21/02/2012 Midlands Today


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


The headlines tonight: Computer hackers signed up by


defence chiefs to fight crime in cyberspace. People really need to


be a lot more aware of what they're doing with information and what


they're putting out on the web. Jail for the car-clampers who


conned motorists out of half a million pounds. They caused a lot


of misery, much like drug dealers, and I think they got off very


lightly with their sentences. Beleaguered emergency services urge


people to think twice before calling 999 or going to A&E.


And why pupils from 100 schools are taking it in turns to canoe along


Good evening and welcome to Tuesday's Midlands Today, from the


BBC. Tonight, the computer hackers being employed to fight cyber crime.


They're working in a so-called dirty lab, the first of its kind in


the country, which has been set up at the request of the Government


and its listening service, GCHQ. Their job is to infect computer


systems in a controlled environment to find out how better to protect


the public. The growing internet crimewave is costing the country an


estimated �27 billion a year. In this exclusive report, Cath Mackie


examines how cyber crime, once a work of fiction, is now a dangerous


reality. Sherlock Holmes, face-to-face with


his nemesis and arch cyber criminal Moriarty. I can open any door


anywhere with a few tiny lines of computer code. No such thing as a


private bank account now. I own secrecy! Moriarty's boast is part


of the BBC drama, but the threat he portrays is a reality. And this is


the place where fiction meets fact. Malvern in Worcestershire where, 75


years ago, scientists invented radar to fight the Nazis. But in


the 21st century, we have a new battle. And in this room in Malvern


Science Park they are fighting the cyber war. This is the frontline. A


dirty lab, the first of its kind in the country. So-called ethical


hackers like Ruari Douglas break into computer systems to work out


how businesses can be better protected. So, legally you hatch


into systems? Yes. How easy is it? It depends. It can be as simple as


three lines of code. That is very shocking? It is. The first time I


came across it, I was gobsmacked. Six cyber security firms from


Worcestershire and Herefordshire have joined forces to build the lab


at the request of the Government and its listening service, GCHQ, in


Cheltenham. We can make it look like your office or the Office of


somebody else with the image of your service. -- server. We can


then attacked it as a hostile agency might do, or a hacker.


fear is that not enough small businesses in particular take the


threat of cyber crime seriously, or believe they're immune. The


statistics refute that belief. The Government estimates cyber crime is


costing the UK �27 billion a year in lost revenue, while two thirds


of businesses that fall victim to hackers go bust in the same year.


So how do you find the hackers prepared to work for the good guys?


On our website, you have to do a fairly simple hack but we won't


talk to you unless you do that. If you do that, we give you a unique


reference number and it is, give us a clue that you have the right Thai


mindset. Is it tempting to go to the dockside? No. But can you


understand why people do? Yes. It is a world of the permission freely


available that people think is a cure but isn't. -- world of


information. People need to be very aware of the have the measure and


they are putting out there on to the web. The dirty lab consolidates


Malvern's place at the centre of a growing cyber valley - an area of


expertise in online security. Their job will be to stay one step ahead


of the cyber criminals. Joining us now from our Westminster


studio is the MP for West Worcestershire, Harriet Baldwin.


How important is it for an area like Malvern to be chosen as the


location for this lab? Of course, it was Winston Churchill back in


the Second World War who moved the Ministry of Defence secret service


to Malvern. Many of these firms specialise in a side of defence and


it is a great location to be located. -- specialise in cyber


defence. We have these brilliant brains who know a lot about cyber


security. But these small businesses aren't exactly created


thousands of jobs? It is a growth area and I think it is very


exciting to see both the Government is spending a lot of money in this


area, but as your report highlighted, it is also small


businesses needing to protect themselves more and more in terms


of the business they do online. It is estimated that two-thirds of


those businesses hacked go out of business. If you have an online


platform and you don't think you are at risk, then you really need


to have another good, long hard look at that. Do you think we are


behind? I think we are at the cutting edge. What you have seen


there shows how the area is leading the way in this and I think it is


something we will see grow very rapidly. And we need to be at the


cutting edge because if you are not, the bad guys are! Thank you very


much. And you can hear more about the


work at this special cyber lab and what it means for the area on BBC


Hereford and Worcester from 7am tomorrow morning.


Still to come this evening... Shame! Shame on you! Protesters


tackle farming delegates over Five members of a rogue car-


clamping company have been jailed. The judge at Worcester Crown Court


said they'd milked the public out of at least �500,000. The court was


told that the scam targeted vulnerable motorists across the


Midlands, from Nuneaton to Cheltenham, and became a licence to


print money. The problem was first uncovered during an investigation


by BBC Inside Out in the Midlands, as Joan Cummins reports.


Redditch-based Midlands Parking Contracts was investigated on a


number of occassions by the BBC's Inside Out programme. Between 2006


and 2009, the operators developed an unsympathetic and aggressive


approach to vulnerable motorists. Often obscuring signage, they'd


wait for someone to park, clamp them and demand a �125 release fee.


Then they'd demand a cancellation fee for the tow truck of another


�175. Total amount - �300 in cash to the clampers. Worcester Crown


Court heard how legitimate campaign businesses are regarded as a


necessary evil, just like the taxman, however, in this case, GCHQ


started to milk the public, ripping off motorists for cash. -- n c p


started to melt the public. Hundreds of motorists complained to


police and Trading Standards about their treatment at the hands of MCP.


Helen Mays' experience was typical. The money was snatched from my hand,


thumbed through and counted on the bonnet. Very rude, very aggressive


and very intimidating. You know, I was just traumatised. Andrew


Minshull was the main man of the operation. His then partner, Debbie


Worton, used an alias to fob off motorists when they tried to


complain. Simon Barry was the firm's negotitaor and Christopher


Cartwright and Faisal Qadeer were the frontline operatives who


targeted the vulnerable. Some people have had to walk out because


they still feel very aggrieved at how they were treated and how


things turned out for them. And they do feel that they were "as if


somebody had put on a mask and rob them". They are one step down from


drug dealers. That is my view. They cause misery in their own way, as


drug dealers to. All the defendents pleaded guility to conspiracy to


defraud and received prison sentences of between 12 and 32


months each. This case has highlighed calls for a change in


the law on legislating clampers. shouldn't be allowed. Most cities


have their own traffic wardens. It should be done properly through


those people and not this hugely extortionate way of dealing with


this issue. A sixth man will be sentenced within the next few weeks,


whilst all those convicted face paying thousands of pounds back


under the proceeds of crime. The son of a teacher who was killed


in a coach crash in France has thanked people for their kind


tributes. Peter Rippington died after the bus carrying pupils from


Alvechurch Middle School in Worcestershire crashed as it


returned from a skiing trip. In a statement, Max Rippington also said


he was delighted to be reunited with his mother and sister, who


survived the accident. The coach driver, 47-year-old Derek Thompson,


has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.


Police have been given another 36 hours to question a man being held


on suspicion of murdering the retired Worcestershire teacher


Betty Yates. She was found dead at her cottage near Bewdley last month.


47-year-old Stephen Farrow was arrested on Friday. He's also being


questioned in connection with the murder of the Reverend John


Suddards, who was found stabbed at his vicarage in Thornbury in


Gloucestershire last week. Angry scenes at the National


Farmers' Union meeting in Birmingham today, as delegates were


confronted by protesters against plans for a badger cull here in the


Midlands. Farmers say the move is essential to control the spread of


bovine TB, a disease that now costs millions of pounds a year to


control, as our environment correspondent, David Gregory,


reports. Pro-badger, anti-cull and very


angry. We are here to make the Government listen to the majority


of people who want an alternative to culling. There are one of our


best-loved animals and we think it's wrong to just shoot them.


do you hope to achieve here today? Well, to alert the public to this


outrageous action that is proposed by the union. Inside the conference,


NFU President Peter Kendall welcomed the decision to go ahead


with a cull. Meriden MP and DEFRA minister Caroline Spelman told the


1,100 farmers in the audience they need to keep explaining why the


cull is necessary. Just the other side of the motorway, literally


every other farm is shut down with TB at the moment, which has massive


logistical and financial implications. There is a lot of


pressure on both sides of the argument. You have to take tough


decisions and now is the time to do that. That decision is the right


one, which is to get an eradication plan, which includes controlling


badgers and the disuse of cattle. There was much else for farmers and


politicians to discuss today at the conference, but the badger cull


remains an important issue for many outside this hall. There on legal


challenge is underway but if the Wes goes ahead this autumn, it will


take place this year and every four years. Neither side of the debate


sees much room for compromise. And David joins us now from the NFU


Conference at the ICC. Was it just about the badger cull today, David?


No. There was plenty going on, and with us to talk about it is Peter


Kendall. Drought was a big issue coming up? Yes. It is one of those


issues that, in spite of the farming industry being positive


about, we need water to grow our crops. We are looking to the


Government to make sure they prioritise farming and the drought


is a good example to show that you can make some policies to make sure


farmers have priorities for water when there is no rain. But we also


have to invest on the long term. Because this is going to get worse.


So we won the farmers to work with government to make sure they have a


better supply of affordable food. - - so we want. And what about the


red tape in farming? We are trying to dig through the proposals. It is


very good of government to say they're going to reduce the


regulatory burden on small businesses but it is a very


different to make a -- difficult to make a real difference to farmers.


We all farmers -- we want farmers to be able to farm rather than sit


in officers -- offices and do paperwork. So, you hear it here


first. They want to be farming, not filling in paper.


Every ambulance and fast-response vehicle available has been on the


road today as West Midlands Ambulance Service fought to cope


with a third more calls than would be expected on typical day in


February. The job has been made harder, with some ambulances stuck


outside Accident and Emergency departments for up to three hours.


The delays in getting to the next 999 call could put patients' lives


at risk. Here's our health correspondent, Michele Paduano.


Everything was out on the road today, dealing with emergency calls.


There's normally an increase following cold weather but this has


gone on for longer than usual. just concerned. Very, very busy at


the moment, so I haven't shaved! Are very busy and tired! The red on


this board shows that they can't meet demand. We say it every time,


but genuinely now, the system is under huge pressure and we are


asking people to make sure that before they dial 999, it is a life-


threatening emergency. There has long been a problem with getting


ambulances out of hospital quickly. Many have been waiting for more


than an hour. Coventry is the worst, with one ambulance being stuck


outside for three hours. That was because one paramedic was left at


University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire to deal with a number


of patients. 12 ambulances were delayed for an hour. We have two


managers working at that particular site and what we have tried to do


is work with our ambulance crews as they have come in, to try to


support the crews, but also working with the executive team at the


hospital. The Trust accepted that ambulances had to wait longer than


it would like. But it said that it was working with West Midlands


Ambulance Service to address this and no patients were put at risk.


In Stoke-on-Trent, they took in more patients but turn-around times


were quicker. Even here, ambulances eventually were diverted to other


hospitals. Coming up later, are Stoke City


heading for a Valencia victory? Potters fans prepare to head out to


sunny Spain for their Europa League match.


And it might be football they're heading to Spain for, but if it was


the weather they were after, they needn't have bothered because it


could soon be just as warm back Thousands of blood cancer patients


could be saved if pioneering drugs developed and tested in the West


Midlands were available on the NHS. That's the message at the heart of


a new appeal being run by BBC WM to fund research nurses who would give


these drugs to patients on a trial basis. Our reporter Joanne Writtle


is in Victoria Square in Birmingham now, where the launch is being


promoted. Tell us more, Joanne. town hall behind me is illuminated


blood red to highlight the theme to help blood cancer patients. It is


called Red Alert Appeal and the radio station is backing the


leukaemia charity, based at the hospital in Birmingham. Currently


there are 7,000 adults and the West Midlands with leukaemia and I have


been speaking to one of them. Kris Griffin, from Kidderminster,


wondered if he would survive four years ago when he was diagnosed


with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Now he has a five-month-old son and is


in remission. He's backing the appeal to fund research nurses in


West Midlands hospitals. I don't think anybody would be as bold to


save his, but this is about a cure for cancer. If we can cure


leukaemia and fires ways into this to reverse it, there is no reason


we couldn't use the research methods on other forms of cancer.


These guys are pioneers. They are absolutely amazing. They are


keeping people alive and we must not ever forget that. Research


nurses trial new drugs on blood cancer patients. Successful


clinical trials mean ground- breaking medication could


eventually be available on the NHS. And that led to a new world record


in Birmingham's Victoria Square this afternoon for the most people


dressed as nurses in one place. 201 of them, including WM presenter


Joanne Malin, who started the Red Alert Appeal live on air. People


came out of offices, they put on nurses' uniforms, they launched Red


Alert Appeal with us and we are record-breakers! Cure Leukaemia


patron and Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell also dressed up.


think a when this is the thing that has been missing with leukaemia and


now we are doing this, it will bring more awareness and we can


start using some of these advanced drugs that are available, so it is


so positive. Kris Griffin says he's lucky. But if his anti-cancer drugs


stop working, he could have to rely on clinical trials.


I am joined now by Professor John Caldwell, a blood cancer specialist


and pioneer of Cure Leukaemia. What do the nurses do? Not only do they


deliver a potentially life-saving therapy, but they become the friend


and counsellor and advocate for these patients at this most


difficult and challenging time in their lives. Who of the drugs aimed


at? We are extending potentially curative treatments to patients who


had exhausted standard NHS care. And we are able to offer to them


treatments that made either cure or significantly prolong their lives,


when previously they had no chance of this. How successful do you


think this will be? We have seen one before responses for treatments


that have gone on to become standard means of care in the NHS.


But we can accelerate access to these life-saving therapies for


patients are in our region. Thank you. In a nutshell, a �1 donation


acquits to �10 worth of drugs. And if you want to help BBC WM's


Red Alert Appeal for Cure Leukaemia, you can go to the website and


Dan's here now, with the sport. Football, and Birmingham City can


climb up to third place in the Championship if they win at


Barnsley tonight. The teams drew 1- 1 when they met in September thanks


to a late equaliser from Chris Burke. Tonight's game was postponed


ten days ago because of a frozen pitch at Barnsley. But the


Birmingham manager Chris Hughton says they're used to playing catch-


Stoke City have won their appeal against Rory Delap's red card,


picked up during Sunday's FA Cup tie against Crawley. That means his


three-match ban has been cancelled. Tomorrow, Stoke fly out to Valencia


for the second leg of their Europa League match, and they could be


joined in Spain by up to 5,000 travelling fans. Ian Winter has


been to meet three of them. Viva Espana! Never before have


Stoke City fans been able to sing "this year we're off to sunny


Spain"... Until now. So far, they've ticked off Turkey. And Tel


Aviv. They've crossed off Kiev. And now, it's time to say "hola" to


Football commenator Nigel Johnson is the voice of BBC Radio Stoke.


Journalist Angela Smith lives in the Canaries and often flies 2,000


miles from Tenerife to support the Potters. But they didn't get a


dazzling seaview of the sun-soaked Mediterranean from this tapas bar.


Because Hector Garcia's is on the High Street in Newcastle-under-Lyme.


Valencia are an outstanding football team. They gave our team a


lesson last week. Stoke have to meet that. Hand on heart, it will


be difficult, but I am not going to write them off. They think they can


do it and I think the 5,000 Stoke fans that will be there Loring them


on also believe they can do it. -- roaring them on. OK, so Valencia


has 320 sunny days a year. I can't believe how much interest it has


generated. It seems there will be thousands of Stoke fans going there


and I hope we can turn them over. If they have never been before,


they are in for a treat. This is probably my favourite Spanish city.


But only 50 of their fans made the trip last week. The weather in


Stoke isn't quite as good. But 5,000 Potters will enjoy a good old


sing-song in Spain on Thursday They are having fun! Good luck to


them on Thursday. Now, Dan what's the latest on a new


Wolves manager? Well, it's still unclear who's taking over. The


Reading manager Brian McDermott is reported to have been in


Wolverhampton this week. But some claim he's just after a new deal at


Reading. Gus Poyet at Brighton was also linked to the job this week


but Wolves have dismissed that claim. But the former Birmingham


City boss, Steve Bruce, is still among the bookmakers' favourites.


Wolves want the new manager in place by the weekend, so we should


Hundreds of schoolchildren will be taking to canals and rivers through


the region in canoes as part of a relay event. It's been organised as


part of Get Set, the London 2012 Olympics education programme for


schools. The relay starts on Thursday, and our reporter Amy


Harris went to see how the training was coming along.


Paddle practice on the River Avon. These are among hundreds of


schoolchildren taking part in a four-month relay through Midlands


waterways in these bell boats, a twin canoe. But it's a journey that


begins much further afield. The relay route starts 300 miles away


in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and ends here in Evesham, a journey


spanning seven counties and involving a lot of muscle power.


And that's why these pupils from the Vale of Evesham Special Needs


School are training hard. In just a few hours, they're kicking the


relay off near Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics.


I am feeling absolutely excited and I am really looking forward to it.


Very good exercise for building your muscles. And I really like it


because it is really good fun. looking forward to it and it will


be a fantastic day out for us. relay has been organised by their


teacher, Andy Train, as part of Get Set - the London 2012 education


scheme. And Andy knows a thing or two about the Olympics. He's


competed in five in sprint-canoeing, and was once the best in the world


in marathon canoeing. The symbolism behind the journey is the fact that


we're bringing the values of the Paralympics and the Olympics from


their homes back to Worcestershire, and by doing that we can talk to


the children of Worcestershire about friendship and determination.


More than 100 schools are taking part in the relay. Andy hopes it


will make Midlands pupils feel involved with the Olympic Games and


bring London 2012 a lot closer to They looked like they were having


fun! We need to know what the Thank you. Temperatures will be


rising bit by bit, when, by Thursday, they will hopefully reach


their maximum. The magic number is 16 degrees Celsius. Better than


most temperatures across mainland Europe, and just about on a par


with Spain. That will be great for those Stoke City fans heading that


way for the match. Even Spain could be cooler with a coastal breeze. A


change in the weather over the next 36 hours and tonight is really


quite quiet. Cloudy but also very mild. Temperatures tonight a


matching daytime temperatures for this time of year, solos of around


five to a degree Celsius. The cloud will continue to thicken through


the night. The breeze will be picking up as well, so by the time


we get to tomorrow morning, quite a blustery start. Cloudy but dry,


with a bit of sunshine located to the south of the region, but then


we see this morning in from the North, says some fairly heavy rain


up towards Staffordshire. Although temperatures up to 10, 13 degrees,


which is very good for the time of year, we are looking at gusts of


wind of 40 miles an hour. That will take the edge off those valleys.


Then we have this transition of the rain clearing away. By Thursday cob


we are looking at highs of 16 degrees and dry and sunny!


A look at tonight's main headlines: Nearly ten years of austerity - the


price Greeks will pay for the latest eurozone bail out.


And computer hackers have been signed up by defence chiefs to


fight crime in cyber space. That is about it for now. But


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