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  1. Updates from Monday 24 November 2014
  2. More updates from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Local Live has finished for today. We'll be back with you from 08:00 tomorrow with more news, sport, travel and weather.

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

At least 132 children are either being sexually exploited or are at risk of being groomed in Birmingham.

A report today calls for compulsory lessons about the dangers of exploitation for all children by the time they are 10 years old. Bob Hockenhull reports for

Midlands Today.

Tune in to BBC One at 18:30.

Fire on M6

Highways Agency

tweets: #M6 N/B is currently blocked at J7 due to a vehicle fire - Emergency services on scene, hope to get lanes open soon

Motorway delays

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Drivers are being warned one lane is closed and there is heavy traffic on the M6 northbound because of a vehicle fire by J7, for the A34 in Great Barr.

An earlier accident on the M42 northbound between J5 for Solihull and J6 for Birmingham Airport has led to heavy traffic there, despite all lanes having reopened.

The latest information is available from

BBC Travel.

'Adequate funding needed'

Rob Willoughby added: "A crucial step is to make sure every child is given a face-to-face interview when they return, to identify and help resolve the issues that made them run away in the first place.

"Because of the high numbers involved, it is vital that adequate funding is made available.

"More broadly, we need a national register of missing children to help us identify and track those at risk, and we need more work in schools to make sure children understand the risks of grooming and sexual exploitation."

Children's Society's reaction

Rob Willoughby, area director for The Children's Society in the West Midlands, said of

today's report: "Children are at far greater risk of sexual exploitation if they run away from home.

"So we agree with the report that more needs to be done to support the hundreds of young people who run away or go missing in Birmingham each year."

Report's recommendations

Jo Black

BBC News

Today's report into

how the council tackles CSE included 19 recommendations.

  • An idea that all front-line staff and managers of case loads in Chandelier's Social Care attend training on CSE
  • CSE awareness features as part of induction training for all new councillors
  • For all current councillors there is compulsory awareness training
  • Ensuring a clear process for reporting and developing a whistleblowing process to empower licence holders and taxi drivers to be proactive in reporting concerns

Ages of vulnerable children

Susana Mendonca

BBC West Midlands political reporter


city council report says Birmingham is actively dealing with 83 children who were identified as most at risk of being exploited.

It said they were mostly aged between 14 and 17 but there was one below 13.

It noted there had been some improvements for the council in this area including referrals, which had increased by 50% in one year.

'Groomed over his Xbox'

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

In one case highlighted in

today's report, a primary school boy was groomed via his Xbox by two would-be abusers who arranged to meet him in a hotel room.

His mother was able to alert police before the meeting took place, the report said.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A report from Birmingham City Council's education scrutiny committee has recommended children as young as nine get taught about the dangers of sexual exploitation.

More on this and other stories in

our 17:00 bulletin.

'More effective action needed'

Jo Black

BBC News

It added: "Systems to support agencies in identifying children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation are in place.

"However, there is no evidence to demonstrate that the multi agency response is appropriately robust and that children and young people are suitably protected as a result.

"In some cases seen where young people have been at risk of sexual exploitation, effective action has not taken place to ensure that these children are adequately protected."

Background to CSE report

Jo Black

BBC News

The background to

today's report is a children's social care service which has been under-performing for some time. The council says it is improving but still faces difficult challenges.

An Ofsted report in May 2014 said: "There is a lack of strategic planning and co-ordination for children and young people who go missing from education, home and care or who are at risk of sexual exploitation."

Smartphone danger

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Councillor Brigid Jones said 19 recommendations made by the committee were accepted by the council, including one to promote online safety - particularly around smartphone tracking.

The council heard evidence "social apps" could be used to identify a potential victim's location and manufacture an "accidental" meeting with them.

Girl holds an iPad

There were also reports of perpetrators broadcasting messages over bluetooth in busy public places in the hope of making contact with a potential target.

"By looking around and seeing who seems to be smiling about it and responding, the groomer would tailor his responses and then maybe go and introduce themselves," it said.

Plan to stop abuse at hotels

Mrs Ward said the council planned to use its licensing powers to

better tackle CSE.

She said there were plans to educate taxi drivers who might "unwittingly" transport victims and help hotel chains to stop their rooms being used as venues for abuse.

Victims 'of all backgrounds'

Councillor Anita Ward, head of the scrutiny committee which produced

the report, said CSE was not limited to a single community.

She said victims of exploitation had come from all ethnic backgrounds.

Child neglect generic

"Some of the most harrowing evidence we heard was actually...where young Asian girls were the victims," she said.

"Please don't paint this as one community who prey on another."

News on the hour


In the

16:00 news bulletin: A report has found 132 young people in Birmingham are suffering or vulnerable to child sexual exploitation.

It found 83 children in the most at-risk category. Our reporter Jo Black says there aren't too many surprises in the report.

Tackling the perpetrators

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Councillor Brigid Jones said the council's

recent injunctions had been a change in approach, with the authority shifting its focus from victims to suspected perpetrators.

Omar Ahmed

Omar Ahmed (pictured), 27, was one of the men who was banned from contact with girls not personally associated to them and whom a judge ruled could be named.

Exploitation 'society's problem'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Brigid Jones, Birmingham City Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said the authority was requesting £123m over the next three years (£41m per year) to fund its plans to improve the children's services department.

She said the council planned to work with other agencies, including police and schools, to improve

its tackling of CSE.

But she said the issue was not solely the responsibility of councils. "It's all of society," she said. "Particularly our approach to young women and how we treat them."

Victims 'don't think they're exploited'

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Councillor Anita Ward, head of the scrutiny committee which produced

the report, said the council hoped to introduce CSE education from year six.

Part of the problem, she said, was victims often do not regard themselves as being exploited.

Distressed boy
Science Photo Library

"We want to instil what a healthy relationship is," she said.

'Act as a wake-up call'

Birmingham City Council said it hoped the report would act as a "wake-up call" to professionals and children, who "may not consider themselves victims".

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Four NHS staff from the West Midlands have arrived in Sierra Leone to treat Ebola patients.

We hear from one of them, Tom Waters, a critical care paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service, at 15:00.

Listen live.

'Hidden nature' of abuse

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

The council said it was working on a wider review of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Birmingham.

"This will help increase understanding," the report said, "although given the hidden nature of this crime it will still not show the whole picture."

The report said West Midlands Police had told the council "every ward in the city has got risks and potential and every area has a story around CSE: victim, offender or location."

Children in gangs 'most at risk'

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Children in care or involved in gangs in Birmingham are most at risk of being exploited, according to the city council report published this afternoon.

Birmingham Council House

Last week Birmingham City Council became the first authority to use civil injunctions in a bid to block child sex exploitation. Read

the full story.

'Serious exploitation problem'

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

The council's report, described as a "health check" rather than inquiry, found good practice in general but said there were "a few cases where appropriate action had not been taken".

It also acknowledged the full extent of the problem could be worse than the 132 young people to which it referred.

With figures based on data collected in September, the report acknowledged a "serious CSE problem" in Birmingham but said the "totality of the problem" was unclear based on available information.

BreakingBreaking News

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

A report has found 132 young people in Birmingham are suffering or vulnerable to child sexual exploitation.

The findings, published after a year-long investigation by the city council, says children in care or involved in gangs are most at risk of being exploited.

The front page of the report

Of 83 children identified as most at risk, 39 were white British, 40 were from black and minority ethnic groups and there was no data on four of the young people's backgrounds. Eighty girls and three boys were identified.

Vow on Christmas attraction

Jennifer Scott

BBC Local Live

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has vowed to act after the Christmas attraction he helped to create was forced to close because of complaints.

Laurence at the park
Paul Currie Photography Ltd

The TV designer

apologised on Twitter for his silence over reaction to The Magical Journey, near Sutton Coldfield, saying he had been away.

He said it was "time for sleeves to be rolled up" at the park, which was branded a "rip-off" by some visitors.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

The bosses of a Christmas-themed attraction say they're

confident they'll be able to improve it by Wednesday.

They decided to close The Magical Journey Experience, at The Belfry, on Saturday night for three days after receiving poor customer reviews.

More on this and other stories in

our bulletin at 14:00.

The Birmingham South Response team said their call to the

explosion in West Heath was a "career first" for all the members of last night's team. They
tweeted this picture of the damage.

The scene of the blast

Have your say

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like

your feedback about this service.

Travellers on former hospital site

via Facebook

The Stirchley Facebook page

posts that travellers have moved onto the old Selly Oak hospital site.

West Midlands Police confirmed officers were called at around 20:20 on Friday night to reports of 10 vehicles pulling up including caravans and that the group remained there today.

A spokeswoman said advice had been given to the landowner but it was now up to them to take steps to evict the travellers.

Coming up on TV

Joanne Malin

Presenter, Midlands Today

On BBC One at 13:30, we speak to Tariq Jahan, the man who helped to quell the riots in Birmingham three years ago.

He says the authorities need to educate young people to get involved in positive aid work to help Syria rather than travelling to fight.

How our sides fared

BBC Sport

Under Gary Rowett, Birmingham City have now gone four games unbeaten and Saturday's 1-0 victory over Rotherham catapulted the

Blues out of the relegation zone.

Clayton Donaldson

Romaine Sawyers scored the game's only goal as

Walsall meanwhile ended Fleetwood's nine-month unbeaten home run.

Wolves lost to

three goals in the final 25 minutes from Nottingham Forest.

Video: Frosty facts

Did you have to scrape your car's windscreen this morning? BBC Weather's Philip Avery has this handy two-minute guide to the

different types of frost we get.

Philip Avery

He says sub-zero temperatures don't necessarily guarantee an icy windscreen.

Father of seven

More on the man suspected of fundraising for a militant group.

The man, who was not identified, complained the measure was "degrading and inhuman", but a judge dismissed his claim.

Mr Justice Ouseley, who heard evidence at a hearing in October, said the man was a married father of seven who lived in Birmingham.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

Police have arrested two men who were injured in an explosion in Birmingham last night.

Pauline Worrall lives next door and she says parts of the flat are now in her front garden. Hear more from her in

our 12:00 bulletin.

Man loses rights claim

Jennifer Scott

BBC Local Live

A Somali man from Birmingham suspected of fundraising for Islamist militant group al-Shabab has lost a High Court human rights fight.

The man, who has not been identified, was made the subject of a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure by the Home Office after MI5 assessed him as posing a risk.

Political week in 60 seconds

Sunday Politics

Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, has written to the prime minister calling for the police inquiry into an alleged Westminster abuse ring to be widened.

Tom Watson MP

It follows new allegations that at least one child may have been murdered. The rest of the

past political week is reviewed in 60 seconds here.