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  1. Police's 'failings' over custody death
  2. Terrorism suspect arrested
  3. Sandwell could follow Birmingham in seeking remedy for ailing children's services
  4. PC who rang 999 with fake terror kidnap plot is sacked by force
  5. Updates on Thursday 9 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

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Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Roy Short and John Brophy dressed up as Peaky Blinders characters
For two avid Peaky Blinders fans from Birmingham watching the programme isn't enough, it's now a way of life.

Good evening from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

We're back at 08:00 on Friday with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather, but keep an eye out here for updates through the evening and into the morning.

Coming up on TV

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

We will be counting the costs of damage caused by monsoon-like downpours in the region last night.

A soldier from Birmingham has received an MBE today for trying to build bridges between the armed forces and Muslim community. 

And we will find out how for two Brummies, the Peaky Blinders TV show has become not just essential Thursday night viewing but a way of life. 

Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

The two Peaky Blinders superfans

Watch: Latest weather for Birmingham and the Black Country

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Most places will stay dry, with a few showers around tonight and lows of 16C (61F).

Travel: M42 southbound delays

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on the M42 southbound between J4 for Shirley and J3a for the M40 because of an earlier crash even though all lanes have been re-opened, drivers are warned.

Latest: Custody death 'failings'; plan for 'inadequate' children's services; Syria 'terror' arrest

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of our big stories in the past few hours: 

- An investigation into the death of a woman who fell ill in custody has found there were some failings by West Midlands Police

- "Inadequate" children’s services in Sandwell could follow the example of Birmingham and be run as a voluntary trust

- A man has been arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences

Ransacked cricket club now has 'impenetrable' security

A Black Country cricket club that was once broken in to seven times in eight weeks has been given £3,000 of criminals’ cash to improve its security. Netherton Cricket Club had doors ripped from the hinges and windows shattered as thieves fled with sporting equipment, two flatscreen TVs, a microwave and bar stock. The Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has now gifted the club a grant of £3,000 from the Proceeds of Crime Act fund, which uses criminals’ ill-gotten gains for good. Since then, after one more failed attempt at a break-in, there have been no further attacks on the clubhouse.

Dennis Lewis, President of Netherton Cricket Club, said: “The extra security measures we bought with the cash stopped the problems we were having back in late 2014. The crooks now find the clubhouse impenetrable."

Police and crime commissioner David Jamieson and Netherton CC's president Dennis Lewis celebrate the grant award

Knife crime: Almost half of repeat offenders spared jail

Almost half of repeat knife offenders were not immediately jailed, despite new legislation requiring judges to impose a prison sentence.

Some 55% of the 1,161 adults sentenced under the first eight months of the new law were given a custodial sentence.

A further 22% were given suspended sentences, figures reveal. An undisclosed percentage received community sentences.

Labour's West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the figures raised questions for the government.

Getty Images

Watch: Walsall FC boss on 'biggest challenge'

The Saddlers' new head coach Jon Whitney says his biggest challenge will be dealing with expectations after the club "over achieved" last season.  

New Walsall FC boss Jon Whitney hopes he can live up to expectations

Mystery Birmingham canoeist revealed as hero who saved a driver from her submerged car

Birmingham Mail

The canoeist captured paddling down a Birmingham street can be revealed as an unlikely floods hero – after he dragged a submerged motorist to safety.  

Plans submitted for new Wolverhampton railway station

Plans have been submitted for a new railway station for Wolverhampton, according to the city's council.

The proposal is to demolish the existing station and replace it with a new one.

Work is due to begin on the new railway station next year following the extension and refurbishment of the associated multi-storey car park, which is expected to be completed by Christmas 2016.

It forms part of a £120m interchange project that will also see a Metro line extension, including a new stop at the station.

An artist's impression of how the new station could look during the day
City of Wolverhampton Council

Disgraced PC jailed for false terror kidnap claim is sacked from force

A disgraced policeman who claimed terrorists were going to kidnap a fellow officer has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct, after he received a seven-year jail term last month.

Amar Tasaddiq Hussain, 29, made a hoax 999 call in which he claimed an officer with the West Midlands force would be abducted by a radical Muslim with links to the so-called Islamic State.

Amar Tasaddiq Hussain
West Midlands Police

A special case hearing was held today at Tally Ho - the police training centre - and Hussain, whom the force said did not attend proceedings, was sacked.

Dismissing Hussain, the force's chief constable Dave Thompson said: “This was grotesque behaviour which horrified the public, staff in West Midlands Police and other people, including myself. It was one of the most disgraceful acts committed by an officer in the history of the force.”

BreakingSandwell could follow Birmingham in seeking a remedy for its ailing children's services

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

"Inadequate" children’s services in Sandwell could follow the example of Birmingham and be run as a voluntary trust, the council has revealed.

In June 2015, Ofsted said children remained at risk of harm in the borough and the authority "did not fully understand the scale and prevalence of child sexual exploitation".

The rating echoed a report in April 2013, which prompted a boss and a council cabinet member to quit.

This afternoon, the council said proposals to either move children’s social care to a voluntary trust or to appoint an executive commissioner to oversee services had been passed on to the Department for Education for consideration.

Sandwell Council House

Custody death probe finds 'failings' by West Midlands Police

An investigation into the death of a woman who fell ill in custody has found there were some failings by West Midlands Police in following correct procedure. 

Sharmila Ullah, who was 30, became unwell after she was arrested in July 2014 and was later found unresponsive in her cell at Bloxwich station. 

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says that one officer documented that he had made checks on her, when in fact he had not. The officer has since been dismissed from the force after a gross misconduct hearing.

An inquest at Smethwick Coroner’s Court concluded that her sudden death was in association with long-standing alcohol misuse and the effects of alcohol withdrawal. 

Bloxwich Police Station

Football: New man in the Walsall saddle

BBC Midlands Today

The new Walsall manager Jon Whitney says he is confident the club can compete for promotion again next season. 

Whitney became the temporary manager in March and led them to within a point of automatic promotion in League One. They then missed out in the play-offs. 

But Whitney has now signed a three-year deal as manager and says the Saddlers will remain competitive.

Jon Whitney

Flash flooding: About 5,000 pupils affected by school closures

Terry Goodwin

BBC West Midlands

About 5,000 pupils are affected by school closures in the West Midlands today following yesterday's flash flooding.

They include:

- Hamstead Hall Academy - closed to all pupils except those who have exams - 1,076 pupils in total 

- Wellford Primary School, Handsworth, closed - 478 pupils in total 

- Saint John Wall Catholic High School, Handsworth - closed to all pupils except for Years 11 and 13 who need to attend exams - 621 pupils in total 

- Holyhead School, Handsworth - closed to all students except Years 11, 12 and 13 whose examinations and lessons continue as normal - 1229 pupils, except its sixth form

- St. Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Handsworth Wood - closed to all children - 206 pupils in total

- West Heath Primary School, Rednal Road, West Heath - closed - 380 pupils in total 

- Heathfield Primary School, Birmingham - closed - 450 pupils in total

- Phoenix Collegiate, West Bromwich - closed to Year 7, 8 and 9 students - around 750 pupils affected

Flash flooding: This man stuck his oar in

Video captures the moment a man stuck his oar in - literally - to navigate flooded West Midlands roads.Talia Dewhurst filmed the canoeist as he paddled along Thornbridge Avenue in Great Barr.  

Warwickshire players celebrating a wicket

Warwickshire will mix more attacking batting with their "conservative" roots in 50-over cricket says Dougie Brown.

Read more

Coming up on TV

Nicola Beckford

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

People around the region are counting the cost of last night's flash flooding which caused widespread damage and disruption.

And we speak to the new Walsall manager Jon Whitney.

Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

West Brom's Rimstock bought in multi-million pound deal

Express and Star

One of the Black Country's leading manufacturing firms has been bought by American investors in a multi-million pound deal.

Community 'bridge-building' soldier to receive an MBE today

A soldier from Birmingham will be presented with an MBE at Buckingham Palace later today. 

Captain Naveed Muhammad is being given the award for working to build bridges between the armed forces and Muslim community.  

Captain Naveed Muhammad walking down a school corridor

As part of his work he gives talks at mosques, community events and schools - including Birmingham's Rockwood Academy (pictured here).

He's served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is one of 600 Muslims serving in the British Armed forces.  

Captain Naveed Muhammad giving a talk to pupils at Rockwood Academy

Latest: School closures; causes of blocked drains revealed; soldier to receive an MBE

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

If you are just catching up on Thursday's headlines, here are our top stories so far:

- Some 5,000 pupils are affected by school closures caused by the effects of yesterday's flash flooding 

- Blocked drains: Severn Trent has revealed a motorbike, false teeth and tennis balls are among the causes

- A British Army soldier building bridges between the forces and the Muslim community is due to receive an MBE today

Jeff Astle fatal brain injury: Daughter of former Albion striker to join expert panel

The daughter of former West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle has been asked to join an expert panel looking at whether there is a link between heading a football and brain injury. 

Jeff died from a degenerative brain disease which has been linked to heading old, heavy leather footballs. 

Jeff Astle

Yesterday his widow Lorraine and his daughter Dawn met the FA's new head of Performance Medicine to discuss what progress had been made since their last meeting in December 2014. 

Dawn told us the FA was in early talks with researchers for a UK-based study on long-term effects of football on brain function.

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Watch: Flooding fallout - 'Fridge was swimming'

Richie Anderson


A woman's West Midlands home has been blighted by Wednesday's flash flooding that left white goods floating in downstairs rooms."The fridge was swimming" said Smethwick resident Sonia Owens.  

Flash flooding: 'My fridge was swimming' - Smethwick resident

Two Birmingham men jailed for cash machine thefts


Two men from Birmingham have been jailed after an investigation into cash machine thefts across the West Midlands. 

Manuel Scarlat and Gheorge Constantine were arrested in March after an elderly man was targeted while using an ATM in Redditch. 

Both admitted conspiracy to commit theft at Worcester Crown Court and 18-year-old Scarlat was given a two year sentence and 44-year-old Constantine, 20 months.

Willenhall firefighters slam 'dozy' Walsall drivers who blocked engine

Walsall Advertiser

"It could be the difference between life and death," blasted furious firefighters after dozy drivers blocked in an engine on more than one occasion last week.

Walsall Advertiser frontpage
Walsall Advertiser
Dan Christian

Nottinghamshire pass 400 for a second consecutive match as they beat Warwickshire by 36 runs in the One-Day Cup.

Read more

Tennis balls serving up sewer blockages - and that's just the tip of the 'fat-berg'

False teeth, tennis balls and a motorbike - these are just some of the things that Severn Trent says have caused sewer blockages here in the West Midlands. 

The water company says it has dealt with nearly 12,000 incidents in Birmingham and the Black Country in the last year. 

The main cause is people flushing things down the loo and a build-up of fat poured down kitchen sinks - which can produce so-called "fatbergs" such as the one pictured, which was the size of a bus and removed from a London sewer in 2013.

The fatberg

Flash flooding: School closures across the West Midlands

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

These are the school closures we know about so far this morning:

- Saint John Wall Catholic High School, Handsworth, Birmingham - closed to all pupils except for Year 11

- Phoenix Collegiate, West Bromwich - partially closed to Years 7, 8 and 9 only, due to localised flooding

- Holyhead School, Handsworth, Birmingham - closed to all students except Years 11, 12 and 13 due to serious flood damage

- West Heath Primary School, Rednall Road, West Heath - closed today due to flooding in the classrooms

- Wellford Primary School, Handsworth, Birmingham - closed to pupils due to flood damage. Staff to report to school as necessary

- Hamstead Hall Academy, Craythorne Avenue, Birmingham - closed to all pupils except those who have exams

Latest: Flash flooding fallout; dentures bite back to block drains; ATM thefts pair jailed

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories so far this morning:

- Some schools are closed after flash flooding

- Blocked drains: Severn Trent reveals some of the common reasons

- Two Birmingham men have been jailed for cash machine thefts

Flash flooding: Hospitals, schools, homes and businesses hit

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

Six schools across Birmingham and West Bromwich are either partially or fully closed this morning after flash flooding across the West Midlands yesterday. 

West Midlands Police took more than 1,000 999 calls in just four hours following torrential rain, while the Fire and Rescue Service says it received more than 400 calls in the space of three hours. 

Three crews were called out to Sandwell Hospital after six lift shafts were flooded. Two more were sent to a burst pipe at Birmingham City Hospital's maternity unit. 

Thirteen homes and a business on Middlemore Road in Smethwick were evacuated and Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Centre was forced to shut after water came into the main entrance and through roof vents. 

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A cloudier day in store today and there should not be yesterday's heavy showers.

Highs of 22C (72F).

Find out more about the next few days.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Travel: Subsidence causing Handsworth delays

BBC Travel

The A4040 Rookery Road in Handsworth is closed in both directions between the junction with Onibury Road and the Regent Road junction because of subsidence.

Good morning from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

I hope you are well. I'm here with Thursday's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

If you were affected by yesterday's flash flooding, let us know so we can report your stories and send us your pictures over email, tweet @bbcwm or reach us on the BBC WM Facebook page.