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Officer 'deliberately struck' by reversing car

A police officer has received hospital treatment after being deliberately struck by a car in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton.

The police officer on Beechwood Avenue
West Midlands Police

He sustained minor injuries after approaching a grey Mercedes C-Class, which then reversed into him at about 14:00 on Beechwood Avenue.

The car then drove off while the West Midlands Police officer was sent to hospital where his injuries were described as minor.

The force said it was investigating and urged any witnesses to get in touch.

Mosques reopen for Friday prayers

Mosques across the West Midlands have reopened for Friday prayers for the first time since March.

Getty Images

Worshippers will have to have temperatures taken on the door, bring their own mats, and sit at least one metre apart.

Under 12s and Over 70s are also being asked to stay at home, along with women.

Some mosques, including Green Lane in Birmingham, are asking worshippers to book ahead.

Second stabbed paramedic released from hospital

Monica Rimmer

BBC News

A paramedic who was stabbed while on a job has been discharged from hospital.

Michael Hipgrave and Deena Evans, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, were hurt at a property in Wolverhampton on Monday after being called to check on the welfare of a man.

Deena and Michael
West Midlands Ambulance Service

The ambulance service said earlier that Deena was released from hospital yesterday afternoon after suffering a knife wound to her chest.

After being discharged from hospital earlier this week, Michael is also at home, recovering from injuries to his back.

"Both Deena and Michael are in good spirits as they recover from their ordeal," the ambulance service said.

Martyn Smith, 52, appeared in court on Wednesday charged with two counts of wounding with intent.

He was remanded in custody and will appear at crown court on 5 August.

Towns could be at risk of local lockdown

David Gregory-Kumar

Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

Scientists from Kings College in London have included Wolverhampton and Dudley in a list of places which might need a local lockdown because of a rise in coronavirus cases, like Leicester.

The researchers have been using data from an app they developed, which was downloaded by nearly four million people, to learn about the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus sign
Getty Images

The data only runs up until the first of this month though and the numbers are quite small, so it's possible the number of cases in Dudley and Wolverhampton could just as easily fall.

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

After a dry start rain will gradually move in, becoming heavy at times, with highs of 17C (63F).

It was a lovely start to the day in Crewe, where BBC Weather Watcher AlexG595 captured this image of sunrise.

BBC Weather Watchers/AlexG595

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a windy day with sunny spells but also scattered showers with highs of 19C (66F).

This was the scene in Warwick earlier taken by BBC Weather Watcher Ryan Lewis.

BBC Weather Watchers/Ryan Lewis

'Don't drink three months worth of alcohol'

A paramedic for West Midlands Ambulance Service has warned people as the pubs reopen, not to "drink three months' worth of alcohol in one night".

He told his Twitter followers: "You don't want to end up in an ambulance like this one".

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Covid-19 data monitored in case of Leicester visits

Allen Cook

BBC News

A close eye's being kept on coronavirus test data in the West Midlands in case residents in Leicester visited friends and relatives across the border and spread the virus, the region's mayor has said.

Police officers wearing protective masks patrol along a street in Leicester

The East Midlands city became subject to the UK's first local lockdown on Monday following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

At a regional briefing this afternoon, mayor Andy Street responded to concerns there might have been visits to the West Midlands by people from Leicester before the lockdown.

"The encouragement to every person in Leicester is not to travel outside the city but we will be able through the data to see how it looks here."

"The Coventry data is particularly good at the moment and I know the team there will be monitoring it like a hawk and, if there are any local incidents, they can be addressed quickly."

Pantomime cancelled at city theatre

This year's pantomime at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre will not go ahead, it's been confirmed.

Cinderella poster
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Pantos are crucial to theatre earnings, and this Christmas could prove to be make or break for some venues' futures.

The Grand says creative teams can't work together because of coronavirus so they're unable to collaborate on the show.

The theatre says anyone with tickets for Cinderella will have them transferred to Christmas 2021, or they can request a refund.

Police 'praying for rain' when pubs reopen

Allen Cook

BBC News

Police in the West Midlands are "praying for rain" tomorrow as pubs prepare to reopen, the region's police and crime commissioner (PCC) said.

People with drinks
Getty Images

After several months of lockdown, publicans have been getting ready to reopen after 06:00 on Saturday.

PCC David Jamieson's previously described the decision as "pure madness" and at a media briefing today said to do it on a Saturday in the middle of summer was a "very bad day".

"We could have started earlier this week and led into it rather than the big bang of super Saturday which has the potential to cause a lot of difficulty."

At the same briefing, Chief Constable Dave Thompson said his officers were ready for the weekend and the reopening could help with cases of illegal parties.

"The force has been dealing with a number of illegal gatherings and I think they [partygoers] are identifying this desire of coming together and happening this way [with pubs] could help with this issue."

Dates revealed for reopening of council play areas

Allen Cook

BBC News

Families will be able to use some council-run outdoor play areas and gym equipment across the West Midlands from tomorrow but not every place is working to the same deadline.

Play equipment
Lichfield District Council

Several local authorities have said on their websites or social media their play areas will be available from Saturday and they include:

But some councils have said their outdoor play areas will only start to be available from next week:

While Cannock Chase District Council said its play areas and outdoor gym equipment would remain out of use until all risk assessments have been carried out and signs put up.

Both Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council said their play areas would stay shut over the weekend while work continues to make them safe but didn't reveal a reopening date.

We'll update for other local authorities as and when we get the information.

Play area
Warwick District Council

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with a few outbreaks of rain and turning windy with highs of 18C (64F).

This lovely picture was taken by BBC Weather Watcher Z70 in Ranton, Staffordshire.

BBC Weather Watchers/Z70

Crime crackdown involved every police force

A crackdown on organised crime gangs, after a top-secret communications system was taken down, involved every police force in the UK.

Regional Organised Crime Agency

The National Crime Agency says the Europe-wide operation, which lasted more than three months, has had the biggest impact on organised crime gangs it has ever seen.

A cash counting house in the West Midlands was raided, with £1.6m seized, while an operation involving Police Scotland and Staffordshire Police found 40kg of cocaine.

A total of £7.2m in criminal cash was seized in the region along with drugs, a firearm and one air weapon, said West Midlands Police.

Positive Covid-19 test results fall across West Midlands

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus across the West Midlands is falling in every council area, according to new figures.

The data from Public Health England shows the number of positive tests for every 100,000 population tested in hospitals and the wider community in the week up to 28 June.

Test centre
PA Media

For the West Midlands, the figures in alphabetical order of council are:

  • Birmingham 6.5
  • Coventry 1.4
  • Dudley 2.2
  • Herefordshire 1.6
  • Sandwell 5.5
  • Shropshire 7.2
  • Solihull 6.5
  • Staffordshire 7.9
  • Stoke-on-Trent 14.1
  • Telford and Wrekin 5.1
  • Walsall 3.2
  • Warwickshire 5.6
  • Wolverhampton 7.6
  • Worcestershire 3.6

By comparison, the figure for Leicester in the week is 141.3 testing positive out of 100,000 people.

Art workshops held to support refugees during lockdown

Online art courses are being held to help support refugees in the West Midlands during the coronavirus lockdown.


The ARTconnects for Refugees workshops have been delivered by artist and activist Salma Zulfiqar in partnership with the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham.

"The global pandemic and recent anti-racism protests have shown us how we need to keep up the fight for a more inclusive world, creating communities where no-one is left behind," she said.


At one workshop, set to coincide with World Refugee Day, a Syrian refugee said: "Lockdown has been really difficult - I can’t see friends, it’s a very hard time for me. I miss my teacher and friends. We have support when I’m in class."

The next session will be held on Monday 6 July.

Cash and drugs seized as crime chat network cracked

A top-secret communications system used by criminals to trade drugs and guns has been "successfully penetrated", says the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Cash on a table
Regional Organised Crime Unit

Major crime figures were among 746 arrests - including 43 in the West Midlands - after messages on EncroChat were intercepted and decoded.

More than 230kg of cocaine and 2kg of cannabis along with more than £7m in cash was seized in the region said the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU).

The NCA worked with forces across Europe on the UK's "biggest and most significant" law enforcement operation.

Figures on seizures
National Crime Agency

Head of WMROCU Det Ch Supt Richard Baker said: “We specifically focused on those thought to be involved in the highest levels of organised crime across our region.

“This work has undoubtedly saved lives by taking guns and drugs off the streets and we know we have made a huge contribution to making our streets much safer from organised crime gangs."

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with some bright spells but also some showers, with highs of 19C (66F).

BBC Weather Watcher Dammo took this snap in sunny Knowle.

BBC Weather Watchers/Dammo

No Covid-19-related deaths for second day this week

For the second time in three days, no coronavirus-related deaths have been reported by hospital trusts in the West Midlands.

Wednesday is usually a day when the figure has been higher in past weeks.

No deaths were recorded on Monday or Wednesday and nine were recorded on Tuesday.

Virus data released for West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

Figures have been released showing the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in each council area.

It comes after Leicester became the first city to have a local lockdown imposed following a rise in cases.

A woman being tested for coronavirus in Leicester
AFP/Getty Images

The data from Public Health England shows the number of positive tests for every 100,000 population tested in hospitals and the wider community in the week up to 21 June.

For the West Midlands, the figures in alphabetical order of council are:

  • Birmingham 9.6
  • Coventry 5.7
  • Dudley 3.7
  • Herefordshire 2.1
  • Sandwell 7.3
  • Shropshire 13.7
  • Solihull 4.7
  • Staffordshire 9.4
  • Stoke-on-Trent 18.0
  • Telford and Wrekin 8.4
  • Walsall 4.6
  • Warwickshire 10.3
  • Wolverhampton 9.9
  • Worcestershire 5.7

By comparison, the figure for Leicester in the week is 140.2 testing positive out of 100,000 people.

'No discussions' about West Midlands-wide lockdown

BBC Radio WM

There have been no discussions about the possibility of a West Midlands-wide lockdown akin to the situation in Leicester, the region's mayor, Andy Street, has said.

Andy Street
PA Media

"The idea is to act as local as you can to prevent the situation going to a whole city of region," Mr Street said, adding every local authority within the West Midlands Combined Authority has a local outbreak plan.

"The [infection] trend is down and the data is encouraging," the Conservative mayor said, "but there is no room for complacency."

"If we were in a position where the virus was re-established across the conurbation, we would have to do that [lockdown] but I see no likelihood of that from our current position."

How lockdown affected Ramadan 2020

Ramadan: Young Muslims share video diaries on fasting in lockdown

With coronavirus lockdown measures put in place weeks before, this year's Ramadan was celebrated very differently by Muslims across the UK.

BBC News spoke to three young Muslims who shared video diaries on how their lives have been affected.

Anmol Merban, Hani Ismail and Saba Saleem shared their experiences on a unique month of fasting.

Boris Johnson pledges 'new deal' to build post-virus

Boris Johnson will promise to "build build build" as he unveils government plans to soften the economic impact of coronavirus.

Set to speak in Dudley later, the prime minister will say he wants to use the coronavirus crisis "to tackle this country's great unresolved challenges".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Getty Images

As part of a "new deal", Mr Johnson will set out plans to accelerate £5bn on infrastructure projects.

Labour called for a "laser-like focus" on preventing job losses.

Last week, the West Midlands mayor launched a plan asking for £3.2bn over three years from the government to keep the regional economy going.

"No-one’s kidding themselves that [the government] will hand over a cheque for £3bn next Tuesday," said Andy Street.

But there was an "urgent need" to submit the plan which would be a "perfect opportunity for government to show its plan for leveling up".

PM due in region for investment speech

The prime minister is due to visit Dudley tomorrow as he is set to announce a programme of infrastructure projects to help the economy bounce back from the effects of coronavirus, said the mayor of the West Midlands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Andy Street tweeted: "He, like me, is ambitious for the region and we have started the job."

The West Midlands is asking for £3.2bn over three years from the government to keep the regional economy going.

The expectation is that at at least 61,000 jobs will be lost in the region as a result of the first three months of lockdown once the government's furlough scheme ends, a briefing held by the mayor last week was told.

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Saturday opening for pubs 'total madness'

The government's decision to open pubs, cafes and restaurants on a Saturday has been described as "total madness" by the West Midlands police and crime commissioner (PCC).

Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on 23 June they would be able to reopen on 4 July.

Labour PCC David Jamieson said the government should have "opened a little bit earlier this week or perhaps leave it until next Monday".

"Publicans have been telling them this - and the police, if we'd been asked, [would say] a similar thing as well."

He told the BBC he feared people's "pent-up feeling" after three months of lockdown would "explode out on to the streets".

"I'm afraid it's going to be a real challenge for everybody," he added.