31/10/2016 Spotlight


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Good evening. BBC Two, and that


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


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


It was destroyed in a fire which began in a neighbouring


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


The hotel's owners say they have every intention


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


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


Hotel standing proud in the heart of Exeter.


Plans are being drawn up to


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


the cordons around Cathedral Green and part of


We are really aware that businesses are


deeply affected by this incident and the public


of Exeter, they want to


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


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


Police officers have been called in from


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


the public for their patience and understanding.


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


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


were professional, they were professional


that we needed for time and space and those cordons


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


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


foolish on the cordons, more than we have had


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


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


A team of demolition enginedrs have arrived on scene.


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


Hundreds of tonnes of debris litter the shell


of what was one of Exeter's finest hotels.


Excavators are expected on


site tomorrow with demolition work likely to begin,


contractors say, in


Engineers have not been abld to get into the innards of


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


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


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


Cordons are respected to relain for tomorrow at least,


although the Fire Service hope they can be reduced in


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


One of the structural enginders told me he believed the


ground floor exterior, backdrop to the photographs


of so many weddings, graduations and other memor`ble


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to eyewitnesses and gain as much information as possible just


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


The fire has had a major impact on Exeter itself,


with many roads and shops still closed today.


Janine Jansen reports now on the effect it has had


Normally a magnet for shoppers, but today,


The Chamber of Commerce says there was a 25% drop


in the number of people vishting the shops on Saturday.


We are moving into that important time of the year


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


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


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


across to the public that Exeter is open for business.


Exeter's high street has bedn closed since Friday,


but around 20 shops have bedn allowed to reopen.


However, this section remains closed.


Businesses are anxious to fhnd out when they can reopen.


Local businesses mourn the loss but want lives to get


The owner of this shoe shop says she has been closed


We are obviously very, very keen to open and trade


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


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


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


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


doing their best to get things back to normal.


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


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


so there is a big impact on the business.


The simple message in this local cake shop window sums up


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


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


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


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


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


A gang that forced vulnerable people from Eastern Europe to live


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


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


Five Czech nationals were ghven prison sentences between two and six


and a half years for trafficking vulnerable fellow countrymen


The judge - who recommended they are deported after prison


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


They were vulnerable and they were abused.


People from the underbelly of the Czech Republic brought


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


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


required to pay a pound to use the toilet.


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


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


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


escaped them was this, that the offences centred around


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


The gang said they were helping those struggling


in the Czech Republic, but the court heard they helped


themselves to the earnings of their victims, described


If they complained, they were threatened.


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


The defendants are guilty of the organised exploitation


and manipulation of a number of vulnerable victims


They cynically targeted people who might not immediately


They were then treated as commodities to be used however


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


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


At the heart of this investhgation was always the victims.


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


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


to return back to the Czech Republic.


The judge said he would be recommending that the five


members of the gang be deported after prison.


Very warm for Halloween. And unusually warm. Temperatures have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


weather front arrives through the night Thursday and then into Friday


morning, this one introducing more persistent rain and into thd


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the late team, have a good night. Goodbye.


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