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Merry Christmas from everyone at Black Country News

A new taskforce tackling everything from dog fouling and litter to untaxed vehicles and anti-social behaviour has been launched in Sandwell.

The council’s new team of Environmental Protection Officers (EPOs) are now on the streets tackling “the issues that matter to our residents”.

The council has invested £200,000 in forming the 18-strong team, who are armed with stab vests and bodycams to record evidence.

The team will work seven days a week, 8am until 10pm, in communities all over Sandwell’s six towns.

A murder investigation has been launched after a 15-year-old boy died following a stabbing in Wolverhampton last night (Tuesday 29 May). Officers were called to Langley Road, Merry Hill, just after 11pm following reports of disorder involving a group of youths. The teenager was taken to hospital with serious injuries but was sadly confirmed dead a short time later.