08/01/2014 Look East - West


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goodbye from me. On BBC One we now join the BBC's news teams


24 hours after the Norfolk Helicopter crash, the local


Lakenheath community mourns the loss of four of its airmen. A lot of


people from this area work on the US airbase so we are very much a family


and at times like this, it is a time to reflect on just how serious the


job is that they do fast. `` they do for us. Hello and welcome to Look


East. A swimming pool's saved. So what next for the council facing


millions of pounds of cuts? Gazing at the stars ` hundreds expected as


the BBC's road show aims to create a human constellation. And the flood


alerts are still out ` but are we heading for a period of calmer


weather? Good evening. First tonight, 24


hours after that helicopter crash on the East coast, a military community


here is mourning the loss of four of its airmen. The crew was from RAF


Lakenheath. An American airbase just to the east of Ely. They were taking


part in a training mission with a second Pave Hawk aircraft when


tragedy struck and they crashed onto marshland. This is how the events


unfolded. The alarm was raised at seven o'clock last night. Lifeboats,


Police, RAF and American Air Force staff were all scrambled to the


scene. A 400 metre cordon was set up to protect people from munition


which had been scattered amongst the wreckage. Shortly before 10pm,


police confirmed all four crew on board had died. Today,


investigations began into what caused the crash but the bodies of


the crew remain in the wreckage Our chief reporter Kim Riley has spent


the day at RAF Lakenheath. A few moments ago he sent us this. This


base and nearby RAF Mildenhall had close relations with the communities


around them. RAF is home to the liberty ring of the US air force as


it is known and tonight the base is mourning the loss of four of its


own. Early morning. Military personnel and civilian staff arrived


at the base's main gate. All day, there has been a sombre atmosphere


after the shocking overnight news. The 45 doing now flying F`15


fighters has played key roles in many military operations including


in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pave Hawk helicopters had been a


vital support to the F`15 helicopters and their crew. The


craft is highly versatile, often used in combat search and rescue


missions. It has taken part in humanitarian operations from the


soon army in Sri Lanka to hurricane to Katrina in New Orleans. It has a


four`man crew and can carry up to 12 passengers or troops. It is a


variant of the Sikorsky Black Hawk which has a good safety record. The


helicopter crews undergo rigorous training involving low`level flying


and high`speed manoeuvres in the pitch dark. Tonight, the commander


of the wing issued a statement. They are fielding a great sense of


support from across the air force and from our new cake neighbours as


we go through this difficult period. `` our UK neighbours.


Tonight the search is under way to discover why the Pave Hawk aircraft


crashed. It could be some time before investigators reach a


definitive answer. I can tell you that Colonel Robinson who I quoted


in the report will be here tomorrow answering questions directly from


the media. We might also learn the names of the airmen who died in the


crash. But that will not happen until 24 hours after next of kin had


been informed. They did not want families around the world to learn


first through the media and not directly from the media. `` the


military. Some flagstick night flying at half`mast, and some


flowers have been laid in tribute to those who died. `` some flags have


been flying tonight. In the House of Commons today, the


Prime Minister paid tribute to the American aircrew, while local MPs


praised their bravery. Our political correspondent Andrew Sinclair has


the reaction now from Westminster. With many parts of the country still


flooded and the death of a Labour MP, the Commons was in subdued mood.


Last night's crash received the briefest of mentions. Mr Speaker,


our thoughts should go to the victims of the US helicopter crash


in Norfolk about which details are still emerging. Away from the


chamber, MPs acknowledge that this is a real tragedy, the largest loss


of American military life in the country for a long time, and the


U.S. Air Force has been an integral part of the region for more than 70


years. The community in Lakenheath will be mourning the loss. This


crash goes to show just how brave the airmen are, both in action but


also in training to ensure that they are always ready to defend our


freedom. There has also been an acceptance that this crash will lead


to questions about how the military trains. Low`level flying and


night`time flying is commonplace in this region. The MoD keeps it away


from built`up areas and they have not been many complaints, but MPs


will be looking for more reassurance. When something like


this happens has to be an thorough examination of what happened. People


are proud of the tradition of both the RAF and the US not in this


region. `` the US military. But communities must feel that proper


steps are taken to ensure that the risks to communities are minimised.


That is a debate for another time. Today, like everyone else, MPs have


been shot and saddened by what has happened on the Norfolk coast. ``


shocked and saddened. The family of a Luton man who died in police


custody have been told they can now make arrangements for his funeral.


Leon Briggs died back in November after being detained at Luton police


station. This morning an inquest was opened and adjourned. They have laid


flowers and mounted vigils and now two months after his death, the


family of Leon Briggs can at last plan for his funeral. Today, a


coroner formally released as body but was unable to confirm the cause


of death. The 39 old father of two was arrested in Luton in November.


He was detained under the Mental Health Act and died in hospital


after collapsing at Luton police station. In the days that followed


it emerged that five police officers and two civilian staff were under


investigation. They have now been questioned under criminal caution


for a number of offences, including Grossman Legends, unlawful


manslaughter, `` gross negligence, and health and safety breaches. They


have been suspended whilst the independent police complaints


commission continues its investigation. His death caused


tension in the community. Doesn t attended a public meeting where


questions were asked about how bad police deals with the black


community. The IPCC has called for patience while it completes its


inquiries. The coroner has adjourned the inquest into the death of Leon


Briggs until a case review in March. His family and friends say that they


will continue to mount vigils outside the police station. Two


recruitment companies employing migrant workers in Cambridgeshire


have been stripped of their GLA licences. In October, 300 officers


from the police and the Gangmasters' Licencing Authority targeted


addresses in March and Wisbech as part of Operation Endeavour. Since


then, Slender Contracting ` run by Martyn and Mark Slender ` has lost


its licence for breaching GLA standards, including falsifying


payslips to underpay employees. MAS Recruitment has also had its licence


revoked. Next tonight, they are some of the essential services that we


use every day. Things like care for the elderly, rubbish collection and


libraries. But Central Bedfordshire Council needs to cut ?43 million


from its budget over the next few years ` and is asking people living


there for their ideas. For some a new year brings new resolutions For


councils it means a new round of cuts and savings. Less money from


the Government and greater demand on services. But simple Beds Council


has invested recently ?100,000 on a leisure centre. Membership is up and


it is no longer loss`making but in the next four years, the council


must cut spending on local services by 25%, ?43 million, so will that


put a stop to investment and upgrades like this? We have got to


do more of this. It is about investing, to save. If we can


refurbish a leisure centre or an office so that we can have fewer of


those zoos, so that over the long term they can cost less, that saves


money, and that is what we are all about, fundamentally reshaping the


way that we deliver services. The council says that council tax will


not go up this year, but with cuts to be made, I asked residents how


they think it should be done. Where would you make savings? Planning.


They are always a pain. I have just had a baby. I would not want


children services to be cut. We all sit in our armchairs at home, don't


we? Social housing, you would cut back on? I would, yes. Where should


they make the biggest savings? Libraries. If they limited the hours


that they operate. This opinion poll was unscientific but it shows you


how tough these decisions are, and the pattern I am seeing emerging is


that most people would not want to see adult social care children's


care cut, and those are the areas in which the council spends the most


money. You can have your say as the plans go out to consultation between


now and the end of the month. He's been missing for more than a week


and police in Bedfordshire say they're becoming increasingly


concerned for Neil Devlin's safety. Mr Devlin is from Leighton Buzzard.


He was last seen on New Year's Day drinking with friends. Posters in


local shops appealing for information. Neil Devlin was


reported missing after failing to turn up for his job at the local


supermarket. He has learning difficulties. His friends are


worried. I have known him for four years, and this is not his


behaviour. For him to disappear and not contact anyone and not go to


work, it is not him at all. It is close to this part of town that he


was last seen. Detectives using CCTV have used together his last


movements. On the evening of January one he met friends for a drink in


this pub and this thought to have left shortly after half past ten.


The misleader he was spotted at a filling station a short walk away.


Then he went to visit friends at fork news. He left at 11:30pm. That


was the last anyone saw him. ` `Falcon Mews. What we are doing is


tracing back the steps that we believe that Neil Devlin had taken


that evening, back from the town to his home address and yes, I would


like someone to come forward and provide information. His journey


home would have taken him past this river. Police have been searching


the river bank. There could be further searches by boat. His


friends, whilst trying to remain optimistic, fear the worst. He is a


lovely person. It is very sad. I find it hard braking. I am losing


sleep over it, waking up thinking that there has been bad news. I just


want him to come home. It is sad. Searches for the missing man will


resume tomorrow. The Prime Minister has welcomed the posthumous royal


pardon given to the Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing. He killed


himself in 1954 shortly after being convicted for being homosexual.


Lyn O'Reilly's family are now taking legal action against the health


trust. Still to come, we are looking at the


stars. A lot of lights have been switched


off so that people can look at the sky. It is Stargazing Live,


astronomy really is the new rock and roll, and there is this stage to


prove it. If you've just joined us, our main


story tonight is the death of four Amercian air crew in a helicopter


crash in Norfolk. The crash happened 24 hours ago. The bodies of the


victims haven't been recovered yet. The aircraft was based at RAF


Lakenheath and was on a training exercise when it crashed. Roger


Smith is from Lowestoft and is an expert in military aircraft. It has


been a very safe aircraft flying at low level at night is a potentially


risky business, but they have not had many accidents.


It is a Pave Hawk, rather than a Black Hawk? Yes, a Black Hawk is a


troop carrying helicopter. The Pave Hawk is full of electronics and


avionics which helps it see in the dark. It can follow radar and


infrared, to see in the dark. The pilots and the crew can wear night


vision goggles, which helps them to see in the dark.


We heard that this was carrying ammunition, which is part of the


problem in the flare`up? `` clear up.


Yes, they do not want people to pick them up. They should not do much


damage other than being picked up. A lot of people have suggested that


it could have been a bird strike? Yes, we will see what happens when


the board of inquiry gives its report. Helicopters do not fly as


fast as low flying jets, and will be less damaged by a bird strike. I


think that if a helicopter hit a bird, there would not be a lot of


damage. If the helicopter was in a hover and a bird hit a tail rotor,


that has crashed a British Telecom to in the past. `` British


helicopter. There's been an Amercian air force


presence in Suffolk since the war. And over the generations a close


bond has developed between the large bases and their Suffolk neighbours.


Today, Look East Suffolk reporter Kevin Burch examined the impact of


the helicopter tragedy on the local community.


The world's biggest bombers visit England's...


The American presence at RAF Lakenheath has been difficult to


ignore. And RAF meet your... RAF Lakenheath is now the largest


American base in the country, home to 6000 personnel from America.


There are thousands more at a base next door. We went behind the scenes


on thanks `` Thanksgiving day, and found out why it was called mini


America. We have 100 pounds of meat, many


turkeys and hams. But from the celebration, the mood


today was commiseration. Here is the counsellor for the village.


It is very sad. Many people in the area work for the American bases.


We're like a family. This is a time to reflect on how serious the job


is. The village here worked on the base


for many years. He says that there is a sense of shock, but the crash


needs to be seen in context, given the scale of the base. They have


many flights in the day and night, and have not lost any of four. They


have done very well. This man teaches music, many of his


students from the base. He says that the American troops always play


their part, at family days and to look after the nature reserves.


Recently, many of the troops did litter picking and tidying up at the


base `` nature reserve. So it is much appreciated.


You have the fighter base and the bombers, but they are also in our


communities and are a big part of the community.


The council are planning to send the American base flowers and a letter


of condolence. Side`by`side for years, now closer than ever.


Large crowds are gathering in Norwich this evening for an event


linked to the BBC's stargazing programme. The main activities are


taking place just outside the Forum. Our own star David Whiteley is there


now. When I was at school, I was in the


astronomy club. And if you were in the astronomy club you were a geek.


But now being a geek is super cool. Astronomy has become very rock and


roll and this year's Stargazing Live is bigger than ever. Of course, live


shows on BBC Two and massive live events like this one here in


Norwich. There is a choir singing on the


stage, and they have also turned off a lot of the light pollution in


local businesses, so we can see the stars. Hopefully it won't rain


anymore. In a minute, I'll be chatting to the stage presenter of


the this show. But first, here's Shaun Peel.


It is a far cry from the sky at night. This is stargazing in the


21st century. It is rock and roll, and there is a three hour road show


of choirs, bands and stand`up comedy.


Everyone on the stage are scientists, but also performance. It


is about making people enthusiasm, children and adults, so that they go


out and look at the sky and see the big universe.


Stargazing Live has blown the cobwebs of thousands of telescopes


and introduce the universe to a new generation of stop last night's show


was at Jodrell bank, and there was also a report from way born on the


coast. `` Weyburn. This is what Mars looks like.


There will also be a human constellation. The space experts are


marking out the pavement in the shape of the night sky. It will be a


UK first. They are mapping out the night sky


as it would be over this spot at 30 PM. They will get 200 people to


stand on the markers, give them the torch, cut the lights, everyone puts


their hands in the air. That will be filmed from up above, and there you


have it, the Eastern lights. This is what you would see. We will


make the constellations in different colours, so you can see what is up


there. Last night, the programme had the


Northern lights, tonight 200 people will create our own version, the


Norwich lights. That constellation will light up the


night sky at 7:30pm. I am joined by one of the size presenters who has


just got off stage after an energetic performance. `` science


performance. This is about getting science to a


larger audience, many people think it is is about men in white coats in


a laboratory, but science is done in Hawaii, in incredible places. So it


is making people know that science is done by a whole range of people.


Astronomy, science, it can be quite glamorous? I would not say that it


is always glamorous, because it is at night and it is cold, but it is


not just done by the stereotypical people. It can be done by anyone. A


lot of people think that science is difficult, but sometimes it is just


how it is explained that makes it difficult. So what my stage show, I


like to make it into the basic parts. I'm hoping that even


eight`year`olds will know about some of the scientific facts, by doing a


big explosion. Yes, I am sure that many of the parents will want to


have washing`up liquid bottles across the room! I am so glad that


worked, but I was so happy when it's moved 11 metres. I will be here very


late, there is a lot of work to do. The Stargazing Live event carries on


until 9pm. It will be on BBC Two until nine o'clock. I wish astronomy


was this exciting when I was a child. It was really boring.


What is the weather like tonight? I'm afraid it is not very good


tonight. There is rain moving further north. It will be making its


way from the South West. It will not be raining all evening and all


night, it will be quite shallow reef stop `` patchy rain. But there will


also be rain into the early hours of tomorrow morning. The wind will pick


up. There will be a lot of cloud around and that breeze, so it will


not get very cold. Temperatures around six or seven Celsius by the


end of the night and a moderate to fresh south`westerly breeze.


Tomorrow, it will be quite cloudy and there could be some rain


around, but it will become brighter and stop it will be an improving


picture. It might be damp at first. Temperatures will be warmer than


they were today, it could be 10 Celsius, but you have to factor in


the breeze. And the breeze will get fresher throughout the day. So


feeling more cold. And in the afternoon, cooler air, and


temperatures dropping. And temperatures will drop tomorrow as


well. There could be some ground frost across the region.


On Friday, there will be high pressure, so that promises some


better weather. This weather front of moving across the country top


there will not be a lot of rain by the time we get to us. The bulk of


Friday does looked right. By the end of the day, there could be some


patchy rain. The outlook is looking quite


settled. There will be dry and bright weather on Friday, feeling


cooler. Cloud increasing overnight. Not quite as cold on Friday night.


But this cold air will continue to move downwards. So the weekend is


looking dry and bright, the numbers will go down. So highs of six


Celsius, despite a lot of rain. So the overnight lows will be colder,


and still some rain by Sunday night. A reminder of our main story. Crash


investigators are expected to spend the next few days trying to find out


how a US Air Force helicopter crashed in Norfolk, claiming the


lives of its four crew. The Pave Hawk helicopter had been on a


training exercise when it happened. Our reporter is at the site. What is


the move like? It is a very sombre mood. People


understand that there are still bodies here. At some people are


saying that the night exercises should not happen in this area is


top the helicopters are sometimes only three metres above a bird


reserve. The investigation will not have an early outcome. It will be


carried out by the American military. We may not have a result


for up to a year. But our thoughts are with the families and loved ones


at RAF Lakenheath stop that is all from us for now.


There will be more in the later bulletins and tomorrow morning on


the radio. Good night.


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