The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South East of England.
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Today's main headlines in the south-east:
After serious injuries in a balcony collapse in Sussex, warnings tonight
Millions are needed to tackle illegal immigration says a Kent MP,
calling for an EU visitor tax to pay for it.
And after a crisp winter afternoon we have a hard frost due tonight.
The boom in private holiday lets has led to a warning tonight that
a relaxing getaway can turn into a disaster - if proper safety
It comes after four people suffered serious injuries when a balcony
collapsed at an Airbnb flat in Brighton last year.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue is urging anyone involved
in short-term lets to make sure that safety measures are taken
Our Special Correspondent Colin Campbell reports.
Four people hospitalised, left seriously injured, one impaled on
It was the collapse of the balcony at this flat last
summer that has prompted East Sussex Fire And Rescue to issue
People that use these premises, they're typically not familiar with
They might be down just for a weekend break, with
people they might not know that well, they might turn up at the
They're invariably having a good time and the last thing
So the people that own these properties
and rent them out need to be aware of the responsibilities and make
sure the properties are safe, and the first
thing they need to do is
The flat where Jessica and her friends sustained their injuries
I've got fractures in my pelvis and my back.
I think everyone was worried that my back was more seriously broken.
While Holiday rental agencies have been around for
a while it's the growth of online platforms
like Airbnb that has fuelled a
huge growth in people letting out their rooms for first time.
Airbnb was founded in San Francisco in 2008.
It is a website which allows independent hosts to offer
There are more than 2 million listings online
currently around the world, and
more than 60 million people have used it to
More than 300 of those properties are in Brighton.
The Fire Service's safety message is aimed at all who rent out holiday
and party accommodation in Brighton, but some traditional letting agents
believe it has developed into an uneven playing field.
We are losing business because these other
platforms don't insist on the safety checks that we insist on.
Brighton's short-term holiday letting market is booming.
East Sussex Fire And Rescue hope their
intervention will prevent further serious injury or tragedy.
Our reporter Jon Hunt has also been following this
story and is in Brighton, where the balcony collapse happened.
Jon, do people really consider safety when they
I've been talking to quite a few people tonight who use these
services regularly, both for work services regularly, both for work
if safety is their top priority. if safety is their top priority.
make bookings and on the whole they make bookings and on the whole they
have had good experiences. and on the whole they have
had good experiences. Compared to hotels, it
just gives you more... I don't know, you feel more
part of the city cos Everything they advertised
on the website was Jon, what is the Fire Service doing
to help ensure party They've been warning landlords that
in some cases these decorative balconies do pose a hazard, not
strong enough to carry people. They have also been inspecting some of
these party homes in East Sussex and they say in a number of cases in the
last few months they have found some to be so dangerous they have had to
shut them down straightaway. The Government must increase
the budget for the UK Border Force by ?250 million to crack down
on illegal immigration. That's the view of Dover and Deal
MP Charlie Elphicke, who says the money's needed
to tackle people smuggling. His report cites BBC South East's
exclusive investigation revealing how illegal migrants are offered
Channel crossings in the back of Lidl supermarket lorries
for thousands of pounds. Our Political Editor
Helen Catt reports. Caught on camera - an agent
for a gang of people smugglers offers to hide our undercover
researcher on a lorry This BBC South East Today
investigation showed people smuggling across
the Channel is still a There's a lot of money there,
an enormous amount. And if you've got the right
people, the amount of money available, you can get
anyone into the UK by sea. And the Government's adviser
on terrorism law has now warned that remote beaches could even be used
by returning fighters from Syria It's really important
we make sure that we secure the English Channel,
so that people can't just turn up on beaches like this, here,
that we make sure we have action to stop people smuggling
into Britain in lorries, and also to investigate intelligence
so we can go after people traffickers and end their evil trade
and modern slavery. And he thinks Brexit
could be an opportunity to Under a visa waiver scheme
he wants to introduce, EU visitors would have to pay ?10
and fill in a form to visit the UK. Charlie Elphicke estimates
that could raise ?250 million, which could
partly be used on enforcement. I mean, if we can't help
out our own people... I've lived in America
for a while as either People can enter the UK legally
with a visa and then Again, that's a very different
policing operation to what's being But, certainly, the large
proportion of people who are illegally resident in the UK have
come into the UK perfectly legally. Responding to the report,
the Home Office told us it is committed to ensuring
Border Force has the necessary resources to keep the UK
safe from a range of threats. Our reporter Piers Hopkirk has also
been following the story. And depends what sort of deal the UK
is able to secure post Brexit. If that means an end to freedom of
movement, this might be something the Government considers,
effectively taxing EU visitors to the UK and using the money to
bolster border security. The question is what difference would it
make, what impact will it have? It was interesting listening to the
professor in the report. He said the bulk of illegal immigrants are
people who have come here legally. Thank you.
A mother who died at Tunbridge Wells hospital,
lost more than four pints of blood, an inquest has heard.
Today a doctor told how she tried to combat "alarming" levels
of acid and carbon dioxide in Frances Cappuccini's blood
At the coroner's court for the inquest into
Frances Cappuccini's death, the family were here for a second
Mrs Cappuccini died after an emergency Caesarean section.
Today, the inquest heard how she lost 2.3 litres of blood.
Doctor Gabriela Gray, a registrar obstetrician involved in
her emergency care, says she managed to finally stop the bleeding once
a piece of placenta left behind in the patient's
Frances Cappuccini died in 2012, and in April 2015 two doctors
The following year, a doctor and hospital trust were
cleared of manslaughter following the collapse
Soon after, charges against another doctor were dropped.
Today, details emerged of the time leading up to
The court heard how problems developed with
Doctor Gabriela Gray said the high levels of Mrs Cappuccini's blood
acid and carbon dioxide were alarming.
Later, she was asked by the family's legal
counsel what she found alarming about it.
She replied, "The severity - I had never seen a patient with such
Frances Cappuccini went on to have a cardiac arrest.
A six-day strike by drivers on Southern Rail next week has
been cut to three days, but three new strike days have been
Members of Aslef were due to walk out on Monday -
they'll now strike from Tuesday to Thursday.
And a reminder that we're hosting a special debate about the ongoing
crisis on Southern Rail services, this Sunday the 8th of January.
If you want to be in the audience, email email@example.com
with your details and how you've been affected.
The programme airs on Monday the 9th of January, at 7.30pm, on BBC One.
Gillingham Football Club have appointed Adrian Pennock as head
coach, a day after sacking former manager Justin Edinburgh.
Pennock, a former defender at the club, will be assisted
by coaches Steve Lovell and Jamie Day.
The three have been appointed with immediate effect
That's it from me, we'll have the national weather
in a moment, first here's the forecast for the
We had a cloudy damp start of the day but by the afternoon once again
lots of sunshine. Those clearer skies also mean a chilly picture as
we go into tonight. Once again temperatures will be plummeting.
Lows of -2 or minus three degrees. A frosty start tomorrow. The highs
tomorrow struggling to get much about four or 5 degrees. Tomorrow
clear skies and perhaps the odd scattered shower. A really chilly
picture as we start tomorrow. First thing to Thursday, lots of is -- by
the afternoon those temperatures will struggle. We have highs of
around three or 4 degrees and gentle breezes. He was a closer look at the
rain by Friday afternoon. Temperatures creeping up a notch or
two and turning milder into the weekend.
A guarantee on your journey to work tomorrow, if you are nipping out to
the shop for a paper, somebody will talk about how cold it