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PCC 'concerned' at rise in knife crime

Placing youth workers in A&E departments and introducing violence awareness workshops are some of the projects that will be used to tackle a rise in knife crime, said the region's police chief.

David Jamieson
BBC

Knife crimes in areas covered by West Midlands Police have increased by 20%, new figures reveal.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said he continued to be concerned at an increase in violent crime in the region.

A new £4m Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), being held in the West Midlands police area, will expand current projects and develop new ones, he said.

Additional resources announced by the government for the force recently are, "of course, welcome," he said, but "these additional officers will be a long way off replacing what we have already lost".

CCTV released after thousands stolen in cash box robbery

CCTV footage has been released of a man police would like to speak to after a driver trasporting cash was attacked and robbed in Birmingham.

CCTV
West Midlands Police

A cash box containing thousands of pounds was stolen during the robbery on Axletree Way, Wednesbury.

The suspect was wearing a high-vis boiler suit and left in a black Ford C-Max, stolen from the Northfield area two days before, police said.

It's asking for anyone with information about the 12 August incident to come forward.

Knife crime keeps rising in West Midlands, figures show

Allen Cook

BBC News

Knife crime in the West Midlands has risen by nearly a fifth, according to the latest figures from police forces.

In the 12 months to the end of June 2019, offences in the region rose by 18%.

Forensic officers at crime scene
Getty Images

The data's from the Office for National Statistics with the whole of England and Wales seeing an increase of 7%.

In the West Midlands, West Mercia Police saw the biggest rise of 30% as the force recorded 578 offences in the year to June.

But the most crimes for the period were recorded by West Midlands Police with 3,560 - an increase of 20%.

The increase for Warwickshire was 25% while both Staffordshire Police and Cheshire Police saw falls in knife crime.

Dry night ahead but chance of a shower

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Staying mainly dry tonight, although there's the chance of the odd shower around in the West Midlands:

Alex Hamilton

Keep up-to-date with the latest forecast for your area by heading to the BBC Weather website at any other time.

More Extinction Rebellion protests planned for Midlands

BBC WM

A member of Extinction Rebellion has warned people in the West Midlands to expect more disruptive protests in the coming months.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners in London this month
Reuters

The campaign group, which is calling on the government to do more to tackle climate change, is currently continuing several days of demonstrations in London.

The West Midlands has already seen protests by Extinction Rebellion this year, including in August when they blocked one of the busiest roads in Birmingham, and more recently blocking rush-hour traffic in Worcester.

We've got a number of groups active now and, once this international fortnight of rebellion is over, we will be regrouping and reorganising ourselves for campaigning and protesting in Birmingham and around the West Midlands."

Martin NewellMember of Extinction Rebellion

PC run over with patrol car 'defying medical predictions'

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

A police officer who was run over by a car thief in a patrol car has "defied medical predictions" in his recovery, according to his boss.

PC Phillips was in court for the sentencing
BBC

PC Gareth Phillips of West Midlands Police had attended reports of a stolen car in Moseley, Birmingham, on 10 August when Mubashar Hussain hijacked a police BMW and and drove over him.

Hussain, 29, of no fixed address, was jailed yesterday for 12 years after previously admitting causing grievous bodily harm along with other charges.

PC Phillips sustained potentially life-changing injuries including a shattered pelvis and was discharged from hospital last month.

He's defied, I think, medical predictions to date. He's been released earlier than we thought but, again, there's a long road indeed."

Supt Dave TwyfordWest Midlands Police

HS2 must be built in full, say business bodies

BBC Business News

Six regional heads of Britain's biggest employers' group have urged the government to build the controversial HS2 rail project in full.

Artist's impression of HS2 train
Siemens/PA Media

The call by the CBI chiefs comes amid a government-commissioned review which could lead to all or part of the high-speed rail network being scrapped.

The CBI regions were the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, London, the North East and North West.

They said HS2 will bring benefits "far beyond its costs".

Phase 1 of HS2 is planned to run between London and Birmingham. Current designs involve a second Y-shaped phase launching in two stages: Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe followed by phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds.

More children caught bringing knives into school

Sean Coughlan

BBC News, education correspondent

More than a thousand children were caught with weapons in school last year, according to a survey of 29 police forces in England and Wales.

Knives found by police
PA Media

Instances included a 15-year-old found in possession of an axe in the West Midlands, the Press Association survey found.

Head teachers' leader Geoff Barton said the findings were "grim but unsurprising".

The survey, which follows concern about rising levels of knife crime, was based on Freedom of Information data from police forces.

Early rain should clear away

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Any early rain should soon clear this morning to leave it mainly dry if cloudy:

Alex Hamilton

You can keep up-to-date with the weather in your area by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

It will be a dry night with some clear skies and lows of 8C (46F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

MEP says she was arrested in Trafalgar Square

MEP Ellie Chowns has tweeted she was arrested in Trafalgar Square on Monday while defending the right to peaceful public protest.

Police have banned climate change protests in London by the activist group Extinction Rebellion, after more than a week of disruption.

Extinction Rebellion said the London-wide ban was an outrage and the Green Party MEP has called it a "completely unjustified and disproportionate measure".

View more on twitter

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a wet evening it should be a drier night with some clear spells and lows of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Road and buildings damaged by water main burst

Allen Cook

BBC News

Part of a building appears to have collapsed after a water main burst in Tipton.

Bricks and rubble left after water subsided
Sandwell Council

From photos posted on Facebook by Sandwell Council, the supply appears to have now been cut off and flood water has subsided.

The local authority said Park Lane West remained closed at the junction with Manor Road.

South Staffs Water has confirmed it's isolated the water main and will carry out repairs through the night.

Flood risk warning as heavy rain returns

Parts of the West Midlands could face flooding as heavy rain moves across the region.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for between 12:00 and midnight.

View more on twitter

The Met Office said the wet weather will move northwards across much of England on Monday, with the heaviest rain forecast for the afternoon and evening.

Flood alerts have been issued in Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be increasingly wet with heavy rain and highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

West Midlands to get an extra £175m for schools

Schools in the West Midlands will receive an extra £175m over the next three years, but it is the second-lowest increase in funding per-pupil in the country.

The figures are laid out in the government's provisional spending plans and the West Midlands will see an average increase of 3.6% per pupil by 2020-21.

Only London is expected to see a lower per-pupil increase with 3.2%.

Cash
Getty Images

The spending plans will increase the total budget for the region to £3.97bn by 2020-21.

The prime minister has promised to boost spending in UK schools by £14bn over the coming three financial years.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a windy day with showery rain and highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a breezy night with some showers and lows of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Cancelling HS2 'would set West Mids back by over a decade'

The managing director of Transport for West Midlands has said the region could be set back by more than a decade if HS2 is scrapped.

The multibillion-pound project, which would create a high-speed line between Birmingham and London is being reviewed due to rising costs and delays of up to five years if it goes ahead.

HS2 train
Siemens/PA

Laura Shoaf said HS2 was important because it would add to the capacity of the existing rail lines and if it doesn't go ahead "we would need to look then at what infrastructure we could put in place to get that capacity".

She said that could involve "radical solutions" such as tunneling under New Street station. Ms Shoaf said even planning it would "put us back by at least 15 years, because those plans aren't drawn up".

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a bright start it will be a cloudy day with some showers and highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Dry night for the West Midlands

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

We're in for a dry night in the West Midlands and it'll be quite breezy:

Alex Hamilton

Get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

West Midlands 'losing out to leafy areas' over new PCs

Allen Cook

BBC News

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) says he's concerned targets for new officers aren't high enough and are seeing the area lose out to "leafy, lower crime areas".

New police officers graduating
Getty Images

The government's pledged to hire an extra 20,000 by 2022 and today allocated 366 out of the first year of 6,000 to the West Midlands force.

But PCC David Jamieson, while welcoming the extra officers, says they don't cover the more than 2,000 the force has lost since 2010.

"It would have been more sensible to allocate officers based on the crime threat and need of forces," he added.

The Home Secretary Pritti Patel says "the public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside".

New officer targets set for police forces

BBC Midlands Today

Police forces across the West Midlands will be able to recruit 590 new officers in the first year of a government pledge to hire an extra 20,000 by 2022.

Police cars
BBC

The Home Office has set out recruitment targets for the first year with West Midlands Police given the biggest of 366.

Warwickshire will be able to hire an extra 41, Staffordshire 90 and West Mercia 93.

Home Office figures show that forces in England and Wales lost 20,564 officers between March 2010 and March 2019.

Boris Johnson pledged the extra 20,000 officers earlier this year although the College of Policing at the time warned of "logistical challenges", partly because of concerns of a lack of instructors for training.

A breezy day ahead

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a damp start in places, today should stay mainly dry but breezy.

Alex Hamilton

You can keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecast for your area at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a mainly dry night with the odd shower and lows of 11C (52F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a fine start blustery showers will move in with highs of 10C (50F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Rain will gradually clear leaving a dry night with lows of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Charges unchanged as knife crimes 'double'

The number of knife crime offences recorded in the West Midlands has more than doubled in four years, figures show.

Knife
BBC

The number of offences that end with someone being charged has, however, stayed roughly the same during that period of time, the BBC has found.

In 2014 there were just over 1,500 reported cases, but in 2018 police responded to more than 3,200 incidents.

During that time there was on average just under 500 offences that resulted in a court charge per year.

Crash closes two lanes of M6

BBC News Travel

There are 30 minute delays on the approach to a crash on the M6 near Wednesbury in Birmingham.

Two lanes are closed on the southbound carriageway from J9 to J8.

Congestion is spanning 4.5 miles back to J10A for the M54, said Highways England.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a cloudy start rain will spread from the west leading to a wet and windy afternoon with highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weekend weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

It should be a dry night with some clear intervals and lows of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Warning for heavy rain issued

Parts of the West Midlands could experience heavy rain causing travel disruption on Sunday.

A yellow warning for rain has been issued and lasts until 18:00.

Weather warning
Met Office

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a cloudy day with some rain and highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a dry, bright start it will be a cloudy day with some rain later and highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

More than 140 drivers stopped during crackdown

More than 140 vehicles were stopped by police on roads around the region during last week, for a range of offences, including one person trying to do paperwork while at the wheel.

Officers from Warwickshire Police and the Central Motorway Police Group said they patrolled the area in a lorry cab and handed out 71 fines for seatbelt offences, and caught 31 drivers using their mobile phones at the wheel.

One person was arrested for failing a roadside drugs test and for possession of drugs.

Police HGV
Central Motorway Police Group

Warwickshire Police said one lorry driver was found to have faulty brakes, defective tyres and no number plate.

Other offences included no insurance, insecure loads, careless driving, and reversing on the hard shoulder.