28/07/2011 North West Tonight


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Good evening, and welcome to North West Tonight, with Gordon Burns and


Ranvir Singh. Our top story: Going through the roof - the huge


surge in metal thefts, as one street is raided eight times in


three days. With scrap metal prices soaring,


police and business leaders tell us what they're doing to tackle the


problem. Also in the programme, wishing


Kieran well. A mum's anxious wait as her son undergoes pioneering


treatment for cerebral palsy. was smiling all the way through to


the surgery doors. And we're talking to Jessica Ennis,


the face of the Olympics, as she puts a smile on these children's


faces. And polish up your pasodoble, work


on your waltz, because the Strictly Come Dancing final is coming to


Stripped roofs, missing statues and stolen church bells. Just some of


the recent losses to metal theft across the region. Today,


Manchester Police announced plans for a new crackdown after revealing


that the force has dealt with more than 3,000 incidents in the last


six months alone. And in just three days last week, thieves targeted


one street in the north of the city eight times. Abbie Jones is here,


and it's on the rise, isn't it? and today's figures from Greater


Manchester Police really drive that home. In the 12 months ending in


March last year, there was a massive 76% increase on the year


before, that jump partly due to rocketing metal prices. Take copper.


Two years ago it was just under �900 a tonne. In March this year,


it's over �1,400. So thieves are going to even greater, more daring


lengths. I have got a flat roof and the lead is going missing there as


well. In the dead of night, thieves


scaled the roof of Theo Samuels' house three times. I am a bit


worried because it is starting to rain. Almost every house on one


side of Pennel Street, in Clayton, has been targeted. It was so


annoying. Why would you do that knowing children are living there.


The scrap value of metal has shot up because of huge demand in India


and China. The problem is is significantly growing. It did so


last year and is doing so is this year. Some of the thefts will be


very covert but some will be very visible. It seems nobody or know


where is safe from these metal fees. Railway lines, stations, parks.


Last year, more than 250 metal memorial plaques were stolen from a


Salford cemetery. One of the country's oldest church bells was


taken in broad daylight in Cheshire. Even this Blackburn police station


was targeted. In Blackpool's Stanley Park, thieves stole three


historic statues. Today the council said it had no option but to remove


the last remaining figure. We were not prepared to sit by and let the


last one Gopal stop these statues are worth in the region of �40,000


each, so we have taken it away place where we can think about what


to do in the future. Metal theft costs UK industry over �770 million


a year. Theo and other residents now face a bill of around �160 each


after their late-night visits. A short time ago, I asked Ian


Hetherington from the British Metals Recycling Association who


the thieves where selling their stolen metals to. There is an


outlet for stolen metal to two outlets. One is illegal dealers and


the other is people who are stealing to order and that material


is directly exported. It does not hit the UK trade at all. But those


who buy stolen metal would know it is stolen. Is that what you're


saying? Some of the material would be easily identifiable. At other


levels, they are very difficult to identify, for example, refurbished


manhole covers. If it was normally replaced, it looks very similar to


a stole a manhole cover which has been deliberately damaged or stop


the two look very similar and it is difficult for a responsible dealer


to identify between them. Last year you have launched a code of conduct


for your members. How does that help? We have agreed with the


police that the primary purpose is to identify the cellar. In other


words, if there is still no material in circulation, our


members should know about it and we endeavoured to make sure they do,


and secondly, the seller, if there is stolen metal purchased by a


member, they can be readily identified. Will that be enough,


because the figures suggest metal theft is on the rise and it. 70 fit


-- and it. 76% last year. Metal prices have increased and we


probably will not be able to eliminate the theft completely. But


we believe if they have a crackdown, we can go a long way towards


eradicating this problem. Thank you for joining us.


Five Merseyside police officers have been sacked for gross


misconduct. They were members of an elite unit caught clowning around


when they were supposed to be conducting a search of a house. The


force's deputy chief constable says he hopes the actions of this small


minority will not have damaged public trust. Our chief reporter,


Dave Guest, is at Merseyside Police Headquarters now. So, Dave, what


did they do? These were officers who had a very serious job to do -


getting guns and gangs off the streets of Merseyside. But it seems


they did not take their job very seriously. They posed for 80


photograph and they were seen with household goods. This was not quite


the image they wanted for their crack team. They have actually been


very successful in getting guns off the streets of Merseyside and there


has been a great reduction in gun crime. So this photo has the


potential to undo a lot of work. How were they found out?


investigation began following indications they have been using it


eBay after their investigations. That was to his cell off things


from the houses they investigated. Clearly this is all very


embarrassing for Merseyside Police?$$YELLOW We expect the


highest standards from our officers and these officers fell far short


of that expectation. The deputy said he hoped he -- this would not


undermine confidence in the teens. A woman from Cumbria is among three


people killed in a minibus crash in Jamaica. Kathleen Rawlinson, from


Windermere, was travelling between Kingston and Montego Bay in the


early hours of Sunday morning when her vehicle collided with a pick-up


truck. Her ex-partner and his 17- year-old daughter also died in the


accident. Fire crews have spent the day


dealing with a fire on a �50 million building development in


Salford. Up to 50 fire fighters tackled the blaze at its peak on


the Radclyffe Park Site in Ordsall. There have been no reported


casualties but an investigation into the cause of the fire is being


launched. The administrators of discount


store TJ Hughes have announced 22 stores will close and 1,000 staff


made redundant within the next fortnight. All stores not affected


by the closures announced today are expected to remain open. Earlier


this week, the flagship store in Liverpool and three other stores


were sold, saving around 440 jobs. A second brother of a man stabbed


to death during an attempted burglary at a Manchester florists


has been charged with robbery. 24- year-old Joseph Mullings, from


Liverpool, was remanded in custody at Trafford Magistrates today. His


brother Kyle was remanded on the same charge on Monday. Shopkeeper


Cecil Coley remains on bail on suspicion of murdering their


brother, Gary Mullings. Dozens of customers of a car centre


in Warrington say vehicles they've bought or paid deposits for have


vanished, along with the company's owners. One man said he'd given the


Car Planet on Farrell Street more than �180,000 for four luxury


vehicles, but when he came to collect them, there was no trace. A


Japanese trader also said she's waiting on �300,000 worth of stock


which has been paid for. Police inquiries continue.


The house of business tycoon Trevor Baines was open for viewings today


on the Isle of Man, ahead of an auction of its contents tomorrow.


Baines was jailed two years ago for money laundering, and the Isle of


Man coroner has now ordered the sale of his household contents.


There are over 500 items available, all with no reserve price. I would


hope to sell at about one each minute. A bit slower for the art,


but if I average that, that is 500 minutes. My maths is and brilliant


but it is between seven and eight hours, so I would hope to get away


at about 8pm tomorrow night. All this week on BBC North West


Tonight, we've been following the progress of a remarkable five-year-


old from Urmston. Kieran Forde- Thain was born with a form of


cerebral palsy and he had one simple wish. To run and walk like


his friends. The treatment he needs is not available in the UK but many


of you helped raise �55,000 for him to go to Missouri in America to


have a life-changing operation. And tonight, in the final part of our


series, Elaine Dunkley goes into the operating theatre with Kieran,


as he undergoes pioneering surgery. Just to warn you, there are scenes


of the operation. It is five am, the day of Kieran's


operation. Are you excited? I am excited for you as well. This is a


really good day for you. These children's hospital has a


specialist team of consultants. They will perform a procedure


called selective dorsal rhizotomy. In the past year, they have treated


50 children from the UK and now it is Kieran's turned. Here we go. I


think mum wants a hug and a kiss. A big smile. Kieran's operation


should last around three hours. After that committee will be taken


to intensive care, and after three days, hopefully we should see some


results. The procedure is invasive and irreversible. Nerves in the


spinal cord are cut in order to increase muscle tone. It will be


followed by months of intensive physiotherapy. I am so glad he was


relaxed. He was smiling all the way through to the surgery doors.


will be able to walk by himself without support, and that will


improve the quality of his life and the quality of his family as well,


because he will not need any special care. The following day,


after a stress on night, Kieran is slowly getting back to his usual


self. -- after a stress all night. It is important people do know that


we are grateful for everything people have done. He is going to be


a long way ahead but we could not have done it without everyone's


help. Are you OK? Well done for us stop a day after the operation, he


is up and about on a short trip to Look at those beautiful flowers.


Kieran core have to undergo another operation, followed by a period of


recovery. -- Kieron will have to undergo. We did as much as we could


for him. We have made it the best we could. I do not think we could


have answered him honestly if we had not done this. Could you


imagine in 20 years' time, when he says, could it have been better?


And we say, yeah, but we were scared or we were not sure. There


is no regrets now. We have done it. Elaine's spoken to the family, who


are still out in America and who say Kieran's now able able to


wiggle his toes for the first time and he's having lots of physio.


He's now due to have a second operation on 11th August, and after


that we'll hopefully have him in He is an incredible trialled. We


wish him the best. -- an incredible child.


Still to come in North West Tonight, with two days to kick-off, we look


at our teams' chances of going up, or down, from League One.


And strictly coming to a ballroom near you. Bruce and Tess, and this


year's final in Blackpool. Hopefully 40 million people will


see this in 3D, so the knock-on effect is good for the resort as a


whole. Last week we reported on the


closure of libraries across the region. But when people living on


an isolated estate in Stalybridge lost their mobile service, they


decided to take the matter into their own hands. They managed to


acquire an old portacabin, and now they've set up their own library,


complete with more than 3,000 books. Colin Sykes has been thumbing


It operates like a council library. It issues its own tickets. But all


the helpers are volunteers, and the books have been donated. I am


reading this. The library is in a portacabin at Carrbrook. When the


council pulled its mobile library, residents banded together and


persuaded landowners to donate some wasteland. Another company donated


the portacabin and the books have come from local people. Hi, all


right? Congratulations. It's the brainchild of retired chef Terry


Drabble. We are providing a service for the young children, and not


only that, it is free of charge. All we ask for is that there is no


damage to the books and now with 3,500 books, we have only had one


damaged. Because the books have been donated, we have quite an


unusual collection. We have Dick Francis and the books of the very


youngest of readers. I have loads of books to interest me. I like to


read True stories because it interests me in the True Adventures


of what happened to young children when they were little. I feel more


confident now in Reading because I did not used to read as much but


now I read more than I used to. library committee's turned the rest


of the site into a garden and veg plot. But it is books it really


wants, to continue to grow the minds of its lenders.


That looks like a good place to live. Everybody falling together. -


- everybody pulling together. She's the golden girl of British


athletics, but just a few weeks before defending her heptathlon


world title, Jessica Ennis was in the region to coach rather than


compete. Jessica, who is the face of next year's Olympics, was


dishing out advice to young athletes in Stockport, and they got


the chance to ask her a few personal questions, as Stuart


Pollitt reports. The long jumps weren't as long as


she's used to. The shortened javelins weren't thrown quite as


far as Jessica manages. But luckily for these youngsters, they had the


ideal coach. The goal from the city of steel came to Berlin, hunting


for gold, and she has done it. the goal. She gave me a lot of


encouragement for the javelin and showed me how to do it. Do you


think you can get to her standard? I don't think we will be that good


but I loved it. As you can see, we have got half the club committee


here taking the day off work, so everybody is chaffed. It is amazing.


What size with you in your shoes when you first started? That is


such a hard question! I honestly cannot remember. What was your


favourite subject at school? PE was definitely one of my favourites and


I also enjoyed English. How many gold medals in next year's


Olympics? Well, if I am honest, I would love to get one. That is more


than enough for me. Jessica began her athletics career at one of


these sessions. 16 years later, her visit is helping to inspire the


The countdown to the new Football League season now reads just 25


hours, with Blackpool kicking things off away to Hull City


tomorrow night. The full-back in Burnley has had a serious injury,


so some bad news to begin with. We'll preview the Championship


campaign tomorrow night, but this evening, Tony Livesey is focusing


on the prospects for the North West's five League One teams.


300 games as player, 500 as manager and a legend at Oldham Athletic.


His first full season as manager, I think consolidation going around.


If they keep Andy Bishop fit, I do not think they will have any


problems. Tranmere - disappointing last season and I know of Les Parry


is targeting the promotion play- offs. Dale Jennings has gone off


took buy Munich. If we look after the 40 odd games we have, we can


see where they finish. Rochdale, a fantastic season last season. A lot


of the players were in potential and they have gone now, though. It


is going to be difficult for them but I think with the new manager


and his assistant, I think they will guide them through and have a


pretty successful season. But don't expect the same.


Pretty disappointing to be relegated. And the problems that


come with that. I think Phil Brown's men are still going to be


there or thereabouts. I think they will be the big riders in Division


One this season and they might be my tipped for promotion.


I have got to say good things about a Oldham! Great that they are


staying at the park. The fans will be really pleased about that. If


the manager can keep his squad fit and focused, and maybe not get as


many injuries as last season, they just might be the surprise package


in Division One for me. We will see. Football legend Eric Cantona says


he's glad to be back in Manchester, despite some of today's stars


saying they're unhappy in the city. Cantona, who's in the North West


with Pele and the New York Cosmos ahead of Paul Scholes' testimonial


tomorrow night, was asked about City players Carlos Tevez and Mario


Balotelli criticising Manchester. Where they come from! If they come


from Milan, maybe. I have a great time in the City but the most


important thing to me was to play with the best player in the world.


That was Manchester. I love the city and the people here and I have


had a great time. He knows what is say! Fantastic.


Lancashire's cricketers have come up short of victory. So close! That


was in their county championship match against Liverpool. They were


deprived of vital time and they needed to bowl Warwickshire out.


The game was drawn in the end. And it was the weather's fault, but we


cannot blame Diana for that! Here Don't you think things have


improved since I arrived? It has been very mixed through the day. If


you want to know what is happening through the weekend, not too much


better, I'm afraid. Unsettled conditions and much cooler than we


have had. There will be some showers and even some rain from


time to time. We had a bad start to the day and that has lasted until


about 2pm. The Isle of Man had a very nice day, however, and imparts


of Merseyside and Cumbria, as well. -- and in parts. The skyline in


Manchester does not look wonderful, but there is room for improvement


and eventually it will become dry and warm. In between, we have a


fairly settled night. The cloud cover will be increasing. It has


been warm and humid overnight recently, and no changed tonight,


but coming into dawn, things will go down. The cloud fins and Briggs


very nicely in the morning and lovely spells of sunshine for the


Blackpool is celebrating news that it's to hit the ballroom dancing


big time. The final of this year's Strictly Come Dancing programme


will be held in the resort's famous towel ballroom. The show attracts


millions of viewers and will showcase the unique qualities


Blackpool has to offer, as Peter On Blackpool Tower Ballroom's well-


sprung dance floor, they are well chuffed. What do you think about


the final being held here? That is fabulous news. We wanted to be here


because it is the best-placed to have something like that. This ploy


is to be appreciated like a world- class dance floor. -- this a floor.


This is a lovely ball room. What do you think? Wonderful. Good for


dancing. Let's keep-ball run going forever. In such a beautiful venue.


Thank you very much. Welcome to the ballroom echo of the North, of


Blackpool. It last stage the final in 2004, so why has it won the


honour again? It's so original. There's nothing like this in the UK.


You would be hard-pressed to find something like this around the


world, to be honest. It gets under your skin. Last year's final was


watched by more than 40 million people. It is a chance for


Blackpool to show itself off to a massive audience. It is worth


publicity that could bring millions. It will bring visitors to the


resort and the Tower, so the knock- on effect is good for the resort as


a whole. It is nice to see you, to see you... Nice! Brucie and his


friends will return to Blackpool in December and the final will be


broadcast on the first time in 3D. What a scary thought! You will have


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