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London fires drop by 34% in a decade according to LFB

LFB
BBC

The number of fires in London have fallen by 34% in the last 10 years, according to latest figures.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said last year it attended 17,993 fires, while in 2010, crews attended 27,462 blazes. Fires in the home have decreased 23% since 2010, while car fires decreased by 38% over the decade, it said.

LFB said firefighters carrying out home safety visits, school visits and using social media had helped to prevent fires.

It added the number of fires in Tower Hamlets were halved over the decade.

It comes after 10 fire stations in London were closed in 2014, resulting in the loss of 552 firefighters.

Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said: "The reduction in fires is testament to the hard work of our firefighters and in particular our fire safety teams who tirelessly push forward our commitment to prevent fires from happening in the first place.

"We must not become complacent though. There are still people dying and suffering serious injury from fires that could have been avoided.

"It is also vital that regulations are changed to make buildings safer and more sprinklers fitted especially in purpose built residential blocks and homes of the vulnerable."

Croydon 'frenzied' stabbing victim named

Tyler
Met Police

Police have released the name of a 24-year-old man who was killed in a "brutal and frenzied attack" as he walked down a south London street.

Tyler Roye, 24, was stabbed to death shortly after midnight on Wednesday in Stroud Green Way, Croydon.

He was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to hospital, but died in surgery at around 02:45.

Police said the family of the Croydon man have been told of his death, with a post-mortem due to be done on Thursday.

No arrests have been made in connection with the death, Scotland Yard said.

Detective Chief Inspector John Massey said: "This was a brutal and frenzied attack on a young man walking along the street. "I want to hear from anyone who saw, heard or recorded anything in the Stroud Green Way area before, during or after the murder."

This year's Record Store Day ambassadors on their exclusive releases and favourites LPs.
The all-female band are this year's Record Store Day UK ambassadors. They share some of their favourite vinyl and surprises they have planned for the big day.

Coulsdon, Purley and South Croydon put on flood alert

Inside Croydon

The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for south-east London, including Coulsdon, Kenley, Purley and South Croydon.

It is six years since the major flooding in Kenley and Purley, when emergency services had to work around the clock to protect vital infrastructure, and the pedestrian subway at Purley Cross was transformed into an underground lake to take up some of the floodwaters. The mopping up process took months.

Full story

Victoria coach station fire safety criticised

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Concerned fire safety experts found a catalogue of problems at one of Britain’s busiest transport hubs where there was no evidence that an evaluation of the risks had taken place.

Issues uncovered included potentially confusing fire escape notices, “inadequate” emergency routes, items stored on a staircase and a sprinkler which was out of action for more than two years.

London Fire Brigade sent a report spanning 10 pages of concerns and recommendations about Victoria Coach Station to Transport Trading Limited – a subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL).

Fourteen million passengers go through the station off Buckingham Palace Road every year, and one fire safety expert who read the report said “it looks like a walking disaster area”.

Transport bosses were told the breaches of the fire safety order had to be put right by 23 March.

Independent fire safety expert Stephen MacKenzie told the Local Democracy Reporting Service “There are some quite concerning findings, Victoria coach station is by far the worst I’ve seen in a long time.”

In their report the inspectors said fire exit signs at Victoria Coach Station were “of mixed standards” and spotted “contradictory” signs in the mobility lounge and “degraded” signs in the maintenance workshop and mezzanine floor.

And the report said no live or mock emergency evacuation had taken place. These exercises would help spot any problems which could be put right and help people become familiar with evacuation procedures.

A TfL spokeswoman said the last full evacuation exercise was held on 4 October 2019, with a “partial evacuation exercise on 14 October”.

Lilli Matson, TfL’s chief safety health and environment officer, said: “Safety is our top priority, and we work closely with London Fire Brigade to ensure that our network is safe for customers and staff.

“We have already addressed many of the points raised in the enforcement notice, which had also been identified in our most recent fire risk assessment. We have appointed a contractor to reinstate the coach station’s sprinklers and have deployed 24/7 fire watchers while we complete this project.”

Micheal Carver is the lead nurse for Violence Reduction at The Royal London Hospital.
A violence reduction nurse explains what needs to be done to save a stab victim's life.
'My boyfriend was a police spy'
Scotland Yard says it’s credible an ex-police spy had a relationship with a teenage campaigner.

Man dies after being found in street with neck injury

A man aged in his 40 has died after he was found in a north London street with a neck injury.

Emergency services were called to Anson Road in Cricklewood at 06:45 over reports of an injured man.

Paramedics treated the male but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 07:30.

The Met said there had been no arrests "and officers retain an open mind concerning motive".

Tanesha Melbourne-Blake: Sixth person held over killing

Tanesha Melbourne-Blake
PA Media

A man has been arrested over the killing of a 17-year-old girl who was shot dead in north London two years ago.

Tanesha Melbourne-Blake was gunned down while with friends in Charlgrove Road, Tottenham, on 2 April 2018.

The Met Police said a 30-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder on Thursday and remains in custody.

Five people have previously been held over the 17-year-old's death. Three were released under investigation pending further inquiries, while two others were released with no further action.

Arrest after mosque stabbing

A man has been stabbed at Regent's Park mosque in north London mosque this afternoon.

His attacker has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The condition of the victim is not yet known.

The attack happened just after 15:00.

Arrest after stabbing at north London mosque

Reports are coming in of a knife incident at Regent's Park Mosque in north London.

More soon.

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Support service for parents who lose baby

Parents who suffer the trauma of losing a baby during pregnancy or birth are being offered free support from a specialist bereavement counsellor at St Thomas’ Hospital.

baby
Guys and St Thomas' Hospital
Baby Astrid, who was born after Emily Dent lost her son aged 21 weeks

St Thomas’ has become the eighth hospital in the UK to partner with the baby loss counselling charity, Petals.

Emily Dent, from Kennington in south London, received their support after she lost her son, Erik, at 21 weeks in 2018.

She was also offered counselling sessions when she was pregnant again with her daughter, Astrid, who is now four months old.

Emily said: “Having someone there to talk to who was totally disconnected from my life really helped me to process something pretty traumatic.

Debbie Bridgewater, matron for the high risk team at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: "Our bereavement midwives are there to support families going through this difficult time, and the new Petals counselling service will help us to provide even better care.”

Facial recognition technology used on Oxford Street

Police have been using live facial recognition technology in the form of van-mounted cameras near Oxford Circus this morning.

View more on twitter

The surveillance has been criticised by civil liberties and privacy campaigners since its roll-out was announced last month.

A photograph of a dark blue van, next to a sign reading "Police live facial recognition in use", taken near Oxford Circus was later posted on Twitter by UK civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, who described the identity checks as "alarming".

People scanned by the cameras are checked against "watchlists" of suspects wanted by police and the courts and approached by officers if there is a match.

The Met claims that the technology has a very low failure rate but research from the University of Essex said the tech only achieved eight correct matches out of 42 across six trials it evaluated.

Plough Lane: Fans raise £5m for AFC Wimbledon's new stadium

Local Democracy Reporting Service

AFC Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon fans have managed to raise £5m in a month to ensure that the team can move back to the borough in time for next season.

In December, the club said it needed to raise a further £11m by January to complete their new stadium at Plough Lane.

In response to this, the fan-owned club set up the Plough Lane Bond on 17 January to get the stadium completed this year.

The club aimed to move into the ground- on the site of Wimbledon greyhound stadium - at the start of the season.

Fan Damian Woodward, who helped set up the bond, said: “It will be more than a dream come true having not been back there for 30 years.

“Having been at Plough Lane at the age of 10 and going back, it will be an incredible feeling for many fans and really uplifting for the community.”

Wimbledon FC, as it was known then, left Plough Lane in 1991, first sharing Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace FC, before moving to Milton Keynes where they were renamed as Milton Keynes Dons.

AFC Wimbledon was formed in 2002 by dedicated Wimbledon fans who were not happy about the move to Milton Keynes.

The club's chief executive Joe Palmer said: “I’m delighted by the success of the bond so far and keeping it running was one of the easiest decisions I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here."

Woman rescued from Kensington flat fire

Kensington fire
LFB

A woman has been taken to hospital by paramedics after she was rescued from the flat fire in Kensington.

She was found in the three-roomed basement flat after fire crews were called to Pater Street at 0920.

London Fire Brigade said the blaze had taken just over an hour to get under control.

Council defends spending millions on consultants

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Kingston council has spent more than £4.3m on employing consultants to help out with its services.

In a Freedom of Information Request sent by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, it was revealed the council had spent £4,356,347 on employing consultants between 2017 and 2019.

The department which spent the most on consultants was regeneration and strategic housing, totalling £1,764,929 in the period.

The biggest regeneration plan the borough has at the moment is on the Cambridge Road Estate.

This will be subject to a residents’ ballot, starting next week to decide if the estate should be demolished and replaced with new homes.

It will run from 24 February to 18 March and will be independently run by Civica Election Services, formerly known as the Electoral Reform Society, and will open to eligible residents on the estate.

The council’s highest yearly spend on consultants was in 2017, totalling £2,183,176. However, this dropped to £921,559 in 2019, less than half than the amount spent in 2017.

A spokesperson for Kingston council said: “The council has undertaken a large and competitive procurement exercise which required specialist skills that the council does not hold on a permanent basis during the period 2017-19.

“The expertise from these procured resources centered around the redevelopment plans for the Cambridge Road Estate, which is key priority in our Corporate Plan and will bring forward a significant level of investment into the borough and deliver over 2,000 new warmer homes, including increased council homes, additional community facilities and public spaces.”

Green mayoral candidate launches campaign

Susana Mendonca

BBC Radio London Political Reporter

Canning Town freezer bodies: Murder trial date set

Henriett
Met Police

A man accused of murdering two women who were found dead in a freezer faces trial in April.

Zahid Younis, 35, is charged with the murders of Henriett Szucs, 34, and Mihrican Mustafa, 38, and two counts of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.

The bodies of Hungarian national Ms Szucs and mother-of-three Ms Mustafa were discovered by police in a flat in Canning Town, east London, on 26 April 2019.

Mr Younis, of Vandome Close, Canning Town, appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link from Wandsworth jail for a hearing before Mr Justice Edis on Tuesday.

Mr Justice Edis confirmed he would be the trial judge and hear the case at Kingston Crown Court.

The case would be scheduled to start on 14 April and last for up to five weeks.

The defendant was remanded in custody

‘Lack of trust’ sees arts venue selling just 26% of tickets

Inside Croydon

The costs of refurbishing the Fairfield Halls rose by another £1.6million in just five months since it re-opened last September – and there could be many millions more to add to the price tag of the council-owned arts venue.

Full story

Strike action planned for Balerloo tube line

Staff working on the Bakerloo line are planning to strike from Friday.

London Underground sign
PA Media

Members of the RMT union will take action over a new timetable from 10:00 GMT on Friday until Monday evening.

The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines will also be closed in central London this weekend for testing of the new signalling system.

"Vital work on the Bank station upgrade" will be taking place on the Northern line which will prevent travel between Moorgate and Kennington.

The Transport for London website has more details of alternative arrangement.