12/08/2011 Midlands Today


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Welcome to the programme. The headlines: In memory of three men


who died in the riots - thousands prepare for a peace vigil.


The hunt for the rioters goes back to the streets with images of


wanted suspects. We want to show the public we're doing everything


we can to arrest the suspects. Pulling no punches, professional


sportsmen and women hoping to give young people some positive role


models. Life after the riots - how one hairdresser has received


support from across the UK. They have sent me cards, flowers,


they are calling me from all over Welcome to the programme. Tonight,


thousands prepare for a peace vigil in memory of the three men who were


killed on the streets of Birmingham. The event will take place on Sunday


after police and community leaders pleaded for marches planned for


today to be cancelled. The focus of grief is Winson Green, where the


men died. Mary Rhodes has spent the day there. Another hugely emotional


day? Yes but after the quite large international media presence here


yesterday, and the visit of the Chief Constable, things have been a


lot calmer yesterday. People have continued to pay their respects.


There was a big turnout to Friday prayers at the mosque here but


talks of an impromptu March did not materialise. Instead we have heard


there will be a peace rally taking place at the Park on Sunday at 3pm.


Friday prayers always have a particularly significance in the


Muslim community. Today they had an added dimension. Over 1500 attended


the mosque, three times the usual number. It was a show of strength


and Union for the families of the three men who were killed in the


early hours of Wednesday morning. This is just to show gratitude,


feeling and show support that we are with you. I heard the interview


of the parents, it was a good and calming day for the local community.


They had been talk of a March after the prayers that yet again, the


words of the father of one of the murdered men changed the course of


action. I don't know who has been spreading the word but there is no


March, no March know where. If you want to walk, go hiking. Don't do


it in the name of our sons, I don't want any matches. Instead, a silent


vigil was held around what has become a makeshift memorial. It was


here that the two brothers and their friend lost their lives. This


is where community leaders are hoping people will gather for a


peaceful rally on Sunday. The organisers say they are hopeful


that people will share their sense of unity and join them for the


meeting. As a community, we have to come together, support Sunday and


then let's build a long-term plan of sustainability for our


Birmingham together. Given for hundreds of bunches of flowers and


cards and the strength of feeling here, there's likely to be a large


crowd at the rally. I understand inquests on the men


began just a short time ago? Yes, that's right, the inquest was


opened and adjourned. The coroner said it was an exceptional case,


adding that he was satisfied with the pathologist's conclusion that


all injuries were consistent with being in collision with a car. The


detective superintendent in charge of this case has told us that 70


officers are working on the case and 60 witness statements have been


taken. They have significant CCTV footage and they have recovered a


car believed to be involved in the incident 200 yards from here and it


was burnt out. There have also recovered another vehicle they


believe may have been involved in the incident. They say it is highly


likely police will apply for more time to question the three men may


have arrested on suspicion of murder. Word is spreading of the


peace rally due to take place on Sunday at 3pm. That is likely to


attract a huge number of people away from this community and far


beyond. There will be a news special on


Sunday afternoon live from Somerfield Park and presented by


Adrian Goldberg. Nine more offenders from this


week's riots and looting are now in prison after courts sat again last


night. 85 defendants have been through the legal system here so


far. Meanwhile, pictures of people still wanted by police are being


displayed on a large mobile TV screen in Birmingham. Over the next


two days, the van will be driven around the city centre in the hope


people will come forward to identify them.


These are some of the faces being hunted by police in Birmingham. Now,


thousands of people are being urged to help. At six metres high, you


cannot miss it and it is certainly catching the attention of people


here in Birmingham today. I think it's really good. People will


recognise these people and bring them to justice. It is a good way


of catching people. They cannot do anything else, this is the only


thing they can do. It is a good thing because if the people there


are doing it, they will see themselves. It is an unusual tactic


but it has got support. It is important that the public comes


together to support each other's community and saying that any act


that destabilise his communities should not be supported in any way.


In the last 24 hours, more than 500 people have contacted officers with


information about the images. helps us to arrest offenders a lot


quicker, we can retrieve evidence sooner and we have more opportunity


to have successful prosecutions through the courts.


Magistrates' Court in Birmingham is on standby this weekend should more


arrests be made. Volunteer prosecutors have also come forward


to help cover the cases. If there is an arrest tonight, I would


expect them to be put before the court tomorrow morning and could be


dealt with straight away. With more arrests expected, the courts could


be busy through to Monday morning. Katie joins us now live from


Birmingham city centre. A sense of normality appears to be returning?


Yes, you only have to look around and there are lots of people around


here shopping. The building has decided to stay open until 8pm


tonight. There does seem to be a sense of normality, apart from the


police presence behind us. The van is still there, there are planning


to move it at some point? It was supposed to move this evening out


of the Bristol Road to catch commuters as they go home from work.


The police decided to keep it here at the Bull Ring because of its


prime location. They have had such a good response. It will also be


here tomorrow. It will have the potential to be seen by thousands


of other people. Thousands of police officers have


been on the frontline of the battle to restore order to our streets all


week. Leave has been cancelled and officers have been working shifts


of 12 hours on and 12 hours off since rioting started on Monday. So


what has it been like on the streets for those officers? Earlier


I spoke to Andy Gilbert, chairman of the West Midlands Police


Federation and I began by asking him how morale was now among


officers. I can tell you that officers are feeling absolutely


exhausted but they are determined to see this job through and make


sure all those involved are brought to justice. They should also be


feeling proud because their efforts were absolutely outstanding.


Courage and commitment has been shown and that work is still going


on. Tell us more about what sort of danger they have faced because we


have heard terrible stories with people with knives at there. They


have been people with weapons and missiles, this has been a very


dangerous situation. I think the police have dealt with that


commendably and I am very proud to represent those officers. Some


officers have been injured? People will get injured but by flu, not


seriously. The big talk at the moment in Parliament is cuts and of


course you force, like any other, is facing cuts as well. In the


light of the last few days, can you afford to have these cuts happen?


We to be able to cope without those officers? In 2015, they will be


16,000 police officers in this country. The situation has changed


since the spending review so the Government must change their mind


now. I understand there is an argument that policing is not just


about the numbers game but when you are dealing with serious public


disorder, serious criminality like this, it is about numbers. We have


seen that on the streets at the West Midlands where the numbers of


police have gone up massively, can you continue at that level? At the


moment, we can but obviously these cuts were over a period of time and


when we get to the end of 2015, there will be a substantial amount


less police officers in this country. Police officers have been


working 12 hours shift its continuously, they must be


exhausted. What has morale been like before all this happened


because they were facing losing their jobs? Before this started,


morale was at rock bottom and that is to do with this government's


fragmented approach to policing. They don't understand policing and


they don't understand police officers but it is not just the


carriage, those people working behind the scenes. We have


detectives working around the clock, people in control rooms, custody


sergeants and staff working really hard and the front line relies on


as people and that is where the government don't understand how we


do business. The Home Secretary has banned an


English Defence League march through a Shopshire town amid fears


of disorder. Businesses in Telford were today still boarding up their


premisies ahead of the weekend. Theresa May said she had stopped


the march to protect communities and properties. Telford Council had


made the request on the advice of West Mercia Police.


Absolutely delighted that the Home Secretary has agreed with us to ban


the march. The application went yesterday and she dealt with that


of a night. She has come out in agreement with us and I would like


to reassure our community that the police and the council have a full


operation in place to keep our streets safe.


Sport can play a big part in helping to rebuild communities.


That has been highlighted today by football and boxing figures here in


the Midlands. Former British champion Wayne Elcock works with


hundreds of underprivileged youngsters while Birmingham City


old boy Michael Johnson says he is convinced that youngsters can be


turned away from crime by positive sporting role models.


It is a simple solution according to Wayne Elcock - keeping kids


active and occupied the keep them out of trouble. Discipline, respect,


loyalty and channelling their aggression. The former British


middleweight champion from Birmingham works with up to 60


youngsters a day. He takes his box clever classes to underprivileged


areas and has been amazed by the results so far. It is keeping me of


the streets, I have improved my fit this. I have improved my confidence.


I want to be a boxer. At Stone in Staffordshire, the Right Stuff


boxing club was set up by a policeman Andy Whitehall to keep


kids off the streets. In three years, there's over 300 members at


five clubs and in these areas they say they have seen a reduction in


anti-social behaviour. At Handsworth in Birmingham,


footballer Darren Moore has worked with some of the most


underprivileged youngsters in the Midlands for 10 years. His charity,


Faith and Football, helps 600 children and their families every


week. Darren's close friend and former Birmingham City player


Michael Johnson grew up in this deprived area of Nottingham. He


runs three sport and education projects for youngsters. The cuts


that are happening, the youngsters are getting disgruntled, they have


no hope. It is starting to get kids thinking, what will I do next?


I was a kid, I was always in trouble. A lack of discipline and


respect. Boxing, for me, it changed my life completely. The sportsmen


see themselves as positive role models. They say they want the


government to recognise that sport can provide a path for young people


to achieve something in life. At critically ill baby is


recovering after undergoing a liver transplant. The baby, just a month


old, underwent surgery last night. She is in a stable condition.


is just lucky to have this window of opportunity and we feel it


really blessed. She seems to have peaked at exactly the right day,


five weeks of up and down, a roller-coaster and on the very day


that they never became available, she seemed to be at her prime.


Despite the concerns midweek about policing, the Premier League season


kicks off this weekend. Stoke, Wolves, Aston Villa and West


Bromwich Albion are all in action. It was exciting, it was


exhilarating but Wolves last minute escape from relegation is something


they don't want to repeat. This time they want to steer a course to


the safe ground of mid-table obscurity. Knowing we could have


had those 47 points, I feel we can get them this season. But they're


being careful with their money. Defender Roger Johnson is one of


just three summer signings. At Aston Villa Charles N'zogbia is


their most expensive summer signing. But he must fill the space left by


Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. And he's not even the biggest


headline grabber. That honour goes to manager Alex Mcleish whose move


from Birmingham City means he still has some fans to win over. And


without much money. We don't have any money to spend at the moment


until we trade so that is the way it is. We have to do some trading


and be sensible and keep the wages at a certain level. West Bromwich


Albion are a rare beast. They've made signings such as striker Shane


Long who's joined from Reading. And they've not had to sell. Under the


new manager, are being made the most impressive finish to last


season. Fans expect a lot everywhere. There's hardly a


manager in the country, at whatever level, that doesn't have a


situation at the moment where the fans will expect a lot more at the


club than maybe he or the players think they are capable of


delivering. And how do Stoke City follow last season? They finished


13th and reached their first ever FA Cup Final. But they'll have to


be at their best right from the start. Being in the Premiership,


you have highs and lows, good runs and that runs but you have to


understand and recognise that there will be certain periods within that


season where you know it is going to be very tough. We think the


beginning of this coming season will be the hardest run of fixtures


we have had. But for all our Premier League clubs, avoiding


final day nerves will be target number one.


A relief to see all those matches being played well we haven't got


everything on? Telford is still off. They have returned to conference


level. Because of the English Defence League march, it is off.


The march has been banned but still too late for football. We have


Cheltenham against Swindon. Gloucestershire police originally


said they did not have the resources but things have settled


down and so they play as planned. have to ask you this, of the


Premier sides, who should we be looking at, he will be the more


successful? Stoke have had a great trend over the last three seasons.


I like the way West Bromwich Albion finished last season and they


haven't had to sell anyone yet. I like the way they finished, I like


the signing so I am going to say West Bromwich Albion. We will see.


Amidst all the turmoil we've been reporting over the past few days,


it's great to know that some of the good things in life continue as


normal. Tens of thousands of people have been to the Shrewsbury Flower


Show today. But this year growers have been faced with the problem of


topsy turvy climates - a hot April on the back of a freezing winter.


Joanne Writtle has been to sample the event that's been going on for


124 years. Shrewsbury Flower Show has been


attracting crowds with a passion for all things floral for over a


century. This year though, growers have had something of a challenge.


A particularly harsh winter, warm spring and recent humidity have


caused havoc for those trying to keep plants in peak condition for


judging. Long, cold periods in the winter, very heavy snowfall, very


quick melt and then the very dry and prolong to spring. Then heat,


then cold, now humidity. Put all of those things together and plans


don't know whether they are coming or going. P and J Plants from


Madley near Hereford lost a fifth of its fly catching plants to the


weather. I have never had it before, I lost some venus flytraps and


sometimes the other in a tunnel. One of the original TV gardeners,


the late Percy Thrower, was the show's horticultural advisor for


more than 40 years. Now his granddaughter has become the newest


and youngest member of the Shropshire Horticultural Society: I


think he would have been really pleased with the show. The gardens


here are looking beautiful today and that was something that he was


very proud of, he was part Superintendent here for a few years


and it was his job to make sure the gardens were maintained and to a


high standard. For hungry visitors, a gourmet tent packed with local


produce. Add to that Italian chef Gino D'Acampo to liven up


proceedings. Though he had more trouble with the name of the town


he was in. He knows little about flowers or gardening. Whatever I


plant, somehow later dies! Whatever I can't do in gardening, I wanna


get up in the kitchen! 60,000 visitors are expected at the show,


generating an estimated �2.7 million for the local economy. The


Shropshire Horticultural Society which runs the show is a registered


charity. And in times of austerity it's interesting to note that the


event is run almost entirely by volunteers.


And it's just a two day show, so tomorrow's your last chance to go


along. Open 10.00am until 10.00pm at night. And did you see the


aptly-named Paul Gardner in the piece? He grows fly-catching plants.


It has been at Topsy Turvey summer but we have had lots of sunny


weather but tonight it will be damned and humid. Tomorrow will be


better. We have these fronts going through and that cold front which


means the air behind will be fresher and colour, not as humid as


it has been. Sunday is a better day. Tonight we have seen the outbreaks


of rain and milder temperatures. We're looking at those of 15


degrees Celsius. That is what will keep the humid feeling. Tomorrow,


less in the way of that but we cannot win it out altogether. We


should see a full day's play of cricket and some brighter spells,


too. We're looking at heights of 19 degrees. The breeze is a touch more


than today. Tomorrow night, clear spells overnight so it is a cooler


night and a fresher filling night with lows of around 13 Celsius. As


we go into the rest of the weekend, we're seeing the those fresher


temperatures, the winds picking up a touch as the going to Sunday.


Sunday is the best day of the weekend in terms of dryness and


A look at tonight's main headlines: The police hit back at criticism of


their response to the riots, insisting that the tactics that


worked were theirs. And here, thousands are expected at a peace


vigil on Sunday after three men were killed as they tried to


protect their local businesses during the riots. Over the last


week we've seen some of the most disturbing and distressing scenes


across our region. But out of the horror of it all has come a real


sense of people coming together in defiance against the rioters. Out


in the Black Country, just a few days on, it's those who were


hardest hit who are already fighting back.


Tuesday afternoon in West Bromwich, a town in turmoil with youths


rioting on the streets. What a difference three days makes. On


Tuesday, this area was deserted. They were burning vehicles down the


road and the shutters on these buildings were down as people head


inside for their safety. Now it is busy again and it is starting to


return to normal. One of the most enduring memories was the


destruction of this catering van and range rover, both owned by


local businessman Ranjit Dhillon. have to carry on, it is my living.


I need to work. Have been working all my life, since I was 14 years


old. Outside the shop, reminders of the violence. Inside the shop,


business as usual. In Wolverhampton, more defiance. We have been open


since 8am. While they were cleaning, we were serving customers. We just


have to get on with it and put it behind you. They will not beat you.


No way. The CCTV footage says it all. This happened in broad


daylight just after 5pm in the afternoon. The clear up started on


Wednesday, now the rebuilding can begin. You can see that the blood


is all over, somebody has cut themselves and the blood has sorted


out. I hope they have gone to hospital to get treatment and I


hope they are well. I hope they have also learned their lesson, not


to do this again. You have to admire the humility of the man


whose business was cleaned out. The Prime Minister has been to meet him.


For every villain, there have been hundreds in the Troubles, there are


plenty of heroes. The wheeze Johnson, being one of them. While


rioters rampaged, she stood in front of her hairdressers to


protect it. This card has come from Bristol that says, I am sending you


this as I am so impressed at your courage to stand up to those


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