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   Inside Out - West Midlands: Monday January 9, 2006

Fly-tipping fightback

Flytipping
Rubbish headache - clamping down on the fly-tippers

Rubbish is dumped illegally somewhere in Britain every 35 seconds.

It is a growing problem which blights our towns and countryside and costs millions of pounds a year to clean up.

But in Stoke-on-Trent, environmental officers are fighting back.

Taking a new hard-line approach, they are using sophisticated crime-fighting techniques, including hidden cameras, tracking devices and even DNA profiling, to track down and prosecute fly-tippers.

Inside Out joins the Staffordshire team on the trail of the tippers and discovers that an unscrupulous few are making a tidy profit out of illegally dumping waste.

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Jack the Ripper

Ripper reconstruction
What lurks in the dark. Could Jack the Ripper be a Midlander?

The identity of Jack the Ripper, the man behind a series of gruesome killings in Victorian London, is one of the great unsolved murder mysteries.

A long list of suspects includes a teacher, doctor and a member of the Royal family - but experts remain divided over who actually committed the grisly crimes.

And now, after more than a century of speculation, the spotlight has fallen on a new suspect.

OTHER SUSPECTS

Police in the 1880s identified the following suspects:

Kosminski, a poor Polish Jew resident in Whitechapel.

Montague John Druitt, a 31- year- old barrister and school teacher.

Michael Ostrog, a Russian-born thief and confidence trickster.

Dr Francis J. Tumblety, an American 'quack' doctor, arrested in November 1888 for offences of gross indecency, who fled the country later.

Source: Met Police

Inside Out investigates claims that William Bury, a man born and brought up in the West Midlands, was the Ripper.

Bury, who lived in London at the time of the murders, was later hanged in Scotland for killing his wife.

But could it be that this violent, troubled individual from Stourbridge was also one of history’s most notorious serial killers?

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'Gay Wedding'

Kevin and Craig in wedding suits
A partnership for life - 'gay weddings' are now recognised

Marriage has for centuries been the preserve of heterosexual couples.

But a change in the law has meant that same-sex couples can now also have their partnership officially recognised in a civil ceremony.

So-called ‘gay weddings’ have provoked angry criticism from some Christian and family groups, but for many they represent a long-overdue move towards equal rights.

Inside Out follows Craig and Kevin, from Stoke-on-Trent, as they prepare to become one of the first gay couples in the West Midlands to tie the knot.

We also meet those who oppose the move to officially recognise same-sex relationships, and others who are hoping to cash in on what could be a lucrative new ‘weddings’ market.

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