set to plummet
for that there will be a frost here
and there to take us into the
morning. A keen, north-easterly wind
which will bring more cloud later
on. As the cloud rolls in in
Hertfordshire and Essex, there could
be the odd spot of light rain. Maybe
sleep as well. Nothing too
significant. The clearest conditions
in the first part of the night for
the plenty of cloud with a few
breaks here and there. For morning
commuters, be prepared. It will be
on the cold side. Temperatures
hovering between -1 and minus to.
You will have to wrap up first thing
in the morning. The morning cloud we
start with will break up. Some good,
long sunny spells. A few spots of
light rain towards the east. It
would be predominantly dry. More and
more sunshine developing as you go
through the day full stop the winds
will be lighter than they were
today. Temperatures are lifting up
nicely. Temperatures around 79
degrees. A big improvement on what
we have seen in the last few days.
-- between seven and 9 degrees. The
frost will be back. Temperatures at
lowest on Wednesday. In Bedfordshire
and Buckinghamshire we could get
down to minus three. Some good, long
sunny spells to take us through the
day. Temperatures on Wednesday will
lift up to around eight, 9 degrees
once again. For the rest of the
week, as high-pressure drifts to the
south, instead of the wind coming in
from the East they will come from
the West. The westerly wind will
bring rain to the western side of
the UK and will of course dry out.
Westerly winds, a boost in the
temperature was up through Thursday
and Friday there are good, sunny
spells around. The wind is coming in
from the south-west and temperatures
will peak at anywhere between ten
and their team. Tomorrow is the
start of the astronomical spring. --
and 13. The weather might just about
feel like that as well.
A look at the main
A large part of the arrangements
for Britain's withdrawal
from the EU has been agreed.
Michel Barnier and David Davis said
the deal was a "decisive step",
though they conceded that issues
around the Northern Ireland
border remain unresolved.
International chemical weapons
experts have arrived in Salisbury
to examine the nerve agent used
to poison the former Russian spy,
Sergei Skripal, and his daughter.
The presenter, Ant
McPartlin, is to give
up his television commitments
after being arrested
for drink driving.
ITV says he's taking time
off to seek treatment.
The families of the men
murdered by serial killer
Stephen Port have learnt
of "multiple failures" and "missed
opportunities" by the Met.
Port drugged and raped four young
men and dumped their bodies
near his home in Barking.
And over 150 people
who were squatting
in a building in central London had
to leave this afternoon
after an eviction order.
The property in Great Portland
Street was taken over
during the cold weather.
I'll be back later during the ten
o'clock news, but for now
from everyone on the team thanks
for watching and have
a lovely evening.