11/08/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today with Suzanne Virdee and Michael


Collie. The headlines tonight: Praise from


the Prime Minister and a Chief Constable for the calming words of


a grieving father, desperate his son's murder doesn't lead to more


violence and rioting. Those words were so powerful, so


heartfelt, so spontaneous and generous.


A quiet night on the streets, but a busy one for the courts - they sat


all night to bring those accused of looting and violence to justice.


A calmer night on the region's streets, but some stores still


close early again. It is a bit eerie walking round and seen for


shots like this. That seemed the shots. -- and seen that the shots


like this. And after the riots, the Home


Office considers banning an EDL protest in Shropshire this weekend.


Good evening, welcome to Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: It was


a "powerful and generous appeal for calm." That's how the West Midlands


Chief Constable described a grieving father's appeal for an end


to the violence, following the killing of his son. He also said he


believed Tariq Jahan's dignified call for calm had stopped the


tensions escalating. Haroon Jahan was killed in a hit


and run along with brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir in Winson


Green in Birmingham early yesterday morning. It was feared their


murders - as they tried to protect businesses and properties from


looters - could ignite more violence and rioting. Mary Rhodes


reports. The tributes keep coming. Members


of the community and people from outside the area continue to pay


their respects to the three men who lost their lives on Wednesday


morning. I feel it bad. Very emotional? I am. We just hope that


everybody unites together, it does not matter what colour, whatever.


Because this cyst a loss for no reason. Three innocent people, it


is amazing this is happening. We have come to show our respect for


the family. Two brothers, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir, and 21-year-


old Haroon Jahan were killed after they were hit by a car. The Chief


Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims, met with Haroon's


father this lunchtime. Yesterday, Tariq Jahan had appealed


for calm. Today, at we stand here to breed


with all the youths to remain calm for our communities to stand united


-- to plead with a. Those words were so powerful, so hot felt, so


spontaneous and generous that I think anyone that occurred them


must have been moved it -- so heartfelt. And anyone who thought


there was any mileage from continuing his cycle of violence in


the name of those young men that died I think we'll have thought


twice about it. It seems the call has, so far, been listened to. A


vigil held late last night passed off peacefully. Sikhs and Muslims


have been branded for many years at extremists and terrorists, yet


there were more than 500 people and not one stone throne. The hooligans


are no -- the hooliganism and extremism was around the UK. What


did you ask the Chief Constable today? I said, how many more people


have to die before this hooliganism has to come to an end? He said, we


are working hard at this and soon it will come to an end. A brother


this afternoon was left grieving. have only -- I am the only some


left now, the backbone of the family, so I have to be strong in


myself and not break in pieces. I have to clear the pieces there are


broken back together again. sense of shock is still very raw in


Winson Green, a community united in grief.


And we'll be hearing from Chief Constable Chris Sims when he joins


us live later in the programme. First though, Mary Rhodes is in


Winson Green. Mary, what's the scene there tonight?


Yes, detectives investigating the deaths of the three men killed here


have today arrested three more men on suspicion of murder. And the 32-


year-old man previously arrested has been bailed pending further


enquiries. The mood all day has been of sorrow and grief and more


people have been coming too late weeds and pay their respects.


Family members have been down here this afternoon and gathering a lot


of support from members of the community. Today, and was struck


people were coming from outside Winson Green. And that sense of


shock and grief and wanting to unite as a community. And it seems


that call for calm from Tariq Jahan has been heeded and the hope here


and in the wider community is that will also be apparent tonight, and


there will be a second night of calm. The community is still deeply


united in grief. Thank you from Winson Green.


A quiet night on our streets, but a busy one in court. Magistrates sat


throughout the night to deal with dozens of people accused of looting


and violence during two nights of rioting across Birmingham and the


Black Country. Almost a quarter of the cases involved children. Some


offenders have already been jailed and sentenced. Let's go live now to


Ben Godfrey at Solihull Magistrates Court, where the all-night sessions


were held. Ben, this is very unusual to have an all-night


sitting like this, isn't it? It is, what we saw overnight last


night started at about 7:30pm and finishing at 6am today was a


conveyor-belt of alleged criminality come -- or, at some


admitted it and some did not. 20 people have been remanded in


custody and some sentenced and some two told to come back. We are


talking about burglary, theft, arson, between the ages of 14 and


Tell us about some of those people that have been dealt with.


Some of the cases include that of a 24-year-old man from Newtown in


Birmingham who admitted handling stolen goods almost �5,000 worth of


perfume from House of Fraser. He is awaiting sentence.


Next, a man jailed for six months for looting a Birmingham newsagent


of more than �3,500 worth of cigarettes. And a 15-year-old boy


who cannot be identified for legal reasons charged with burglary, at


items worth �20, he has been remanded in customer -- in custody.


And I understand a 14-year-old girl has been arrested by police in


Wolverhampton, she is being questioned and has been escorted by


a family member to the police station he suspected her of


stealing clothes. David Cameron once tough sentences,


are magistrates responding? -- he wants. I have been to a


number of cases where teenagers have been sent away with probation


orders. One remanded in custody today. It is not just young people


involved, through the courts over the last day, a 44-year-old man was


charged with possession of a gas spray. Another look special court


is sitting this evening in Birmingham, it is under way now and


should finish by 9:30pm. Thank you very much indeed.


On the day MPs were recalled to Westminster to debate the riots,


politicians from our worst-affected areas have clashed over the


Government's plans to cut police budgets. Our political editor,


Patrick Burns, joins us from Westminster. Patrick, a lot of


people saying tonight that it seems like madness to cut police numbers


after these riots. Mr Cameron's reply is that if the


police were thin on the ground, it's because they began by treating


it as a public order issue rather than one of criminality. He


promised the Commons that even after these economies, the police


would be able to muster the sort of surge in numbers which we saw on


the streets last night. But I put it to one of his Cabinet colleagues


that this is a funny time to be cutting the police.


The chief constable in them West Midlands has made it clear that he


has adequate resources for policing -- the West Midlands. And there is


no question, the Prime Minister has made clear he will reopen this


issue. The key point here is to catch and prosecute those who have


been involved in outrageous and discussed in the offences in


Birmingham and across Britain. is the sort of strength of feeling


on the opposition benches? Very strong indeed.


Six local MPs - David Winnick, Richard Burden, Tom Watson, Pat


McFadden and Rob Flello - lined up behind Labour's demands for the


Government to reverse the cuts. And one MP whose constituency saw some


of the most serious disorder told me Government promises to transfer


police officers from the back office to the front line would be


counter-productive. I think that is just absolutely


unbelievable. And indeed, there has been a memorandum from the


Warwickshire police League today inviting backroom staff to take


voluntary redundancies with the clear indication that they will be


replaced by police there are currently on frontline duties -- a


leak. That to me demonstrates the fallacious nest of the Prime


Minister's position. Is this one of those issues that


could drive a wedge between the Coalition partners?


No sign of any great splits on this so far. Most Liberal Democrats


challenging Labour to spell out what they'd cut instead to stave


off cuts to the police. There is a question of deployment. We have two


statements today, one is about the finances. We know the government


plan to have about 40% of the GDP spent on public services, more than


in the first Tony Blair government. If you do not get your deficit


under control, you have a higher deficit and more cuts. Labour have


to have more cuts or they have to tell us whether money is coming


from. -- where the money. And such is the demand for MPs to


speak in this debate that it's been extended by an extra hour and will


now continue until 8 o'clock. Back to you.


Well, we're joined now by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police,


Chris Sims. Good evening. Thankfully, a quiet night last


night. Monday and Tuesday, sickening scenes of the violence


and looting, are do not worried as we have heard MPs are that if these


police cuts are planned and, you will not cope with future


situations like this? -- are you not worried. I am not here to talk


about cuts and budgets, I do not think the people of West Midlands


would want me talking about that sort of thing when we are still in


the middle of dealing with an operational set of challenges.


she would not be able to cope. have come to talk about the


operational challenges we face now. It is the politicians who would


think about budgets. We saw breathtaking scenes on Monday and


Tuesday, people looting brazenly and police seemed to be holding


back. No, what you have seen is almost 400 people arrested in those


two days. More arrested, that will follow. My officers doing fantastic


work. Brave work, in order to bring the situation under control to get


a climate of deterrents back so people do not think they can commit


offences with impunity and to get control back on the streets, and


that is what you are seeing now and what she will continue to see.


Monday night, pictures were very different. You have to understand


that ordinary law-abiding members of the public cannot understand why


you did not just moved in and arrest people. There were lines of


police and people walking off with TV's. I have been all day receiving


support from political leaders, members of the community, I think


with respect they seem to have a better understanding of what


officers were dealing with then you seem to have from your desk in the


studio. Interesting to say that, I have spoken to a Westminster -- a


West Midlands police officer and they say that police tactics were


pink and fluffy policing. They say officers on the ground know what


needs to be done but high-ranking officers do not let them, what do


you say? I say 400 people are facing prosecution as a result of


the tactics we used. We have gone in the most robust way to protect


people in the West Midlands, we will continue to do that. I do not


know who that officer is, at a suspect he was probably a long way


from the action -- I suspect. And his or her colleagues were probably


facing real danger and making snap decisions to do the right thing to


protect people in the West Midlands. Nobody is saying your officers were


not brave, but I would also like to talk about, you have been to see


Tariq Jahan today, the father of one of the men, one of the three


men killed in the early hours of yesterday morning. What he had to


say was incredibly powerful and she said that, humbling to hear a man


grieving coming out with that kind of speech. I was honoured to be


invited to the house. It was a private conversation, I wanted to


pay my condolences to the family. I wanted to say on behalf of my


colleagues and the wider community that we were all astounded at the


bravery and frankness of the intervention that he made. At the


time that he was suffering as a father, he found it within himself


to come forward, it to represent the wishes of the community, and I


told him in my view, he made the difference between last night


becoming an issue of violence between sections of the community


and instead we had a-night of relative calm. And hopefully again


tonight. You have six officers on the street, am I correct? Around


10pm, we had 6,000 and have a similar pattern tonight. So the


people of the West Midlands are safe tonight? With support from


colleagues in Scotland and across the region, we will do everything


we can to not only make the streets safe but to offer a deterrent to


people who want to cause trouble. And you very much indeed for coming


to see me. -- thank you. There was no major trouble on the


streets of the region last night after two nights of lawlessness,


looting and rioting. Birmingham and the Black Country were starting to


return to something like normal today, although boarded-up shops


and windows betrayed the fact that it's not yet quite business as


usual, with trade down by millions Birmingham City centre and West


Bromwich were welcoming shoppers back today.


In Birmingham, many we spoke to were shocked by the aftermath of


the riots. We were not meant to meet -- I came to meet a friend and


we were meant to meet on Tuesday and delayed it till today because


we feel safer. I am shocked looking around. You carry on, what can you


do? Let them stop quite complete the? No! As calm returned to


Birmingham city centre, this newsagent, who's spent 26 years


building up her business, said she would not be deterred. We have got


to compensate losses and pay my staff and pay the bills. Somebody


has to pay for that. Business as usual for a dry cleaners, refusing


to close early. We cannot let these people win, we have to make a stand


and carry on as normal. gleaming office blocks in the city


centre may not be boarded up, but there's a hidden cost. The Chamber


of Commerce estimates that sending staff home early in financial and


legal firms could have cost �3.5 million. And there's a global


reputation to protect too. I do not think it will take as long to


forget the riots. It might take a bit longer to recover some of that


reputation will damage, pictures that have gone not just across this


country but probably more worryingly in overseas markets in


China, India, Brazil, Russia. Countries we want to invest in


Birmingham because it is a brilliant City to invest in.


Bullring said initially it would stay open until 8pm, it has been


revised until 6:00pm. A spokeswoman for the Bullring said additional


security measures had been put in place, adding that the primary


concern is for the safety of shoppers and retailers, and they


continue to work closely with the police. In West Bromwich, a vibrant


scene. All a far cry from the terror it's suffered. This needs to


stop and we are a community, a multicultural community, and people


need to work together. They should be dealt with really severely.


Birmingham tonight, at a quiet scene outside the usually busy


restaurants. Birmingham and West Bromwich is slowly returning to


normal, but memories of the last few days are still vivid.


So what is the situation now? Much, and more peaceful as people


make their way home from work and shopping -- much more, and more


peaceful. The newsagents behind me is still open having closed early.


It will stay open until 9pm. West Midlands police have the same had


the presence, about 1,000 public order trained officers. In the


jewellery Quarter, one bar owner said on his Facebook page he is


determined it is business as usual tonight and he will not be deterred


by the troublemakers. So an air of normality returning to


the streets of Birmingham tonight - a huge relief for all those who


live, work and care about the city. And joining us now is the Leader of


Birmingham City Council, Councillor Mike Whitby. First of all, your


reaction to the events of the past few days?


It has been terrible and it has been very sad, and something we do


not want to experience again it's a black as simple as that? It is a


terrible experience and has harmed our reputation. It has dented


people's prosperity and has frightened many people. And while


we all want normality, we are creeping towards it. So what do we


do about it from the City council's point of view? Salford, Greenwich


and Nottingham said those found guilty of criminality will be


evicted if they are in council houses, is Birmingham doing that?


am not sure, but we are working in conjunction with the police and


anybody caught will be published. And the you process carried out.


Would you be tempted to do that? have seen terrible scenes in


Birmingham, at we have three councils acting robustly against


people found guilty. What robust action will the council here take?


At the moment, we will certainly make sure those people intimidating


people utilising our services, there has to be a relationship


between that and a penalty. Meaning what? People using it your


services... We have not made a decision and I do not want to make


that here. We now have the power to affect people, but there are social


consequences of course. If you evict people, where do they go? We


do not want to just immediate the respond to it. But they should be


some fought of punishment and I know viewers are quite rightly


saying the action we have taken, the moronic idiocy and criminality


needs to be punished, and we will do all we can see. To what extent


do you hold with the argument that people are reacting to what they


see around, the court and sew one, the difficulties they are facing? -


- the cuts and so on. The City council is making cuts in areas


where people say it matters. walked a deadly road the morning


after the sad death of the three young men and I spoke to a range of


people, Muslims, Christians, black, wide, Brown, from all over the


world, and every person said those looting and rioting were


fundamentally criminals and it was not related to that. But we now see


empty streets, this is the office - - this is the image going around


the world of Birmingham, is that a problem for you? I have gone to the


cricket and it is good, we are winning and doing well. We are


carrying out as much as we can in normal conditions. There is a


healing process and we have to review what we have learnt, liaise


with the police and the community. A lot of work, this is the healing


process. Thank you very much indeed. The Home Office is considering


banning a demonstration by the English Defence League in Telford


on Saturday. The local council has made an application to stop it


taking place. It's come too late for Telford


United Football Club though - their game against Luton Town has been


called off. Ben Sidwell reports. Businesses in Wellington, in


Telford, are preparing for the worst on Saturday. Nearly all are


closing, many are also boarding up windows for the arrival of the


English Defence League. It is a waste of resources and a waste of


time, I hated. It is causing us so much heartache wondering if we even


have a shock to come back to. would be foolish not to realise the


strength of feeling of people around here who do not want this


March. If there is nothing good about it. We will just say to them,


please leave the March this time? Following the rioting around the


country over the past few days, police have asked Telford & Wrekin


Council to try and get Saturday's march banned. The police think it


is the right thing to do, so do the council and the Muslim business


community also stock Mac -- also. At AFC Telford United, that ban


will come too late to save their opening game of the season.


Everything was ready for the arrival of Luton Town and a crowd


of around 5,000 were expected to see the club's first game back in


the Football Conference. The court had already moved the fixture twice


from its original 3pm start. First took a lunchtime kick-off and then


to 7:45pm -- first to a lunch time. But West Murcia Police asked them


to call the game off altogether leaving them no choice but to


postpone the match. Banning the march does not stop people from


gathering on Saturday, but people here hope it will be enough of a


deterrent to keep them away. The owner of Birmingham City has


been banned from leaving Chinese territory after appearing in a Hong


Kong court on money laundering charges. Carson Yeung's defence


team offered to increase his bail payments to almost a quarter-of-a-


million pounds so that he could fly to Birmingham for this weekend's


home game. But a magistrate ruled that he's got to remain in China


ready for another court appearance later this month.


Profits at the Midlands car maker Jaguar Land Rover are up following


strong sales in China and Russia. The firm made pre-tax profits of


�248 million in the second quarter of the year. That's a rise of nine


million on the same time last year. Sales of vehicles are up 50% to


62,000. We're seeing signs of it clearing


up now, so for cricket, the weather doesn't pose too many problems.


There's probably a greater risk of being caught out during the weekend.


A showery one - and with the nature of showers - you either get them or


you don't, and it's difficult to pinpoint where they'll strike. But


as far as tonight goes, the showers are quite regimented towards the


South, but on their way out now. There's just this area of rain to


the North that could just clip parts of Staffordshire. But all


other areas looking mainly dry overnight and cloudy, but warm and


humid, with lows of 15-16 Celsius. The winds are calming right down


too tonight. A bit of mistiness over the hills tonight. A bit murky


and grey tomorrow morning, but there'll be some sunnier spells


breaking through during the afternoon. It's a mainly dry


picture tomorrow, but you can just see the threat of rain to the West


of us, and we could see a few spots of rain from that at some point


during the day, but nothing disruptive. A warm and humid day,


with a top temperature of 21 Celsius, with light-to-moderate


south-westerly winds. And then tomorrow night looks wetter, as


this band of rain starts to move eastwards, but it's tending to


break up now, so there'll be pockets of heavier rain, but it's


mostly patchy in nature. Warm and muggy once more. Showers for the


A look at tonight's main headlines: Hunting down the rioters one by one


- police make more arrests, as David Cameron pledges whatever it


takes to restore law and order. And here - a Chief Constable pays


tribute to a grieving father's appeal for an end to the violence.


That's all from us this evening, but on tomorrow's programme, we'll


be looking more at the challenge Birmingham now faces marketing


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