01/05/2014 Midlands Today


01/05/2014

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connection with a murdering Belfast back in the 1970s. That is all from

:00:00.3:59:59

the BBC News At Hello and welcome to Midlands Today.

:00:00.:00:10.

The headlines tonight... He was killed by the stress of his

:00:11.:00:14.

job, says the widow of a school teacher who died from a heart attack

:00:15.:00:18.

at the age of 37. I do think that being a teacher

:00:19.:00:25.

contributed in a big way to us losing a husband and father.

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We'll be looking into the stresses of teaching. Also tonight...

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Mugged in the park ` a youth worker talks about the knife attack that's

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left him permanently disfigured. It started in Birmingham, and is now

:00:37.:00:40.

in 40 countries around the world ` Islamic Relief celebrates 30 years.

:00:41.:00:47.

The beautiful thing I have seen is the generosity of people

:00:48.:00:50.

irrespective of race, colour and creed, across Great Britain and the

:00:51.:00:56.

globe. Which singer`songwriter has

:00:57.:01:02.

surprised these schoolchildren? Find out later on.

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And downpours recording half an inch of rainfall in an hour today, but

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better now than later ` the Bank Holiday's looking good. For all the

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detail, join me later. Good evening. The widow of a

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schoolteacher who died of a heart attack at the age of just 37 says he

:01:22.:01:26.

faced intolerable pressure. She's written directly to the Education

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Secretary, Michael Gove, urging him to act to reduce the stress on

:01:30.:01:34.

teachers. A poll earlier this year claimed 50% of all teachers had

:01:35.:01:38.

considered quitting the profession. She's been talking to our reporter

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Liz Copper. I should be proud that my husband

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was a teacher but right at this moment I am not, I am sorry that he

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was, because if he had a different job he might still be with us.

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Words from a widow to the Secretary of State for Education. This is

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Gareth Utting on his wedding day three years ago. He died suddenly,

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aged 37, from a heart attack, leaving behind his wife and three

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children. It is real families and real people

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being put under an enormous amount of strain and suffering as a

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result, and of course we have suffered the ultimate.

:02:23.:02:27.

Gareth Utting worked here, at this secondary school at Wem in

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Shropshire. He taught here for ten years. Staff and pupils were amongst

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the mourners at his funeral. And, as his family continue to grieve,

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there's been support from teaching groups.

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I think teachers do get a bad deal. They are under a lot of pressure to

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achieve and often they may not feel that they can tell somebody they are

:02:55.:03:00.

stressed. Also, especially in young teachers and those who want to

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impress, if they talk about feeling stressed it could actually be like a

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barrier to them progressing in their profession.

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Gareth Utting's wife says she doesn't blame Michael Gove, but does

:03:14.:03:17.

want him to listen. I know that Gareth's death was not

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directly caused by his being a teacher but I do think that being a

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teacher contributed in a big way to us losing a husband and father.

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The letter's been posted to the Department For Education today.

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On the half of all the pupils and teachers out there, I beg you to go

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back to the drawing board, learn from your mistakes, gained knowledge

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and please don't send me your condolences. `` gain. Gareth

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Utting's family say they're not seeking sympathy but empathy for

:03:59.:04:02.

teachers. They want that to be his legacy.

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Well, the Department for Education has declined to comment. But Alison

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has since posted her open letter to Michael Gove on Facebook ` this has

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now been shared almost 50,000 times. And plenty of people have been

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commenting online today. Sian Crew says "This should be on the front

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page of every newspaper, very powerful."

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And Georgina Norgrove asks "Powerful food for thought. Maybe it's about

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time it was not just thought, but put into some sort of action?"

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Coming up later in the programme... Remembering Dolly ` fundraising gets

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under way to pay for a statue of Worcestershire and England cricket

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great Basil D'Oliveira. This is youth worker Gareth Howles,

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the victim of a senseless and brutal mugging in which he was slashed

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across the face with a knife. Thankfully, he's now on the mend and

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today he returned to the Wolverhampton park where it happened

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to try to help police find his attacker. Here's Giles Latcham.

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There's no hiding this scar ` Gareth Howles will have it for life. And

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there are mental scars too that wake him in a cold sweat.

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Every day you get to, three hours sleep. I do get flashbacks. It is

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getting better gradually. The attack happened in this park as

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Gareth went to care for his disabled grandfather. It was roared daylight

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and the first Monday of the Easter school holidays. `` broad.

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Gareth fought back but before running off the mugger slashed him

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with a Stanley knife. He lost a pint of blood and spent two and a half

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hours on the operating table. Gareth's a youth worker and that was

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why he returned to the park today to relive his ordeal.

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I just don't want it to happen to anybody younger than me because they

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might not be so lucky. They could easily get stabbed in the ribs or

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anywhere, in the heart, and die. A knife surrender scheme is under

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way in Birmingham at present following a spate of fatal stabbings

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last Autumn. Police in Wolverhampton say knife crime is under control,

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but agree this was a shocking incident.

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Gareth has been really brave coming out and telling us about the

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incident. We are looking for a person 6`foot three inch male, mixed

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race, probably local to the area. There are two council operated CCTV

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cameras close by but both are broken.

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There is a chance the man who did this to you is watching this. What

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would you say to him? If you are man, hand yourself in. Don't be a

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coward. He's going back to work tomorrow.

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Getting back to normality will take longer.

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The funeral of a soldier who was killed at Tern Hill Barracks in

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Shropshire has taken place in County Antrim this morning. 32`year`old

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Corporal Geoff McNeill, of the First Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment,

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was given full military honours during a service at a church near

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Portrush. He was found dead at the barracks near Market Drayton in

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March. Another soldier has been charged with his murder.

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Detectives investigating the murder of the Coventry teenager Nicola

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Payne have re`arrested two people. A man and a woman, both in their 50s,

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were released on police bail this afternoon. 18`year`old Nicola went

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missing in 1991. No trace of her has ever been found. Police say the

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arrests follow the discovery of new evidence.

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Shadow Health Minister Andy Burnham was in the West Midlands today to

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launch the Labour election campaign. I think people have decided they are

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fed up with this government, they are fed up with Cameron and Clegg

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not listening to their concerns. Labour will step forward and give

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them an alternative and build to a general election victory in 2015.

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And the West Midlands based "We Demand a Referendum Now" Party also

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launched its European manifesto election and campaign today. It's

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led by Nikki Sinclaire, who was elected as a UKIP MEP five years

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ago, but left to form her own party. She's one of seven current West

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Midland MEPs. This is a one`off election, a

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one`off campaign to re`elect somebody who is proven to be one of

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the hardest working MEPs in the region. Immunity work, mobile

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surgery, etc. The people of West Midlands know that they will get

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somebody who will represent them if they elect me.

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And, for more about the European elections in this region, there's a

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blog from our political editor, Patrick Burns, who's been studying

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this year's crop of Euro hopefuls. It started with a 20 pence donation

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from a small boy 30 years ago. Since then Birmingham`based Islamic Relief

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has provided over half a billion pounds of aid to more than 40

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countries. And today the International Development Secretary,

:09:18.:09:19.

Justine Greening, praised the charity's key role in helping the

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world deal with disaster. Bob Hockenhull has more.

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He is writing down what we are giving to each person.

:09:33.:09:35.

On the ground in Pakistan providing emergency aid after an earthquake

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kills 75,000. One of scores of disasters Islamic Relief has

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responded to in its 30 years. The charity began humbly in an office in

:09:42.:09:45.

Moseley in 1984, set up by student doctors from the University of

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Birmingham. This is a far cry from its humble beginnings in an office.

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Like Sir Bob Geldof, they were inspired to do good after seeing the

:10:01.:10:04.

BBC Michael Buerk report on the African famine.

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Sadly the need for organisations like Islamic Relief is growing, not

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decreasing. As it has grown the charity has had

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to face concerns it could be exploited by extremists.

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That accusation has been going around for quite a long time but we

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have a saying, let the works speak. We don't have too justify our

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position, we are an independent, neutral humanitarian organisation,

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helping all those in need. The government says it works closely

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with the charity. We use tried and trusted

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organisations like Islamic Relief and we know we can get that person

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on the ground to those who needs help.

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There are also many ordinary volunteers raising money. This

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teacher organisers sponsored treks. I have been mountain climbing for

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years and I decided to combine my passion for mountains with my

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passion for relieving the suffering of the poor. The charity's biggest

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challenge in 2014 is Syria. This is our top story tonight.

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The widow of a schoolteacher who died from a heart attack at the age

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of 37 says he was killed by the stress of his job.

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Shefali's ready with our detailed weather forecast. Also in tonight's

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programme... After most of our police forces got

:11:50.:11:52.

rid of their horses to save money, new research asks was it a false

:11:53.:11:57.

economy? And we meet the last surviving pilot

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from a secret squadron sent to protect the Arctic Convoys which

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kept Russia in the fight in World War Two.

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The next convoy to pass, out of 35 ships only 11 got through. `` convoy

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to us. Police horses used to be a familiar

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sight in our major towns and cities, but ever tighter budgets mean most

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forces have got rid of their mounted units. Gloucestershire is the

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exception. Now research into the effectiveness of mounted police in

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the county has found there's a big difference in the public's

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relationship with the police when officers are on horseback. Here's

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Steve Knibbs. Across the country mounted police

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units are disappearing as Chief Constables face difficult cutbacks.

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Here in Cirencester they're back on the streets for the first time in

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decades. And they're certainly turning heads.

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I think it is wonderful, the more they are round and seen the better

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it is for everybody. Everybody talking about it and it is really

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good, another angle to introduce the children to the police force. The

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horses are attracting a lot of attention but unknown to the people

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talking to them they are gimmick `` guinea pigs for a serious piece of

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academic research to see how effective they really are.

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And, while rural areas are used to horses, here in the centre of

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Gloucester it's pretty rare. Following closely behind are

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researchers from the University of Oxford, recording how many people

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come up to the police and whether their reactions are good or bad `

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and early indications are pretty positive.

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It is much more visible policing than community controls. People

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interact with the officers more, they will chat with the officers and

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interact with the horses. The research has been commissioned

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by Gloucestershire's deputy chief constable who's the national lead on

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mounted policing in the UK. He's not promising that we'll see new mounted

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units cropping up once the results are published but just wants it

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focus the mind of Chief Constables as they look at their resources.

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It may lead to discussions around regional hubs, better that than they

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disappear sporadically. It's thought the research is a world

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first is and results will be compared to a survey carried out in

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London at the same time. But it's already showing that if you want the

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public to talk to the police ` bring in the horses.

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A fundraising campaign now to build a statue to Basil D'Oliveira. A man

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has set out on a walk to raise money.

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Mark Ashbourne is blind but that does not stop him loving cricket or

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being adventurous so today he set out on a four`day walk in aid of

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charity. It was all his idea. I said I am thinking of walking from busted

:15:11.:15:13.

to Glamorgan and people said they would sponsor me, others said they

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would walk with me. You must be delighted. Yes, it is absolutely

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brilliant, it will make it a lot more fun. The walk is raising money

:15:25.:15:31.

for the Basil D'Oliveira Foundation. It has the support of his family and

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his grandson is taking part. It is a great thing. I spoke to my grandma

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this morning and I am sure he is watching us from above. In 1968

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D'Oliveira was chosen for England against South Africa, the country of

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his birth. It was the era of apartheid. The South Africans cancel

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the tour because in their eyes he was coloured. He died in 2011 but

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his foundation lives on, giving young cricketers the chance to take

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up the game in England and South Africa. At 7:30am today the walking

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party left and will arrive in Cardiff in four days' time, for the

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next Gloucester match. `` Gloucestershire. The original

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fundraising target was ?2000. They have already passed ?11,000. It is

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all thanks to one man's determination.

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We are joined now by our intrepid Walker, Mark. Where have you got to?

:16:42.:16:49.

We are just at the traveller's rest outside Ross on Wye. How many miles

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have you covered today? The 23 we set out to do. My feet and legs are

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very sore. It really took it out of us. It has been good because they

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have been a lot of us, good fun. Absolutely. What got you into this

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idea in the first place? I have always wanted to support the

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D'Oliveira Foundation, I thought if I was going to do something I would

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want to make a difference rather than just a couple of hundred

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pounds. I thought, let's do a sponsored walk but let's make sure

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we leave the day after Worcester game finishes and arrive before the

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next one. The only way to make that happen was between the Berkshire

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game yesterday and asked playing in Cardiff. I thought if I do something

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stupid like that I want some sponsorship. I said to friends, if I

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am going to do this 74 miles are you going to sponsor me? That has grown

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out of all proportion is, with 12 people walking fantastic. What

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inspires you about Basil D'Oliveira? He is a legend, being a fan he was a

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legend as a player but also the difference he made on the world

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stage, helping to bring down apartheid in South Africa. There is

:18:21.:18:24.

no place for apartheid in the world and basil helped to bring that down.

:18:25.:18:33.

`` Basil. A World War Two fighter pilot has

:18:34.:18:37.

written a book about his role in a secret wartime mission. Eric

:18:38.:18:40.

Carter's job was to try to protect vital Arctic convoys carrying

:18:41.:18:43.

supplies to keep Russia in the war. Their destination was Murmansk, but

:18:44.:18:46.

many ships didn't get through ` they were sunk by German U`boats or

:18:47.:18:49.

bombers. Ben Sidwell has been talking to the last surviving pilot

:18:50.:18:54.

of 81 Squadron. Northwards to the Arctic Circle...

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It was a mission so secret that not all even their closest families knew

:19:03.:19:07.

they were going. The pilots suggested were amongst the best in

:19:08.:19:10.

the country. Among them was Eric Carter from Birmingham. You don't

:19:11.:19:19.

think of dining at 21. We just got on with the job the best way we

:19:20.:19:25.

could. They spent ten months in the Arctic Circle with temperatures

:19:26.:19:28.

around 40 below zero. Their mission was to go along with convoys carry

:19:29.:19:36.

`` carrying vital supplies from Britain to Russia. The next convoy

:19:37.:19:46.

to us, out of 35 ships, only 11 got through to Murmansk. This

:19:47.:19:53.

international expert on World War II believes that few `` although few

:19:54.:19:59.

today know about the Mission Eric and his comrades played a key role.

:20:00.:20:10.

It introduced the Russians to modern fightersand fighter tactics. They

:20:11.:20:18.

had the knowledge of how to fly and operate the Hurricanes, and that was

:20:19.:20:20.

the building block to create their own modern air force.

:20:21.:20:26.

The German propaganda minister came on the radio one day and said, we

:20:27.:20:37.

know you have got to Russia but, sorry, chaps, you will never get

:20:38.:20:43.

home again. Thanks to Eric's book, future

:20:44.:20:49.

generations will be able to see what he and his comrades went through to

:20:50.:21:01.

help win the war. Laura Mvula has risen to fame in

:21:02.:21:07.

recent years and she has just returned from America.

:21:08.:21:18.

A lunchtime session with a difference. Students at this school

:21:19.:21:24.

in Cheltenham are treated to a live Internet performance from

:21:25.:21:31.

singer`songwriter Laura Mvula. The Birmingham conservator our graduates

:21:32.:21:34.

will be performing at the Jazz Festival tonight in Birmingham. This

:21:35.:21:39.

is her way of giving something back to the next generation of musicians.

:21:40.:21:45.

This is the region that nurtured me and gave me confidence and the place

:21:46.:21:51.

that I keep coming back to, to refuel and get a sense of who I am,

:21:52.:21:57.

and all of that is so important and I feel indebted and I feel so

:21:58.:22:02.

welcome and every time I come back. For once, teachers did not have to

:22:03.:22:05.

hush their students, although they had plenty to say afterwards.

:22:06.:22:11.

Shocked! Because obviously I like her and her music and I have all ``

:22:12.:22:16.

I have always said to miss Smith that I wanted to meet her. I saw her

:22:17.:22:21.

at the Jazz Festival yesterday but seeing her in the room I was shaken.

:22:22.:22:26.

It is nice to see some body who has achieved it already because she

:22:27.:22:30.

gives you inspiration. I really enjoyed it. I have never really met

:22:31.:22:37.

anyone famous before. Laura's rise to stardom has been

:22:38.:22:41.

rapid. Since the race of her debut album last year, Singing To The

:22:42.:22:50.

Moon, she has been nominated for various awards. Today she answered

:22:51.:22:54.

questions about this and much more. Why did you decide the `` to perform

:22:55.:23:02.

at the Jazz Festival? Because it is great! It is a bit of a dream for me

:23:03.:23:06.

if I am honest. This is part of the education

:23:07.:23:11.

programme for the Cheltenham Festival, ringing a taste of the

:23:12.:23:18.

Jazz Festival to these young people. A school day like this one, well, it

:23:19.:23:28.

is simply special. A day to remember. We are inching

:23:29.:23:35.

closer to the bank holiday weekend. Will the weather behave itself?

:23:36.:23:47.

After today's thunderstorms things are improving. The storms today were

:23:48.:23:53.

localised. That's what motorists were confronted with in Dudley. The

:23:54.:23:58.

rain was hammering down. We have had reports of about half an inch in the

:23:59.:24:05.

space of an hour. Some of the worst thunderstorms in England were

:24:06.:24:10.

breaking out here. We are now looking at things improving over

:24:11.:24:16.

bank holiday weekend, mostly dry and warming up. There will be one cooler

:24:17.:24:21.

day in between and that is tomorrow. We have a cold front heading down

:24:22.:24:24.

from the north tomorrow at because pressure is building behind it the

:24:25.:24:28.

effects of it will be significantly weekend, so just the odd shower here

:24:29.:24:34.

and there. It will be an incentive for the winds changed to these

:24:35.:24:43.

north`easterly winds. Temperatures slowly but surely climbing. We have

:24:44.:24:49.

some thunderstorms breaking out over the region tonight but they will

:24:50.:24:54.

fade out overnight. The cloud will break in a few places so

:24:55.:24:58.

temperatures will get slightly lower tonight, down to about seven

:24:59.:25:02.

Celsius, and that is why we have a chillier start tomorrow. Frosts may

:25:03.:25:07.

return over the bank holiday weekend, certainly tomorrow night.

:25:08.:25:12.

This is the scene tomorrow, much more dry than today, and there could

:25:13.:25:17.

be the odd shower here and there. Temperatures will only be up to 11

:25:18.:25:21.

or 12 Celsius, 13 for the south`west. Tomorrow night, things

:25:22.:25:26.

will clear up significantly, temperatures dipping to about three

:25:27.:25:28.

Celsius, with a frost. 'The last two generations have been

:25:29.:25:52.

robbed of an opportunity 'And yet it has greater impact

:25:53.:25:56.

on our everyday lives than anything 'We need to put this issue

:25:57.:26:00.

to bed now, 'and not leave it

:26:01.:26:04.

for another generation.' I want a Britain that is free

:26:05.:26:06.

to control its own destiny.

:26:07.:26:10.

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