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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.


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.

Trust calls for disposable BBQ ban following fires

A wildlife trust is calling for a ban on disposable barbecues after a series of devastating wildfires.


In August last year a fire swept through the Staffordshire Roaches leaving about 20% of the area blackened and lifeless.

It was later discovered that it was started by campers who hadn't put out their fire properly.

As well as a ban, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is urging local supermarkets and shops to take the barbecues off their shelves.

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

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.

Wildlife trust to carry out badger vaccinations

Badgers are to be vaccinated in a bid to prevent the spread of TB in cattle.

Nearly 4,000 were culled in Staffordshire last year and another 600 in Cheshire and the wildlife trust said it's looking at alternative solutions.

Getty Images

It will be carrying out the vaccination on six sites, which include nature reserves and privately-owned land.

Some of the larger sites contain up to five setts.

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.

Two dozen arrests in 24 hours across city

BBC Radio Stoke

There have been 24 arrests in Stoke-on-Trent in 24 hours as part of an ongoing operation to disrupt criminal activity.

Yesterday's campaign in the city included at least four raids and multiple vehicle checks.

Arrests include those suspected of drug and fraud offences.

Two charged with drug supply

Two men have been charged with drug supply offences after an investigation into the alleged movement of drugs from Wolverhampton into Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

The two, both 26 and from Wolverhampton, have been charged with three counts of conspiring to supply heroin and three counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine.

They have also been charged with facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, said Warwickshire Police.

They're both due to appear at Warwick Magistrates' Court on 31 July.

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

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

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.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry day with sunny periods and highs of 21C (70F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

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

“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.

Teenagers to lose £1 bus discount card

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Kerry Ashdown

A discount bus fare scheme for teenagers is going to be scrapped at the end of next month, despite calls for a council to rethink its decision.

Bus station in Newcastle-under-Lyme

In 2011, Staffordshire County Council introduced the Your Staffordshire Card for 16-19-year-olds to get £1 bus fares.

At its peak, 35,000 teens had the card and made 2.4 million journeys each year, costing taxpayers £600,000.

But that's dropped to fewer than 9,000 cardholders and the council agreed last month to axe it to save money.

The decision was called-in by opposition councillors who said it would hit families on low incomes but a proposal to reconsider the move was defeated and it'll end on 31 August.

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.

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.

Staffordshire students graduate on Alton Towers rollercoaster
A university graduation ceremony with a difference takes place - on a rollercoaster.

Community lottery falls short

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Kerry Ashdown

A community lottery set up to bring in £100,000 a year for good causes in south Staffordshire is bringing in less than half of that.

South Staffordshire Community Lottery was launched in 2017 and although ticket sales rose to their highest level last year, it only raised £45,500 in the last financial year.


South Staffordshire Council says it's hired a new marketing company and one of its aims will be to help improve the fortunes of the lottery.

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

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

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