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Domestic abuse in London at 'epidemic levels'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Stock image depicting a woman protecting herself
Getty Images

Domestic abuse has reached “epidemic levels” in London, and more funding is needed to tackle the problem, experts have said.

There were 85,000 reports of domestic abuse in the capital last year, with almost 67,000 so far this year.

In 2018, 29 murders were linked to domestic violence in London, up from just nine in 2017.

Niki Scordi, chief executive of London domestic abuse charity Advance, said domestic abuse was “definitely a rising issue”.

Speaking at the London Assembly’s police and crime committee yesterday, she said: “The number of those suffering from domestic abuse are at epidemic levels.

“Nationally we still have two million people every year who suffer from domestic abuse, at least one in four women who will experience it in their life time and one in five women who will suffer it or live with it, and at least two women killed every week by a current or ex partner.”

Ms Scordi said services across London were “very patchy” and there was not enough focus on this type of crime from local authorities and police.

Susan Jacob, chief executive of UK-wide domestic abuse charity SafeLives, said the amount of time victims spent in an abusive relationship was rising.

Black women are likely to stay in abusive relationships for longer, and more likely to be placed in a shelter than supported in their own home, she said.

But Ngozi Headley-Fulani, founder of Sistah Space, a domestic abuse charity for women of African and Caribbean heritage, said her community was not represented by those making decisions.

She said: “Black women are suffering and dying from domestic abuse, and nobody is listening. It has to change now. “Our community is not going to the police – there is no trust there. We don’t see ourselves reflected anywhere.”

Latvian man cycles along every central London street

Davis Vilums
Davis Vilums/PA Media

A Latvian man who cycled along every single street in the centre of London over five years has said the experience made him feel "part of the city".

Computer programmer Davis Vilums mapped his cycle routes on A to Z maps of London as he completed the task.

"I was doing the same route every day and sometimes I was taking casually different routes just to see something else, to have a look around.

"I just decided I should log these streets I've taken - and the best way to do that was colouring in the streets," he said.

Map of cycled streets
Davis Vilums/PA Media

Mr Vilums completed his final street at the end of September near Kilburn High Road as it is furthest from his home in the south-east.

"I felt a sense of accomplishment, I felt that I'd done something and I don't know exactly what to do next after this but I felt very proud," he said.

Severe accident: A1211 London westbound

BBC News Travel

A1211 London westbound severe accident, at A40 Aldersgate Street.

A1211 London - A1211 London Wall in City Of London blocked and queues westbound at Museum Of London, because of an accident involving van and bus. Diversion in operation - bus routes 76 and 100 are being diverted.

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

Cockroaches, mould and drugs on London estate

'It's social cleansing in action'

Residents living in the one remaining block of flats on a north London estate undergoing redevelopment say they are being "left to rot", with pest infestations and security issues.

Drug addicts have been using the unlocked stairways - and cockroaches have bitten one woman's children.

The BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme's Sean Clare has been to visit the block and hear how residents are taking a stand.

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two and the BBC News channel, 10:00 to 11:00 GMT - and see more of our stories here.

Severe accident: A3 London southbound

BBC News Travel

A3 London southbound severe accident, from Eastcheap to London Bridge.

A3 London - A3 King William Street in City of London blocked and stationary southbound from Monument Station to London Bridge, because of an accident.

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

Police flagged 9,000 cybercrime reports as 'security risk'

Cyber Crime
PA Media

Thousands of reports of cyber crime were quarantined on a police database instead of being investigated because software designed to protect the computer system branded them a "security risk".

The backlog at one point stretched to around 9,000 reports of cyber crime and fraud, with some of the cases dating back to October last year.

The reports had been made to Action Fraud and handed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), run by the City of London Police.

They were added to a database called Know Fraud where they are processed, assessed and distributed among investigators.

The problem was revealed on Thursday in the findings of an inspection by police watchdog Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on how forces were responding to cyber-dependent crime.

Inspector of constabulary Matt Parr said: "They have a problem in that they have got a backlog of crimes that they have been unable to pass out due to software problems."

Plans for hotel with 40,000 sq ft living wall submitted

CGI of proposed hotel
Sheppard Robson

A multi-storey hotel which would feature 400,000 plants growing on its façade as part of one of largest green walls in the world has been submitted to City planners.

The proposal would see a 382-key five-star hotel with a sky bar on the 10th floor, ground level restaurant, a spa and co-working space being built at 61-65 Holborn Viaduct.

Plants will fill a 40,000 sq ft (3,716 sq m) space on the building's façades which the building's architects said would capture over eight tonnes of carbon, produce six tonnes of oxygen and trap 500kg of particulate matter everything year.

CGI of proposed hotel
Sheppard Robson

It has been designed by architects Sheppard Robson for the Dominvs Group.

Jay Ahluwalia, the Dominvs Group director, said he the project would "support and enhance the overall ambition for this exciting, new cultural destination as the creative heart of the Square Mile".

The decision planning permission will be made by the City of London planning committee.

CGI of proposed hotel
Sheppard Robson

Severe disruption: A3211 London eastbound

BBC News Travel

A3211 London eastbound severe disruption, before A300 Queen Street Place.

A3211 London - A3211 Upper Thames Street in Cannon Street closed eastbound before the A300 Queen Street Place junction, because of a break down.

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

Square Mile launches 'mindful' drinking zone

Local Democracy Reporting Service

More than 200 bars and restaurants in the City have signed up to the UK’s first listings service of venues offering alcohol free or low alcohol drinks in a bid to help people avoid a sore head.

The City of London Corporation helped fund the Club Soda Guide which shows people the options if they don’t want a wee dram or a glass of something alcoholic.

So far 235 City venues have got on board and the team behind the venture gave the Corporation’s licensing committee an update.

The team behind the guide is now doing research in the Square Mile to “look at how commuters who drive navigate after work drinks”.

Their ambition is to see the City of London designated “as the UK’s first mindful drinking place”.

The number of City venues listed has doubled from the pilot when they had 108 places signed up to feature what’s on offer in the Square Mile.

Extinction Rebellion block Bank Junction

Bank Junction
Extinction Rebellion

Climate Activists have closed Bank Junction, forcing 17 bus routes on to diverted routes.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion activists set up camp in the junction to "block routes that financial district workers take to work".

Since 21 May 2017 only buses and cyclists have been allowed to use Bank junction on weekdays from 07:00 to 19:00.

In a statement the group said the action was to "highlight the far greater disruption faced by those living in the environments systematically being destroyed by UK backed companies".

City of London Police said a "policing plan" is in place "which will be proactive in ensuring any impact on our communities is minimised as much as possible".

Severe disruption: A1211 London both ways

BBC News Travel

A1211 London both ways severe disruption, at A1210 Mansell Street.

A1211 London - A1211 Aldgate High Street in City of London blocked in both directions at the A1210 Mansell Street junction, because of Extinction Rebellion a demonstration.

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