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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