Birmingham & Black Country

Prince William and Kate visit Birmingham after riots

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Media captionThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Chris Sims, the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Birmingham visiting areas affected by last week's rioting.

Their tour started at Summerfield Community Centre in Winson Green, close to where three men were knocked down and killed during disorder in the city.

Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were hit by a car as they protected stores from looters.

The royal couple had a 20-minute private meeting with the families of the men.

They also met about 70 to 80 local residents, business people and emergency services staff and were told about what impact the rioting had on the city and the efforts behind the clean-up operation.

Two minutes' silence

William and Kate then travelled to the city centre to visit a business also targeted during the riots.

Up to 20,000 people attended a funeral service for the three men in Summerfield Park on Thursday.

Four men are currently in custody charged with their murders.

Ian Beckford, 30, from Quinton, Birmingham, earlier became the fourth person to appear at the city's crown court charged with murder.

Mr Jahan's father, Tariq, has been praised for his comments calling for calm and unity among the community following the men's deaths.

Mandy Sankey, nurse manager at Birmingham Children's Hospital, said the royal couple wanted to thank people for their hard work during the disorder.

She said: "William said, 'we're sure you have already heard how grateful we are but we wanted to come here to say thank you in person'.

"They seemed genuinely interested in how we dealt with it."

Derrick Campbell, a government adviser on anti-social behaviour and a community leader in Sandwell, said they were "genuinely concerned" at what had happened.

"They wanted to find out what part we played and how we were able to support and feed in to bringing calm and restore peace to the streets," he said.

"I think what came over really well, was the human side to the royal family.

Image caption People that met the couple said they were "genuinely concerned" about the rioting

"It wasn't tokenistic, you could sense the genuine emotion that they showed and I think that really went a long way to reassuring us that these people really do care about what took place here."

A crowd gathered outside the community centre as the couple departed for the Machan Express coffee shop in the city centre which was looted by rioters.

Almost £20,000 of damage was caused to the shop and owner Ajay Bhatia lost more than £15,000 of stock but still managed to open the next day.

Mr Bhatia, his wife Monika and staff met William and Kate who were informed that about 70 looters targeted his shop.

William told Mr and Mrs Bhatia: "I am sorry this has happened to you."

West Midlands Police said more than 500 people have been arrested following outbreaks of disorder on 8 and 9 August.

More than 140 have been charged.

The force said with nearly 900,000 hits to the website in August and more than 800 emails to a specially dedicated email address, officers were hoping Thursday's BBC Crimewatch broadcast would generate more information.

Retailers and traders in West Bromwich in the West Midlands held a two-minute silence earlier as a mark of respect to the three killed men.

The town was also the scene of disorder last week with shops being attacked and windows smashed.

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