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The moment police swoop on armed men in Birmingham
Footage from officers' body-worn cameras shows the operation after a sawn-off shotgun changes hands.

West Midlands house prices to see biggest rise in England

The West Midlands is predicted to see the biggest increase in house prices in England over the next two years, according to analysts from PwC.

Only Wales is expected to see faster growth in the UK.

Homes
PA Media

PwC said it expected the price of the average house in the West Midlands to rise from £194,000 to £223,000 by 2022 and warns that this will make it hard for people move to find new jobs and will also have an impact on rental prices.

More than 70 animals shot in the West Midlands

More than 70 animals were shot using air guns in the West Midlands last year, new figures show.

Cat
RSPCA

The RSPCA is calling for the licensing of air guns as figures reveal the charity received 767 reports of animals being shot across England and Wales, with 72 reports coming from the region.

Cats bore the brunt of the shootings with 258 of them and 73 dogs deliberately killed or maimed last year.

A large number of wild mammals and birds, including foxes, squirrels, swans and pigeons were targeted as well, it said.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Any early rain should clear leaving a bright day with highs of 23C (973F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather: Another warm and overcast day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's forecast to be another warm and overcast day tomorrow and there's a chance of a bit of rain overnight.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Force gets extra £5m for crime-predicting technology trial

The Home Office has given another £5m to a police force testing software that predicts whether someone will commit a crime.

Lloyd House, West Midlands Police HQ
BBC

West Midlands Police is trialling the system to analyse data on knife and gun offences, as well as modern slavery.

The National Data Analytics Solution is used to help predict whether someone will commit a crime or become a victim.

Supt Nick Dale, from the force, said: "This technology has the potential to help us understand modern slavery networks, the hidden crime within our communities, so much better, as well as the problems that lead to serious violence that blights communities and affects the lives of victims and perpetrators.

"We are still at an early stage in identifying how best machine learning technology can be used, but it is really important that our work is scrutinised independently from an ethical point of view, and that technology will never replace professional judgment or affect the police's accountability for our actions."

West Midlands Police received £4.5m of Home Office funding for the scheme last year.

Town centre task force 'open minded' about regeneration

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A taskforce set up to regenerate five town centres in the West Midlands, says it will listen to business people there, before drawing up a plan.

The West Midlands Combined Authority appointed Jon Bramwell (below, centre) to lead the group and it has £20m to spend on the improvements.

Business leaders in Bilston
BBC

Mr Bramwell said his taskforce was "very open minded" and that it was very difficult to say how the five high streets might change "given the fact that the way people go about shopping these days is changing."

The five town centres are Bilston, the St Thomas Quarter in Dudley, Bordesley Green in Birmingham, the St Matthews Quarter in Walsall and West Bromwich East.

Policeman charged with custody block assault

A police custody sergeant has been charged with assaulting a man who was detained by officers last December.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Sgt Nathan Legend will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with two counts of assault by beating.

The 31-year-old was charged by the CPS following an IOPC investigation which looked at the officer's use of force against a man detained at Birmingham's Perry Barr custody unit.

'One in ten' city women experience period poverty

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Dare

Birmingham should provide free sanitary products in its council buildings, a city councillor says, after it was revealed that one in ten women in the city have experienced period poverty.

Birmingham council house
PA Media

'Period poverty' refers to a lack of knowledge or access to sanitary products due to financial constraints with figures presented to a meeting suggesting 32,490 women across the city have experienced this at some point.

An officer for Birmingham Youth Services said the organisation’s approach, which offers little in the way of provisions available, has not changed significantly in the 25 years that she has worked for the service.

Councillor Nicky Brennan, whose motion it was that began the debate, believes the council should start providing free sanitary products for women in all of its buildings.

Psychologist says we can all learn from Djokovic

BBC Sport

Visualisation techniques which helped Novak Djokovic win Wimbledon can be used by "almost every human being", a psychologist has said.

Djokovic said after lifting the title "I always try to imagine myself as a winner" and Dr Jennifer Cumming from the University of Birmingham said there has been "tons of research" on the power of imagery in normal life.

novak djokovic
Getty Images

The technique of "imagery" involves creating or recreating an successful experience in your mind, to encourage positive thinking and improve performance.

"Generally we can all capitalise on this and the more we use it, the more we can improve it," Dr Cumming said.

She said we probably already use the technique without realising, for instance re-tracing your steps when you lose your keys, and that it can help in situations like job interviews or exams to imagine, in detail, how they will happen.

University staff strike over pay and conditions

Support staff at the University of Birmingham are taking strike action in a row over pay and conditions.

Striking staff
Unison

Caterers, cleaners, security guards and other staff who are members of Unison are taking two days of industrial action.

The union says senior managers have refused to negotiate over fair pay and have and imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 2%.

Striking staff
Unison

The University of Birmingham said a "very small number" of staff were involved in the industrial action and it remains "business as usual on campus."

“The University has met a number of times with Unison and the other support staff unions over the last week in order to try to bring an end to the action and made an extensive offer around pay and the voluntary Living Wage," it added.

Unemployment down slightly in West Midlands

Unemployment across the UK was 3.8% between March and May 2019. The rate is at its lowest since late 1974.

Unemployment rates
BBC

In the West Midlands figures fell slightly to 4.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Unemployment is highest in the North East at 5.6%.

Figures also showed wage growth in the UK was 3.6% in the year to May 2019, the highest growth rate since 2008.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry and clear night with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Sir Vince Cable in Brexit studies role

Sir Vince Cable will teach at a Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, it has been announced.

Sir Vince, who leaves his role as the Liberal Democrat party leader next week, has joined the centre as a visiting professor.

Sir Vince Cable
EPA

“The former business secretary has been appointed to the think tank to offer insight and analysis, and brings with him decades of experience working in frontline politics.” the university said.

He will focus on “looking at the economics and scenarios” related to Britain’s exit from the EU.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry and fine day with light winds and highs of 22C (72F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Clear and dry start to the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Starting off dry with clear spells tonight, here's the rest of the forecast for the West Midlands:

Rebecca Wood with Friday night's West Midlands weather

You can get the latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There will be some sunny intervals this evening but also some showers which may be heavy.

It should be a dry night with some clear spells with highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Thunderstorms warning issued

Parts of the West Midlands could be affected by thunderstorms later, with some disruption to travel expected.

View more on twitter

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning which is in place from 13:00 to 21:00.

Complaints about Velo race 'must be addressed'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The route will be changed for next summer's Velo cycle race in the West Midlands, following complaints over this year's event and Solihull councillors say concerns raised by residents must be addressed before next June.

A council report on the 2019 Velo Birmingham and Midlands noted some disruption was caused and Councillor Joe Tildesley, Solihull’s cabinet member for leisure, tourism and sport, said a planning group would once again meet monthly to discuss preparations.

Velo
RB Create Ltd

This year, about 17,000 people took part and the council noted the event had raised more than £1m for charity. Councillor Diana Holl-Allen said it could be seen as a "tremendous success", but there had been some difficulties.

The event faced criticism two years ago, with some residents saying they felt trapped in their homes. This year, a vet said he may have been able to save the life of a horse or its newborn foal had he not been delayed by stewards.

Speaking last month, Velo organisers said they were "committed to growing and improving it year-on-year".

Solihull Council said it planned to increase the number of school and community events around next year's race, to encourage more people to take up cycling and physical activity.

Wet night ahead for West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a pretty dry day, we're in for some rain tonight in the West Midlands, here's the full forecast:

Sara Blizzard

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

PM's tribute to student paramedic in fatal crash

BBC Midlands Today

The prime minister's paid tribute to a student paramedic who died after the ambulance she was in was involved in a crash with a car.

Tammy Minshall
Staffordshire Police/Family handout

Tammy Minshall, 31, was airlifted to hospital and later died after the crash in Needwood, near Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, last week.

Ms Minshall, from Stretton, Burton-upon-Trent, was a first year student at Staffordshire University and was travelling in the back of the ambulance.

The whole house will want to join me in sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Tammy Minshall, the student paramedic who was killed in a traffic accident last week while on duty. This is a reminder of the members of all our emergencies services who risk their lives each day on our behalf."

Theresa MayPrime Minister

Council chief executive set to leave

Birmingham City Council's chief executive's going to leave the authority after 16 months for a role in New Zealand.

Birmingham City Council building
Google

Dawn Baxendale's going to take on the same position at Christchurch City Council, although her leaving date's not been revealed.

Council Leader Ian Ward says she's helped the authority make "significant steps forward".

He highlighted the work on the Commonwealth Games, improvements to children's social care in the city and the controversial - and now delayed - Clean Air Zone.

However, in April, the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel warned the council's financial position remained "immensely serious".

The leader of the council's Conservative group, Robert Alden, said she would be "sorely missed".

Wednesday's weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Any patches of rain this morning should clear away leaving a mostly dry rest of the day.

Here's the full West Midlands weather forecast.

Sara Blizzard

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

Non-invasive tech to help rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

People with rheumatoid arthritis could benefit from earlier diagnosis thanks to new technology pioneered by the University of Birmingham.

3D scanner
BBC

About 500,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition which causes painful inflammation and swelling.

The new technique will create a 3D image of a patient's blood inside their hand which could detect symptoms earlier.

The system we have developed offers a low-cost, objective way of detecting the disease and potentially grading how advanced it is. We hope, in time, it will enable clinicians to diagnose the disease earlier and offer personalised treatment plans for patients.

Professor Hamid DehghaniUniversity of Birmingham