23/12/2011 Midlands Today


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Welcome to the programme. The headlines tonight: The sinister


role of social media being used to spread hate among street gangs.


Through these music videos and the tracks they are putting out, it is


fuelling yet even more. Feeling the strain, claims our


accident and emergency service will be under pressure due to a lack of


planning. If they do not get an appointment with the GP, they will


make use of A and B and that is inappropriate.


The great Christmas get away, we will be live with the latest on the


roads. And a year to remember for the


local golfer crowned Young Sports Personality.


Welcome to the programme. Tonight: A call to ban internet music videos


which glamorise guns and violence. Urban street gangs in the West


Midlands are accusing social media networks such as Facebook and


YouTube to spread a message of hate and conflict. One leading


campaigner who works to mediate between rival groups says the


authorities simply don't understand what the coded messages mean or how


dangerous they are. The music videos are plentiful,


highly professional, the performers often talented but the lyrics are


about guns and turf wars on the streets of the West Midlands.


of the Commons they make with regard to what comes can do and how


guns can be used against other people, they are not being


understood by the powers-that-be. Because they can put things like


this on YouTube, it makes it dangerous for committees.


Social media on the internet is prized by every organisation, even


gangs. The police have prosecuted some people when weapons have been


openly displayed but the chairman of the Police Authority does not


think censorship would work. there are criminal activities, the


police will do with that but there is a whole issue of freedom of


expression, freedom of a heart and I feel those negative lyrics and


vibes are actually being committed by some very positive lyrics and


fads. The police say some 45 street gangs operate across the region


with 500 hardcore members. Gangs are about revenue, making money,


respect, power and prestige and revenge, violence and intimidation.


It has been 11 years since he got shot. White is so hard, I am just


trying to think why are they to come. Golden Child is a rapper. His


art reflects his friends and families lives. He is a performer


and wants nothing to do with gangs. They have been so many gang related


incidence and people need to realise that through these music


videos and these tracks that they are putting out, it is fuelling it


even more. Young people from across the region were invited to enter


the police headquarters to discuss how gangs affect their lives.


can't be an normal civilian citizen in this country if you are a gang


member because you cannot walk through certain areas because


you'll get seen. I am not comfortable walking around my


neighbourhood at night mainly because of people that are just


standing around trying to cause trouble. Especially the area where


I live, you cannot get away from them. In the new year, a special


police task force is being set up to tackle gang crime and culture.


Peter Wilson joins us now. Can anything be done to ban these sorts


of films on the internet? Things have been taking of particular


sites, especially satellite channels in the past but that has


merely been when there has been explicit sexual content, not these


kinds of gang of messages. It is also interesting that the police


don't feel it is their job to police the internet as far as these


messages are concerned. I know the police have invested a lot of time


and energy into social media themselves, to put their own


messages across, and I think they are aware that they would face a


backlash from the computer literate public if they did take action like


this. You have met these gangs, why his music so important to them?


is incredibly powerful and attractive and glamorous two young


guys, especially on the streets of Birmingham and years ago, I sat


down with one particular group who were playing the attract colt no


more but at the same time, I was aware that the same song with


different lyrics, talking about taking up guns and attacking their


rivals, was also playing in the background. A lot of mixed messages


out there. Still to come on the programme: Why


it will be lonely this Christmas for record-breaker Mark, thousands


of miles from friends and family. A teenager has been found dead in a


grain silo on a Shropshire farm. The body of the 18 year-old was


discovered on Wednesday night at Brockton near Much Wenlock. Police


say there's nothing suspicious about the death but the Health and


Safety Executive will carry out an investigation.


Police have launched a murder inquiry after a woman was found


stabbed to death at an address in the Erdington area of Birmingham.


It's thought the 52 year old was attacked during a domestic incident.


A 65 year-old man was detained in connection with the woman's death


and remains in police custody. Not enough planning has gone into


providing GP cover over the Christmas week, according to the


chairman of one GP consortium as the NHS enters its most pressured


period of the year. Peter Patel fears that the lack of cover could


put more strain on accident and emergency departments.


It's the calm before the storm in accident and emergency. This 13


month-old from Solihull has a temperature and a virus but she


need not necessarily be here. there is a time when surgery is


closed, that is when we approach the hospital so it happened today,


we came at a time when our surgery was not open. That is what this GP


practices trying to avoid. It is opening a full day tomorrow on


Christmas Eve and will open a full day next Wednesday but many GPs are


not. Dr Peter Patel believes not enough planning has been done and


notices on alternatives to A&E was sent out too late, 4:00pm on


December 21st. It should not be left to hospitals to take the


burden of debt. We have seen this in the past, that out-of-hours


services and hospitals have been overwhelmed during this period.


Heartlands Hospital's A&E is the busiest in the West Midlands. It is


gearing up to treating 360 patients a day over the holiday. The


hospital is doing everything it can to treat more people coming in.


There is a dedicated GP and the people can be referred to from


reception and it is an elderly person, there is a consultant on


standby to make sure they get help as quickly as possible This year is


potentially worse than ever because the holidays include two weekends.


We prioritise patients on the basis of their clinical need but if a


patient could have access to a service elsewhere, that helps us on


focusing the patients who need to be cared for by us in the


department. The best medicine though could be mild weather that


keeps people well. Tonight the Birmingham and Solihull


NHS cluster said that it is well prepared and confident in its


winter planning. They said that opening GP surgeries over holiday


periods doesn't work and that out- of-hours GP services and NHS walk-


in centres have the means to increase their capacity if


necessary. Thousands of Midlanders have been heading home for their


Christmas breaks this evening by road, rail and air. For many it has


been the last working day before the festive break. Motoring


organisations say overall, things have run fairly smoothly. In a


moment we'll be getting the latest information on the situation and


the roads but first, how people have been coping with the last


minute dash. Busy but not unbearable, this was a


shopping centre this afternoon. There was still no shortage of


tills ringing as people went on the hunt for last-minute bargains and


presents. I think many people have already done the shopping. It has


been a gradual process this year rather than a just one mad rush at


the end. It is nice, a festive spirit, I like it. This really is


make or break for some traders and every day in the run-up to


Christmas counts. At least though they haven't had to put up but the


snow and ice that kept some shoppers at home this time last


year. Wind and rain made driving conditions difficult in some parts


of the Midlands but motoring organisations reported few problems.


Many motorways were busy but quieter than anticipated. 40,000


passengers are expected to fly from Birmingham airport this weekend.


Many spending Christmas in the sun like these holidaymakers bound for


the Canary Islands. We haven't got a family at home so it's just easy


for us to get away from it of and chill out abroad. Just get a bit of


sunshine and is uncertain. I cannot stand a cold here any more!


million passengers are expected to use the railways across the country


over the past period. Some disruption is expected from Boxing


Day because of engineering works but travellers at the station


reported few problems today. Fairly busy but not horrendous. I left a


message on the train and I had to go to crew to get it so it has been


busy. No problems, lovely. Despite some to make predictions, Christmas


appears to have got off to a smooth start for most travellers.


What has it been like on the roads today? Let's cross now to the


headquarters in Quinton in Birmingham and speak to the manager


there. As we saw there, there have been heavy rain. Have the Rose been


busy to read? Surprisingly not, we were anticipating it would be quite


busy with it being the proper working day before Christmas. It


has not been too bad. We thought it would be far worse plus the weather


has not been great but it doesn't appear to have caused many problems.


Do you think this is the calm before the storm, people are


delaying their journey to Christmas Eve perhaps? Not necessarily, we


noticed a spike late last week so a Thursday and Friday and early this


week, which is when the the kids stopped school. Today was


relatively quiet, we are expecting there will be a spike tomorrow at


9:00am on the motorways and it will be busy inner-city centres at


midday. Today was predicted to be ex incredibly busy, any idea why it


was not? It could have something to do with the fact that school


holidays started a week ago, it looks as if people have been smart


and stagger their journeys slightly rather than making a mad dash for


the motorways in one go. People have been fairly well informed.


Our chances of having a white Christmas have gone but for


Coventry explorer Mark Wood, snow is a certainty. He is now halfway


across the South Pole. He set off at the end of last month and he has


now covered 340 nautical miles. It is the first stage of his ambitious


bid to become the first person to cross both poles back to back


unsupported. For Mark, this Christmas will be spent entirely


alone, thousands of miles away from family and friends in the bleak but


beautiful landscape of one of the most hostile places on the planet.


Here I am, finally in Antarctica. We are at base camp at the moment


and the temperature is around minus ten. At the start of his epic


journey and in good spirits. Since Mark Wood posted this video, he has


skied over 300 miles and endured the kind of isolation beyond most


people's imaginations. At home in Coventry, his partner Liz is


preparing for Christmas without him. I have lots of friends coming for


dinner and we will have a big roast turkey. Unfortunately for Mark, he


will have a routine so he will do what he does every day. It is a


good start, a good day. He will make his breakfast, get his water


boiled, pack up his tent and walk 15 miles and then treat himself to


an extra cup of tea in the evening. In fact, as the weekly phone call


reveals, he has already treated himself to an early Christmas


present. It is a fresh pair of socks and underwear. I think he


must be here now. He is more than halfway there but the journey has


not been without its difficulties. He has had to do running repairs to


his binding to make sure he can carry on because it is so important


that he can ski and not just walk. If you're one of those who have


been following his daily blog, you will know his feet are not in the


best shape. My feet are all cut up again but I am dealing with that


and I am screaming at night, putting iodine all over the winds


but that is just part and parcel, I am afraid, of this expedition will


stop Mark is doing all this to raise awareness of the state of our


planet. His page encourages people not to donate money but instead, to


go green. He knows there are so much support for him and speaking


to him today, he was in good spirits, you could hear from his


voice that he is in good spirits. Getting past but halfway mark is


really important or stop hopefully, the sledge will be lighter and it


will be easier. Bearing in mind more is going to have to tackle the


North Pole within weeks of conquering the south, socks I


suppose are not a bad idea this Christmas.


If you want to check on his progress across Antarctica, go to


our Facebook age where there is a link to his blog which he is


updating daily. While we're talking about a white Christmas at the


South Pole, we are hardly likely to have Antarctic temperatures here?


What a difference a year makes! Find out what we had back in 2010


compared to what we are going to get in 2011 a little later on.


By the time new year's day rolls round, the Premier League will have


reached its halfway point. Which of our teams at the teacher's pet and


who are the dunces in the corner for a half-term report?


17 games in and our Premier League sides have alternated moments to


treasure and reasons to despair. Sitting pretty at the moment are


Stoke City - 8th after 17 games and through to the knockout stages of


the Europa League. My chairman things it is one of the great years


in the history of the football club. He is in his mid-Seventies and the


club is over hundred years old. There were eight at the moment


doing well at the League. We have a great tide coming up in February.


If they can stay in the top 10, everyone will be very happy about


what the club have achieved. places and three points behind them


are West Bromwich Albion. Inconsistencies may be, but look at


the points. Their New Year's resolution has to be to strive for


consistency. And then there's Aston Villa. What can you say. It's


rarely been boring off the pitch but the fans's big complaint is


that the football has been dull on it. I have to try and prove that I


am the right man for this job. I am still determined to do that. I'm


trying to win over the fans are still have their doubts. There's no


doubt though that Villa must do better in 2012. And that leaves the


enigma that is Wolves. Just a place and a point above the relegation


zone they've specialised in dramatic comebacks but too often


only to salvage a point. So how does the boss feel about the season


so far? I will let you will decide! There are only two winds now in 14


games and that is the kind of thing but the fans are latching onto the


moment. I still think there is a hard core of supporters that want


to see a change of manager. Am not sure they would get it. There's no


doubt improvement will be needed if they're to avoid another relegation


battle in 2012. And you can keep track of how your


club performs over the busy Christmas period by tuning in to


your BBC Local radio station. Golfer Lauren Taylor from


Warwickshire says it is an honour to win the BBC's Young Sports


Personality of the Year award. She was crowned at the awards ceremony


in Salford last night but she's now back home in Rugby. What a moment


for Lauren last night. She is just 17 and she was thrust into the


national spotlight collecting the trophy from the Manchester City


manager Roberto Mancini and athlete Jessica Ennis. It was in


recognition for becoming the youngest ever winner of the amateur


British Open but she still managed to compose herself to thank


everyone. 24 hours on, can you believe it?


it is still a bit of a shock but it was such an honour to receive that


award. How did you finish? I first thought was not to trip, to be


asked. I was so shocked, I didn't think I was going to win. I was a


habit. The night itself, there were three golfers in the top 10. Did


you meet them? Yes, I met all of them and I had a few photos with


them. Her fame is expanding already? I have a few more


followers on Twitter. What have you friends and family said? They are


beyond proud. My gran and gram pack came up earlier and my mum and dad


and sister are so proud of me. is the plan now? I'm going to


university next August in America and then after that, I am going to


look to turn professional. Plenty of great days ahead? A lovely time


of year for it to happen? Yes, it's a great Christmas present.


Christmas celebrations have started early and they will have an extra


trophy on the mantelpiece. Cast your mind back to this time


last year and it was quite a different weather picture to the


one we are experiencing at the moment. This was the scene at the


Worcester Warriors rugby club ground exactly 12 months ago. Sub-


zero temperatures and a blanket of snow and getting about wasn't easy


either with cars struggling along on the ice-bound roads. This year


it's more a case of wet-weather rather than a white build up to


I can verify what you have just said that the facts and let the


pictures speak for themselves. On the we had no falling snow last


year, there was plenty of it lying around. The temperatures generally


hovered around freezing weather might values way below zero. I


can't say it's going to be as cold as that tonight but it is going to


be a lot colder than it has been. You can see that banned right to


the east and the skies are going to clear right across the region but


it is the combination of that together with the north-westerly


wind that will send temperatures down to one Celsius in rural parts.


Some ground frost in sheltered spots and that may linger into the


morning tomorrow. Abacus and see it to start Christmas Eve but we have


some sunshine as well, particularly the further east you go. The odd


spot of rain to western parts to the north to end the day. Overall,


a colder day than today with temperatures rising to seven or


eight Celsius. Through tomorrow night and into Christmas Day, the


went springs up and introduces a milder air. Tomorrow night, you can


see the impact already. Temperatures hardly altered from


tomorrow's daytime value at around six or seven Celsius. The Christmas


weekend is looking frosty to start, turning my and later with


strengthening winds. For Christmas Day, we have highs of 11 Celsius.


To that period, it will be largely cloudy but try and to break any


records, we age -- need to reach Over the last couple of weeks,


thousands of BBC local radio listeners across the region have


been to the recording of a carol service. One of the biggest events


saw hundreds of people turn out in the Square in Shrewsbury 10 days


ago. Organised by Radio Shropshire and compered by breakfast show


presenter Eric Smith, it's always one of the highlights of the


festive season in the town. If you couldn't make it go, don't worry.


You can hear that service on air on BBC Radio Shropshire tomorrow


evening at 5:00pm. BBC Coventry and Warwickshire's service will also


air their service at 5pm tomorrow. BBC West Midlands will be


broadcasting their recording at 6:00pm.


It's almost the end of our last main programme until January 3rd


but we will have bulletins throughout the Christmas period. It


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