11/01/2017 Points West


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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me


Welcome to BBC Points West with Alex Lovell and Sabet Choudhury.


Months of agony after being severely burnt by acid.


The family of a 29-year-old man talk exclusively about his pain


and suffering for 15 months after an alleged attack in Bristol.


Accusations of intimidation and neglect - the residents


in Bristol unhappy with the company managing their homes.


Calls for a change in the drugs policy -


could Bristol see a new clinic where addicts can inject


It will certainly rain tomorrow but the big question is will it snow? If


so, how much and where will it be? The forecast will come up later.


The family of a man who died after being maimed by acid have


spoken about the terrible pain he endured for 15 months.


More than three quarters of Mark Van Dongen's body was burnt


His father, who's Dutch, drove to see his 29-year-old son every


weekend while he was in Southmead hospital, before taking him


A woman's now awaiting trial charged in connection with the incident.


Our home affairs Correspondent, Charlotte Callen, has this exclusive


Barje wants us to remember his little brother Mark like this -


But his body had been ravaged by burns, disfigured beyond belief -


When you talked to you, how did he say he felt?


Mark was Dutch, but had lived in Bristol for six years,


studying at the university and then working.


It took the police nine days to tell his family he was in hospital.


The police say it was hard to trace his next of kin.


His father, Kees, speaks just a little English.


Mark's father drove from Belgium every weekend to be at his bedside.


He couldn't have a room in the hospital,


and with little money, he slept in this van.


In the end it was this Belgian businessman, Patric Derdeale,


who helped them, raising money to help pay for fuel


and for a private ambulance to take Mark home to his father.


Dutch expats in the UK have set up a JustGiving page to raise


money for the months of travel his family endured,


but they say the scars they have been left with will never heal.


And Charlotte Callen is with me now.


You've been following this very shocking and upsetting case.


It's obviously been extremely upsetting for this family.


The family are in pieces and Kees, Mark's father found it difficult


because he does not speak good English. When he was trying to talk


to doctors and police over those months, unless there was a


translator present he found it confusing. He was more comfortable


with a translator there. For the first few months well marked was in


intensive care he was allowed to stay at the hospital, but when moved


to the burns unit because of risk of infection and not having rooms, he


could not stay there any more. The father was dealing with driving a


long way from Belgium in between working there and finding he did not


have enough money to pay for a hotel. Both the police and hospital


say they tried to do everything they could for them and say they


contacted charities and also the Dutch Consulate.


What's happening in the ongoing police investigation?


A 46-year-old woman, Berlinah Wallace, was charged with offences


around throwing a corrosive liquid which he denies. The case was due to


go to the Crown Court in Bristol on Monday but after Mark died, it was


postponed and it will go to court in April.


A man in his 20s has died after being hit and dragged along


Avon Somerset Police were called to the junction of Creswicke Road


and Airport Road in Knowle West at around 9pm last night


after reports a man had been run over.


Police say a full investigation has been launched and a man


A group of residents in Bristol have accused a property management


company of neglect and attempts to intimidate them.


They say they have been living with damp, rats,


dangerous electrics and no heating in some properties owned


As Pete Simpson reports, the local authority is now


reviewing its agreement with the management company.


There's BLEEP no lighting in some of them!


A fiery council meeting in Bristol last month -


property guardians taking their grievances to City Hall.


There is a massive housing crisis in the city!


They were evicted by security, but I went to see them


Nic is a property guardian, one of hundreds in Bristol.


He pays below market rate to live in buildings like this,


a former care home owned by Bristol City Council, and managed


Everyone should benefit but the deal's gone sour.


Police treat the people a bit better.


Give them the basic - some heating and hot water


Nic and other guardians are angry about what they say


are a poor living conditions, and a lack of maintenance.


And they say they have been made to feel intimidated


There is no higher or outside regulation.


To be fair, we only have permission to be here...


Animals, animal husbandry, I'm pretty sure there are more rules


and laws and regulations to govern how they live and how they are


They put us in touch with a guardian from a different property


with a different story - more representative, they say,


of the majority who want cheap, short-term accommodation.


It's a secured building and I feel very, very, very safe.


Minimum standards should always be kept, and at Camelot we completely


thrive for that to happen, and we make sure that happens


It's like everywhere, sometimes things slip or we are not


told until the next time we visit, but the fact of the matter


You know, we have a visit here to the property we are at today,


and it is absolutely in good condition.


Labour in Bristol are desperate to solve the city's housing crisis,


but admit in this case things have gone wrong.


I would be very concerned if we were to try to use this


process again, which involved people living in those sorts of properties


without the proper conditions, because creating tenancies


in properties which, at some point, we will no longer use,


But Nic is a guardian, not a tenant, and doesn't have the same rights.


We are squatters with permission, almost.


With other guardians, he is challenging this in court,


in what could be a test case for the sector.


You're watching your regional news programme, BBC Points West,


on this increasingly cold Wednesday night.


And stay with us, as there's plenty still bring to you tonight.


Including: We find about the unit in Gloucester on stand-by to command


Nato troops if they're needed in a global emergency.


And after the glitz of Strictly, could swing be the way to shift


A man has gone on trial in Taunton for sex offences alleged to have


been committed when he was just ten years old.


It's claimed that 31-year-old Andrew Margetts was actually abusing


children younger than himself when he was just eight.


He denies a total of 23 charges including rape,


sexual activity with a child and false imprisonment.


The family of a Taunton bar manager are calling for a fresh


Josh Clayton was found dead on the Isles of Scilly in 2015.


The inquest into his death has now been suspended,


because a witness has claimed he'd seen him involved in an argument


There's calls for Bristol to provide a safe drugs clinic


where addicts can inject themselves under supervision.


Late last year, Glasgow approved its first


Now, Transform - an organisation calling for a change


in drugs policies - wants to see a centre in the west


This old petrol station just opposite Temple Meads has


Covered in undergrowth and with some form of shelter,


people have been coming here and injecting drugs.


In the space of just two hours, those clearing up this site


found over 100 needles, filling these sharps bins.


So is it now time to have a safe place for users to go,


In Glasgow, they are looking at introducing one of these,


partly because they get a lot of HIV infections from sharing needles,


and you save about ?400,000 for every one of those you avoid,


but also because of these places allow the drug users to come


into contact with health workers and support, and then they can move


them on and move them off drugs, and offer them lives away from petty


crime and so on, to the benefit of society as a whole.


There are more drug-related deaths here than anywhere else in Europe.


Safe Injection Facilities could be an answer -


hygenic spaces where people who are on drugs can at least


Maggie Telfer has worked with addicts for over 30 years


and believes there has been an increase in people


But over the last 18 months, couple of years, and certainly


from our perspective is linked to a larger number of people


who are street homeless are living in accommodation


where they are injecting and they do not have


any other choice but to do it in a public place.


I think the real issues are how we would pay for them.


Since funding the drug and alcohol services was given


to local authorities, so to Bristol, from the central


Government a few years ago, we are now looking at 20% less


of that funding over the next five years.


Many cities around the world have found the money for them and have


seen less drug use in public places, fewer discarded needles.


The question is, as funding is cut, who here would pay?


Liz Beacon, BBC Points West, Bristol.


As we've heard, back in October, Glasgow was given approval


to open the UK's first ever Supervised Injection Facility.


David Liddell is from the Scottish Drugs Forum and joins us now.


Do supervised injection facilities really help?


Absolutely, there is a huge body of evidence particularly across Europe


within the region of 90 centres in operation, for now a body of


evidence of 30 years. They definitely work, yes. The most


important aspect, certainly in the Glasgow context is, and it sounds


like the Bristol situation may be similar, is that it provides an


important first step and way of reaching out to what we have, a


group of 500 very vulnerable, mostly older, injecting drug users, so it


provides, as you said in your clip, a place where people can inject any


safe environment. Basically all it is doing, in a way, is moving the


injecting that is currently happening in very unsafe


environments into a safe environment, and certainly there is


strong evidence that it can make an impact on things like, you know,


blood-borne viruses, like HIV infection in particular, but also on


overdoses as well. And then we can move people on so that they get


further support and help, whether that is with treatment services


etc... And the other aspect is that certainly the driver in many places,


for example in Frankfurt, the driver there was the European Central Bank


when it was created, that was very concerned about public nuisance and


public injecting. They actually financially supported the


development of injecting facilities in Frankfurt.


That is interesting. Now, with regards to you talking about the


finance there, it seems a thing to pick up on. Our contributor from the


Bristol drugs Project said, how will it be paid for? We all know that the


NHS is up against it. What is happening in Glasgow?


Certainly the key driver for the initiative is in the region of 75


drug injectors who have become infected with the HIV virus, and


that is sadly reminiscent of the situation we found ourselves in in


Scotland in the 1980s, where we had a major outbreak of HIV infection.


That is a particular concern in Glasgow,, to get a grip of that


outbreak of infection, and as your earlier speaker alluded to, the


potential cost of treating just one individual could be as high as


?400,000. So anyway it should be a no-brainer that this is actually


something that is worth investing in, and has a huge benefit in a


number of areas, but you are right that it is very hard with the state


of the public finances, to argue for this, particularly for a group who


are not generally well thought of by the wider public. And therefore not


considered very deserving of help, which we would argue should not be


the case. Individuals such as the people we are talking about have a


whole range of problems, and the presenting problem is one of drug


use, but if we can engage more effectively we can deal with the


range of problems they face. And taking it out of society as


well. Thank you for joining us. There is a discussion on this on our


Facebook page if you have opinions on this.


The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, or ARRC, is based at Imjin Barracks


in Innsworth in Gloucester, and is at the heart


of the Nato Alliance and defence of the UK.


It's the largest headquarters on land which Nato can put


Although over half of the people working for ARRC are from the UK,


20 Nato and non-Nato countries have staff at Imjin too, from Albania


And today their role became even more significant as they took


on responsibility to command Nato troops should they be


Here's our Gloucestershire reporter, Steve Knibbs.


Symbolising the transfer of responsibility...


It was a simple ceremony, but of major significance


for the soldiers here in Gloucestershire.


The Nato Response Force pennant flag was handed


from Spain to the commander of Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.


Should Nato now deploy anywhere in the world,


the ARRC will command and control the operations on the ground.


There was general acknowledgement today of the fact that we still live


in uncertain times, under fast and ever-changing global threat.


The focus for the ARRC in 2017 will be tackling that threat


I think it is well publicised that Russia and Nato have different views


on things at the moment, so there is clearly


an element of a threat there, and so we will continue to act


But there are wider threats now, in terms of humanitarian


crisis and the unknown, and that's the beauty of having


a response force is that you can sit here and be prepared to command


Those threats are varied - there is huge experience within


the ARRC of counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, Afghanistan


Cyber-attacks are also a growing threat, but at the extreme,


there's war, and in the current climate it's an area the ARRC says


Like everything, you need to practice these things,


so what we are doing this year and we have done a little bit last


So when we do our training, we don't practice counterinsurgency,


The ARRC is made up of 21 different nations - many from the EU -


but its role in the UK within Nato unaffected by Brexit.


We are decidedly not stepping back from our responsibilities


to European security, and the occasion today demonstrates


that we are taking the lead in the very high-readiness


For now, the ARRC's control room at Innsworth is quiet,


but on stand-by, and preparation and training continues to evolve


Steve Knibbs, BBC Points West, Imjin Barracks.


Gloucester Rugby have boosted their squad for the next season with the


signing of Leicester Tigers fly-half Owen Williams. He has scored many


points over many appearances. But they're also set to strengthen its


season with Sam Underhill in back row.


We're almost two weeks into 2017 and we're also a fortnight


into celebrating sixty years of Points West.


It's fascinating looking through our archives,


and every so often we're coming across a real gem,


This is from January 1968, when the pressing question


on everyone's lips was, maxi or mini?


Which of the two skirts do you prefer?


Well, in this weather, I think I prefer that one, the long.


I suppose this one being in fashion, we should all like the maxi skirt.


What sort of male reaction do you think you will get?


I think they will like it in the end.


I think they will probably take time to come over but...


And will you buy one, even if they don't like it?


In our office, they don't like the maxi skirt.


Short. Why?


It is very nice to see somebody else wearing them.


No, they still say you should wear the miniskirt.


Well, what's wrong with the maxi skirt?


Well, it looks so Russian and drab and everything.


Well, how do you expect people to keep warm in winter?


I'm not particularly worried about that.


They were wearing leather trousers. How very cool.


A dance group in Gloucester is encouraging people


Gloster Swing Dance held its first class last night,


It's run by the two dance champions, one of whom is recovering


So is swing the new way to shift the pounds?


Dancing the Charleston from the film Bugsy Malone,


Have you ever wondered whether a winter of dancing


on the telly makes more of us have a go?


Well, this is what happened in Gloucester last night,


140 people turned up, and for those beginners who might


The one thing you need to remember about swing dancing,


And I'm sure many did go wrong, but gradually,


the room moved as one, probably ahead of time too.


Our expectations are really low, I reckon.


I think they are really low, because...


They can take you as long as you want to dance.


You can be fat, thin, old, young, black, white,


enabled or disabled, you are welcome and swing dancing.


I have never done anything like this before and it is really good.


You feel that you are actually learning something


Will you do it in the living room when you get home?


It is just so friendly, getting together and dancing.


Now, I danced with Claudia Fragapane last month, but it seems whatever


I managed to pick up from Bristol's pocket rocket disappeared


At least my partner is still smiling, or laughing...


Back to the professionals, and a special moment.


Five weeks ago, Gary Boon had a heart attack.


If I wasn't fit and if I didn't do this, I may not be here now.


And it looks like it could change many more - apart from mine.


Andy Howard, BBC Points West in Gloucester.


Gary, well done. That is incredible. The big question


is about the weather, and whether we will have snow or heavy rain. It is


not a simple question, is it? No, it is not. I suspect the net


result is going to be a combination of both by this time tomorrow, Alex.


Let me take you through the forecast. The rain looks I get them


now, based on our current forecast model. For some argue, heavy


rainfall. The tricky element, given it will be a noticeably cold day, is


how much of it will change to snow. More particularly as we had through


late afternoon tomorrow. The Met Office has issued a warning tomorrow


for the threat of snow, and it is a low risk in the broader sense of the


word, but if we start to point out areas of greater risk, at the


Exmoor, and anywhere east of the Mvia, particularly from


mid-afternoon through to about the early part of the evening. -- the


M5. A north-westerly flow, bringing Caldaire down across us do towards


tomorrow. Watch out towards the West and watch this taking shape on this


wave towards the east through the afternoon. You will see the back


edge of interacting with other colder air giving a threat of snow.


The south-east of England tomorrow, including London, could be a horror


show on the roads are the worst happens. I say if the worst were to


happen, if we keep a close eye on developments. A straightforward


story through the evening tonight, barring the odd shower looking dry


and breezy Wendy. Into two tomorrow morning, the first signs of rain is


going in. Temperatures tonight at a range of two to five Celsius.


Tomorrow, I will run the sequence. Do not take it literally but it


gives an idea of the indications we think are going to build the


forecast for tomorrow. Notice the bread of heavy rain, difficult


enough on the road by lunchtime early afternoon, and then watch that


colder air bringing snow eastwards towards the afternoon and evening.


Snow showers following behind. A cold day tomorrow and we will keep


you up-to-date through the BBC forecast tomorrow morning.


We well and also our bulletins and radio and social media as well. We


will see you


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