19/03/2018 London News


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19/03/2018

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traditional Brexit transition deal

but

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Tonight on BBC London News.

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The families of the four men

murdered by serial killer

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Stephen Port learn of missed

opportunities and failures

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by the police in their

initial investigation.

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Officers were interviewed and some

of them remain under the microscope

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for damning failings.

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We'll hear how the victims families

are frustrated about how

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long investigation into the police

response is taking.

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Hundreds of homeless people leave

a central London building they'd

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been squatting in during cold

weather, ahead of bailiffs arriving.

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A court hears how a French nanny

living in south London was held

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captive and badly beaten

before her death.

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We'll hear from Russians living

in the capital concerned

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for their safety after the nerve

agent attack in Salisbury.

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Thank you. Thank you from you

specifically.

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And we'll be finding out

why our school reporters got a big

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thank you from Star Wars

actor John Boyega.

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Good evening and welcome

to the programme.

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I'm Louisa Preston.

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First tonight - the families

of the men murdered

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by serial killer Stephen Port have

learnt of "multiple

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failures" and "missed

opportunities" by the Met.

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Port drugged and raped four young

men and dumped their bodies

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in a graveyard near his

home in Barking.

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He was given a life sentence

for their murders in 2016.

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The families of the victims say

they are frustrated about how slow

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the investigation has been.

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Frankie McCamley reports.

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The graveyard in Barking where

Stephen Port dumped three of his

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four victims' bodies. He invited

them to his home using dating apps

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before killing them with a gleeful

dose of a

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-- with a lethal dose of a drug.

Police were asked multiple times

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whether they thought the deaths had

been connected, but officers missed

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all signs there was a serial killer

at work. Today the victims' families

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say they have been told a report

into the net's response to the

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murders will be damning.

We have

been told the reporter is likely to

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be critical of the Metropolitan

Police and a good number of officers

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employed by the Met. 17 officers

have been interviewed and a fair

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number remain under the microscope

for some damning failings.

The force

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refuses to comment that the

Independent office for police

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conduct launch the enquiry after

families raised concerns.

If they

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had done what they were supposed to,

lives would have been saved. People

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would not have gone through what

they went through.

Anthony Walgate's

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mother accused the force of ignoring

the death simply because the men

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were gay.

It was homophobic. They

refuse to investigate anything. No

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matter what you said to them.

The

former chef was given a life

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sentence despite a catalogue of

errors by police. But questions

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still remain. Why did it take so

long for police to take notice and

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what can be done to stop it

happening again?

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Frankie joins us now.

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You spoke to the lawyer working

with the victims families today -

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how are they feeling?

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The families have spoken to the BBC

on a number of occasions expressing

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frustration towards the police and

since their meeting with the

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independent office for police

conduct I still think that is the

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case, especially as they are not as

far down the line in this as they

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wanted. It is a complex enquiry,

looking into more than a dozen

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officers and also sadly into a

number of deaths and the family are

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unaware of that. They say they are

understanding towards that because

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their main priority is to get to the

bottom of what happened in the

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investigation. Are we clearer on

when they will find out more

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information? We understand the

report will be sent to the

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Metropolitan Police by May. It does

not mean the findings will be made

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public and the families will see it,

that will happen further down the

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line but we know 17 officers are

being investigated, seven of whom

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could be sacked if found guilty of

gross misconduct. The Metropolitan

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Police say it is inappropriate to

comment and it is said that the

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independent office does not have

views on the findings.

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Lots more to come including....

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The people living on the River Lea

who say it's taking too long

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to clean up the the worst oil

spill in years.

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Some homeless people who have been

squatting in a central London

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building during the cold weather say

they don't know where they will

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sleep tonight, after leaving ahead

of a court deadline.

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More than 150 people were staying

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in the Great Portland Street site,

and left voluntarily.

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But many were worried

about where they would end up,

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as Helen Drew reports.

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Midday today, the deadline for

around 150 homeless people to leave

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this building.

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They waited for the bailiffs,

who did not show up.

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But they left anyway.

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Nearly all without a plan.

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Where are you going to go now?

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This is the thing, we don't know.

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We have not got

a clue at the moment.

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We could be heading

back to the streets.

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The doorways.

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In corners, with rubbish.

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We could be eating out of bins.

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We don't know.

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We don't know what's

going to happen tonight.

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They have had somewhere to sleep

since the beginning of the

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month, when activists took over this

four-storey building on great

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Portland Street because

of the cold weather.

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The primary object of this building

was to try and beat the

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Beast from the East.

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To try to raise awareness

of empty buildings.

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Trying to save people'slives.

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I have been speaking

to volunteers who have

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told me stories of the amazing

generosity they have experienced

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from strangers.

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They tell me supermarket

shops delivered straight

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to the door here.

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And one lady told me

when she gave the man a pair of

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socks he cried and said

it was the first time he had had

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a pair of socks for years.

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But there are local residents

who say they have seen

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people urinating outside

and are worried about aggressive

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and drunken behaviour.

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Last week, the building's

landlord went to court

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saying these people had

no right to be here.

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And the judge backed

their eviction order.

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Westminster Council tells us

they are aware of the

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situation and have been offering

support to those with a genuine

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housing need.

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They say they offer over 400

bed spaces every night

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through local partners and the Mayor

of London says his team have spoken

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to Westminster Council and

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made sure help is at hand.

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But most of the people we met

did not have a bed for

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tonight and volunteers

feel frustrated.

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They will have food

in their bellies,

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they would have had

a

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hot cup of coffee.

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That is the best we can do.

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We will keep in touch

with them as best as we can.

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It is absolutely terrible.

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People are going to go

out on the streets to

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die.

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With all the buildings spare in this

country, I don't understand

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what is going on.

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I think it is disgusting.

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After we spoke to Andrew,

he headed out to Bexley for

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a meeting with the charity

about a place to stay,

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but they have nothing just yet

so tonight he has come back

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to central London.

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He may well rejoin the group.

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It is not confirmed, but many told

us they had found another

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building just down the road.

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But they would not say where.

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A French nanny, whose body

was found in a garden

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in South London, was held captive

and badly beaten before her death,

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a court has heard.

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21-year-old Sophie Leonnet

was discovered at a

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house in Southfields.

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Her former employers are on trial

at the Old Bailey for her murder.

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Richard Lister was in court.

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Opening the prosecution, the QC told

the jury that Sophie Leonnet's last

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hours must've been truly wretched.

He said she was found with four

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broken ribs, a broken jaw and

fractured sternum and said the

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defendants tried to conceal her body

by burning it in their garden. He

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told the court that Sabrina had a

fixation with the former member of

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the band Boyzone. He's said that she

had accused her nanny of conspiring

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with him, an accusation he denies.

The court said he had not met Sophie

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Leonnet and not in touch with her

and lives in Los Angeles. The court

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heard that other allegations were

made against the nanny, that she had

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beat and interrogated her and refuse

to let her go home. Sophie Leonnet's

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parents were in court to hear the

sometimes distressing account of her

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life. Both defendants deny murder.

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Police are looking for a man

who burgled an elderly

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woman as she lay in bed.

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The 90-year-old was in her home

in Blackbrook Lane in Bromley

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when a man forced open the window,

climbed inside her bedroom

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and took her jewellery.

climbed inside her bedroom

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Her family had installed CCTV in her

home as she suffers from Alzheimers.

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A man has been charged

with attempted murder after a car

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was driven into a busy nightclub

injuring at least 13 people.

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It happened in Gravesend

on Saturday night.

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21-year-old Mohammed Abdul

from Deptford has been remanded

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in custody and will appear

in court next month.

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The incident isn't being

treated as terror-related.

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Residents in Croydon

were evacuated from their homes

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overnight after a car drove

into an energy plant

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and caused a gas leak.

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It happened on Whitestone Way

and cordons were put in place.

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Roads have now reopened

and residents will be able to return

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home once safety checks

are carried out.

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Two men found guilty

of organising hundreds

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of cockfights have escaped jail.

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The RSPCA says the case against

Bill Ripley and Moses Brinkley,

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who both live in Kent,

is the biggest of its kind

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they've ever seen.

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More than 45,000 pieces

of evidence were gathered,

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showing the men were obsessed

with the illegal sport, often

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forcing birds to fight to the death.

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They were handed a 14-week

suspended sentence.

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In May, Londoners will be

heading to the polls

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for the local council elections.

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Today a campaign to crack down

on voter fraud was launched.

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One of the measures being trialled

in some parts of the capital

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will require people to show

ID to vote.

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But as Marc Ashdown reports,

some are questioning

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what difference it will make.

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Your vote belongs to you. Your

voice, your vote is the message

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behind the campaign to tackle voter

fraud. Three areas in London will

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run a pilot at local elections and

voters will have to present photo ID

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to cast their ballot. But it has

prompted a group of 40 charities,

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campaign groups and academics to

write to the government to outline

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their concerns. The letter

effectively says it is like using a

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sledgehammer to crack a nut and

notes according to official figures

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there were 44 allegations of voter

impersonation in 2016, compare to

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3.5 million voters in the UK who do

not have access to photo ID and

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concerned that the 7.5% of the

electorate might be put off trying

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to vote.

I think it is a concern

that is not founded and risk

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scaremongering.

People have said it,

the electoral reform Society and

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organisations saying people do not

have access to photo ID.

The

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authorities who have taken part in

the pilots have made sure everybody

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has an alternative method. If you

are concerned you do not have the

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IDE, you do not need to worry, speak

to the council if they are part of

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the pilot and they will help with an

alternative method.

In Tower Hamlets

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they are focusing on postal ballots

after the 20 14th scandal. There

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will be checks and home visits were

multiple people registered. The main

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challenge is getting people engaged.

Will you vote?

Yes. In the local

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elections, do you know when they

are?

I don't know.

I am not

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interested.

Probably not.

Would it

put you off if you had to show ID?

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No. You would still vote?

This is a

solution looking for a problem and

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people should focus on getting the

turnout up and not creating new

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barriers at the polling station.

Turnout can be 40%, or lower, so we

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should focus on people exercising

their democratic right.

People say

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this is keeping democracy safe.

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It's more than a month since the oil

spill on the River Lea

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and people living on the north

London canal are calling

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on the government to investigate

the inadequate clean up.

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Boaters and businesses say it's

taken too long to clean the polluted

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stretch of the canal,

and they've been

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exposed to toxic waste.

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Gareth Furby reports.

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Today it look pretty but five weeks

after a massive oil spill on the

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River Lea, some patches have still

not been cleared up. The lorry lives

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on a canal boat and showed as one

location -- Laurie Watkins.

It is

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not healthy for wildlife and for

people living on the boats. If it

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happens again I want to make sure

there is something in place to

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prevent it from spreading to the

scale it has.

No one yet knows who

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is to blame but the theory is it was

dumped into a Zurich chip pipe that

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went into the river. Some think it

is wrong they had to play such a

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large role in the clean-up.

An

industrial spill of this size should

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not come down to volunteers. When

the agency who are responsible have

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not done enough about it after

weeks, that is where we felt we

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needed to step in.

An open letter

has been written calling on the

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authorities to rethink their

approach. So that if it happens

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again, the response is better

organised.

We would like to see a

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faster response in future if a

future disaster happened, in order

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to contain the oil quicker and not

allow it to spread as far as it has

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this time.

Today we filmed as the

official clean-up continued. This

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was the Environment Agency.

This is

unprecedented. This event that has

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happened to us has never happened in

the past. We have never had anything

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on this scale. We have kept up with

it but because of the flow of the

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river it continuously comes in. In

future we would deal with it the

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same way, working multi-agency and

responding quickly.

Today at last

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the canal was reopened. The blooms

that have blocked traffic finally

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removed. But some river users will

not rest until all remnants have

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gone and they have been reassured

that any future emergency will be

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dealt with differently.

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Still to come....

0:16:030:16:07

Talking school, stardom

and science fiction.

0:16:070:16:10

What happened when our

school reporters met

0:16:100:16:12

Hollywood actor John Boyega.

0:16:120:16:18

At last, today the sun was out and

the snow was melting. Could we at

0:16:180:16:23

last be about to see Spring? Join me

later.

0:16:230:16:30

Some Russian families living

in the capital have told this

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programme that they feel anxious

about their safety after

0:16:320:16:34

the nerve agent attack

just over two weeks ago.

0:16:340:16:40

Few are willing to speak on camera

for fear of getting into trouble

0:16:400:16:43

with the authorities

in their home country.

0:16:430:16:45

But as Sarah Harris reports

the mayor is keen to reassure them

0:16:450:16:48

they are living in a safe city.

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Queensway in west London. Known

locally as little Russia. That is

0:16:550:16:59

where many of the shop and stall

owners and customers originate from.

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It is eerie quiet. Nothing much to

do that count the stock. Katya came

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to the capital with her family when

she was nine will stop her child

0:17:120:17:16

goes to a Russian school here. She

is not surprised many of her friends

0:17:160:17:21

and family are lying low.

I have had

a few of my friends cracking jokes

0:17:210:17:25

and telling me, better that I don't

eat from your house because you

0:17:250:17:28

might poison me. When I meet

strangers over the last month they

0:17:280:17:34

are like, I need to be careful

around you, I do not know if I

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should make friends with you. It is

weird and silly. What the

0:17:370:17:42

politicians are doing has nothing to

do with us.

A luxurious £24 million

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house for sale in an exclusive

square in Belgravia. The ideal pad

0:17:480:17:53

for a Russian oligarch, to Google

client for estate agent Becky, who

0:17:530:17:59

also runs a concierge service or her

wealthy clients.

-- a typical

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client. They're looking at close,

personal security and air that comes

0:18:060:18:11

into rebuilding. We have certain

requests from the IP clients for

0:18:110:18:16

masks with a charcoal filter,

because that is the best for

0:18:160:18:22

counteracting an attack.

The Mayor

of London is keen to reassure

0:18:220:18:30

Russians living here.

It is really

important to distinguish and

0:18:300:18:34

separate Londoners of Russian origin

or Russians in London on business

0:18:340:18:40

from reactions of what appears to be

the Russian government. My message

0:18:400:18:45

to law-abiding Russians is you are

welcome here.

With President Putin

0:18:450:18:49

now serving his next term in office,

many Russians in London are hoping

0:18:490:18:55

to get on with their lives, even if

any that means for now staying at

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home and keeping a low profile.

0:18:590:19:03

They're a common sight

in the capital.

0:19:030:19:04

Box trees cut into hedges

of all shapes and sizes.

0:19:040:19:07

But, they're under threat

from box tree caterpillars.

0:19:070:19:09

Now horticulturalists in Surrey

are trying to find the best

0:19:090:19:12

way to tackle the pest.

0:19:120:19:13

Our Environment Correspondent, Tom

Edwards, has been finding out more.

0:19:130:19:20

The boxtree caterpillar

arrived from China

0:19:200:19:24

around 2011 and since then,

it has been destroying the capital's

0:19:240:19:30

boxtrees, leaving them

looking like this.

0:19:300:19:32

Last summer this was eaten

completely by caterpillars of the

0:19:320:19:35

Boxtree moth.

0:19:350:19:37

And in particular it seems to be

a problem in gardens in

0:19:370:19:39

south-west London.

0:19:390:19:44

They can completely

strip the plant of

0:19:440:19:46

leaves and do not

look very attractive.

0:19:460:19:48

They covered them in webbing.

0:19:480:19:50

It does not look or smell

very nice at all.

0:19:500:19:57

At the Royal Horticultural

Society in Surrrey, they

0:19:570:19:59

are now breeding the caterpillars,

because they want to test the best

0:19:590:20:05

way to tackle them, including

when and how to apply insecticide

0:20:050:20:09

or natural control methods

such as nematodes.

0:20:090:20:13

We probably start off quite simple

or basic with how well do these

0:20:130:20:17

nematode biological control work

on the Boxtree Caterpillar?

0:20:170:20:23

Perhaps how well does

some pesticides work on

0:20:230:20:28

them, are there different ways

we can apply them to make them more

0:20:280:20:31

effective and eventually

we would piece together the separate

0:20:310:20:33

research projects into the advice

we can give

0:20:330:20:35

to gardeners.

0:20:350:20:39

The other alternative is to use

other types of hedges that

0:20:390:20:48

the caterpillars do not eat.

0:20:480:20:57

Experts believe these pests will be

difficult to get rid of. And we will

0:20:570:21:02

see changes to the capital's and is

permanently. -- Gardens.

0:21:020:21:10

Now it's not very often you get

to see behind the scenes

0:21:100:21:13

when a new Hollywood film

is being promoted but as part

0:21:130:21:16

of the BBC's School Report we sent

two students from Lewisham

0:21:160:21:18

to experience it first hand -

and for their first assignment

0:21:180:21:21

they spoke to Star Wars'

actor John Boyega.

0:21:210:21:23

Wendy Hurrell was also

there to give them some pointers.

0:21:230:21:30

Welcome to the baffling world of the

movie junket, into which we have

0:21:300:21:35

brought our intrepid school

reporters.

We are here in a 5-star

0:21:350:21:43

hotel...

To interview John Boyega

about his new film.

Don't give up.

0:21:430:21:50

He plays Jake Pentecost, fighting

off sea monsters in Pacific Rim

0:21:500:21:59

Uprising. We are in a small room at

a posh hotel filled with production

0:21:590:22:04

staff and a startling array of

light, sound and camera equipment.

0:22:040:22:09

We are really nervous. It is an

intimidating situation. In a holding

0:22:090:22:14

room, a pep talk from me.

There will

be people hiding in the corner and

0:22:140:22:19

you are wondering what they are

doing.

Ignore them and that is fine.

0:22:190:22:23

The movie stars have been sitting

here all day answering pretty much

0:22:230:22:27

the same questions over and over.

Taking presents always goes down

0:22:270:22:32

well.

Do you know what, other people

keep the mind me it is my birthday

0:22:320:22:39

and I had totally forgotten. Thank

you for this.

Thank you so much.

0:22:390:22:46

There was a battle scene in the film

and there were weapons like light

0:22:460:22:57

sabres from Star Wars.

I wish we

could have won from Pacific rim.

You

0:22:570:23:03

are known as a peck boy. Does this

help to fulfil your acting dreams?

0:23:030:23:10

-- peck. I am blessed. I have had a

good time in theatre schools with

0:23:100:23:18

friends who were aiming for the same

thing as myself. I was there when I

0:23:180:23:23

had the biggest role in my life.

0:23:230:23:29

What a brilliant start!

0:23:290:23:31

Let's find out when it's going to

get a bit warmer with Matt Taylor.

0:23:310:23:33

Plenty of snow across London during

the weekend. Today at least we will

0:23:390:23:43

see some sunshine. Probably felt

warmer when you are out there but

0:23:430:23:47

still a cold wind out of the wind

and sun it felt nice. It has started

0:23:470:23:52

to snow -- it has stopped snowing in

and around London. A few problems

0:23:520:24:05

with the graphics of the Locatelli

what will happen for them tonight at

0:24:050:24:09

the moment clear skies around for

the temperatures are set to plummet

0:24:090:24:12

for that there will be a frost here

and there to take us into the

0:24:120:24:16

morning. A keen, north-easterly wind

which will bring more cloud later

0:24:160:24:22

on. As the cloud rolls in in

Hertfordshire and Essex, there could

0:24:220:24:27

be the odd spot of light rain. Maybe

sleep as well. Nothing too

0:24:270:24:34

significant. The clearest conditions

in the first part of the night for

0:24:340:24:38

the plenty of cloud with a few

breaks here and there. For morning

0:24:380:24:43

commuters, be prepared. It will be

on the cold side. Temperatures

0:24:430:24:46

hovering between -1 and minus to.

You will have to wrap up first thing

0:24:460:24:55

in the morning. The morning cloud we

start with will break up. Some good,

0:24:550:25:00

long sunny spells. A few spots of

light rain towards the east. It

0:25:000:25:06

would be predominantly dry. More and

more sunshine developing as you go

0:25:060:25:08

through the day full stop the winds

will be lighter than they were

0:25:080:25:12

today. Temperatures are lifting up

nicely. Temperatures around 79

0:25:120:25:18

degrees. A big improvement on what

we have seen in the last few days.

0:25:180:25:24

-- between seven and 9 degrees. The

frost will be back. Temperatures at

0:25:240:25:32

lowest on Wednesday. In Bedfordshire

and Buckinghamshire we could get

0:25:320:25:37

down to minus three. Some good, long

sunny spells to take us through the

0:25:370:25:42

day. Temperatures on Wednesday will

lift up to around eight, 9 degrees

0:25:420:25:48

once again. For the rest of the

week, as high-pressure drifts to the

0:25:480:25:53

south, instead of the wind coming in

from the East they will come from

0:25:530:25:56

the West. The westerly wind will

bring rain to the western side of

0:25:560:26:01

the UK and will of course dry out.

Westerly winds, a boost in the

0:26:010:26:07

temperature was up through Thursday

and Friday there are good, sunny

0:26:070:26:16

spells around. The wind is coming in

from the south-west and temperatures

0:26:160:26:18

will peak at anywhere between ten

and their team. Tomorrow is the

0:26:180:26:22

start of the astronomical spring. --

and 13. The weather might just about

0:26:220:26:28

feel like that as well.

0:26:280:26:32

A look at the main

headlines tonight.

0:26:320:26:34

A large part of the arrangements

for Britain's withdrawal

0:26:340:26:36

from the EU has been agreed.

0:26:360:26:37

Michel Barnier and David Davis said

the deal was a "decisive step",

0:26:370:26:40

though they conceded that issues

around the Northern Ireland

0:26:400:26:42

border remain unresolved.

0:26:420:26:43

International chemical weapons

experts have arrived in Salisbury

0:26:430:26:45

to examine the nerve agent used

to poison the former Russian spy,

0:26:450:26:49

Sergei Skripal, and his daughter.

0:26:490:26:51

The presenter, Ant

McPartlin, is to give

0:26:510:26:52

up his television commitments

after being arrested

0:26:520:26:54

for drink driving.

0:26:540:26:56

ITV says he's taking time

off to seek treatment.

0:26:560:27:00

The families of the men

murdered by serial killer

0:27:000:27:02

Stephen Port have learnt

of "multiple failures" and "missed

0:27:020:27:04

opportunities" by the Met.

0:27:040:27:07

Port drugged and raped four young

men and dumped their bodies

0:27:070:27:10

near his home in Barking.

0:27:100:27:12

And over 150 people

who were squatting

0:27:120:27:14

in a building in central London had

to leave this afternoon

0:27:140:27:17

after an eviction order.

0:27:170:27:19

The property in Great Portland

Street was taken over

0:27:190:27:21

during the cold weather.

0:27:210:27:24

That's it.

0:27:240:27:25

I'll be back later during the ten

o'clock news, but for now

0:27:250:27:30

from everyone on the team thanks

for watching and have

0:27:300:27:33

a lovely evening.

0:27:340:27:36

Goodbye.

0:27:360:27:39