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Police commander suspended by force

Vicky Norton

BBC Radio Stoke

A senior police officer's been suspended for what his force has described as allegations "which amount to gross misconduct".

Staffordshire Police has refused to reveal the nature of the allegations.

Chief Insp John Owen
BBC

The force said it had decided to take the action over Chief Insp John Owen, its police commander for Stoke-on-Trent North.

It added that it had referred the allegations to its watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which assessed them and referred the issue back to the force for an internal investigation.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Can we expect the rain to dry up over the next few days?

Here's the weekend forecast.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Flood alerts updated

Roads closed due to flooding

BBC News Travel

The A38 Kingsbury Road remains closed northbound in Castle Vale between Forge Lane and Midpoint Boulevard roundabout.

The southbound carriageway was also initially blocked, but is now passable with care.

The B4101 is also closed in both directions in Bradnocks Marsh, Solihull between Magpie Lane and Fen End Road West.

In Staffordshire the B5066 Sandon Road is completely closed from Astonfields Road to Peel Terrace.

New Street in Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire is closed between Hanley Road and Upper Hook Road.

Wrinehill Road in Nantwich, Cheshire remains closed from B5071 Bridge Street to Cobbs Lane.

Latest update on flood warnings issued

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Rain will gradually ease and clear with some sunny spells later and highs of 17C (63F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

More rain on the way

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's some respite on the way from the rain in the latest weather forecast for the West Midlands.

But the wet weather is due to return tomorrow morning:

Alex Hamilton

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

Unpaid forensics roles a 'disaster in waiting'

A forensic specialist from Hexham has called West Midlands Police's appeal for volunteer digital forensic analysts a "disaster waiting to happen".

The force has advertised the unpaid roles which involve sifting through "distressing [and] indecent images".

Forensics professionals have expressed concerns that volunteers working at least 16 hours a month will not receive adequate emotional support.

Sam Raincock said on Twitter: "I actually cannot believe what I have read here.

"It is an absolute disgrace and a disaster waiting to happen."

View more on twitter

Travel disruption expected from more flooding

Drivers are being warned there could be more flooding and disruption this morning.

River Teme, Ludlow on Wednesday
Shropshire Lass

After several days of rain and more overnight, the forecast is for further wet weather through today.

The Environment Agency has flood warnings in place for parts of Shropshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, as well as flood alerts across the West Midlands.

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place until midday which covers Cheshire, including around Crewe and Nantwich.

Yesterday, the bad weather caused disruption to trains as flood water blocked railway lines and several roads were under water.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, with some of it heavy, and highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Marvel and DC comics: Man sells £350k collection
Martin Morris amassed 36,000 Marvel and DC comics over decades, with one probably worth £10,000.

Counties braced for more flooding

Allen Cook

BBC News

The number of flood alerts in Shropshire and Cheshire have increased as the Met Office is warning there could be more flooding over the next 24 hours.

Fast-flowing brook in Shropshire at Longnor
STFC goose

It has a yellow weather warning in place for most of the West Midlands until midnight and then the warning moves to cover a smaller area until midday tomorrow, but does include Cheshire.

The Environment Agency has two flood warnings in place in Shropshire along with five flood alerts in the county.

There are also four flood alerts in Staffordshire and one covering Crewe and Nantwich in Cheshire.

Flooding fears increase with rising river levels

Allen Cook

BBC News

River levels are continuing to rise in parts of the West Midlands as more rain's forecast for the next 24 hours.

Shrewsbury town centre, near the River Severn
Eric Bullock

The Environment Agency still has two flood warnings on the River Vyrnwy near Oswestry, which mean flooding is expected.

There are also nearly a dozen flood alerts - meaning flooding is possible - across the West Midlands, including in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

The agency says it expects some river levels to peak this evening but that could change with more rain on the way.

Meanwhile, Cheshire Police has warned of severe flooding in parts of Crewe and Nantwich:

Flooding in Crewe
Cheshire Police

Flood warnings with more rain forecast

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are two flood warnings covering parts of Shropshire this morning and nearly a dozen flood alerts across the West Midlands.

View more on twitter

The Environment Agency said the warnings covered the River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook and Melverley, near Oswestry.

The flood alerts include five in Shropshire and four in Staffordshire, meaning flooding is possible.

The agency's said rivers levels are continuing to rise with more rain forecast and they are fast-flowing.

A number of roads in the county are also blocked by floods.

View more on twitter

Officer cleared of assault to face gross misconduct hearing

A police officer cleared of assault after being accused of hitting a man over the head with a baton after a high-speed pursuit is still expected to face a gross misconduct hearing.

PC Sunil Narr, of West Midlands Police, denied assault occasioning bodily harm over the blow to Joshua Ward in Hillfields, Coventry in August 2017.

Police
BBC

The jury at Birmingham Crown Court accepted he was aiming at Mr Ward's shoulder and accidentally hit his head.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said a file was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, who made the decision to charge PC Narr with assault.

The IOPC investigation also concuded an independent tribunal could find the officer had breached standards of professional behaviour during the incident.

"It's expected that a gross misconduct hearing will be organised by the force in due course," the IOPC said.

Mixed employment figures for West Midlands

BBC Business News

The unemployment rate in the West Midlands in the three months to April fell to 5.0%, according to new data.

Job centre sign
PA

The Office for National Statistics said 145,000 were out of work in the region, down 4,000 on the previous quarter.

But its figures also showed 11,000 fewer people were employed over the period, compared to the previous three months.

Overall, the UK’s unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, and has not been lower since the October to December 1974 period.

Severe weather warnings extended

Severe weather warnings for rain have been extended across most of the West Midlands with flooding and travel disruption expected to continue throughout the week.

View more on twitter

Fallen trees across Warwickshire and Worcestershire have caused disruption with more rain forecast throughout the day.

Officer in Shipston
Warwickshire Police

Fallen trees affected Metro services between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the A34 at Monks' Heath in Cheshire was partially blocked near the Capesthorne Hall turn

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the UK was in for "some treacherous weather".

The yellow warnings are in place until 12:00 on Thursday.

Rain set to cause disruption 'throughout week'

A severe weather warning for rain remains in place for parts of the West Midlands, with travel likely to be disrupted.

Weather warning map
Met Office

The Met Office said parts of Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Birmingham and the Black Country are set to be most affected, with rain and thunderstorms likely to continue throughout the week.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be wet with spells of heavy rain tonight with lows of 9C (12C ).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

M6 congestion warning

BBC News Travel

A warning if you're heading on the M6 in Staffordshire this morning.

View more on twitter

Severe weather warnings issued

Heavy rain could cause travel disruption to parts of the West Midlands later.

Some areas could see a month's worth of rainfall in a single day, with wet weather to last well into the week.

View more on twitter

The first of four severe weather warnings is set to affect parts of Warwickshire and Staffordshire, with heavy rain also expected to sweep through Birmingham and the Black Country, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire through Monday.

Areas most affected could see local flooding and disruption to transport.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy and wet day with heavy rain spreading through the area and highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands