The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
Browse content similar to 25/01/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The prison officers leaving or going off sick
because of increasing levels of violence at Birmingham jail.
An inquest hears how a woman from Tamworth was celebrating buying
a house with her partner when she was killed
Violence that in that prison every day frighten the hell out of me.
As the number of rough sleepers continue to rise -
help for the homeless from former Stoke City manager Lou Macari.
In search of Sikhs to share their stories of migration
And after two nights of dense freezing fog, the veil has been
lifted but it's came to be frosty and very cold by tomorrow.
There are claims that large numbers of officers at Birmingham Prison
have been leaving their jobs or going sick because of increasing
Last month inmates rioted - gaining control over four wings,
staring fires and causing damage estimated at more than ?2 million.
Two separate investigations continue into what happened.
In a moment I'll be speaking to the head of the prison, but first
here's our Special Correspondent, Peter Wilson.
Birmingham prison is one of the oldest in the country.
Last month saw the worst riots and disturbances
Prison Officers sprayed with fire hoses, missiles and paint.
The former chairman of the prison officers association at the jail
claims the riot was a timebomb waiting to go off.
The levels of violence that happen in that prison, everyday, frighten
the hell out of me. I have seen staff badly assaulted, I've seen
staff assaulted to the point they no longer wish to come back to work and
had in fact walked away from the job. That horror blockbuster and
He'd worked at Birmingham prison for 30 years and claims cuts
in prison staff numbers was a factor in last month's riot.
Because of the lack of opportunity to go to the gym, because of staff
shortages, absences, illnesses, facilities were put on the wings,
weightlifting facilities, during the riot, those weightlifting
facilities, tremendously strong metal bars, were used to smash down
doors, smashed chains. 20 years ago I made a documentary
about the Victorian The governors making cuts of ?2
million. The staff say it can't be done without losing control.
In 1997 inmates used bed sheets and toilet
paper to pass secret messages and drug deals.
He must wait for the cleaner to come back. Soon as he does that, I would
drop you the OK. Today it's mobile
phones and even drones. Lloyd Robinson mentors young
men inside the jail. He claims drug gangs
are exerting their control. They have got a network outside the
prison, they can also influence prisoners inside, so they're quite
powerful people. If they are doing lengthy sentences and don't see
themselves having any hope, what they will do, that becomes their
life and therefore they will organise where are.
So what is the atmosphere like this week inside the jail ?
Things are pretty much back to normal, everything I would expect to
see is happening today, good work being done by officers, people are
settled. The biggest issue remains that drug is coming, that prisoners
on occasion can be volatile within prison, and that's part of parcel of
prison life and what officers and staff have to deal with. Why are you
speaking out? Some might accuse you of being a bitter ex-union official?
Because of my concerns for my many friends. They can't speak at the
they can't speak out to anybody for the of reprisals, the company will
dismiss them. From raising these issues that I have raised with you.
An official report into the riot at Birmingham Prison is expected
to be delivered to the government next week.
To answer some of those points I'm joined by the Director
of Birmingham prison, Peter Small.
Let's address that last point from Brian Clarke,
prison officers are afraid to speak out because they're worried
I don't except that. We have never disciplined anyone for raising
concern or speaking out. I have been a prison officer and I know that
prison officers are not afraid to tell you when there are issues. If
there is an issue, and somebody doesn't feel able to speak, we
become potential line and we also have the Ministry of Justice on site
and the Independent monitoring board which you have seen on your clip.
What about some of the other claims, What about some of the other claims,
how many officers did go off sick or left their jobs altogether after
those riots last month? Post-16th of December there was a rise in
sickness, and it is coming back down to the levels before that, in terms
of staff leaving, we have had some staff who have left the business,
not just... It varies month-to-month. What is important to
two thirds of our staffing group are two thirds of our staffing group are
still the same staff that were there in 2011. This figure of 60 having
left or gone off sick, is it something you recognise? Certainly
not 60 people left, not at all. How many? Since the riots in the last
month or so? In December and that maybe half a dozen people who have
left but that's not all connected the problems... With the event of
this extent of December. About the issue of drugs, which aims to be a
doing to get a handle on that had doing to get a handle on that had
they come into prisons in the first place? That's not just a problem in
Birmingham, it's across the service and we are constantly combating new
technology and techniques to bring less items in, such as drones, which
is a major threat to prison security at the moment in terms of the way in
which illicit items come in. We have other ways prisoners come in off the
street with drugs on their person, coming in through the visit were
being thrown over the wall. Thank you for your time.
The son of a woman from Tamworth, who was killed in a terror attack
in Tunisia, has told an inquest "knowing she was with someone
who made her happy" gave the family "comfort".
Suzanne Davey, from Tamworth, and her partner Scott Chalkley
were among 38 people killed in a grenade and gunfire
attack on the beach resort of Sousse in June 2015.
Our reporter Kathryn Stanczyszyn has been at the High Court
More harrowing evidence from these very significant inquests into the
biggest terror attack on British citizens since 7-7. Today's
proceedings started with a chilling video graphics, showing exactly the
position of each victim on that beach in Sousse when they died, many
of them still on sunbeds. Suzanne baby was on holiday with her
partner, Scott Chalkley, they had watched the holiday to celebrate
their first house together. We also heard from postmortem evidence that
Suzanne was shot in the chest and Suzanne was shot in the chest and
neck and that she would have lost consciousness almost immediately.
The families were in court, what was their reaction? There were many
dignified tears in court today, Suzanne's Sun Connor read out a
statement on behalf of the family, he talked about the things his mum
would miss, weddings, graduations, but he did say the families were
grateful to have the facts of their loved ones's last moments heard and
recorded. When it does reopen and recorded. When it does reopen and
it's almost a surreal moment when you're sitting in the court room
nice that it can be put to bed, is nice that it can be put to bed, is
it important to us? Of course it is. Is it deeply all and end all,
she will live on for ever. I've is she will live on for ever. I've is
likely to continue to sometime? It's a long and complexity process, 30
victims evidence to hear, this is day seven, likely to last for six
weeks. Tomorrow we hear evidence from Birmingham city footballer
Dennis exploits and his wife Elaine. Two people have been jailed
for life, for the murder of their flatmate in a knife attack
in Stratford Upon Avon. Kayleigh Louise Woods
and Jack Williams tied up and killed 20 year old Bethany Hill
in February last year. The prosecution described it
as "a sadistic killing, Both will serve at least
26 years behind bars. A 25-year-old man has been arrested
on suspicion of murder, after a fatal stabbing
on a Birmingham bus. Leon Barrett-Hazle was travelling
on the top deck of the Number 11A in Handsworth on Monday evening,
when he was attacked. The arrested man surrendered himself
earlier this afternoon. West Midlands Ambulance Service has
become the first NHS Foundation Trust to be rated
outstanding by the Care Inspectors rated it the best
across all ten ambulance trusts in England, it's continually met
the required response It serves 26 NHS Trusts and responds
to around 3,000 999 calls a day. In the last 18 months 850 assaults
were reported on police officers across Worcestershire,
Herefordshire and Shropshire. Now a new initiative has been
launched to try and reduce The area's Police and Crime
Commissioner says the new scheme - called "Behind the Badge" -
is aimed at changing For many officers, dealing
with the threat of violence And attacks don't just happen
in our inner cities - PC Sherry Clifford was just 5 weeks
out of training when she was kicked in the face
outside a club in Evesham. The pain that excruciating, it
knocked me back and knocked me out for a few seconds and then it was
more, have to get back up because he is still fighting. After long kick
through the face, I lost a tooth and a large factor down the side, had a
massively swollen face for about three or four weeks.
The new campaign aims to highlight the impact of violence
People forget, I'm going home to my family, my partner, don't want to go
home black and blue, people have stopped seeing us, they just see the
uniform. We are a large rural force, we have police officers out there,
away, I want to make sure the away, I want to make sure the
community plays their part. In 2016 the force introduced body
cameras which have been shown to reduce attacks in other parts
of the country. And from day one
officers receive this National figures show there's
an attack on a police officer every 22 minutes
and in the West Mercia Force area there were 850 assaults
over an 18 month period. But however well trained,
not everyone trusts the police Officers have suffered a variety of
broken bones, can be extremely broken bones, can be extremely
traumatic and officers then have to live with the injuries they may have
suffered during a shift. The hope is the number of those
injuries can be reduced. Thanks for joining us
on Midlands Today, Shefali will bring us the detailed forecast,
are we in for more fog? Not from actually but they will be a
frost. Once again our weather watchers didn't disappoint, emerging
in the bright sunlight produced some wonderful snaps today, a time to
reflect on the week so far. Colder conditions on the way.
Last year the former Stoke City manager Lou Macari helped set up
Initially open for a two-month trial, thanks to his campaigning
and setting up his own foundation, it's still in operation.
And as new figures today show, the need is increasing -
with the number of rough sleepers across the region on the rise.
It's for being our best guest of the month. I couldn't see any way of
helping them unless you get a bit close to them, if they have a bit of
confidence in you, then gradually they start to tell you all about
themselves. Without knowing about them, you can't help them.
Congratulations! You have a bit of banter, then I go home, walked out
the door, I go to a nice warm home, I've got a job that week, money in
they haven't, know. It's somewhere they haven't, know. It's somewhere
you can get a hot meal, somewhere you can get a hot meal,
you can have a shower. And it's you can have a shower. And it's
can speak to the staff here. It can speak to the staff here. It
makes a massive difference. Do you think I'm crazy making him a
second-in-command? Eudora? -- you can? He knows everything that's
going on in here. His kind-hearted doing this, putting his heart into
this. It's nice to come here and call it home. Late at night, seven
o'clock you can call it home. Word is getting around, and ten years
from now let's say,... It's that one-way system in step! The ring
road! YouTube going round and round it and eventually you will get here!
A lot of people who stay in here, they have been round the system for
ages, not the same system you have talked about, being round and round,
eventually you have got to try and eventually you have got to try and
get them into another system which is the normal way of life. Help them
try and achieve that, that would be brilliant.
Joan Cummins is in Birmingham for us tonight, one of the areas
with the largest number of homeless people.
Joan, what's the picture like across the Midlands?
You have already mentioned the official government figures which
say more than 4000 in the country, here in Birmingham the figures
captured on that snapshot were 55. The ambassador for the homeless
situation here in Birmingham is this counsellor. What can you did try and
help these people? In Birmingham were trying to do a lot, we have to
be clear about this, this is a national issue, but we are working
together with a lot of different groups in the city and we are
listening to rough sleepers, I think that's absolutely key to get things
done. 55 sounds really low in a city the size of Birmingham, a lot of
people say, I bet it's higher. It's just a snapshot that took place in
November when we all went out on a particular day set by the
government, we did anticipate that would rise over the festive season
and we do think that happened but alongside this we are planning to go
out in the spring to see if trends change, we want to keep an eye on
the numbers to respond to them. 55 the numbers to respond to them. 55
is not many inner-city the size of Nottingham, on their 55 pit your can
give them? There are barriers to some people, the going back doors,
so to speak, so we're trying to address those and reduce them,
helping couples to get into a hostel together, some rough sleepers of got
dogs, there wasn't provision for those and now we have a hostel who
are trialling it so they can get the are trialling it so they can get the
dogs in so they can reduce those numbers. It's a situation that is
going on, the council so they are investing more in dealing with this
issue, and they are going to carry on doing their own monitoring of the
situation. Being a bodyguard is a job which can
pay up to ?1000 a day - You need to be prepared to put
yourself in harm's way. But if that doesn't put you off,
City College in Coventry can offer They visits by Princess Diana and
the Queen Mother commanded police presence, and one of those offices
is passing on his 30 years of experience to the next generation of
would-be bodyguards. It started with the Birmingham pub bombings were a
lot of us were taken into protection work and it went on to there. The
Midland is a vibrant area with Birmingham and Coventry and the rest
coming here who need the protection coming here who need the protection
we can provide. Keeping their eyes peeled the danger and threats,
students are coming to pay ?1100 to pass the accredited 14 day course.
But all training needs that willing guinea pigs. So time for my
superstar transformation. The scene is set. I am popular...
And I have a stalker, who is obsessed with getting a bit too
close. I said it would be here to see you! This may be playacting but
you do need a license legally to do you do need a license legally to do
protection work. That was a close shave, but what attracts people to
put themselves on the line of fire? I always wanted to get into
security, come from an army background, I got into the gym and
thought I needed to do something with what I achieved. You are
protecting the likes of me! It's all protecting the likes of me! It's all
down to define it, doesn't matter what size or shape, as long as your
bit, you can take on the training. I may be safe and sound but for the
real VIPs, Coventry has got their back.
It's been a busy day in the transfer market for Aston Villa,
who've signed the Barnsley defender James Bree and the Icelandic
And there's been a rare win for Coventry City.
The Sky Blues are just 90 minutes away from Wembley -
after beating Swansea's under 21 side in the quarter-final
Reice Charles-Cook was their star man, saving two
The Birmingham boxer Kal Yafai is to make the first defence
of his world title in his home city later this year.
Yafai won the WBA Super Middleweight belt in Manchester last month.
It made him Birmingham's first ever boxing world champion.
He will defend the title at the Barclaycard Arena
Sikhs across Birmingham and the Black Country
are being asked to come forward to share stories of migration
from the first generation right through to the present day.
The project, being led by the Nishkam Civic Association
is looking to create a colelctive picture of what happened
Our Arts Reporter Satnam Rana takes a look at how her grandfather's
story is one of the many that have been locked away for decades.
The faces of immigration and Wolverhampton in 1968, documented in
a TV programme. It was my maternal grandfather,
Prakash Singh Tahim who made a journey from North India
in Punjab to the UK in 1963. And finally to a place I call home,
Wolverhampton. But finding work wasn't that easy. I lost my
grandfather a few weeks ago. TRANSLATION: He couldn't find work,
the city looked to hold, then his cousin said you may have two tick
off your turban and shave your bit. Once you did the same factories who
went turned away the key man. But 1966 first of his family had joined
him in they are many years later. My grandfather always
wanted his chldren to build a better life through education -
something he was denied in India and this was his main
reason for migrating. Everyone used to say, why are you
educating your children, especially your daughters? Answered, if you can
send my to London to study, why can't you send bitterness and
college in Birmingham. He agreed. The youngest went to university to.
It is stories like ours that the Nishkam Civic Association
in Birmingham is looking to document.
The Heritage Lottery funded project is seeking out men and women
who have made journies here from the '50s
That generation is getting older and as they are passing, they're taking
their stories with them so unless their stories with them so unless
they have told you something personally, you won't know who these
people were and what they contributed to the region.
When my grandfather retired he returned to being
Along the way he helped set up a gurdwara too.
And he's left behind a legacy spanning generations,
We have at the forecast is the last few days. Fog and frost. I nearly
got it wrong! More on the way. Yes, we were shrouded in that frog
dismally, dense, freezing fog, it was mostly across the South-East of
the region, either in the west it was a much better picture. Here we
had the best of the sunshine once the fog lifted. For once, that's not
going to be obscured by fog tonight, there was cloud on the way, it has
been nibbling away at the sunshine to the west throughout the day and
now it is right across us. This will draw in cold air and the wins will
turn to southerly, south-westerly is by Friday and that will come with a
caveat, we have rain heading in from the west. Sunday is going to be the
best day of the weekend. Looking at this evening, that cloud still
starting to stretch across to the West, continuing its journey that
way, so by the end of the night, cloud right across us, undercutting
that we have the colder air being drawn in by the Southeast police.
You can see the odd grain of snow, largely dry picture and with that
cold air, temperatures will to form the below freezing. A fairly
widespread frost as we head into the morning tomorrow. So a frosty cloudy
start to Thursday, however it's going to be mainly dry, we will
continue to see the snowflakes falling, but mainly dry picture. We
might see a bit of brightness breaking through as the crowd thins
out in places but you can see, it's good to be bitterly cold. With the
wind chill, it can to feel even wind chill, it can to feel even
colder than that. Into tomorrow night, we start to see those guys
not clearing but the cloud thickening up again -- those skies.
You can see Frost start to develop once again and perhaps even the
likelihood of a bit of snow as we head into Friday.
I am back with you at half-past ten to
RADIO: 'The UK has voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48.