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David Jamieson comments on plans for PCCs to run free schools

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has had his say on the Home Secretary's plan for PCCs to run free schools for troubled children.

Mr Jamieson - a former headteacher with more than 25 years' education experience - said he was 'uncertain' about the proposals.

Home Secretary Theresa May this week unveiled plans for more powers for Police and Crime Commissioners, branching out into areas of youth justice, probation and court services after the elections in May.

She said PCCs should 'bring together the two great reforms of the last parliament - police reform and school reform' to establish 'alternative provision of free schools to support troubled children and prevent them falling into a life of crime'.

She also said that the work of Police and Crime Commissioners had proved 'valuable' and was 'here to stay'.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I note the home Secretary’s praise of the innovative work of PCCs the last few years.  

“I am particularly proud of the record we have here in the West Midlands.

We have set up the country’s first Victims’ Commission, recruited new officers and made stop and search more proportionate.

We have also introduced a new approach to supporting people with mental health needs so they are now much less likely to end up in police cells or hospital and invested in a new partnership with the NHS to reduce violent crime.

We have also more than doubled the number of officers working on crimes like domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking.  

“Before becoming an MP and a PCC, I was a teacher and headteacher for more than 25 years. I must confess, this idea of reuniting with my former profession has come out of the blue and I’m not sure it’s top of the class - I thought my school days were over.  

“I am uncertain that PCCs running schools fits entirely within our brief or, more importantly, is the best thing for children. Schools should be run by teachers and education experts."

WMPCC to hold hearing into unacceptable motorway delays following public outrage

PCC to hold hearing into unacceptable motorway delays following public outrage

On Thursday 4th February, there were severe tailbacks on the M6 motorway following an incident between Junctions 5 and 6 in the early hours of the morning in which somebody tragically lost their life. The motorway was not fully re-opened until nearly 24 hours later.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson will be holding a hearing in public into the multi-agency response in the aftermath of the fatal incident on the M6, to make sure that lessons are learnt and co-ordination is as strong as it can be in the future.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has invited local authorities, West Midlands Police and Highways England to a hearing in public on March 18th at Birmingham City Council House to account for the way in which they responded to the aftermath of the crash to learn the lessons from the incident and how it can be better co-ordinated in future.

The PCC will make recommendations on how the motorway can be re-opened as quickly, but safely as possible in future through better co-ordination and joint working.

The crash led to huge delays across the region and the motorway itself was not fully re-opened for nearly 24 hours. It is estimated that motorway closures cost over £1 billion a year to the UK economy, which has a big impact on jobs and growth.

Ahead of the Public Hearing the Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on people and businesses to submit evidence on how they were affected by the crash and the effect it had on them. Evidence can be submitted here: www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/m6delay

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said, “Any death on our roads is a tragic loss of life and our sympathies go out to the family. “In addition to which the huge tailbacks on the transport network which will have cost the regional economy millions of pounds.

“Whole day closures have a huge impact on the economy, therefore we need to make sure that organisations are held to account to make sure they are doing all they can to open the motorway as quickly and safely as possible.

“I will be publicly scrutinising the way in which all the agencies worked together to establish the level of multi-agency working that took place around managing traffic and re-opening the motorway in the aftermath of the incident.

I hope this hearing will act as a stimulus for a more structured working relationship between the police, Highways England and local authorities if a similar incident occurs in the future.

“I will be using my powers as PCC to ensure that these matters are heard in public and properly scrutinised. I have previously called on the Secretary of State for Transport to take hold of this issue to make sure that we are doing all we can to ensure that co-ordination and joint working between different agencies is as strong as possible.

“I want to hear from people and businesses about the effect that it had on them to get a full picture of the impact of the delays ahead of the hearing in public.

I would urge anyone who was stuck in the delays to let me know their experiences so we can get a full picture of what happened and the impact upon the region. Please get in touch via www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/m6delay.

“I have made supporting the regional economy one of my top priorities in my police and crime plan. These delays and lengthy closures have a huge impact on jobs and growth. That is why I am so keen that the agencies involved learn the right lessons going forward.

The hearing in public will take place at 10 am to 1 pm, in Committee Room 2, Birmingham City House on Friday 18th March. The hearing will be webcast via www.westmidspcc.public-i.tv/

The hearing in public will deal solely with the aftermath of the incident and the co-ordination between agencies, not the crash itself. The PCC will chair the hearing and the questioning will be supported by his Strategic Policing and Crime Board.

 

WMPCC heads to Westminster for change in 'zombie knives' law

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is this week meeting with Karen Bradley MP at the Home Office as part of his campaign against the sale of ‘zombie knives’.  

Mr Jamieson wants a change to the Policing and Crime Bill currently going through Parliament to include a total ban on the sale of the weapons.  

Mr Jamieson will be meeting with the Minister, as well as Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey MP, to discuss banning the brutal blades, which have names such as Head Splitter and Death Dagger and can be up to 2ft long with serrated edges.  

West Midlands Police’s lead officer for knife crime today said he shared the Commissioner’s concerns about ‘zombie knives’ and a Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police told Mr Jamieson he is finding them ‘almost daily now’.  

In the West Midlands, a ‘zombie knife’ has already been found and seized by police and the team behind the region’s knife surrender bins said its members were finding more and more examples of ‘intimidation weapons’.  

Nationwide, there are reports of the weapons being increasingly used by criminal gangs as status symbols, with some gang members posting videos online posing with the blades.  

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I have been campaigning against ‘zombie knives’ since last summer and, as a result, the Home Office is already considering banning the sale of these weapons.

I am going to use this meeting with Karen Bradley MP to really push for that.   “I want the Minister to amend the Policing and Crime Bill currently going through parliament to include a ban on the sale of ‘zombie knives’.   “I am also going to ask if there is anything I – or any of my fellow Police and Crime Commissioners nationwide – can do to help in the fight against these gruesome weapons.

“'Zombie knives’ have no practical usage whatsoever and can be bought for as little as £8 online.

They are being increasing used by criminal gangs as status symbols and I know both the public and the police feel as strongly as I do about this issue.   “I am pleased to report that since writing to their chief executive, Amazon UK have tightened up their security and ‘zombie knives’ have disappeared from their pages. I now want other retailers to follow suit and the law to change.

I want an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill detailing a ban on the sale of such weapons.   “We are increasingly seeing these knives on the streets, recently West Midlands Police confiscated a large ‘zombie knife’ in Sutton Coldfield.  

“I am not against the legal and responsible sale of knives in general: obviously they have a practical use in the home and garden. But these ‘zombie knives’ have no practical usage whatsoever and no sensible person wants to see them for sale and then turning up on streets. Hopefully, this meeting will be the first step towards a real change in the law.”  

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Parnell from West Midlands Police CID – the force lead for knife crime - added: “I too share the PCC’s concerns around ‘zombie knives’.  

“To the best of my knowledge there are no examples of them being used in crime in the West Midlands yet but unfortunately I fear this will change.

“A knife should be treated with the same level of seriousness as a firearm. There’s a story behind every knife and we need to make sure we are asking all the right questions.”

There are 13 knife surrender bins across Birmingham and the Black Country and the Commissioner today urged anyone with a zombie knife – or any weapon – to dispose of it in one of the bins. The full list is here: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/key-issues/weapon-surrender-bins

  • A ‘zombie knife’ is characterised by the following features: a blade that is more than 3½ inches long; no practical usage; the glorification of violence; bright colours and over-the-top/unnecessary decoration.
Sir Terry Wogan: Veteran broadcaster dies, aged 77

Veteran BBC broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan has died aged 77, after a short illness, his family has confirmed.

In a statement, they said: "Sir Terry Wogan died today after a short but brave battle with cancer.

"He passed away surrounded by his family. While we understand he will be missed by many, the family ask that their privacy is respected at this time."

BBC director general Tony Hall said: "Terry truly was a national treasure."

'Wonderful personality and charm'

Limerick-born Sir Terry had a 50-year career on television and radio, including presenting Wake up to Wogan on BBC Radio 2 and the Wogan chat show.

He was also the voice of Eurovision for many years and had been involved in the Children in Need since it began.

BBC Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said: "As the host of Wake up to Wogan, Terry established himself as one of the greatest and most popular radio hosts this country has ever heard.

"We were brightened by his wonderful personality and charm as he woke us up every weekday morning, becoming an essential and much-loved part of our lives.

"His millions of listeners adored him, as did his whole Radio 2 family. We will miss him enormously and our thoughts at this very sad time are with Helen and all the family."

Sir Terry originally went into banking after college before switching careers to join Ireland's national Radio Eireann as a newsreader and announcer.

He moved into light entertainment, as a DJ and host of TV quiz and variety shows in Ireland, before joining the BBC.

Lord Hall said: "Terry truly was a national treasure. Today we've lost a wonderful friend.

"He was a lovely, lovely man and our thoughts are with his wife and family. For 50 years Sir Terry graced our screens and airwaves. His warmth, wit and geniality meant that for millions he was a part of the family.

"Wake up to Wogan was for millions of Radio 2 listeners the very best way to start the day.

"For decades he's been such a huge part of the BBC on television and radio and leaves so many wonderful memories.

"At the centre of Children in Need since its beginning, he raised hundreds of millions of pounds and changed so many lives for the better. He leaves a remarkable legacy."

BBC Radio director Helen Broaden said: "Sir Terry was a radio legend. For decades, he gave great pleasure to radio listeners with his wit, warmth and inimitable humour.

"He was an extraordinary broadcaster but also incredibly good fun, and will be sorely missed."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "My thoughts are with Terry Wogan's family. Britain has lost a huge talent - someone millions came to feel was their own special friend.

"I grew up listening to him on the radio and watching him on TV. His charm and wit always made me smile."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35453541

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Lyrics

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 9 Ladies Dancing
  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 10 Lords a Leaping
  • 9 Ladies Dancing
  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 11 Pipers Piping
  • 10 Lords a Leaping
  • 9 Ladies Dancing
  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 12 Drummers Drumming
  • 11 Pipers Piping
  • 10 Lords a Leaping
  • 9 Ladies Dancing
  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree
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Upgrade to Dudley Council Payment Systems

Dudley Council’s payment systems will be unavailable for a short period in October to allow an essential upgrade to be completed.

The council will be upgrading its payments system to ensure it continues to meet the latest security standards.

The council’s payment systems will be unavailable from 8pm on Tuesday 13 October until the work is completed. It is expected that payment systems will start to come back online by Thursday 15 October, with the work completed by the end of Friday 16 October.

Advance notices will be placed on the effected systems to keep users informed.  The impact for residents while the system undergoes essential upgrading will be the temporary unavailability of the automated payment telephone system, online payments using the council website, and cash and card payment made at the Dudley Council Plus contact centre.

Councillor David Sparks, cabinet member for finance and legal services, said:

“We take the security of customer information very seriously at Dudley, and this upgrade will make sure we continue to comply with the latest data security standards. I hope people will understand and make alternative arrangements to make their payments either before or after the upgrade takes place”.

For further information regarding payments to Dudley Council call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner calls on local voluntary groups and agencies to get in touch

west midlands-policecommissioner 

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has asked voluntary groups and agencies that help local people who have been victims of crime or anti-social behaviour to get in touch as part of a major project to better understand victims’ services that exist in the West Midlands.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is keen to hear about how groups help victims of crime or anti-social behaviour and how that support helps people cope with their experiences. The people that groups support do not have to have reported their crime to the police, can be of any age group and ethnicity and can have experienced any crime type or anti-social behaviour. To better understand victims’ services in the West Midlands the Office of the Police and Crime commissioner will be ‘mapping’ all services that exist in the region so that they can put together a full picture of services in the region. Launching the project Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said, “I want to find out more about the services that voluntary groups and agencies offer in the West Midlands so I can work out if there are any gaps in the service. I want to ensure that victims of crime in the West Midlands get the best possible support. “If you work for a local voluntary group that supports victims of crime or anti-social behaviour in the West Midlands and would like to be included in the mapping process, please contact my office on 0121 626 6060 or by emailing jo [DOT] barber [AT] west-midlands [DOT] pnn [DOT] police [DOT] uk.”

Behind the scenes of Peaky Blinders

Peaky_Blinders_titlecardA fascinating peek behind the scenes of television series Peaky Blinders will be taking place at Dudley borough archives centre. 

Dr Chris Upton, Senior Lecturer in history at Newman University, Birmingham, specialises in the history of the West Midlands. He worked as historical advisor on the popular BBC flagship period TV drama, Peaky Blinders, which was set in Birmingham in the early 1920s. 

Dr Upton will visit Dudley borough archives, taking people on a journey behind the scenes of the show. He will be talking about his work with the production team, writers and actors to ensure the drama was as historically accurate as possible for a fictional series. 

Dr Upton provided information on a range of issues; with typical queries including identifying the correct colour for a goal keeper’s jersey in that era, to providing information on the back-to-back houses that form the backdrop of much of the action.

The talk will also look at the history of Birmingham gangs in the city, from the eighteenth century through the years.

Dr Upton said:

"It was a real honour to work on the series. Period dramas, such as Peaky Blinders, entertain and inform members of public, shining a light on periods of history that may have been forgotten. 

"While the series itself isn’t based on a true story, the types of events, times and environment in which the drama takes place are real so we wanted to portray these aspects as accurately as possible. I was particularly keen to ensure that the actors’ accents were as accurate as possible and not confused with Black Country accents.” 

The talk will be hosted by the Friends of Dudley archives and local history service who work to support Dudley borough archives service in a voluntary capacity and hold regular talks and events at the centre.  

Councillor Hilary Bills, cabinet member for archives, said:

“There are some really interesting and entertaining local history events and talks planned for the coming months and they provide a great opportunity to understand more about the history of our surrounding areas. The history talks are also a great way to get acquainted with the services that our new archives centre offers and find out about local and family history.” 

The talk is taking place at 7.30pm on Thursday 5 March and admission is free for members of the group, or £2 for non members. The archives centre is on Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ, next to the Black Country Living Museum. Tickets will need to be pre – ordered by calling 01902 827236.