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Newsnight is coming up on BBC Two.
Here on BBC One, it's time
for the news where you are.
Good evening. Welcome to BBC London
Tonight - the vulnerable young women
who are being treated like slaves
behind closed doors. That's the view
of one au pair agency in the
capital. A BBC London investigation
has found that some au pairs are
being exploited and even bullied by
their host families, who are
supposed to be looking after them.
We have this special report.
Some on this march are strangers.
Almost all are foreign au pairs.
They have come to support each
other and make a stand
against exploitation and abuse.
We meet Ellie, not her real name.
We have disguised her face and
changed her voice for legal reasons.
She tells us about her
previous host family.
The family were very violent,
they were not violent with me,
but violent with each other.
I felt really
uncomfortable and unsafe.
I also did 14 hours a day,
seven days a week.
It was too much and I left.
We also spoke to Isabella,
again we have disguised her
identity for legal reasons.
She says she worked up to 70 hours
a week for just £100.
I started at 7 O'Clock,
I tidied, I did three
washing machines, I cried
after the first day.
My house mum told me to go
to my room, she said you work for me
and you need to do what I want.
After a few weeks I escaped.
She was scaring me.
Isabella was homeless
in a foreign country,
but luckily she was put
in touch with Maggie.
She runs an au pair agency
in Hampstead and found
Isabella another host family.
But only after she provided a clean
criminal record and two references,
something not required
by the current system.
Some of them are working all hours.
She said she was working weekends
seven days a week.
Au pairs are entitled to two
completely free days a week.
But they get really bullied
by family some of them.
It is unbelievable.
They told me all about it.
Slavery is getting so much
publicity at the moment,
but some of it is going on with some
of these families and the way
they are treating their au pairs.
The government says if an au pair
is a victim of modern slavery,
it should be reported to the police.
According to government guidelines,
au pairs are not workers
and so are not eligible
for a minimum wage or paid holiday.
They are meant to be treated
as a member of the family
and given a room and meals.
In exchange, they do around 30
hours of light housework
and baby-sitting a week.
In return for what is called pocket
money of £70 or more a week.
But we found online adverts that
went beyond the recommended hours,
adverts asking for excessive
household tasks, and
even proxy parenting.
The title of the advert up
here is au pair/carer.
Rosie Cox has carried
out extensive research.
She has been trying to raise
awareness about au pair
exploitation for over a decade.
The government needs to be quite
firm about what an au pair
is so that somebody can say actually
70 hours a week is not au pair is,
they ought to be being
paid the minimum wage.
At the moment nobody
knows where au pairs are.
They are not registered in any way,
the agencies who pays them do not
have to be registered,
so there is this unknown population.
We need to think about how
vulnerable they are,
it is almost always young women
inside people's homes.
Not every single au pair we met
had a negative story.
Anna is Spanish and looks
after Isabel and Rufus in Nunhead.
For me, from the first minute
I arrived here I feel
like a member of the family.
I always have the weekends off.
so I have a lot of time
to know London and for me
it is amazing living here.
I am lucky.
Anna's host family work long hours,
they are one of many families
across London who rely on au pairs
help with childcare.
But experts warn without tighter
rules on au pairs are left open
to exploitation with few people
to turn to.
City Hall has said it is to review
how stations are evacuated after a
false terror alert at Oxford Circus
sparked panic on Friday. A leaked
official report into what happened
at the station says inaccurate
information made the situation
worse. 16 people were injured in the
stampede, after what was thought to
be gunfire on the platform. Here's
our Transport Correspondent Tom
This is a Black Friday these
shoppers will not forget as fear
swept Oxford Circus,
a busy shopping area.
In a leaked document,
we can reveal a timeline of
At 16..39pm Oxford
Circus station after
a discharge firearm.
Six minutes later armed police
arrived as the incident was
declared the most category one.
By 17:34pm it was over.
TfL had been given permission
from the police to
reopen the station.
The report does say
the incident was "compounded by
various differing reports
of what the incident actually was."
The panic spread from
the platforms up here
onto the street level and right down
to Selfridge's and there are the
store says a surge of shoppers not
items onto the marble floor adding
to the pandemonium.
the singer Olly Murs
tweeted there had been
gunshots and on social
media many posted about
a possible terror attack.
But commentators say
the panic was understandable.
To go with the herd is more
than just a survival
instinct, it is a smart thing to do.
It is like outsourcing your
cognitive powers to other people,
With some injured in the station
evacuation, now the
authorities are looking at their
announcements at tube stations
and whether they can be improved.
Clearly there is an issue
about getting people out of stations
very quickly and that is something
is worthy of more examination.
How do we evacuate
people really quickly
in a situation where there
is probably some panic?
The Met found no evidence
that any shots were
fired and the authorities are now
looking at what lessons can be
When misinformation and panic spread
It's been criticised over many
areas. Thames Water has admitted it
let its customers down. Now they've
promised cheaper bills for everyone
next year but consumer goods say it
is nod good enough.
This was Upper Street in Angel after
a Thames Water main bust last
December. Many businesses were
flooded and around 100 people were
evacuated from their homes
is all flooded. It was flooded right
up to about here, the line there.
Trevor Turner was one of them. He
and his wife still haven't moved
Whenever I see a
Thames Water van now, I go - not
again, not again. It is a fearful
thought. You watch this enormous,
giant bust on a 36 inch mainstream
pipe leak on Upper Street bubbling
It is just one of the Incep
dents Thames Water has been
criticised for. It has now announced
it'll be repaying customers £40
million worth of penalties for past
leaks, earlier than required, having
the expected annual rise in bills by
around £8. The company has admitted
it has let customers down and is
unlikely to meet its targets for
leaks once again this financial
year. What is going so wrong?
thing about a big water company like
Thames is a lot of these things are
legacy issues, and I think we can
see a real change happening inside
the company. It's not just about
paying back our customers early,
it's also a lot of incremental
investment. So this year we're in
the going to be paying any dividends
to our investors, what we're going
to be doing is spending the money
for the benefit of our customers,
improving our service.
And it's been
aed about year for Thames Water. It
was fined £20 million in March for
allowing 1.4 billion litres of raw
sewage into the River Thames and it
was hit with an £8.6 million penalty
for misleaked targets in the fngess
year. The consumer council says it
must do better.
There have been
significant bursts. The leakage
problems have not been met at the
level it should have been and there
have been fines over that. And there
has been sewer flooding in the
Thames Valley area. It is not
acceptable it customers.
of the top team has changed at
Thames Water since last September.
It is a company that looks to want
to turn a corner and says it wants
it get its leaks back continue
target by 2020. Well that's it for
now, I will say good night and hand
you over to Elizabeth for the
weather. It's getting a lot
you over to Elizabeth for the
weather. It's getting a lot colder.
It certainly is. It felt colder
today but at least we had sunshine.
Temperatures reached 7 only and it
actually felt cold we are that with
the strength of the northerly wind.
We will be keeping that for the next
few days, the theme is it'll turn
progressively colder there. Could be
a few showers around at times in the
east but otherwise mostly dry. Some
sunshine and feeling a bit less
chilly as we head into the weekend.
Now, overnight tonight, we will
probably see a patchy frost form in
the more sheltered spots really.
There will be clear spells around
but quite a bit of cloud. We'll
steefrp tours dip to probably two to
three degrees Celsius in the towns
but below freezing where we have the
clear spells and brightness and
sunshine around tomorrow morning.
Then we will see more cloud around,
maybe one or two showers across
parts of Essex and Hertfordshire and
we have a northerly wind. That will
make it feel colder than these
numbers would otherwise suggest. We
will be keeping the wind, the
strength of that cold wind over the
next few days, of course. Thursday
is looking like the coldest day. One
or two sleety showers