31/10/2016 Spotlight


31/10/2016

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Good evening. BBC Two, and that

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What remains of the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter is due to bd

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Tonight, the facade of the historic building is still standing , just.

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It was destroyed in a fire which began in a neighbouring

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The fire service is now working to establish the exact causd.

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The hotel's owners say they have every intention

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In a moment, we'll be hearing about the wider impact on Exeter,

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Today began the first week hn 2 0 years without the Royal Clarence

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Hotel standing proud in the heart of Exeter.

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Plans are being drawn up to

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demolish much of the remains of the building, but for now

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the cordons around Cathedral Green and part of

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We are really aware that businesses are

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deeply affected by this incident and the public

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of Exeter, they want to

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come back and use the green and so we will try and get everythhng back

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It is now three days since the fire destroyed hundreds of years of

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Police officers have been called in from

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around Devon to staff the cordons and the Chief Constable has thanked

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the public for their patience and understanding.

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They allowed us to get on with what we had to do, they

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allowed us that opportunity to be professional, but if ever the public

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were professional, they were professional

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that we needed for time and space and those cordons

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We have had the odd incident, but funnily enough it's

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been the public who sorted out the people who have been a bit

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foolish on the cordons, more than we have had

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They have been remarkable and I would like to thank them through

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Spotlight for what they havd done, because I haven't seen that for a

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A team of demolition enginedrs have arrived on scene.

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They face quite a challenge as our filming from a Fire Service aerial

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Hundreds of tonnes of debris litter the shell

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of what was one of Exeter's finest hotels.

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Excavators are expected on

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site tomorrow with demolition work likely to begin,

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contractors say, in

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Engineers have not been abld to get into the innards of

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the hotel yet, it is just too dangerous and too unstable.

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As to how long it will take to clear up the mess,

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they are unwilling to put a precise figure on it, but the

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Cordons are respected to relain for tomorrow at least,

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although the Fire Service hope they can be reduced in

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And today at last came a little positive news about the Roy`l

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One of the structural enginders told me he believed the

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ground floor exterior, backdrop to the photographs

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of so many weddings, graduations and other memor`ble

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The BBC understands that a large excavator will arrive at thd scene

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first thing in the morning to begin the clear-up operation.

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Devon and Somerset's Fire Chief told us it's too early to say

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We are not ruling anything out at this stage, however,

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we do know there was refurbhshment work taking place in the gallery

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and that is our starting pohnt, but at the same time,

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we will be reviewing CCTV footage, we will be looking to speak

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to eyewitnesses and gain as much information as possible just

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to understand what was happdning and what led to such a signhficant

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The fire has had a major impact on Exeter itself,

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with many roads and shops still closed today.

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Janine Jansen reports now on the effect it has had

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Normally a magnet for shoppers, but today,

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The Chamber of Commerce says there was a 25% drop

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in the number of people vishting the shops on Saturday.

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We are moving into that important time of the year

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which is crucial for retaildrs, it's where they make most

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of their money for the whold year, over the Christmas period.

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We need to be open and we nded to get that message

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across to the public that Exeter is open for business.

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Exeter's high street has bedn closed since Friday,

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but around 20 shops have bedn allowed to reopen.

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However, this section remains closed.

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Businesses are anxious to fhnd out when they can reopen.

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Local businesses mourn the loss but want lives to get

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The owner of this shoe shop says she has been closed

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We are obviously very, very keen to open and trade

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and bring the business back to the city and get back to normal

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It's very, very tragic what has happened and I am used to going out

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of the shop every day and looking up at that beautiful building

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and sadly it won't be there, but everybody seems to be

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doing their best to get things back to normal.

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Right now we can't open, so we're having to turn trade away,

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so we are losing money, still having to pay staff's wages

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so there is a big impact on the business.

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The simple message in this local cake shop window sums up

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I think that everyone has bden just poleaxed by the whole fire

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and everyone is so emotional about it and everyone wants to do

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something and we don't know what we can do,

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It's sad to see part of our history go.

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A dreadful scene, I can't believe it has happened.

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A gang that forced vulnerable people from Eastern Europe to live

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in cupboards and garages, pay to use the toilet and forage

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in bins for food have been jailed at Plymouth Crown Court.

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Five Czech nationals were ghven prison sentences between two and six

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and a half years for trafficking vulnerable fellow countrymen

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The judge - who recommended they are deported after prison

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said the gang "crushed the human spirit" of their victims.

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They were vulnerable and they were abused.

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People from the underbelly of the Czech Republic brought

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to houses like this one and forced to live in squalid conditions.

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Some slept in cupboards or garages, foraging in bins for food,

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required to pay a pound to use the toilet.

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These are the five Czech nationals who could well have trafficked over

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Today at Plymouth Crown Court, they were jailed for between two

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Sentencing, Judge Ian Lawrid QC told the five that what seemed to have

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escaped them was this, that the offences centred around

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the crushing of the human spirit and the stripping away of a person's

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The gang said they were helping those struggling

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in the Czech Republic, but the court heard they helped

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themselves to the earnings of their victims, described

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If they complained, they were threatened.

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One man was beaten with a b`seball bat and had to make his

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The defendants are guilty of the organised exploitation

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and manipulation of a number of vulnerable victims

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They cynically targeted people who might not immediately

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They were then treated as commodities to be used however

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They were forced to live in squalid conditions whilst being put to work

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to pay off imaginary debts they had been told they had incurred.

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At the heart of this investhgation was always the victims.

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I'm glad to say they are now living independent lives.

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Some of them chose to remain in the UK, some of them chose

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to return back to the Czech Republic.

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The judge said he would be recommending that the five

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members of the gang be deported after prison.

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Very warm for Halloween. And unusually warm. Temperatures have

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been well above where they should be for this time of year. Therd is the

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chance of more of that list and fog developing, some of that has started

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to develop now and there is more to come. We do have a change. Ht starts

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to get colder, it is mostly dry but with winds developing from the north

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or North West into the weekdnd, it will feel quite a bit cooler.

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Temperatures to date up to 08, 9 degrees. It is getting colddr so

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make the most of the warmth. Fog is a problem tomorrow morning `nd later

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on tonight, and first tomorrow, it is a tricky drive to work. @ weather

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front arriving tomorrow. A band of cloud opens the door to colder

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conditions. Then high presstre takes over just for a while, another

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weather front arrives through the night Thursday and then into Friday

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morning, this one introducing more persistent rain and into thd

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weekend, we have lost the area of high pressure and regain brhsk

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northerly winds, lower tempdratures and for all of us, it will feel more

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like autumn with a strong northerly wind. Like twins tonight and the

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mist and fog developing by the morning. Night-time temperatures

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between five and 7 degrees. Some of that fog sleuths who tear -, slow to

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clear. There isn't a great deal on it and not as warm as today. 15 16

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degrees. On Wednesday it is called a still. Wednesday we could start the

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day with frost and colder towards the end of the week and drunkenly

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more uncertain. That is it for now. Join us tomorrow morning but from

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the late team, have a good night. Goodbye.

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