15/08/2011 Midlands Today


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Welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: The Chief


Constable of West Midlands Police attacks the Government for


criticising tactics in last week's riots.


The solutions to the events earlier in the week actually sit with in


our local area. Thousands of letters of condolence


are sent to the grieving families of three men killed during the


riots. Overwhelmed by the support nationally and internationally. I


cannot thank people enough. NHS U-turn, after saying they would


not pay for this man's obesity operation, bosses agreed to surgery.


And how a brother and sister saved Good evening. Tonight, the Chief


Constable of the West Midlands steps into the political row over


the policing of the riots. Chris Sims said he had been overwhelmed


by public support for his officers, which he contrasted with the


criticism coming from Westminster. He also attacked what he called the


empty slogans of some politicians. His comments come as the Government


reiterated its commitment to cutting police numbers despite the


rioting. The first night of looting in


Birmingham and riot police appear ready to tackle the troublemakers


at this electrical shop. The only they do not. It was scenes like


that on this very street with looting under way and riot police


seemingly holding back that it sparked political debate. Was the


robust action on the second night police as a politician led?


Politicians flew back and reflected the public's mood and anger. That


has incensed the Chief Constable. Very quickly into this event we


needed to adjust from what I characterised as a public order


response into something that was appropriate for offending that was


far more fragmented and the disperse. In a statement he went


One Midlands MP has come to Chris Sims' defence and says the Prime


Minister is on dangerous territory. I think it is a misjudgment because


he is picking a fight with the police before we have got to the


bottom of the issue. Also, I think it is deeply unfair, you cannot


behave as an armchair constable. He needs to show some leadership as a


prime minister. At the electrical shop where �25,000 worth of stock


was looted, more sympathy for the police. The general feeling on


Monday was there was going to be trouble in the city centre. Again,


it was the scale of it, I do not think anyone could have foreseen


how much trouble there was going to Still the issue, a week on, is how


the tax payers in the police handled the riots. A good job,


considering what was going on. Personally, not brilliantly.


think they did really well. Judging by what was happening in the rest


of the country I would have thought they would have been up on the ball.


The West Midlands force still stands to lose over 1000 to


officers through cuts. Nationally the Police Federation has urged


politicians to rethink the cuts saying that they could be a


potential catastrophe if riots erupt again.


Our political editor joins us now from outside West Midlands Police


headquarters. The Government say that the police were slow off the


mark, the police say they were as robust as they possibly could have


been. The argument is escalating all the time.


It does seem to be getting sharper with every passing day. One of the


things that the Chief Constable has also said is that he answers above


all to the people of the West Midlands. He has said that so far


as the robustness of the police response is concerned, the 500 plus


arrests that his force has made speak volumes more than anything


else. On the other side of this argument, from the Prime Minister,


David Cameron today has said that we do need to see a bigger response


on the streets, more officers on the beat, the ability to regroup


and as he put it, to crack down on the first sign of trouble. But when


I remind you that of all the police officers in the West Midlands, 20%


of riot trained, a new factory in things like leave, rotas, in-


service training, you can see why it would take three days or so to


scale up their presence and their response on the streets.


We have got the cuts, we know that Labour won the Government to


reverse the proposed cuts in police numbers. We are talking 1,200


officers in the West Midlands force. Is there any sign that Westminster


are going to think again about this? On the contrary. When you


talk to ministers they are absolutely adamant that they are


not going to reopen this debate. David Cameron himself has said that


even if there were a repeat of the events of last week after the


economies have been brought through, they would still be able to surge


it onto the streets in the sorts of numbers we saw in the West Midlands


last Wednesday evening. One former Midlands Chief Constable, now an


academic at Cardiff University, says local forces in regions like


ours are bound to bear the brunt of these police cuts. An awful lot is


going to come out of local policing. It does not mean that police cannot


respond to be incidents like we have seen over the last fortnight,


it means that local day-in day-out policing will be less than it is


now. We will see some withdrawal from the current neighbourhood


policing that we now have. Birmingham City Council have been


meeting in an emergency session this evening, have you picked up


anything that has come out of the meeting so far? We know that Chris


Sims is attending it. He has said there will be a debate about its --


about this. We have heard a lot about tragic victims of this, he


says they're attracted -- tragic offenders as well. �40,000 for the


clean-up so far. We want to know what you think


about the police and politicians. What is your view of the


Government's decision to press ahead with planned cuts to the


police service? E-mail us at all call last. We will pick up your


comments and read them out later in the programme.


Thousands of letters of support and messages of condolence, including a


call from Prince Charles, have been received by the families of the


three men killed in last week's riots. Three men have been charged


with murdering the men. We are here to pay our respects and


pray. A grieving father finding comfort


in the kind Mr of strangers. Tariq Jahan invited me into his family


home to show me some of the piles of letters he has received from


around the world offering sympathy for the death of his son Haroon.


have had thousands, I have read three or four but we have not got


through to the letters yet. We are still in mourning and preparing for


the funeral. But I am overwhelmed by the support nationally and


internationally. I cannot thank the people enough for the kind words


they have written. 21-year-old Haroon Jahan and


brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were all hit by a park last


Wednesday as they guarded a row of shops. The memorial of flowers at


the scene continues to grow and the shock of what happened is still


palpable. Zahur Majid met his friend Shazad hours before he died.


When I met him he gave me a hug. I do not know if he had a feeling...


It is really upsetting. This book of condolences packed


with messages of sympathy from family, friends and passers-by. The


latest one says, we will pray that she will never be forgotten.


Hundreds more joined a police rally in the City yesterday. To see the


community together gives me strength in my heart.


Two men and a teenager have been charged with murdering the three


friends. Adam King appeared at Birmingham Crown Court. All three


were remanded in custody. I am grateful to the community for same


calm and not escalating the situation any further. Thank you


for your support to and let us hope that nothing like this happens


again. Tariq Jahan has been praised for his calls for peace in the wake


of his son's death. He hopes that will continue.


Earlier today a 7th man was arrested in connection with the


death. A further three men have been bailed pending further


inquiries. The number of people arrested by


West Midlands Police after last week's riots continues to rise. So


far a total of 522 people have been upheld as information continues to


form -- poor run. 109 people have been charged so far.


How has the police investigation gone there? They told me a few


hours ago that it is going very well. They are arresting people at


the rate of around 10 a day. They expect that to continue. Today a


man handed himself in because police published a CCTV image of


him. Pictures like those on that day she found behind me. -- on that


found behind me. These people are suspected of all sorts of crimes.


Earlier I spoke to the Chief Superintendent from Westminster


police and he said they need the public's help. We're talking about


very serious offences. People whose behaviour was totally unacceptable.


I would say to people, have a look at those images, if you recognise


somebody, these people are people's are sons, daughters, neighbours,


they have been to school with people, they have worked with


people, if you can identify them up please contact us and provide us


with that information. Lots of people have done just that. In


other news, Birmingham seems to be returning to normal. What about in


Wolverhampton? It certainly feels like it's going back to normal here


as well. Let us talk to somebody who knows. Louise Johnson has


become a hero in Wolverhampton after she stopped looters breaking


into her shop. How does it feel for you? It is back to normal.


Wolverhampton people will not let the writers win. These pictures


behind you, if somebody at home recognises somebody of in those


pictures, what would you say to them? It is going to be very


difficult to do if it is family, but I would shock them, they need


to be taught a lesson. It was not rioting because of the Government,


it was just stealing trainers, mobile phones, it was destruction.


How are you feeling yourself? I am glad to hear that. Police will


continue their work and expect to arrest many more people in the


coming days. An incredible lady. There is much


more on this with regular update on A man he was planning to take his


case Bobby's at the surgery to the European Court of Human Rights has


been told he can have a bypass. Tom Condliff had made a third request


of surgery and this time the NHS in North Staffordshire has decided


that his case is exceptional. This has been Tom Condliff's live,


staring out of the window. The 62- year-old ex-policeman is a diabetic


but highly resistant to insulin. Time was running out but the


gastric bypass operation could change his future. Quality of life


is far or more important than quantity of life. I was looking at


a very short life expectancy and hopefully this will give me a few


more years with my wife -- with my wife and I am really looking


forward to that. Although guidelines suggest that Mr Condliff


should have qualified for surgery NHS North Staffordshire set a


higher Bath. He had to prove his case was exceptional. They said


they had received a request of funding from Mr Condliff on 10th


August. They decided that his case differed significantly from the


rest of the population and he would receive more benefit from having


the operation and other people would. They are representing Tom


Condliff said today that the PCT are now classed him as exceptional


because he has been so resistant and extreme needle phobia however


he has suffered with these four years and the PCT has known about


these since March 2010. It was turned down then so I have no idea


why it has been granted this time. He takes 28 drugs for 13 illnesses.


It is incredible news for us. Tears of happiness and of hopes for the


future. The earlier refusal to allow him Cedric had gone to the


High Court and the Court of Appeal where his lawyers are argued that


his right to a family life had been breached. He lost. His lawyer still


intends to take it to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg


to try to change the law. We wish him all the best with the


operation. A number of roads were closed in


Walsall this afternoon after a fire in a derelict tannery building.


Fire crews were called to look Lower Forster Road. A number of


buildings were evacuated as well as the arboretum. Local residents were


advised to close their windows and doors.


A former doctor from Worcestershire at whose daughter was killed in the


Lockerbie bombing says he is stepping down from from mine


campaigning for UK Families Flight 103. Dr Jim Swire says the


emergence of the group Justice For Megrahi for a campaign on behalf of


the man convicted of the attack meant he felt it was the right time


to hand over the work to younger people.


Businesses in a Shropshire town so they suffered a big drop in trade


after rival demonstrations were held there at the weekend. Around


350 members of the English Defence League gathered in Wellington. A


counter demonstration attracted a further 250 people. 42 arrests were


made and 10 people have been charged.


The success story, down on the farm. Saved from developers and now it is


driving. And critic be warming up? All the


details coming at -- and could it Football now. Midlands sides can be


pleased with the start to the Premier League season.


Just the one defeat. Not too many complaints. Before a ball is kicked,


there is always a sense of optimism. For fans of our Premier League


sides, the opening day did not sweep that sense of hope away.


The new season is a time for fresh starts. New titles on Match of the


Day and new faces on the team-sheet. After last season's close shave


with relegation, a feeling that Wolves can do much better this time


around. Goals from Steven Fletcher and Steven Ward gave them a flying


start. Not only the first time they have ever beaten Blackburn but the


first time they have ever come up from behind to win away from home


in the Premier League. The centre- back, what a signing that is going


to be. West Bromwich Albion did not do so well. They were unlucky in


the process. New signing Shane Long Mike -- marked his debut. Overall,


there is plenty of cause optimism. There were lots of familiar sights


at Stoke City. The noisy home crowd continued to be their 12th man. The


players made life very uncomfortable for one of the big


four. Chelsea had their chances but Stoke were well worth a bet draw.


Welcome to the Premier League. They said before the game that it would


be one of his side's toughest away games and it turned out to be back.


Encouraging for Stoke, to hold a team that is tipped to win the


Premier League this time. I think all of the supporters and at Stoke


players and management team will be well satisfied with the result.


biggest change came at Aston Villa. Alex McLeish's appointment brought


beat fans onto the streets but the spectators at Fulham gave him their


full backing. A goalless draw may not be spectacular but Villa could


not stop the home team scoring on any of their away trips last season.


Birmingham City pay out on top as our two championship sides met at


St Andrews. Lukas Jutkiewicz had the best chance in the first half.


But it was Birmingham who managed to find a winner. Keith Fahey


scored after good work from Adam Rooney. Coventry have lost all


three games so far this season. All of the goals from the Football


League from the weekend are on the BBC sport website.


Warwickshire County Cricket Club hope that the success of England at


Edgbaston will lead to more famous days at the newly revamped ground.


On Saturday, England's and victory over England means they won the


series and became the number one team in the world. Next time --


next month the they will learn whether the ground has gained other


glamourous fixtures. This is the moment many came to see.


That is it, end of the game! England's innings and 242 run


victory after India means that they are now the world's best Test team.


It also proved a triumph for Edgbaston result. This was the


first since its million-pound upgrade. 96,000 people came over


the four days. For the staff, it was the culmination of months of


hard work. It is showing that it is not going to be once every four


years if Australia come to visit Edgbaston. We want to see crowds


like that year in year out supporting England and not make it


dependent on what team England are playing. The feedback from people


in terms of the excitement and the fun they had, that means they will


hopefully be back again next year. The benefits can be felt elsewhere.


At Astwood Bank Cricket Club, England's new status as world No. 1


is an inspiration to their youngsters. They want to win every


match so they can be the best team in the world. It is like you are in


that country and they are number one... It is for you, kind of.


encourages the kids to come out and play cricket and hopefully we will


get some new starts a target. month, Warwickshire will learn


whether they have to impress the England and Wales Cricket Board


enough to host future high-profile games. They have bid to host two


Ashes games against Australia and with Ashley Giles's Warwickshire


side also in contention with the championship, the rebirth of


Edgbaston is making the headlines. A job well done. It was so


successful. A massive turnout. 96,000 people. Not cheap to get in


either. People feel they are getting value for money. This time


last year, it was a building site. It looks like it was worth doing


and hopefully plenty more great days to come.


It is five years since a brother and sister from Shropshire saved


their family farm from being sold off to developers. Ben and


Charlotte Hollins raced almost a million pounds in nine months by


selling shares in their business -- raised almost.


The farmer is now a thriving thanks to the backing of the local


community and their pilots hard work.


It was a little help from a lot of people that helped save at Fordhall


Farm in Market Drayton from closure. Over 8000 people bought into their


idea of supporting a community farm. The farm being community and has


been vital. If nothing else, we would not have saved the farm...


The pig is knocking the over! 2006, after inheriting the organic


farm from their late father, they sold enough shares to achieve their


�800,000 gold. Five years on, the business is going from strength to


strength. They have gone from having just 20 animals to over 400


and all the meat is sold in their new butchery and shops. It looks


busy? It is all part of a major renovation thanks to a number of


grants and fund-raising from shareholders. They have also built


a new cafe and employed people and it seems they have hit on the right


ingredient with customers. The post offices are going, pubs are closing


and where else is there for people to come and meet? It is rebuilding


an economy. They have taken an awful lot of business into the area,


they are known nationally and I dare say beyond. It is part of our


future that these buys managed to keep their businesses going and


build on it. Last year, they also received a �60,000 grant from the


Big Lottery Fund to start a community garden. The scheme is


invaluable to the rural community and these projects often create


jobs and skills and may make people happy about their local area. They


want to get involved and make it work for the future. Ben and


Charlotte Hollins are now giving advice to other Community farms.


They say that funding for rural projects is key to villages


Great stuff. How lovely to see that working. I remember eating that --


are meeting their father many years ago and he was an inspirational man.


He would be so proud of them. This week is not bad on balance.


There are a number of fronts. A warm front is slithering in on


Wednesday and Thursday but it depends on how far north it comes


whether it will affect us. At the moment it looks like it will not.


There is a question mark over that. The headline poll this week is that


it is mostly dry after tonight and it is warming up at by the weekend.


Temperatures could be into the mid- twenties by then with increased


timidity. Tonight, there will be rain coming in from the West,


breaking up as it goes but there could be some heavy burst. It will


move to the north later tonight. Somehow breaks still affecting the


region in the early hours. A lot of cloud and with the south-westerly


breeze, but will hold the temperature up. It will be warmer


than last night. As the rain comes in, the winds will increase.


Tomorrow will be breezy at but it will be also cloudier, especially


in the morning. A brighter spells in the afternoon and some outbreaks


of rain again here and there. It is going to be a drier day ban tonight.


Temperatures up to 20 degrees. As warm as today in spite of the cloud.


Wednesday, it is looking dry and fairly sunny. Lighter winds.


Thursday looks a little bit cloudier. Friday next Sunday.


They look now at the headlines. David Cameron says there has been a


slow-motion moral collapse but there is a political row about how


to fix the so-called broken society. The Chief Constable of West


Midlands police attacks politicians for criticising tactics during last


week's riots. On that subject, some of your


comments on our Facebook age and emails.


"the government are wrong, they are being told so by a senior police


officers, trade unions and police authorities, yet the cuts go ahead".


"the police do not need more officers, they need to prioritise


their work close quite so." by all means get rid of backroom wastage


"." cuts in police numbers when they are struggling to control


riots is ridiculous "." video of the police tactics, I would say


that cardboard cut-outs might be more effect shaul! That would save


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