Sutton Coldfield

England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Court rooms in Birmingham 'sat idle'

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

Court rooms in Birmingham are sitting empty while criminal cases are being delayed, a lawyer's claimed on Twitter.

A general view of Birmingham Crown Court
PA Media

Jonathan Dunne, a barrister in the East Midlands, asked other lawyers across the country on the social media site to provide updates.

He claimed thousands of cases were being held up while, yesterday morning, 127 rooms out of 260 in 34 courts "sat idle".

His list included seven out of the 17 in Birmingham.

A Courts and Tribunals spokeswoman said there was a 12% reduction in crown court trial cases last year and waiting times for cases are the shortest since 2014.

Your weather forecast for the next 24 hours

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

A dry night ahead for the West Midlands with some clear spells, here's the full forecast including for the start of Wednesday:

Alex Hamilton

You can keep up-to-date on the weather in your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Your say: Well wishes for run over PC after dog visit


Well wishes have flooded in on the BBC Midlands Facebook page after a police officer, seriously hurt when he was run over with his own car, had a hospital visit from his pet dog.

Diesel visited PC Gareth Phillips after he suffered a head injury and broken pelvis when stopping a suspected stolen car in Birmingham on 10 August.

Diesel visiting PC Gareth Phillips
West Midlands Police

On the Facebook page, Lima Alpha wrote: "What a lovely thing to do. Hope you are recovering although I imagine it’s not easy. Your beautiful dog is part of your family so only right that you get to see him."

Robert Hetherington added: "Get well soon Gareth. The bond between you and your dog is so special and the police family are all with you."

Paul and Melissa Ralph posted: "So lovely they let your fur baby visit you. Praying for a speedy recovery."

Barbara Fox typed: "Wonderful they have let Diesel in to see you, nothing quite like a dog's love and affection. Thank you for keeping our streets safe."

Ambulance service to take over non-emergency 111 calls

From November, the non-emergency 111 medical helpline is going to be run across the West Midlands by the region's ambulance service, with the exception of Staffordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it plans to integrate the service with its 999 call-handling and that this would mean "patients can be better directed to the most appropriate care".

WMAS call centre

WMAS also said that when it takes over from Care UK, there would be fewer 111 patients being sent an ambulance and fewer being sent to accident and emergency departments.

It added it would look to transfer across staff already working for Care UK.

Ford cars 'most likely to be stolen' in West Midlands, says PCC

BBC Midlands Today

Ford vehicles have the topped the list of cars most likely to be stolen in West Midlands.

A Ford garage

The region's police and crime commissioner, David Jamieson, says more than 1,500 of them have been stolen already this year, and since the start of July, 30 keyless Ford Fiestas have been taken in Walsall and Wolverhampton alone.

The PCC said even when you take that into account that Fords are the most popular car in the region, the level of thefts is disproportionately high.

Ford says they continuously invest in technology to deter the theft of their vehicles.

Fortified wheat flour 'could prevent millions of vitamin deficiency cases'

Adding vitamin D to wheat flour could prevent 10 million new cases of deficiency over the next 90 years, researchers at the University of Birmingham have said.

Wheat flour
Getty Images

The researchers also suggest that by reducing vitamin D deficiency in this way, the NHS would save £65m as demand for healthcare and treatment would decrease.

Adding the supplement would cost 12p per person per year, the study suggested, and would help prevent conditions such as rickets, soft bones, bone pain and muscle weakness.

Dr Magda Aguiar, who carried out the research, said she hoped the government would consider policy changes such as flour fortification, "to address this serious health issue".

Addressing vitamin D deficiency in the UK requires a multi-disciplinary approach, and preventing conditions that are the consequence of deficiency would save the NHS money to the extent that it would more than compensate for the money needed to implement flour fortification at a national level.

Dr Magda AguiarUniversity of Birmingham

Will you need a brolly later?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

We're set for a mainly fine, dry day with sunny spells, here's the full forecast.

Alex Hamilton

You can get the latest forecast for your area at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

Turning dry and clear tonight

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

The showers we've seen today in the West Midlands should fade as we head into tonight which is expected to be mainly dry and clear:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Your photos: Showers arrive

BBC Weather Watchers

We promised you a mixture of sunshine and showers today and the rain's certainly arrived in parts of the West Midlands, as some pictures from our BBC Weather Watchers show.

These three are from users Di's walk in Sutton Coldfield, Outwiththedogs in Studley, Warwickshire and Rileyhev in Hereford:

Sutton Coldfield
Di's walk

Injured PC gets hospital visit from pet dog

PC Gareth Phillips, who is recovering in hospital after being run over by his own police vehicle when he stopped a suspected stolen car in Birmingham, has had a hospital visit from his pet dog Diesel.

PC Gareth Phillips with pet dog Diesel
West Midlands Police

After regaining consciousness, one of the first things that PC Phillips asked about was how Diesel was, West Midlands Police said.

His 13-year-old chocolate labrador was allowed to visit the hospital to say hello and lift his spirits.

“He’s got a shattered pelvis and is in pain, but is taking each day as it comes and is making small steps in his recovery," colleague Supt Dave Twyford said.

Mubashar Hussain, 29, formerly of Sherwood Road, Hall Green, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court last week charged with Mr Phillips's attempted murder.

Will you need your umbrella again?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

A mix of sunny spells with some heavy showers - here's the full weather forecast.

Alex Hamilton

Stay up to date with the latest weather for you area by heading to the BBC Weather website at any other time.

Wet day turning to dry night

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

After all the rain we should be in for a largely dry night - here's the full forecast, including for the start of your weekend:

Rebecca Wood

Keep up-to-date with the weather where you are at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Wet day ahead

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's going to be a wet one today with rain due to spread across the West Midlands throughout the day - here's the full forecast:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Weather set to change from tonight

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Dry and clear to start tonight but it's then going to soon turn cloudy - here's the full forecast for the West Midlands.

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast at any other time for your area from the BBC Weather website.

Big differences in A-level maths results

Maths proved the most popular subject at A-levels this year.

Across the country, 41.4% of 18-year-olds got A or A* grades, but there was a big variation across the country and across exam boards.

Documents first reported by the Daily Telegraph revealed that students taking papers set by both Pearson/Edexcel and OCR needed just 55% and 54% respectively to get an A grade.


The results cover ceremonial counties, so Stoke-on-Trent figures are included with Staffordshire and Telford ones as part of Shropshire.

The number of students taking the subject in each county also differs significantly with just 255 in Herefordshire and 3,410 in the West Midlands.

Thousands pledged for PC run over by own car

BBC Midlands Today

A crowdfunding appeal launched to support a police officer who was run over with his own car has already raised nearly £6,000.

PC Gareth Phillips
Family Handout

PC Gareth Phillips, 42, suffered potentially life-changing injuries after he stopped a suspected stolen car on Moorcroft Road, Moseley, Birmingham, on Saturday.

West Midlands Police said the page has been set up by his colleagues and the money will help support the officer's family through his recovery.

Mubashar Hussain, 29, formerly of Sherwood Road, Hall Green, appeared in court charged with offences including attempted murder and will next appear at Birmingham Crown Court next month.

Some showers to start the day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Some scattered showers around this morning in the West Midlands, here's the full forecast for the region:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast at any other time for your area by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Amnesty removes 145 weapons from the streets

Rifles, shotguns, revolvers and handguns were among 145 firearms surrendered to West Midlands Police during a two-week gun amnesty.

West Midlands Police officers with guns
West Midlands Police

The force said it had also received self-loading pistols, a rifle silencer, military smoke grenade, incapacitant sprays and stun guns.

“A number of deactivated and imitation weapons were also surrendered. These could have been easily converted and should they have fallen into the wrong hands, the consequences could have been devastating," Ch Supt Mark Payne said.

“As a force, this is our third firearms surrender in less than two years and in total nearly 400 items have been handed in to us. That is a significant number of potentially very dangerous items off the street, and we have no doubt this will have saved lives.

Ch Supt Mark PayneWest Midlands Police

'What happens on one side of the globe impacts our city'

The leader of Birmingham City Council has written to the foreign secretary calling on the government to "try and broker a swift resolution" to unrest in Kashmir.

Protests in Birmingham over Kashmir on Saturday
There were protests in Birmingham on Saturday demanding freedom for Kashmir

Cllr Ian Ward said recent events are causing "significant anxiety" in Birmingham, which has a substantial Kashmiri population.

Indian-administered Kashmir has been under an unprecedented lockdown since 5 August, when India revoked a special constitutional status dating back nearly 70 years.

"Given Birmingham's diversity, what has an impact on one side of the globe has an impact in our city," Cllr Ward wrote.

Conservatives select crime commissioner candidate

Jay Singh-Sohal has been selected as the Conservative party candidate for the next West Midlands Police and Crime commissioner.

View more on twitter

Mr Singh-Sohal, born in Handsworth, has a background in journalism and is a captain in the Army Reserves.

Labour is expected to announce their candidate for the role, currently occupied by the party's David Jamieson, next month.

Elections are due to take place in 2020.

What's the weather got in store?

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Well it's going to be a very wet day today so make sure you pack an umbrella.

There's also a weather warning in place for possible heavy thundery showers across the region.

West Midlands weather 14 August 2019

Tonight and tomorrow's weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's just the chance of the odd shower this evening but it should then be mainly dry overnight.

Here's the full weather forecast, including for tomorrow:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

Severe disruption: A5127 West Midlands westbound

BBC News Travel

A5127 West Midlands westbound severe disruption, between Lower Queen Street and Manor Road.

A5127 West Midlands - A5127 Brassington Avenue in Sutton Coldfield blocked and queues westbound between the Lower Queen Street junction and the Manor Road junction, because of a broken down bus. Congestion to Victoria Road past Nando's.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Thunderstorms warning for Wednesday

Allen Cook

BBC News

Thunderstorms could cause flooding and disrupt transport in parts of the West Midlands tomorrow, the Met Office has said.

Area covered by warning
Met Office

A yellow weather warning's been issued covering most of the region from 14:00 until 22:00.

Fine, sunny day ahead for Tuesday

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Today looks like being a generally fine day for most of the West Midlands, here's the full weather forecast:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Chance of showers tonight

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a mostly dry day, there's a chance of some scattered showers overnight.

Here's the full weather forecast for the West Midlands, including for tomorrow:

Alex Hamilton with Monday night's West Midlands weather

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

'Lethal weapons' turned in in gun amnesty

Nearly 150 firearms have been surrendered in West Midlands Police's latest gun amnesty.

Gun amnesty

Of those, 15 were deemed "lethal weapons" and ammunition, air weapons and imitation firearms were also turned in.

The force ran the gun amnesty for two weeks, starting on 20 July.

The weapons will now all be forensically tested before being destroyed, police said.

Police get £3.3m to tackle violent crime

West Midlands Police will receive a £3.3m share of new funding for police and crime commissioners worth £35m.

Generic shot of police officer
Getty Images

The "Violence Reduction Units", announced today by the government, will bring together different organisations - including the police, local government, health and community leaders - to tackle violent crime.

The teams will be tasked with identifying what is prompting violent crime in the area and coming up with long and short-term plans for tackling it.

The £35m will be split between 18 areas of the country most affected by serious violence - with the Metropolitan force receiving the largest share of £7m.

To beat knife crime we must do two things: first we need assertive, high profile police enforcement and second, we need a coordinated approach to the long term solutions to violence in society, especially amongst the young.

Kit MalthousePolicing Minister

Fashion student creates stab-proof jacket

A fashion student from Birmingham City University who says she has lost multiple friends and family members to knife crime has created a stab-proof jacket.

Shelana's son, Rimarni, wearing the gilet
Birmingham City University

Shelana Morton, 32, from Birmingham, created the gilet using a layer of ‘kevlar’ - a protective fabric which forms part of uniforms worn by army, military and police officers which helps to prevent slash and puncture wounds.

“An 11 year-old told me that my gilet garment could save his life,” she said. “What world do we live in when a child as young as 11 is saying that?”

She has also incorporated phrases stitched into the jacket's hood including: ‘Protect yourself with language not violence’, ‘Value your life’ and ‘Do you want to live with blood on your hands?’.

Shelana Morton
Shelana Morton

I've lost multiple family members and friends to knife crime - I understand what families are going through, and because of that and the rise in knife crime, it all resonated with me. I just think it's time for change.

Shelana MortonFashion student

Dry start to Monday's weather

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

The week's set to start mainly dry and pretty cloudy across the West Midlands, here's the forecast for the whole of Monday:

Alex Hamilton

You can keep up-to-date with the weather where you are at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.