15/09/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello, and welcome to Midlands Today with Nick Owen and Suzanne


Virdee. The headlines tonight. The West Midlands' top policeman


denies officers could have done more to prevent the deaths in the


riots. The evidence we received was that police were watching what was


happening. By dispute that evidence. As police destroy DNA evidence, a


rape victim says everyone's DNA should go on a national database.


That would act as a real deterrent to people committing crime.


How the debt crisis in the eurozone is hitting businesses hard. We were


selling our higher-margin items in Europe and they have decreased


significantly. And so near yet so far for


Warwickshire, as they miss out on the title in the final hour of the


season. Good evening and welcome to


Thursday's Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight - the Chief Constable


of West Midlands Police has denied his officers could have done more


to prevent the deaths of three people during the Birmingham riots.


Chris Sims was giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee.


In a tense exchange he also rejected criticism that his


officers had been absent from many areas during the riots. Cath Mackie


reports on how the police response to the rioting came under scrutiny


today. He's already faced tough


questioning from the public and the press. Today it was the turn of MPs


to cross-examine the West Midlands Chief Constable, Chris Sims, about


how his force dealt with the riots. And it was no easy ride. People


died in Birmingham. There were individuals who would protect their


own shores because the police were not there and the evidence we


received was that police were watching what was happening.


dispute that evidence of police watching. By the end of the first


evening, we had arrested 130 people. By the end of the evening that had


more than doubled. Those arrests do not happen by police watching.


far, 622 arrests have been made, and with CCTV footage still being


examined, he warned many, many more would follow. People who run


faltered who have not been in court should not be petrified. They will


have seen the media scapegoating that is going on, they will see


people being sentenced to two years for stealing a �1 a bottle of water


or a waste basket. A device and currency an organisation like us.


At Westminster, much was made of the importance of neighbourhood


policing and maintaining community relations. I have never, in all my


30 years, had so many people physically stop me and say thank


you. We have had outpourings of all sorts of caves and things. It has


been humbling. This inquiry is hoping to learn the lessons of the


summer riots. Clearly the role of the police is a key part of that.


But so too it seems is the role of social networking sites.


Representatives of Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry answered


claims that social networking spread disorder. Do you accept part


of the responsibility for what has happened? Now, the vast majority of


people abide by the law and thews social media systems as a force for


good. This huge array of information, much of which is


obviously false, watching -- work but how you make good use of that


is an issue for all forces in the country. The irony is these riots


are the first in history where instant messaging gave police more


information than ever before. The challenge now is sifting through


that mass of data and adapting conventional policing to the


internet age. We're joined now by Professor Craig


Jackson, a criminal pyschologist from Birmingham City University.


2,000 DNA samples taken during the hunt for the killer of a Birmingham


What is Yorkshire won the role of social media? The evidence I have


seen is that most social media activity at the time was either


people condemning the riots or, on a more proactive powerful, the


social media into Birmingham would use it to tell people where to


avoid a way not to go. But there were some people putting on silly


messages about letters have arrived here. Absolutely. There were a


small number of people make it difficult for police and they were


joined it in the fund. I did in many of them had a genuine


intention to ride. We have to remember that the police and


intelligence services will have been wandering activity right from


the death a few days before in London. It would not have come


surprised to them. They were not taken unawares. How do people clamp


down on this? Do we shut down the networks? Are they not to blame at


all? I think that is incredibly tricky. We saw from the amount of


good work done, particularly with Twitter. Kid you closer then down,


the good work will be undone as well so it is a delicate balance.


20021000 DNA samples taken during a hunt for a killer of a Birmingham


taxi driver have gone up in smoke. Police were fulfilling a promise to


destroy samples given voluntarily during a murder inquiry. But the


victim in an infamous rape case said today she's disappointed the


DNA was destroyed. Jill Saward says everyone should be on a national


database, as Joanne Writtle reports. They were incinerated following a


pledge to men in Kings Heath who gave DNA voluntarily that their


samples would be destroyed when someone was convicted.


In line with the promises that we gave him 2009, today it is to


insure that all those samples that people gave voluntarily are


destroyed safely and do not monitored on any databases or


stored anywhere else. Six million people are currently on a national


DNA database, largely those arrested and detained at a police


station. But the victim of the horrific Ealing vicarage rape in


London 25 years ago, who waived her right to anonymity, says it should


go further. Jill Saward, who now lives in Cannock, believes everyone


should be on a national DNA database from birth. But I think it


is very sad that the police have got to destroy it. I understand


that having made the promise they have to stick by it but I think it


is sad because it is a waste of time and money and I think it works


against justice. It is a good day for offenders. What we need is a


national database and then everyone is on it irrespective of who they


are what they have done. That takes away all these oddments that people


have got and the fear they have. But an expert who advises the


government on the national DNA database disagrees. He has other


concerns about DNA destruction too. I think it looks good for the TV


but there are still major concerns about what they really mean when


they say they destroyed a sample. There are a number of databases,


the physical sample and the paper trail, so we need to be clear about


what exactly it is they have done and how will impact on the way the


police handled DNA. The samples were burned at a secure location.


The debate over a National DNA Database is a controversial one but


today police said they were fulfilling an assurance given to


people who provided DNA during a murder investigation that the


samples would be turned to ash. The debt crisis in Europe is having a


profound effect on businesses in the West Midlands. Europe is one of


this region's biggest export markets. But business leaders say


many firms are already seeing reductions in demand from the


eurozone and shrinking order books. Here's our business correspondent,


Peter Plisner. It is a crisis like no other and


the impact of the meltdown in Europe is being felt here. At world


famous ACME Whistles, exports to Europe were going really well, and


then. Suddenly, in June, when the first murmurings came along, we had


a 25% fall in this thing with Europe, just Europe, and that trend


has continued through July and August. We were selling a lot of


power higher margin by Tintin Europe and sales of those have


decreased significantly. And ACME aren't alone. According to the


Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, more and more of its members are


seeing a downturn. The most immediate impact is a lack of


confidence which then leads to a lack of sales. It can affect the


ability to do business, the ability to fulfil orders in the future.


Europe's one of the region's biggest export markets. Last year


worth more than �8 billion. And some of that money's coming to this


Worcester firm that makes latches and hinges. Despite the crisis,


management are reporting continue growth in Europe and they are still


recruiting staff. We focus grow much on the premium products. We


focus on any she's such a growing and it is a focus of our business


to make sure we are working with companies who was still growing.


Some of the product made him go into some of the most expensive


luxury cars, just the sort of things that people stop buying


during a recession. But this company has survived and the


lessons learnt are being applied to have a deal with issues relating to


the crisis in the eurozone. We make cuts in the business had to a lot


of tight cost control and we got better at that and have had to


maintain it. It does make us stronger. But not all companies are


so lucky. After such a severe recession, many had hoped the worst


was over - but for those who trade with Europe it's still a worrying


time. Staying with the economy, a study


from the University of Birmingham has shown fewer than half its


engineering students end up in engineering jobs. That's despite


repeated complaints from employers about the shortage of skilled


workers. Bob Hockenhull's been investigating.


The Midlands has long been heralded as the country's manufacturing


heart. But research by the University of Birmingham found 53%


of engineering students get jobs in unrelated industries when they


graduate. The study suggests it is not automatic that qualified


engineers from universities will get a job in engineering and that


is despite the perceived shortage. Take Greg White, he graduated in


computer and electrical engineering. But his job is running a property


letting company. The business started in 2007, has a turnover of


�300,000, but has nothing to do with engineering. But what of those


who stay in the field that they've studied? Completely unrelated.


Although there are things like logic that took come useful, it was


purely an opportunity at the time. What of those who stay in the field


they studied? Muhammad Eesa did a chemical engineering degree and is


now a design engineer in Telford. He believes some engineering


courses don't adequately prepare students for high-skilled jobs.


chemical engineering graduate end up with very little knowledge of


deep chemistry. What I think is needed is more focused on science


as well as engineering. Muhammed is working on a project that could


double the turnover of this business. His boss says he


struggled to find someone with the right aptitude. I think it is a


crying shame. We have a lot of talent in this country and it goes


to waste. Un for Italy, Engineering is not a sexy subject any more.


what can we do about it? Richard Halstead is an electrical


engineering graduate who is now director of the region's


Engineering Employers Federation. He believes the profession needs


more respect. If we look at Germany, for example, engineers over there


are proud to put it next to their name and the profession is seen as


a profession. Here, though, many feel there's a way to go before


engineering is treated with the esteem they believe the profession


deserves. Well yesterday's unemployment


figures were pretty grim and research shows a quarter of


graduates in the West Midlands still haven't found a full-time job


3.5 years after finishing university. We're joined by Hannah


Moran from Birmingham, who's still looking for a job, since gaining a


business studies degree in 2009. You've applied for at least 80


posts but no luck, what sort of jobs are you trying to get? When I


do get responses, it tends to be automated e-mail responses which


sake if you're not contacted within this time frame police consider


yourself as unsuccessful. It must be really demoralising. It can


become too motivating but as soon as you have the breakthrough when


you have a telephone interview or a face-to-face interview you get the


spirit back. Do you Know What You Want to do? I'm not 100% sure.


Business Studies was quite put so I have applied to both marketing and


finance job. If someone was watching now I am thinking that


Hannah is a bright cookie and we might imply, or would you say?


would say that I am a bright cookie and that I work very hard and I am


passionate. Why do think it has taken so long? I have been going


through job size at everyone else goes through, and recruitment


agencies, I should be targeting companies individually. We wish to


the very best of luck. Cadbury's new owners, Kraft, have announced


they're creating 100 new jobs in the UK. Just over half the jobs


will be in Birmingham. 54 new research and development staff will


be based at Bournville as part of a plan to introduce new products and


develop existing ones. A soldier from Shropshire has been


killed at a military firing range in Kent. 21-year-old Fusilier Dean


Griffiths from the First Batallion the Royal Welsh was from Market


Drayton. An investigation has been launched into the circumstances


surrounding his death. The owner of one of Birmingham's


most iconic buildings has won a legal battle with an investor who


bought an apartment but then refused to complete after it lost


value in the economic downturn. Noel Hand was one of 26 investors


out of a total of 130 who bought apartments off-plan at The Cube in


2006. They claimed the value of the apartments had fallen so much they


were no longer able to secure finance and blamed developers for


finishing them later than expected. But a High Court judge found in


favour of the developers, saying the flats were only a few months


late. Scientists in Birmingham have


developed a new test to identify a cancer that is notoriously


difficult to diagnose. It's cancer of the adrenal gland which produces


adrenalin. There are now hopes the test can be marketed around the


world. Our health correspondent, Michele Paduano, reports.


Richard Owen is coming back to see the test he helped develop. The 50-


year-old from Solihull woke up one day and noticed a lump. He hadn't


been ill. Doctors removed the tumour, but it wasn't until it


spread to his lungs that he was told that it was cancer. That


should change. The work is also of great Philae to me because for me


in the future it will mean fewer scans, less radiation, less machine


time taken up by me. A simple test like this will be invaluable.


Scanning has been the normal way of finding adrenal tumours because


they lie deep in the body and there are no symptoms. But doctors need


to know which ones are safe to leave and which ones aren't. With a


�1 million grant from the Medical Research Council, scientists


analysed the urine of patients with adrenal cancer and found steroid


markers that were in common. The test can now be done in minutes.


When the tumour is taken out we need to be sure that it is Miliband


because if we know it is cancer became given special treatment to


try to prevent it from coming back -- predicament. There is an


economic benefit. Birmingham University has formed a joint


venture company so that they can develop the test. This is a prime


example of scientific development bringing money and Employment to


the region. Richard Owen is about to run a half marathon. He is happy


in the knowledge that if his cancer comes back, they should detect it


early. Still ahead for you tonight, what


effect will 12 months of extreme weather have on harvest yields for


farmers and on food prices? And no extremes this week but after today,


if you're hankering after a bit of rain, you never know - you might be


Cricket now and there's been huge disappointment for Warwickshire


today after they failed to win the County Championship title. The


Bears needed to beat Hampshire at the Rose Bowl to be crowned


champions and went into the final day needing to take just seven


Hampshire wickets. But the home side - who were relegated from the


first division yesterday - had other ideas. Nadine Towell reports


on a tense and ultimately frustrating day for the Bears.


As play got under way in Southampton today, the overwhelming


feeling was that the County Championship title was in


Warwickshire's hands. The Bear's director of cricket, Ashley Giles,


must surely have been expecting his cup would later be filled with


champagne. But Hampshire spoiled Warwickshire's party with a


tremendous batting display. By lunchtime the vultures - or would


that be hawks - were circling. In Somerset, the other title


contenders, Lancashire, were left with an afternoon run chase while


Warwickshire could only watch and wait. The Bears called an early


halt to their match - an honourable draw from a Hampshire perspective.


But Lancashire held their nerve and scored their winning runs with time


to spare. Once the dust settles, Warwickshire may well conclude they


have had an excellent season. But this evening their dreams of


Championship glory have been crushed.


With us now is the former Warwickshire batsman David Hemp. So


near, yet so far, players must feel pretty low? It will be


disappointing. Having lost finals myself, the changing room will be


dejected at the moment. People realise it is the Convent of seven


to eight months of hard work. It start back in November. They have


done really well though. The emphasis was more Durham and


Lancashire and they have crept back. It was. I think they had


disappointment in the one-day cricket as well so they have done


well to progress in the four-day competition. Having gone in this


morning haven't got the three was his last night they will be very


optimistic. What to put their success down to? The bowling has


been terrific,. I think it is a combination of things. Wickets Wise,


three players have got over 50 wickets, which is important. They


have not just relied on one or two batsmen. Players have chipped in


with 700 or 800 runs, and it makes a difference. They will be really


disappointed but a thing when they sit back and analyse it, go back a


year, they won at hunter to stay in Division One. The briefly, can they


do it next time? They will be looking to put things right that


did not go so well this year but they should be up to it. It is


goalless at half-time in Stoke City's match in the group stages of


the Europa League. They were under pressure early on


against five Alex. -- Dynamo Kiev. Birmingham City are also involved


in the Europa League and they kick off in just over an hour in their


first group match. Their reward for beating Nacional in the qualifying


round is a home game this evening against another Portuguese side, SC


Braga. The visitors were last season's beaten Europa League


finalists. They did very well last season so we have no illusions


about how difficult it will be. But we have great players as well and


have we can play the game to our strengths, moving the ball and pass


me quickly, we feel we can achieve a result. And you can hear


commentary of the second half between Dynamo Kiev and Stoke City


over on BBC Radio Stoke. And from seven o'clock, there will be live


commentary on BBC WM of Birmingham City's home game against Braga.


With autumn around the corner, farmers are now starting to plough


their fields ready to plant next year's crops. We're also starting


to get an idea of what impact the last 12 months of extreme weather


has had on yields and on the price of food we buy. Our environment


correspondent, David Gregory, joins us now from Warwickshire. But the


good or bad year for farmers? Well, good and bad. We are here in


Sherborne, guests of the Forest of Arden agricultural society who have


been hosting the applying competition. We have had to borrow


the generator can there be a tend to keep our satellite going! They


plying match is a really good chance for farmers to gather and


take stock and look back and see how harvest has gone and see what


lessons can be learned. People want to know what effect 12 months of


extreme weather has had a on something as vital as our wheat


harvest. This is the 63rd annual plying


match held by the society. Classes range from shire horses up to the


modern tractor. For a group of farmers, the talk of harvest is


upbeat. In this area, farmers are satisfied. Good quality and average


yields, I think. Satisfied, that is the closest I have heard a farmer


come to being excited! For definite figures, we need go a few miles


down the road. The headquarters of the National for Ms union, near


Coventry, enter the experts who have been tracking how well crops


up performed after what has been quite a jerk. From the start of the


autumn last year with quite wet conditions in the planting season


which was then followed by a horrendous snow which lasted far


longer than farmers here I'd used to. Then it did not win very much


Tring has been so they were nervous and whirring they would not have


much cropper. By the time the summer came around, it cool down so


the crop development slowed down which improved the yield but it


made harvesting more challenging. At all this, how have things turned


out? It has been a year off fluctuations both in the market and


in the weather. They were very nervous back in early June. But


they tend dead have an excellent harvest. But, as ever, it is swings


and roundabouts in farming. At the end of all that, what does


this mean for the price of food that we are going to be buying?


It is swings and roundabouts, so although the wheat prices good for


farmers, Thomas you have, for example, they have pigs, they feed


it to the pigs, said the prize of cure say chicken Berger or pork in


at that may be going up the next few months.


But it is good news for farmers? It is. The NFU says yields here in


the Midlands are better in the Midlands and elsewhere in the


country. With global we price is quite high that is good. Farmers


say that to protect next year's crop they will take the money and


invest it in the farm, so perhaps better irrigation and better


drainage to cope with all these extreme weather events.


It looked like a balmy summer evening there. Is that bit


High pressure definitely evident today - pleasantly warm and sunny


this afternoon after a very cold start. Temperatures last night fell


as low as around 2 Celsius in Pershore - the south and southwest


of the region fairing the worst as far as cold went.. You can see from


tonight, the early stages, the formation of a large area of low


pressure to the North towards the weekend. I've seen worse, but it's


enough to whip up the winds to a heightened state through Saturday


and Sunday. And as it comes complete with a front, the result


will be a few blustery showers Now tonight - any clear spells are


quickly going to give way to incoming cloud from the West and so


that'll stop it getting too cold Temperatures of nine and ten in


rural parts. More like 12 or 13 in built-up areas. A bit of drizzle


then towards the end of the night but becoming more widespread


through the weekend with gusts of upto 40 mph. There will be some


bright intervals in between and although we have the cloud,


temperatures rise to 19 Celsius tomorrow so slightly warmer than


A look at tonight's main headlines: Jubilant scenes in Libya as David


Cameron and France's President Sarkozy become the first western


leaders to visit since Gaddafi was ousted. And the West Midlands' top


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