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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday 27 May
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Tuesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

That's it for today. Join us from 08:00 on Tuesday for our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather.

Puppy tied to police railings

Police are trying to trace the owners of a lost, or abandoned, puppy in Erdington.

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'Courier fraud' gang sentenced

Three men and a woman have been sentenced for their parts in a phone scam plot to trick elderly residents across the Midlands and other areas into handing over savings, police say.

Among the Birmingham victims were an 89-year-old Short Heath woman who lost £3,000, an 83-year-old Kingstanding woman who lost almost £2,500, and a 92-year-old Weoley Castle woman who had £498 taken.

The convicted four
West Midlands Police

Officers say Jahangir Khan from Perry Barr and Arafa Begum from Alum Rock ran a "courier fraud" scheme. Along with Londoners Mohammed Miah and Motahir Rahman, they tricked victims into handing over bank cards and PIN numbers having posed as police officers claiming their bank accounts had been hacked.

Police said at Birmingham Crown Court today, Khan was sentenced to three years and two months in prison, Miah was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, Begum was sentenced to eight months suspended for 21 months and ordered to do 150 hours of community service, and Rahman was sentenced to 10 months suspended for 21 months and also ordered to do 150 hours of community service.  

Birmingham children's services: Row over leader's future

A row has broken out over the future of the councillor in charge of Birmingham's children's services.

Brigid Jones has been responsible for attempts to reform the department - which is to be taken over by an external trust- since May 2012.

Brigid Jones
Birmingham City Council

A senior opposition councillor has accused her of failing in her duties and called for her to go.

But ex-health minister Lord Norman Warner said the Labour councillor was not solely to blame.

Turning around children's services is 'biggest challenge in British politics'

That's the view of the leader of Birmingham City Council on the scale of the task to improve the city's beleaguered children's services.

John Clancy
BBC

Labour's John Clancy told the BBC the department had not been good enough to help vulnerable children and turning control over to a trust was the best option.

"I believe that the processes that we are going through at the moment will be the start of making larger steps than we have done so far."

Latest headlines: Life sentence for woman who poisoned care home's water bottles; PC jailed for hoax kidnap plot

- A care worker is handed a life sentence for the attempted murder of three colleagues

- Birmingham City Council leader says turning around children's services is 'the biggest job in British politics'

- A PC is jailed for bogus kidnap plot

Woman who poisoned care home's drinks bottles given life sentence

Phil Mackie

Midlands correspondent, BBC News

More now on the care worker Melissa Swift who has been given a life prison sentence after admitting she attempted to murder three colleagues.

She poisoned drinks bottles and water jugs at a care home in West Bromwich in 2014. Seven members of staff and 23 residents at Goldfield Court were taken ill.

Melissa Swift
West Midlands Police

The former special constable, aged 25, also admitted threatening to kill another colleague as well as her step sister.  

Birmingham crown heard that Swift, who suffers from depression, represents a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public. She will be treated in a secure mental institution until she is well enough to be taken to prison, where she will serve at least eight years before she is eligible for parole.

Scooter blaze that spread to Tamworth home was arson

Tamworth Herald

Occupants of a Tamworth home had a lucky escape after a mobility scooter was deliberately set alight outside their property.

A fire engine
Tamworth Herald

BreakingCare worker handed life sentence for attempted 'bleach' murders

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

A care worker who tried to murder three colleagues by adding bleach to drinks at a West Midlands care home has been given a life sentence. 

Melissa Swift, who's 25, will be treated in a secure mental institution until she is well enough to be taken to prison.

PC's hoax kidnap threat: Officers 'feared they were terror targets'

Here's more on the story about PC Amar Hussain, jailed today for seven years.

Police officers felt "very vulnerable" and feared they would be the victim of a terrorist kidnap plot - only to later find the threat stemmed from his hoax 999 call.

Amar Hussain
BBC

Speaking anonymously to the BBC, one serving officer said colleagues - who were told not to wear uniforms to and from work - believed an attack was "highly likely".  

But when they discovered the threat was made by a colleague they were angry. "We are all disgusted and embarrassed that someone like that was a police officer and worked amongst us."  

Three held over disorder

West Midlands Police say they have arrested three people in Solihull after an outbreak of disorder in the town centre.

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Latest headlines: PC jailed for hoax terror kidnap plot; pool shut over sickness bug; city council 'supporting' social workers

- A PC officer is jailed for seven years for making a hoax call to his own force saying an officer would be kidnapped by terrorists

- A swimming pool is shut after a bug caused several children to fall ill

- Birmingham City Council "supports" its social workers after "difficult" undercover documetary

BBCSpringwatch - a sneaky peek

As BBC Two begins its Springwatch coverage next week, BBC Midlands Today's Dr David Gregory-Kumar has already been out filming a rather cute polecat.

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He'd love to see any photos or footage of the animals you have. You can tweet them to @DrDavidGK

To see how populations are faring in our region, watch his film on Thursday at 18:30.

Hoax kidnap PC is the 'last person who should be' a police officer

More now on the West Midlands Police officer jailed for making a hoax kidnap threat in a phone call to his own force.

Amar Tasaddiq Hussain, 29, (pictured left), has been told by the judge who today sentenced him to seven years in prison that he is "the last person who ought to be serving" with the force.  

BBC
Hussain, Bashir and Sheikh

He made the call in the hope it would discredit someone he held a grudge against, an official within Dawat-E-Islami, a peaceful Muslim prayer group.  

Two accomplices - Adil Bashir and Muhammad Sheikh (pictured centre and right) - have been jailed for three years after the court was told they played lesser roles.

Motorcyclist rushed to hospital following crash

Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer

 A 24-year-old has been taken to hospital after coming off his bike and hitting a car in Erdington.

The bike
Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer

Birmingham children's services: Trust 'may not be the answer'

BBC WM

The former commissioner put in charge of Birmingham's children's services says there's no evidence that trusts taking over failing departments make children safer. 

Lord Warner's comments follow a Channel 4 documentary last night that highlighted serious issues in the department after a social worker went undercover. 

Council offices
BBC

Earlier this week, it was revealed the council wants to remove the department from its control and have a voluntary trust run it instead.  

But Lord Warner told the BBC he has concerns about the plans.

Birmingham hosts 20th Gay Pride

Thousands of people are expected in Birmingham this weekend as the city hosts its 20th Gay Pride.

It began in 1997 and over the years has backed many campaigns for LGBT equality, as well as being a platform for some extraordinary outfits.

Birmingham's 20th Gay Pride: Parades and protests

Latest headlines: Policeman jailed for bogus kidnap threat; swimming pool shut over sickness bug; council reacts to 'difficult' documentary

- Policeman jailed for bogus kidnap threat

 - A Kings Heath swimming pool is closed temporarily after a bug caused several children to become ill   

- Council reacts to 'difficult' documentary on its children's services

BreakingPoliceman jailed for hoax kidnap threat

A police officer who made a hoax 999 call to his own force claiming a fellow officer was going to be kidnapped by terrorists has been jailed for seven years.

"Unprecedented" action was taken by West Midlands Police to protect officers after PC Amar Tasaddiq Hussain's call in December 2014.

He said an officer would be kidnapped by a radical Muslim with links to so-called Islamic State.  

Jailing Hussain at Stafford Crown Court, Judge Michael Chambers QC said the 29-year-old showed no remorse and pleaded not guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence. 

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Some warm spells of sunshine developing this afternoon, with the possibility of isolated showers towards the west later and top temperatures of 18C (64F).  

Birmingham children's services: Watching undercover film 'difficult'

Birmingham City Council says it is meeting with social workers today to support them following yesterday's broadcast of a critical documentary - branded "a difficult night" by the local authority.  

The council says it knows it has more to do to protect vulnerable children, but believes voluntarily moving control to a trust is the best way forward.

In a statement, the authority said: "We remain absolutely committed to providing the best service for children and families in Birmingham. We have also been honest about the historic and well publicised failings of children’s services."

'Proud moment' for England's Moeen Ali

Birmingham-born Moeen Ali has been given his 25th England cap, ahead of his team's second Test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street today.

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Disruption on M5

BBC Travel

Drivers are warned of congestion at junction 3 of the M5 near Halesowen.

One lane is closed because of an overturned vehicle and recovery work.

Car and van collide in Willenhall

Firefighters are dealing with a collision between a car and a van in Willenhall.

This picture of the scene was tweeted by Willenhall fire service. One casualty was freed by crews.

The scene
@WillenhallFire

Water was 'murky' at bug-hit pool

Here's more on our earlier story about a Birmingham pool that's been closed temporarily due to a bug that made swimmers sick:

A mother whose two children became ill after swimming in the pool at Cocks Moors Leisure Centre in Kings Heath says the water was "murky" when visiting last weekend.

Suzanne Iommi also claims there was a strong smell of urine.

The centre says the bug was introduced into the pool by an external source and they take the health of customers extremely seriously. 

Giant hole appears in garden

Birmingham Mail

A Birmingham mum has spoken of her shock after a huge 12ft hole opened up in her garden - after she prodded the earth with a shovel.

Calls for the resignation of children's services counillor

Adrian Goldberg

Presenter, BBC WM

Our top story this morning: There are calls for the resignation of Brigid Jones, the city councillor in charge of Birmingham's Children's Services, after a Channel 4 Dispatches broadcast last night hi-lighted serious issues within the department. 

Matt Bennett, the Conservatives' shadow cabinet member for children's services, has described the programme as "truly shocking". 

Earlier this week it was revealed the local authority wants a voluntary trust to take over the department which Ofsted has called "a national disgrace". 

Birmingham Council House
BBC

Gay Pride in Birmingham this weekend

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

Up to 75,000 people are expected in Birmingham this weekend as the city hosts its 20th Gay Pride. 

The festival, which is the country's biggest Pride celebration, brings in more than £20m a year to the city. 

Organisers say its their biggest ever lineup, with more than 100 artists and DJ's performing over the two days.

Gay Pride banner in Birmingham
BBC

Pool closes after sickness bug

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

A Birmingham swimming pool has been closed temporarily after a chlorine-resistant bug caused several children to become ill. 

Cocks Moors Leisure Centre in Kings Heath says the bug, which can have symptoms including sickness and diarrhoea, was introduced into the pool by an external source.

A statement from the site says the pool won't reopen until "4 June at the earliest".

Cocks Moors Leisure Centre in Kings Heath
Google

Latest news: Children's services controversy continues; twentieth Gay Pride; sickness bug closes pool

Caroline Gall

BBC News Online

- Calls for resignation of councillor in charge of Birmingham's criticised children's services

- Birmingham's 20th Gay Pride festival this weekend

- Pool closes after sickness bug

Two lanes of M6 northbound closed

Five cars are involved in a collision on the M6, and two lanes remain closed between J6 and J7.

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Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Ronchi to make home debut for Bears

BBC Sport

New Zealand international wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi is making his home debut for the Bears tonight in the T20 Blast at Edgbaston.

Luke Ronchi
Getty Images

After a winning start at Trent Bridge last Friday night, Ronchi says: "I can't wait. The crowds really came out for the first T20 of the season at Nottingham. That was fantastic and we're hoping we can get another win under our belts".

Travel: M6 accident

BBC Travel

An accident involving four cars has closed two lanes of the M6 northbound between J6 for A38 Aston Expressway and J7, A34 (Great Barr).

More details on BBC Travel.

Three men charged with Syria-related terror offences

Three men have been charged with Syria-related terror offences, West Midlands Police have said.

Aras Mohamed Hamid, 26, of no fixed abode, and Shvan Haydar Aziz, 21, of Washington Road, Sheffield, are charged with preparing for acts of terrorism contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006. Ahmad Ismail, 19, of Portwrinkle Avenue, Coventry, has been charged with failing to disclose information to police of an offence involving the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

They are due before Westminster Magistrates' Court today.  

In connection with the arrests, police detained a 33-year-old man in Birmingham city centre on Thursday on suspicion of preparing for terrorist acts contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006.

Live updates for Birmingham and the Black Country

We're back with more news, sport, travel and weather updates.

If you see a story you think we should be covering, email us, tweet@bbcwm or get in touch on Facebook.