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Welcome to my learned today. The headlines: Police spot checks as
metal thieves risk their lives and others for money.
They should be an audit trail. I question these cash transactions as
well. On the final day of the inquiry into the appalling day at
Staffordshire Hospital, it prepares to shut its a and the doors at
night. A tense meeting about police
station closures. He we had difficult conversations today.
cannot do everything. The public have to feel the cuts and we do too.
Family friends and celebrities turn out to pay their respects at the
funeral of the Red Arrow pilot, Good to have you with us this
evening. New calls to tighten the laws around sales to scrap dealers
after a sharp rise in metal fence. 7500 offences were committed in the
West Midlands alone in the last month. 20 thefts a day. These are
getting more brazen. One gang stole cable from the M6
motorway when it was shut after a four-year-old child died in a crash
at the weekend. In a moment, we will hear from an MP who wants
stricter controls as a priority. First this report.
Increasingly shocked at the tactics used by metal thieves, police in
Coventry went on the offensive today, pulling in drivers on their
way to scrapyards and rifling through their vans in the hunt for
stolen cargo. We have seen a 100% rise in metal thefts in the city.
We find people coming all over from the country into Coventry to sell
what they have acquired and quite often it is illegal. But it is hard
to trace. As the law stands, transactions at scrapyards can be
cashed in hands. This scrap dealer Paul Dover near Coventry airport
today felt the police were targeting the wrong people. It is
just people... I don't know scrap metal lads doing it. Just people
who don't work. Thieves get increasingly brazen. In the last
week in Coventry, metal pipes and boilers from central heating
systems in private houses have been stolen and scrap metal thieves
caused a fire at a sub-station was inhalers - Enter to close because
it lost his power supply. -- causing a leisure centre to close.
Five men were arrested last night on the M6 near Walsall allegedly
for trying to steal tables powering overhead signs. Most shockingly, at
the weekend thieves stole cabling after sneaking onto the motorway
whilst police were attending an accident. This return knows only
too well there links thieves will go to. Let has been stolen from
this church seven times in six months. Now it is being replaced by
fibreglass. The vicar wants to see the laws governing scrapyards
strengthened. There should be an audit trail. I question cash
transactions as well. It would be better if there was proof of where
the money came from. The reason the thefts are on the up is simple. A
tonne of copper fetches �4,400.80 and have led is worth �2,800. As
the kimono and -- criminals get greedy, the police decided to lobby
the government to do more to tackle the problem.
Joining us is Chris Kelly, the Conservative MP who is campaigning
on the law to be changed. It is a serious problem but is anyone
listening? Early in the Autumn statement, the government announced
a package to set up a task force to reduce scrap metal theft. We are
pushing at an open door with the government because there is an
intention to legislate to clamp down on stolen mettle. It is a
matter of finding the time to do that. We have put former it a Ten
Minute Rule Bill and we have six measures which include cashless
payments. Also, to make sure that when people steal metal, if they in
danger life and when charges are bought that will be a key aspect of
the charges. There are other measures to give people greater
powers. Most of the trade is very willing to adopt the measures and a
already doing so but there is an element outside the law that needs
to be clamped down on and that is why we are bringing forward this
bill. How difficult would it be two police? It is a really big industry.
There is a market for it, isn't there? Yes and it is being exported
to booming markets abroad but it is causing great damage to our
communities. And endangering life. Yes and it will be a matter of time
before there are serious fatalities and we must take action urgently.
Thanks very much. Later in the programme, we're live
at the Britannia Stadium with Daniel Pallett.
It could be an historic night for Stoke City. They need a draw and
they are through to the knockout -- knockout stages of the Europa
A year on and at a cost of �10 million and rising, the Stafford
Hospital public inquiry finally came to an end today. The report
into exactly what went wrong isn't expected until the spring of next
year at the earliest. Coincidentally, this evening also
sees the first night of three months of overnight closures at the
hospital's accident and emergency unit. Here's our Staffordshire
reporter, Liz Copper. For a small, dedicated group of
campaigners this has been a daily routine for more than a yurt -
arriving at the inquiry to hear evidence. Has it all been
worthwhile? Something really needs to change and we are hoping from
this inquiry that recommendations will ensure we get a very much
safer system for patients. It is not just about Stafford hospital
but the whole of the NHS and the future of it. It was necessary for
it to be looked at in this depth to find out what has gone wrong in the
past, not only here but in many other trusts across the country.
The inquiry has cost �10 million. It has sat for 139 days and there
have been over 1 million pages of evidence. It is now for Robert
Francis QC, the chairman, to assess the evidence and draw up a report
with recommendations. The question of nursing and management will be
looked at in great depth by Robert Francis and his team and when the
report comes out, people will be able to judge for themselves what
went wrong and what must be done about it.
Antony Sumara is the man who was drafted in to manage the hospital
in the wake of the scandal. He has followed the inquiry closely and is
now carrying out further work for the NHS on lessons to be learned.
The difficulty is that they have been other inquiries with
recommendations that have not been implemented. Robert has to try to
be creative and thoughtful about his messages and how they will
even as those recommendations are being worked on, the hosptial is
still dealing with the ramifications of what happened here.
From tonight, its A&E department will shut overnight for three
months. It's caused renewed controversy just as the public
inquiry closes. All the evidence has been heard. The final report is
not expected to be published until next year but its recommendations
are likely to be far reaching. Liz Copper joins us now from our
studio in Stoke-on-Trent. Liz, remind us again exactly what's been
decided about the A&E unit in Stafford.
It is a decision that was made by the board last month. From 10
o'clock tonight, the doors at a Andy in Stafford will close and
they will not reopen until tomorrow morning. Patients will be
transferred to other hospitals which will enable them to train
existing staff and recruited new doctors.
Changes are controversial so what have people been saying?
It has been hugely controversial in Stafford. 10,000 people have signed
a petition. You might remember it has echoes of concerns raised in
the 1990s regarding downgrading services in Kidderminster. We have
been speaking to Richard Taylor. If it is only for three months, the
implications are not too bad because Severe emergencies and that
-- at night are not common. It is important for the future that it is
not more than three months. If you lose the A&E department you fill up
other departments with minor cases who didn't need to go to other A&E
departments. Richard Taylor was formerly an MP.
The point he was making his what will be the impact on other
hospitals, particularly Wolverhampton and Stoke on Trent.
We will only know that when the plan gets under way.
Thank you. There is more detail and analysis of the inquiry on the BBC
stoke website. There was controversy today from
proposals to close 12 police stations. Many are open around the
clock but the force says it needs to shut them at night.
Campaigners handed in position -- petitions opposing the plans.
They faced a tough summer. Now comes a long winter of difficult
decisions for West Midlands police. It is a difficult issue that is a
mixture of emotional and practical. That Chief Constable defended one
idea to the police authority - a move to close a dozen police
stations overnight. Almost 4000 people have signed a petition
against the idea. It demonstrates the label -- the level of concern
areas. For 12 oz station -- for 12 stations, they are being closed to
save resources. They will be fitted with an intercom and they maintain
that 99% of the public will live between -- within four miles of a
station that is manned 24 hours a day. Under the new proposals, this
station will open at 10am and shut in the evening. It is taking the
safety of the public away. There is a bun ability there. I understand
that cut have to be made everywhere. Police started consultations two
weeks ago but critics say they should allow more time.
consultation has been extensive. We have contacted community leaders,
neighbourhood watch are followers and users of social media. We feel
we have touched about 43,000 people. To give the public an opportunity
to have an input and contribute and discuss things that affect their
day-to-day lives has got to be at the heart of what policing is about.
As a result of today's meeting, the consultation has been extended to
make January. But the police need to make �126 million of budget cuts
so the axe will have to fall Police are hunting a hit-and-run
driver who killed an 11-year-old boy as he was crossing a road to
get to school. It happened just after 7:00 this morning between
Southam and Farnborough in Warwickshire. The boy was hit by a
light coloured Ford Mondeo which was travelling towards Banbury.
Police want any witnesses to contact them.
Four West Midlands Police officers have been suspended over
allegations of misconduct. They're alleged to have mishandled property
taken from members of the public in Bordesley Green in Birmingham. If
the allegations are proven, then the officers could be charged with
theft. The investigation's been referred to the Independent Police
Complaints Commission. A serious case review into the
death of a 2-year-old girl, who died after she was scalded in a
shower, says lessons must be learned. The review says Kristiana
Logina's mother, Eva, and her boyfriend, former magistrate
Rashpal Chana, from Birmingham, could have prevented her death in
February last year. They were convicted of manslaughter after
failing to seek proper medical care for Kristiana.
Born to fly - that was how Red Arrow pilot, Flight Lieutenant Sean
Cunningham, was described at his funeral today. Hundreds of family,
friends and celebrities gathered to pay their respects to the 35-year-
old who died last month during a training exercise. His commanding
officer described the former Coventry schoolboy as "charming,
professional and dedicated." Joan Cummins reports.
Hundreds of mourners and friends today joined Flight Lieutenant Sean
Cunningham's family to pay their respects to the Red Arrows pilot.
The 35-year-old died when he was ejected from his jet while it was
still on the ground. During the service, the Red Arrows commanding
officer said how much Sean was missed. Life can be so cruel and I
have spent a lot of time searching deep within me for answers, as to
why Sean was taken from us on that foggy morning. But Sean would not
want us dwelling on such things. He would want us to carry on, to get
back in the air and to reclaim our place in the hearts of the
population of this great nation. What came out in today's service
was Sean Cunningham's love of life. The congregation heard how he was
born to fly. Weeks before his death, he had even gone back to his old
school here in Coventry, to try to inspire the next generation of
pilots. Amongst the congregation, the wife of John Egging, another
Red Arrows pilot who was killed in August, and celebrities who
personally knew the men and appreciated them. A fantastic
memory of Sean. Probably when he came to a couple of parties of mind
over the summer, probably when he was wearing an Afro wig and dancing.
I had spoken and said hello on a few occasions on those end-of-
season guest nights, I had had the pleasure to say hello. Also just
knowing the team in general, I do feel that strong connection with
the team of the Red Arrows. In a statement, Sean's family said he'd
be remembered for his huge smile that radiated warmth. Then
fittingly through the winter sun, a The funeral of Sean Cunningham at
Coventry Cathedral today. Still to come this evening, a
somewhat chilling weather warning from Shefali.
Yes, autumn may have been mild and dry but winter's mark is already
being made. Expect strong winds, more rain and a drop in
temperatures. You can find out how Aston Villa, Wolverhampton
Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion have signed up to an AIDS awareness
campaign called Saving Lives. On World Aids Day, the Aston Villa
captain, Stilyan Petrov, has urged people to get tested. It's a
campaign that's won the full support of Chris Kearl. 32 years
ago he contracted HIV and every day endures a painful struggle against
the virus. With more here's our health correspondent, Michele
Paduano. He has had two hip replacements and
is in constant nerve pain, but Chris Kearl's story is about
survival when so many others from his generation didn't make it.
They told me the life expectancy at that time was 18 months, no more.
That was it. That there were no treatments available for it. They
didn't even really know what was causing the virus. They could only
test for the antibodies at the time. My life kind of stopped. In the
late 70s, he had had everything to look forward to, but he didn't just
lose his health. He was cut off by his church and his family. I ended
up with the Sun newspaper coming around and taking pictures, with
the headline, church organist AIDS carrier. There is now a danger that
has become a threat to us all. need not be the killer it was back
in the 80s, if it's picked up early. And to give that message a kick
start, the Aston Villa captain today lent his support. It's
estimated that a quarter of HIV carriers in the UK don't know.
proud that I can be part of this cause. I hope we can get that
message across, especially with football. Getting Aston Villa
involved is a real coup for this Birmingham-based charity. They are
getting to just the people they want to test, the fans. The aim now
is to get every professional club involved. As well as Villa, Saving
lives has signed up Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.
If you don't know you've got it, you can't get life-saving treatment
and you could be passing it on to however many partners you would
have been a ten-year period. It is vital that we get people tested. If
we get them tested, we can save their lives with the treatment. You
can give somebody a normal life expectancy. But Chris Kearl wants
youngsters to take precautions, not Now it's another exciting night for
Stoke City supporters, with the club playing in Europe for the
first time since 1975. Tonight, they'll qualify for the knockout
stages of the Europa League if they draw or win against Dinamo Kiev at
the Britannia Stadium. Nick Clitheroe reports.
Stoke City's first European campaign for nearly 40 years has
been full of joyous occasions for the fans. They've made new friends,
like these Dynamo Kiev supporters playing the second leg of their own
football match against their Potteries counterparts this
afternoon. This was just for fun, but who'll come out on top tonight?
I think I am going to give them this match, but we are going to win
the big one. We need the win, at Stoke don't, we are going to win it.
It is the first time in my lifetime there have been in Europe, and I am
proud of them. The Stoke City players have been having fun of
their own growing the finest collection of moustaches in the
Premier League for the Movember charity, which raises awareness of
prostate cancer. But they'll be clean-cut tonight when they go in
search of the point which will extend this European adventure into
the knock-out stages. Dynamo Kiev have played more than 400 games in
Europe. Stoke are barely into double figures. But his is these
lads who are on the brink of qualification. The players and the
supporters have embraced it. We have really enjoyed it. It is a
massive game for us. We are hoping to get a full house. We are hoping
the crowd will come a long and really push us on. It would be a
great achievement for us as a club. It seemed unlikely when the draw
was made but Stoke are unbeaten in the group and will top it if they
win this evening. Dan Pallett is at the Britannia
Stadium for tonight's game. A big night for Stoke fans? Absolutely.
He would have believed this time last year they would be in Europe,
never mind unbeaten at this stage. Brian Shaw from the supporters'
club, can you believe it? No. To get into Europe is a wonderful
achievement. To play again some of the teams we have played against
and remain unbeaten is a fair achievement. Will they remain
unbeaten this evening? Fingers crossed. We need one point and we
hope to get it. A win would be very nice. What has been the secret?
togetherness of the team. I wish that after the grippier matches, we
could get the same result at the weekend. -- after the group matches.
You might be through without needing the game in Turkey, how far
can Stoke go? Given a decent draw, I think we can maybe go to the
semis or even the final. That would be a fantastic thing. Following on
from last year's FA Cup run, Stoke are still buoyant. Europe, you
better watch out. Yes, Stoke seemed to be flying.
Good luck to them. -- seemed to be And you can hear full commentary on
the match on BBC Radio Stoke this evening. They'll have all the
build-up from 7:00pm and the game kicks off just after 8:00pm.
For most people, retirement means relaxing and taking life a little
easier. But not for Bill Longmore. The 73-year-old former police
superintendent is now busier than ever, dedicating his time to help
community sport. He's the third of our five finalists for this year's
BBC Midlands Sport's Unsung Hero Award. Ian Winter's been to
Shropshire to meet him. It's Sunday afternoon and Bill
Longmore has invited me along to watch Hanwood Saints. They're up
against Shrewsbury Ladies, currently top of the Shropshire
League, so it'll be a tough match. Winning would be a bonus. But for
Bill, the best result is simply playing. Because now, for the first
time, Hanwood has a women's football team for the whole village
to be proud of. I was always disappointed I couldn't get the
ladies involved. It was probably a bit before my time. Now it is nice
to see them. I have no doubt that it would be long before they are
saying, can we have a second team. The power of sport has always been
one of Bill's passions. During 30 years with Staffordshire Police, he
encouraged his officers to forge community links through football
and BMX biking. And now, his most recent success is finding a home
for the Saints. What would Hanwood village be like without Bill
Longmore? It would be very boring, there would be no opportunity to
get everyone together playing sports. He is a credit to the
village, we are truly grateful for what he has done. He is definitely
my unsung hero, he is the best. There's no end to Bill's unsung
heroics. As chairman of the Village Hall, he's just received a lottery
grant of �50,000 to create a cycle track and an exercise area for
Hanwood people to enjoy. It is probably more important now than
ever. The more you can have on your doorstep, the better. There are
more people getting involved, they feel welcome. Next, we're off to
the bowls club - Bill's first sporting challenge, when he moved
into the village 12 years ago. The green was in bad shape, the ageing
membership was in decline and juniors were banned from playing.
They're not now. Under Bill's leadership, youngsters are actively
encouraged. Show them how it's done! And today, the club isn't
just surviving, it's thriving. Membership has doubled. Eight teams
compete in local leagues and young Hanwood bowlers are making their
mark at county level. Bill strives to make Hanwood a community. He is
so community based. He looks to create a community spirit at all
aspects of village life. Wherever you look in this quiet corner of
Shropshire, the sporting life is buzzing, thanks to the unsung
efforts of Bill Longmore. He is right when he says facilities
and the community activities are more important now than ever.
He is involved in everything, isn't It is amazing! We have another two
finalists to come. With more details of the chilly
It has been very cold. We've had bouts of quite substantial rain and
it's been needed after such a dry autumn. But winter is traditionally
defined by cold, and so for the start of December that's is what
we've had. It's turning frosty. It's because of this ridge of high
pressure that the winds have died down and the skies are going to be
clearing tonight. That's before the arrival of this next swathe of rain
before the weekend. We have Kraut - - cloud across south-east and
plants Baghdad parts, that will A widespread frost and pockets of
mist and fog. Under the gaze of the sunshine tomorrow morning, it is a
beautiful, sunny start to the day. That will disappear quite quickly.
It is a crisp, cold start to the day, all those sunny. Gradually
through the day, we start to see the cloud increasing through the
West which make produce a spot of rain for the north-west.
Temperatures, not very good at all. Highs of six or seven, a degree
down on today. But we have got light winds. Through tomorrow night,
this cloud will increase from the west, it will introduce a fairly
heavy rain, spreading right across the region. We have strengthening
winds as well. Because of it, to do just won't be quite as low as
tonight. Then we have the remnants of that to contend with on Saturday
morning. Still quite blustery through the weekend, more rain
later on Sunday. In between times, it is dry, sunny and it or feel
cold. A look at tonight's main headlines:
The Bank of England boss tells banks to build up their reserves,
even if it means cutting back on those big bonuses.
And calls to change the law on scrap sales after a big rise in
metal thefts. That's all from us this evening,
but on tomorrow's Midlands Today we'll be looking at online