10/08/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Michael Collie and Suzanne


Virdee. The headlines tonight. A call for calm, after three men


are run over and killed, protecting their property from rioters.


He was trying to help his community. It does not matter who you are, we


are here to help every Birmingham shut down, as shops do


what they can to protect their property.


Cleaning up in Wolverhampton - young people unite, after hundreds


of thousands of pounds of damage. The Duke's we do and it lasts night,


they were writing and being a menace, so we are being for nice


side of them -- the youths were doing it.


And amidst tight security, the test Good evening and welcome to


Wednesday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight, the devastated father


of one of three men killed on a second night of violence in


Birmingham asks, "What's happening to the whole of England?" The men


were hit by a car in Winson Green as they protected property shortly


after one o'clock this morning. The Prime Minister described it


this morning as a truly dreadful incident. They were taken to


hospital, where about 200 people gathered outside. The father


appealed for calm on the streets tonight.


There was violence and looting in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and West


Bromwich last night. West Midlands Police made 163 arrests, which


takes the total to around 300. Chief Constable Chris Sims said


today he has in excess of a thousand public order trained


officers at his disposal. Earlier today, Mr Sims said he had


no plans to change the tactics his officers were currently using, but


said he would like more officers on the streets.


Let me reassure people that our tactics are strong, we are putting


people before courts and that I do not feel in any mood to ask for a


different and additional resource. What I do need is additional police


officers because of the geography of what we are dealing with.


The violence has led to many Birmingham shops and businesses


closing early for a second day. Mary Rhodes is in the city centre


now, Mary, this must be having a major economic impact?


It certainly is. The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said this loss


of revenue has cost the city to �0.5 million a date. They have


reported loss of revenue of 50% and trade is down across pubs,


restaurants and shops, as businesses close early to protect


staff and property. And it was similar today as shops closed


Keighley, including the Birmingham Bull Ring, which closed before 4pm


-- closed earlier. Along New Street, signs of shifting


up. Word spread from one business to another and they decided to play


it safe. We are to close at 4pm on the general advice of people around


us. The boring is closing, so it is probably precautionary but we have


to -- the Bull Ring shopping centres. Mid-to-late afternoon,


people do not want to be around. And it was not just shop owners


frustrated. The fact all the shops are closing seems a little dramatic.


I would rather get home safely than be in town where it gets nasty.


Keep doing what we are doing and living as we are, at no point


stopping everything because of the rioters. It was well before 4pm as


we headed to the Bull Ring shopping centre and it was closed with


barriers inside the doors. A police presence had strengthened on the


street and around. Rush hour started early as people headed home


to clear the streets of the city's. And this evening, the Institute of


Asian Businesses has said that Birmingham's Asian business


community condemns unreservedly the action of the rioters. Nasir Aswan,


who's president of the institute, said in a statement: "We will unite


to eradicate this menace and ensure that Birmingham retains the


friendly, open-for-business reputation that it enjoys


globally." I can tell you from here that traffic is gridlocked trying


to get out of the city. It is free on the way in but a lot of police


vans have headed into the city this evening. I will be back later for a


further update. News of the death of three men in


the Winson Green area of Birmingham. Our reporter has been talking to


shocked families. Three young men were not down here


by a car that did not stop. They have been named as 31-year-old


Abdul Mussavir and his brother Shazad Ali. Also with them at


Haroon Jahan, 21. This mobile phone footage captured the moment just


after the car sped away. The three friends had been here because they


had been worried about security at the businesses along Dudley Road.


The father of Haroon Jahan spoke of his family's last. I cannot


describe to anyone what it feels like to lose your son. He was


working with me at one time recently and he left, he got a job


as a mechanic. Just down the road. I miss him. I miss him deeply. But


like I said before, a day from now, maybe two days, the whole world


will forget him and nobody will care. There was solidarity and


sympathy for the family last night. Outside the City Hospital. Then


next door neighbour expressed her support. A fine young man, trying


to just protect our homes. Just to protect our homes, it is just, this


journey people have taken his mindless and. Us. It is mindless


and pointless and is getting beyond a joke. We need to stand together


and fight for peace, because this is England. Forensics experts have


spent all day at the scene as police appealed for calm. Police


say this is a complicated inquiry and facts are still emerging. They


say communities should trust police to protect them and have asked


people to act with a sense of cool calculation. A police car was used


today to carry out skit tests. It came as community workers awake for


hours in tribute. We just need to give families time to grieve and


communities time to heal and hopefully people empowered to stand


back and listen. Tonight, as a community Greaves, there were


renewed calls for restraint and, reflection. -- and reflection. And


our reporter is at the scene in Winson Green. How have the wider


community reacted today? There has been the universal shock


and sympathy and degrees felt hurt on behalf of the family, expressed


by friends, and family members. And exasperation also at the violence


and disorder in Birmingham and elsewhere, and the atmosphere in


the city in the last few days. And I think we cannot get away from the


fact there is also trepidation about what the future might hold,


and those very strongly worded pleas for calm.


They have been meetings held in the area, what happened? -- there have


been. Meetings have been held throughout


the day and attended by politicians, faith leaders, community leaders,


the police. We were at one of those meetings held at a school down the


road and the feelings were running very high. Their work and passion


speeches. The hope is people will have listened to those speeches and


there will be calm not just tonight but also over the forthcoming days.


Thank you very much indeed. Shopkeepers in the Black Country


say they've lost hundreds of thousands of pounds after mobs


rampaged through the streets of Wolverhampton and West Bromwich


last night. Businesses were attacked with hammers, and then


looted. A clean-up operation involving young people from the


community got underway today, as Bob Hockenhull reports. The


disorder is another blow for small business -- for small businesses


struggling to survive. Shops like this jewellers in


Wolverhampton -established for 40 years - bore the brunt when a crowd


went on the rampage smashing windows with hammers and stealing


merchandise. We are trying to help as soon as possible. I just do not


know, I honestly do not know what we will do. There is no money


coming in. I have got to pay wages, staff. It might be the end of us.


Youths took to the street both in Wolverhampton and in West Bromwich,


causing trouble and forcing shops to shut early and lose trade. But


one brave hairdresser in Wolverhampton stood up to the


looters - stopping them from attacking her salon.


There was a group of 300 or 400 children coming and one girl with a


hammer smashing the windows while the guys kicked the windows through,


and they were coming here and standing here and swearing. If you


are not touching my shop, I said! They were telling me not to swear


while they were smashing up the shops, so I did this. Not my shop,


please! They were shot and left me alone. -- shocked. It was a very


different crowd that took to the streets in Wolverhampton this


morning. Armed with only brushes and pans, the group of mainly young


people offered to help traders clear up. I felt like doing a nice


thing because youths were doing it lasts night writing and being a


menace, so we are being the nice side of the youths -- rioting.


Everybody on Facebook and Twitter last night were concerned about


everybody. Most of the city's streets have been cleaned up, but


by coming together like this, young people feel they are giving


businesses in the city a sense of reassurance. And reassurance was


something the Shadow Home Secretary sought to give the people of West


Bromwich, as she came to witness the aftermath of last night's


disorder for herself. People are saying, I love Sandwell,


that is coming out from people wanting to stand up against this


violence, Africa's it is unacceptable. These are criminal


elements are damaging the community and also people's livelihoods.


trade, damaged shops, stolen stock - but there was one business in the


Black Country not worrying about a drop in profits.


Obviously, we will wait -- we will make money had a bit but it is


still not good, really not good. -- ahead of it. Not a Glaser would


wish it to happen. Because, after all, this is an image which surely


must be bad for all businesses in the long run.


The Prime Minister has been in Wolverhampton and in Birmingham


this afternoon, meeting the police, business leaders and residents in


some of the worst affected areas. David Cameron said that's where


what he called the "fightback" begins. Well, our political editor,


Patrick Burns was there and he joins us now. Patrick, what did he


mean by that? He means by a fight back, the eye-


catching elements are that COBRA has given its authority for the use


with 24 hours' notice of water cannon for the first time on the


streets of mainland UK. It was seen in Northern Ireland last month.


Another aspect is a reaffirmation of the police powers, in extreme


circumstances, to use baton rounds, formerly known as plastic bullets.


Police have been remarkably reluctant to use these two things


because they are considered to be only in extreme circumstances, and


to change the nature of policing in this country. So it is not


something likely taken. Earlier today, the Prime Minister said he


did not want to see London lot down. I put it to him that is exactly


what has been happening in Birmingham. The first priority is


to increase the number of police on the streets to reclaim them for the


law abiding and to absolutely make it clear these looters and thieves


are arrested and prosecuted and convicted and imprisoned. That


needs to happened -- to happen and it will be much easier for up


centres to get back to normal and police numbers can come back down


and Birmingham will be the great city we want it to be. Parliament


has been recalled tomorrow, how significant is that and what can we


expect? It is a mark of the extreme gravity of the position we are in.


For the last time Parliament was recalled in the middle of a summer


recess, you have to go back to 2002 at the time of the start of the


Iraq war. And before that, to the attack on the twin towers and


threat of international terrorism after 9/11, so it is a mark of the


extreme position we are in. And we can expect a debate about this


aspect of the policing side of it, the cost that will attach to it at


the time when the government has very little cash to play with, so I


expect it to be a very sombre occasion tomorrow. We have heard


from some MPs who are concerned, how concerned our MPs and the Black


Country? Deep concern. We have used expressions like mindless


criminality. Andrew Mitchell, a member of the Cabinet, said, the


full force of the law will be brought to bear on this. But we


will also hear discussion in the House of Commons about the question


of the causes, whether there is an element of a completely


disconnected under class here, whether there is any link to the


cuts, very contentious and debate of these were some would say on


decent people who protest peacefully. Thank you very much


indeed. Elsewhere, 12 people were arrested in Worcestershire, after


cars were set alight in Redditch and Worcester. In Coventry, nine


people were arrested after unrest in the Cheylesmore area of the city.


There were also disturbances in Gloucester, where police were


attacked with rocks and bottles, as Steve Knibbs reports. And with no


apparent shame, some of those in the Gloucester riots last night


posed for a camera. Around 50-60 rioters fought running


battles with the police along Barton Street. Copycat crimes


triggered by disturbances across the UK. Gloucester's Chief


Constable cut short his holiday to see the damage for himself. The


Chief told me they'll make sure those responsible are brought to


justice. These people have come onto the streets and committed


criminal acts, and the only people they are hurting of the community,


so it is very disappointing. And I am very clear we want to make sure


the streets are safe and that people who commit these criminal


acts need to understand we will be looking to rest them and put them


before the courts. And it has not taken place long. 14 people have


been arrested, some as young as 16. This man was taken into custody on


suspicion of burglary after this newsagents was broken into, the


only incidents of looting related to last night's violence. The clean


up this morning was swift. Apart from the burnt-out shell of a


disused building, there was little sign of the trouble. But there was


anger. Little kids breaking down people businesses. This community


is a good community and whoever is doing this, they are sick idiots!


The people here are not complacent but they are hoping that tonight,


those intent on causing trouble have got the message and will keep


away. Pictures of the riots from a small


community television station based in Birmingham have been beamed


around the world. Sangat TV, unheard of by most


people just a few days ago, has taken viewers right to the heart of


the disorder with their own unique style of reporting and message for


calm. Joanne Writtle reports. As the full horror of writing unfolded,


a little-known TV station followed the action, with reporters


expressing their anger. I do not care if I raise my life because it


is about humanity! -- will lose my life. It is difficult what is


happening! Sangat Television at Edgbaston in


Birmingham is a charity-run station which normally broadcasts


community-based programmes, often in the Sikh community. When you see


some of what was going on, you do get emotional. And you say, this is


totally wrong what is happening here. We are helping the community,


there you go. As you can see, this is what we need to do for the


community. The police are doing their job and protecting us. You


can see it live footage, this is another live exclusive footage and


Sangat TV. The station normally broadcast community-based


programmes. But in a complete departure, it followed the violence


live to warn communities. We wanted to bring peace to the community and


take misunderstanding out of what was happening. It was mainly just


looting happening. This is an emergency radio broadcast.


Meanwhile, as writing was breaking out for his second day, a youth


radio station here at Highgate in Birmingham broadcast an appeal for


calm. We would like to say please, please, stay out of it, stay at


home and out of the scenes. Radio Youthology is run by volunteers and


aired on the internet, with programmes aimed at 15 to 25 years


olds. I am disgusted by it. Birmingham is our home and we live


as one and it brings sadness for me personally to see people's homes


and buildings being broken into. Back at Sangat TV, their attempts


to help sometimes caused frustration. Are you listening to


me? They cannot see down the road because you are blocking their


vision. What on earth are you trying to do? I know you are trying


to help us at... Overall, community television and radio took to the


airwaves to appeal for peace. A lot of media interest around the world


of what is happening here in the Midlands.


And there will be continuing coverage throughout the evening and


into the night on BBC WM, with more from us on BBC One's ten o'clock


news. Still ahead here on Midlands Today


tonight, a proud day at Edgbaston, as England take control against


India. And I'll have more on how the


weather could affect play later The West Midlands Chief Fire


Officer has been reassuring people in Birmingham not to be alarmed by


a huge plume of smoke which appeared over part of the city


today. It was generated by a huge fire at a scrap yard at the


Hawksword Metal Recycling Plant in Nechells. The smoke could be seen


from several miles away. The fire service wanted to make it clear


that it is nothing to do with the current disturbances.


The imagery from the Troubles has been a large fires and we are very


concerned that people travelling across the M C think a big fire is


going on in big -- in Birmingham and there is an issue, but there is


not, this is normal business for us and we are putting this fire out.


It produces a lot of smoke and a lot of people will see this and


think of other connections. But it really is just normal business for


Cricket now. Undeterred by the disturbances across Birmingham, the


third test between England and India has been taking place at


Edgbaston. Nick Clitheroe's there right now.


The mood was upbeat around Edgbaston and there were only a few


signs that security might have been stepped up for this match.


Generally it appeared the fans couldn't wait for the latest


chapter in an enthralling test saga. If England win, they'll go to


number one in the world. They have played awesome and deserve to be


number one in the world. If they carry on, unstoppable force stop


they are doing well against every teams are up Mack we have had


tickets for a year. My friend's but they, so very excited. They will


win, a Champions'. Sachin Tendulkar will get his century. This is the


first test match at the ground since the opening of the new �32


million pavilion. For everyone with Warwickshire cricket in their heart,


it's a special day. They have done really well and are to be


congratulated. It is a magnificent facility and I have just seen the


dressing rooms and they are so big and spacious, it almost, almost


feels like I should come out of retirement. But almost! There were


bag checks for spectators, but nothing more than in any previous


test series. A great atmosphere at Edgbaston and after a difficult


couple of days for the city, this is just what the City needs. But a


poignant moment too, as the England team took to the field in black


armbands in memory of Neal Abberley, former Warwickshire player and


coach, the man Ian Bell credits for his career.


One Indian fan had told me before the match he was mainly here to


watch Sehwag. He better not have blinked, as the Indian opener went


to his first ball. After a brief Indian fightback, the wicket of


Sachin Tendulkar meant it was definitely England's morning. But a


fightback by the captain, MS Dhoni, means this is a day both sets of


fans could enjoy. And anyway, the 20,000 fans in the ground were just


delighted that neither the rioters nor the weather had stopped the


cricket. Great stuff! And did I see superman


among the crowd! And we could do with him!


A great day at Edgbaston today. Six of our teams were in Carling


Cup first round action last night. But only two of them won. Yoann


Arquinn scored in the 92nd minute to give Hereford United a 1-nil


victory over Brentford. And League Two Shrewsbury Town


created one of the shocks of the round. They raced into a 3-nil


half-time lead at Championship club Derby and held on to win 3-2.


And all the action from our teams in the Carling Cup will be on the


BBC Sport website from tomorrow. Let's catch up on the weather


action now. So far today, the rain has been


localised - located mainly in the North of the region. It will become


more widespread over the coming days. There's no shortage of


systems passing through, but if the times in-between last any length of


time, we might get some drier interludes, Thursday into Friday


being one of them. A long pause before quite a messy situation


unfolds as we head into Saturday. So our chances of seeing the


Perseid Meteor shower on Friday night might be scuppered by the


cloud. Hopefully not though on Saturday night, as things begin to


clear up, although the light of the Moon might put it in the shade a


bit. It's set to be one of the best displays this year - with 100


meteors an hour at its peak. Tonight, the rain has a go at


pushing in from the North and West, but doesn't really affect central


and Southern parts too much. Some of it could be heavy where it does


occur and it'll be fairly humid and warm tonight, with lows of around


14 or 15 Celsius, although the winds will be starting to ease a


little. Tomorrow will be a duller day with outbreaks of rain, as a


cold front heads Southwards. But as you can see, most of it's bitty.


There could be the occasional heavier spell. Temperatures


generally a little higher - 21-22 - with brisk Southwesterly winds, but


not as strong as today's. And then tomorrow night's rain dies out.


Friday looks mostly dry with sun and warming up a little more as the


winds die down and the winds pick Tonight's main headline: The Prime


Minister, David Cameron, says a fightback is underway to restore


law and order. Whatever resources police need, they'll get -


including baton rounds and water cannon.


And the West Midlands Chief Constable says he is happy with his


tactics, but will be deploying extra officers.


Back now to the disorder on the streets of the West Midlands. Mary


Rhodes is in Birmingham City Centre now. How do things seen this


evening? As I reported before, people were


heading for the buses and trains earlier today and we have been told


Birmingham New Street are running services as normal and will do so


throughout the evening. But Bristol Street is still gridlocked and has


been for at least half an hour. There is cricket at Edgbaston and


so that could be an additional factor, but a lot of police vans


have been going past to deal with potential trouble again tonight.


It was another tough night for police last night and more officers


on the street tonight? That is right, police presence was


increased last night, around 600 officers dealing with the looting.


And we saw extraordinary pictures of an electrical shop looted and


bigger plasma screens carried away in full view of our cameras and of


the police. I was at the police press conference today and the


Chief Constable Chris Sims said those people would be dealt with


today. And there is an increase police presence -- and increased


police presence tonight, 1,000 trained officers and other forces


from outside the area. It is very windy and rain clouds are gathering


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