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Ilford stabbing: Man killed in fight outside flats

Police crime scene in Ilford

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Police found the 19-year-old man after being called to reports of a fight in Ilford

A man was stabbed to death in a fight outside a block of east London flats in a “particularly vicious attack”.

The 19-year-old was found by police responding to reports of a disturbance outside Owen Waters House, in Fullwell Avenue, Ilford, on Tuesday night.

The victim died at the scene and his next of kin have been informed.

No arrests have been made but the Met said “the possibility that the murder is gang-related is a very strong line of inquiry”.

Police are establishing if the stabbing is linked to a fire at some nearby garages where a car was found burnt out.

The Met said fire crews had been called to the blaze at about 22:20 GMT while traces of blood had also been found around the vehicle.

Det Ch Insp Chris Soole described the killing as a “particularly vicious attack” and appealed for witnesses.

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A burnt-out car was found by some garages near to where the teenager was stabbed

A Section 60 Order – giving police stop-and-search powers – was put in place for the whole of the Redbridge borough until 06:30.

There have been five murder investigations in the borough in 2019 – three of which have been as a result of fatal stabbings.

Homicides in London since 2008

Annual homicides in the Met Police area

So far this year, almost 130 murder investigations have been launched in the capital.

Three investigations have been carried out by British Transport Police and 124 have been investigated by the Met.

At the scene – Greg McKenzie, BBC London

A forensic tent is outside the tower block marking the spot where the teenager died.

Residents have been telling me about rising tensions in the last few weeks. The block – just off a main road in Ilford – is known as a meeting point for drug dealers and people said the issue is “rampant”.

They have also described a lot of “youth disturbance and violence” in the area and expressed their fear, anger and shock.

Officers have been coming in and out of the flats and they are trying to work out whether a burnt-out car is linked to the fatal stabbing.

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‘Free Tommy Robinson’ march violence images released

Images of nine people wanted by police

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Met Police

Images of 10 people the Met want to find after violence broke out at a “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstration in central London have been released.

More than 20 officers and members of the public were injured as protesters blocked roads and threw missiles during the march in Whitehall on 9 June, 2018.

Detectives had to trawl through hundreds of hours of CCTV and videos to identify those involved.

Fourteen people have already been jailed over the violent disorder.

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Met Police

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Police are appealing for the public’s help in identifying 10 people

Referring to the incident where scaffolding and glass bottles were thrown at police, Det Sgt Matt Hearing said: “We are extremely keen to identify these individuals, who were involved in serious disorder which resulted in a number of police officers getting injured.

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Protesters gathered in large numbers outside the Old Bailey in 2018

“Whilst we will always facilitate lawful protest, the actions of some individuals on that day showed a total disregard for the law and it is important that all those involved are brought to justice.”

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson in currently serving a nine month sentence after being found guilty of interfering with the trial of a sexual grooming gang at Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

The nine month sentence includes six months for the Leeds Crown Court offence last year and another three months for contempt of court, following a suspended sentence given at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.

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Man admits to trying to rob Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac

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Media captionFootage posted online showed Sead Kolasinac fighting off an attacker

A second man has admitted trying to rob Arsenal footballers Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac in a moped ambush.

Jordan Northover, 26, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to attempting to steal watches from the pair in Hampstead, north-west London.

His co-accused Ashley Smith, 30, of Archway in North London, admitted his role in the crime in October.

CCTV footage showed Bosnian defender Kolasinac chasing off the two masked attackers on 25 July

In the video, that circulated on social media, 26-year-old Kolasinac is seen fighting off two men who are wielding knives.

He can be seen jumping out of a vehicle to confront the masked men who had pulled alongside the car on mopeds.

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Arsenal Football Club said both Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were fine after the incident

In the footage, both carjackers were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at full-back Kolasinac.

World Cup winner Özil can also be seen in his black Mercedes G class jeep before he reportedly took refuge in a Turkish restaurant.

Kolasinac and Germany midfielder Özil were left out of the Arsenal side ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after the incident.

Judge Rosa Dean said Smith would be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

Northover will be sentenced at a later date.

Özil told the Athletic sports site that he was scared for his wife Amine as the attackers pursued his car.

“Sead’s reaction was really, really brave because he attacked one of the attackers,” he said.

“I tried to move the car, block them, escape, but each time they would be there. My wife was extremely scared.”

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Grenfell Tower fire: Response must be ‘national emergency’, say survivors

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Media captionWhat do survivors and bereaved families want from the inquiry?

A survivors’ group has welcomed a report on the Grenfell Tower fire, calling for the government to treat its response as “a national emergency”.

The report, published on Wednesday, followed the first phase of an inquiry, looking at what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when 72 people died.

It was critical of the London Fire Brigade’s response and said the tower did not meet building regulations.

The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals.

Campaign group Grenfell United said the report showed “the immediate and real dangers” of “highly combustible cladding and insulation”.

“Lives are at risk and the government need to treat this as a national emergency,” the group said.

The report made 46 recommendations, including improvements in training for fire brigade staff and the development of national guidelines for evacuating high-rise buildings.

Grenfell United called for the recommendations to be implemented in full, saying they would save lives.

The report condemned the LFB for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the fire.

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.

Grenfell United responded: “It is heartbreaking to read that more of our loved ones could have been saved that night if the building was evacuated earlier.”

At an emotional press conference, relatives of 20 victims of the fire called for an overhaul of the LFB, saying its leadership should resign and even face prosecution.

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the fire, said some firefighters displayed a “serious lack of common sense” and failed to see “what was so vivid in front of them”.

“If a fire happened tonight the same thing would happen again,” she said.

‘Too little too late’

The report said evidence from London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton that she would not have changed anything about the brigade’s response was “insensitive”.

Ms Cotton said many of the recommendations were welcome and would be “carefully considered”.

She expressed her “deepest sorrow at not being able to save all those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire”.

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Media captionLFB chief Dany Cotton: “We are truly sorry we couldn’t save everyone’s life that night”

She added: “We welcome the chairman’s recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night, but we are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.”

However, Natasha Elcock, chairwoman of Grenfell United who was rescued with her six-year-old daughter from the 11th floor, said Dany Cotton’s statement was “too little too late”.

“She stood up in the inquiry, in a room full of bereaved and survivors and said there’s nothing she would do to change that night,” she told the BBC.

“If she’d expressed that sorrow that day in that room, that potentially would have washed with us today.”

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White doves were released at a memorial service earlier this year to mark two years since the tragedy

Grenfell United expressed concern at the report’s finding that the LFB were “at risk of not learning the lessons from Grenfell”, adding that firefighters were “let down by their training, procedures, equipment and leadership”.

Other issues highlighted in the report included:

  • A lack of training in how to “recognise the need for an evacuation or how to organise one”
  • Incident commanders “of relatively junior rank” being unable to change strategy
  • Control room officers lacking training on when to advise callers to evacuate
  • An assumption that crews would reach callers, resulting in “assurances which were not well founded”
  • Communication between the control room and those on the ground being “improvised, uncertain and prone to error”
  • A lack of an organised way to share information within the control room, meaning officers had “no overall picture of the speed or pattern of fire spread”

In the House of Commons, MPs held a minutes’ silence to remember victims of the fire, before a debate on the inquiry.

Boris Johnson told MPs that survivors and the bereaved had been “overlooked and ignored” before the fire and “shamefully failed” afterwards.

The second phase of the inquiry will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.

While this was not the focus of the first phase, the report found there was “compelling evidence” external walls of the building failed to comply with building regulations and “actively promoted” the spread of fire.

It said the principal reason the flames shot up the building so fiercely was the combustible aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with polyethylene cores which acted as a “source of fuel”.

Grenfell United said the second phase of the inquiry “must now focus on where responsibility for the devastating refurbishment [of the building] lies”, with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the tenant management organisation and the companies involved facing “serious questions”.


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Glyn Hodges: AFC Wimbledon appoint caretaker boss as permanent manager

Glyn Hodges scored two goals in 18 appearances for Wales

League One side AFC Wimbledon have appointed caretaker boss Glyn Hodges as their new permanent manager.

The ex-Wales midfielder, 56, has been in charge since Wally Downes was suspended by the club last month, after being charged by the Football Association over bets placed on games.

Downes left Wimbledon on Sunday, two days after being given a four-week FA suspension for admitting the charge.

Former Wimbledon player Hodges had been assistant to Downes at Kingsmeadow.

“To have been at Wimbledon as a young apprentice at 16 years of age, then to return and actually get the job, and now to have an opportunity to take the club back to Plough Lane, is what dreams are made of,” he said.

“I’m absolutely delighted and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve enjoyed the last month, it’s been fantastic. I will be giving it my all.”

Hodges won four of his six matches in temporary charge, with Wimbledon 21st in League One, one point from safety.

Until joining the club in December Hodges had worked under Mark Hughes at Wales, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City.

His only previous managerial stint came in an interim spell in charge of Barnsley, during the 2002-03 campaign.

“It feels fantastic, but I’ve got to pay tribute to Wally, as we go back a long way,” he added. “I’ve got to thank him for bringing me here to take this opportunity.”

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Women’s Champions League: Arsenal and Manchester City eye quarter-final spots

Arsenal’s Lisa Evans (left) first made the Champions League last 16 with Glasgow City, while Man City’s Steph Houghton has twice been a semi-finalist
Womens Champions League
Venues: Prague/Manchester Date: Wednesday 16 October Kick-off times: Slavia Prague v Arsenal (17:30 BST), Manchester City v Atletico Madrid (19:00 BST).
Coverage: Live text/reports on BBC Sport website

Skipper Steph Houghton says the key to Manchester City Women maintaining their 100 per cent start to the 2019-20 season is keeping clean sheets.

City have edged above of Arsenal at the top of Women’s Super League, ahead of the two clubs’ Champions League last-16 ties on Wednesday.

And England defender Houghton is proud of City’s defensive efforts, in not having conceded a league goal so far.

“We’re in a good place. We couldn’t ask for a better start,” she said.

“To have had the clean sheets and wins we’ve had, we should be very proud of ourselves. But we still feel we have a lot more to give.

“We pride ourselves on making sure there’s a zero against the opponents’ name. That’s the basis of who we are as a team.

“We have very good attacking players but ultimately, for us defenders and the way we’re structured, we have to make sure we keep as many clean sheets as we can.”

After progressing with an 11-1 aggregate win over Swiss side Lugano, City now play Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, to whom they lost 3-1 on aggregate at the last 32 stage 13 months ago.

“I don’t think it’s a case of getting revenge against Atletico,” said Houghton, ahead of the first leg at the Academy Stadium.

“It’s more for us as a team – we want to progress our season. But we know that our performance over the two legs against Atletico last season was not good enough.

“We fully respect them – they’re a very good team – and we have to make sure that come Wednesday, we’re defensively organised and that when chances come, we take them.”

To add to the sub-plot, Houghton will this time be up against her England team-mate Toni Duggan.

This will be Duggan’s first meeting with her former club since leaving City in 2017 for Barcelona, where she spent two years, winning a Champions League runners-up medal last season, before moving to Madrid this summer.

England defender Demi Stokes is back in the City squad, but striker Ellen White is still out injured, and midfielder Laura Coombs and goalkeeper Karen Bardsley are not ready to return to action.

Although Georgia Stanway trained on Tuesday, she will miss the Atletico game, but should be back for Sunday’s WSL Cup derby with Man United.

The return leg in Madrid will be on Wednesday 30 October.

Arsenal fully focused on Prague

City and Arsenal, who are playing in the Champions League for the first time since 2013, are united in their ambition to end the four-year long domination of the competition by six-times winners Lyon.

The closest City have come to silverware was successive semi-final defeats by Lyon in 2017 and 2018, but Arsenal have at least lifted the trophy.

They won it back in 2007 by beating Swedish side Umea – and they started this season’s competition well with a 6-0 aggregate victory over Fiorentina.

The Gunners now take on Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic capital, but do so on a bit of a down following Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea.

It was only their second defeat in their last 14 competitive games, but it cost them their leadership of the WSL to City, who now have the only remaining 100 per cent record.

“Obviously we’re a bit deflated. We need to turn it around quick in the Champions League. That’s where our full focus goes to now.

“There’s nothing better than having a game so soon after a game like Sunday’s,” defender Lisa Evans told Arsenal.com.

“Obviously, recovering players is going to be a big one,” added Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro. “We’ve only had a three-day turnaround to work with.

“Most of our players played two games with their national teams so some of them haven’t had much recovery, but that’s football. That’s the way it is. There’s no excuses. We want to be in the professional game.”

Their return leg will be at Meadow Park on Thursday 31 October.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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Extinction Rebellion: Protesters glue themselves to government building

A lorry blocks the road outside the Home Office

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PA Media

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Activists had planned to target government buildings in the protests

Extinction Rebellion activists have glued themselves to one government department and to the underside of a lorry outside another on a second day of protests in central London.

Police have made more than 400 arrests, and those camped out in Westminster have been ordered to move on.

The prime minister has described the activists as “unco-operative crusties”.

But campaigner and TV presenter Chris Packham said they are “the concerned people of the world.”

Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney, and are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.

Protesters say they are occupying 11 sites in central London and people have travelled from across the UK to take part in the demonstrations.

The Metropolitan Police said at 13:00 BST on Tuesday there have been 404 arrests in relation to them.

Activists have attached themselves to the underside of a lorry, which is blocking the road outside the Home Office.

The vehicle is parked on Marsham Street, where hundreds of protesters set up camp overnight. One activist climbed on top of the lorry and set up a tent.

There was a large police presence in the area on Tuesday, with pictures showing officers removing activists from the lorry.

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Media captionBoris Johnson’s comments came as he attended a book launch

Protesters have also glued themselves to the Department for Transport building – a tactic used in similar protests in April.

Two activists have attached themselves to the doors of the building, while others demonstrate outside.

Meanwhile, a group have placed 800 potted trees outside Parliament, in Old Palace Yard, as they call on the government to plant billions of trees across the UK.

Trees have been dedicated to MPs, and protesters hope they will use them to reforest the country.

Sean Clay, 36, from Newcastle, told the BBC: “Planting trees would go a long way to restore the habitats we have lost as well as absorbing carbon emissions.”

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Activists have created a “fledgling forest”

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Labour MP Kate Green said she was the first to collect a tree

Asked about Boris Johnson’s description of demonstrators, Packham told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I was there yesterday. I met farmers, I met teachers, I met scientists, I met lawyers, I met grandparents, I met mothers and fathers, and I met children.

“These are the concerned people of the world.”

Mr Johnson had suggested while attending a book launch on Monday that the demonstrators should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads.

Protester Claudia Fisher, 57, from Brighton said campaigners would like to discuss their views with the prime minister.

Responding to his description of activists as “unco-operative crusties”, Ms Fisher said: “We are a little bit crusty, I’ll put my hands up to it, after a night sleeping out on the grounds of Whitehall, but we’re not uncooperative.

“We’re actually very cooperative. We… would really like to hear what he has to say, and we’d really like him to… hear what we have to say.”

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PA Media

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Activists set up tents throughout Westminster, including Horseferry Road

John Curran, a 49-year-old former detective sergeant for the Metropolitan Police, was one of the protesters who camped overnight.

Mr Curran, who has a three-year-old daughter, says he was arrested while protesting with Extinction Rebellion in April, and is willing to be arrested again.

He said: “Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the government.

“Take action, and we won’t have to be here.”

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A food van served porridge to protesters who stayed near to Parliament Square overnight

Protesters who camped in Horseferry Road and Marsham Street, in Westminster, throughout the night were warned that they will be arrested unless they move to nearby Trafalgar Square. Police handed out section 14 notices to tents at around 07:30 BST.

Activists also camped at Smithfield Market overnight, but they say they allowed traders to operate.

‘A last resort’

By Becky Morton, BBC News

The only rush hour traffic around Parliament this morning came from cyclists, who were cheered as they passed encampments of protesters dotted around Westminster.

Roads have been blocked by tents and gazebos, with protesters from all over the country camping overnight.

Bowls of porridge were served from food trucks, while volunteers said some local businesses had donated pastries.

One of those who spent the night here is Mikaela Loach, 21, who travelled down by bus from Edinburgh with a friend.

She said taking part in this week’s action was a “last resort”.

“I’ve spoken to my local MP, I’ve taken part in protests, I just feel like I haven’t been listened to,” she said.

“I have been changing things in my lifestyle for a long time to try and be more eco-friendly, but I had a realisation a few months ago that it doesn’t matter if I go vegan or zero waste if the government doesn’t do anything.

“There need to be big structural changes.”

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BBC Sport

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Extinction Rebellion protesters settled in for the night outside Westminster Abbey

Further road closures are expected on Tuesday, with Parliament Street, Great Smith Street and Westminster and Lambeth bridges predicted to be heavily affected.

Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

Man holding a Extinction Rebellion placard


Extinction Rebellion facts

  • 2025year when the group aims for zero carbon emissions

  • 298,000followers on Facebook

  • 1,130people arrested over April’s London protests

  • 2018year the group was founded

Source: BBC Research

Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.

It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.

Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.

In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.

Read more here.

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Homeless deaths rise driven by ‘drug poisoning’

Homeless man

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Deaths of homeless people have risen by a fifth in a year, the ONS has said.

Drug poisoning has contributed to the biggest rise in deaths of homeless people in England and Wales since records began.

About 726 homeless people died in 2018, a rise of 22% in one year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Deaths from drugs have more than doubled in the six years the ONS has been recording the data.

Housing minister Luke Hall said the figure was “heartbreaking” and funding to help rough sleepers was increasing.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said the number of deaths “shames us all in a nation as decent and well-off as Britain today”.

Ben Humberstone from the ONS said the rise was mainly due to an increase in “drug poisoning”.

‘I’ve lost someone that I love’

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Helping the Homeless in Birmingham

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Kane Walker was found by paramedics in Pershore Street, Birmingham

Alexandra Davis lost her brother Kane Walker, who died after taking a fatal dose of heroin in Birmingham city centre in February.

She said it was important for people to know how difficult homeless people found it to get help.

At Mr Walker’s inquest senior coroner for Birmingham and Solihull Louise Hunt said help was offered to him, but he had not fully engaged with services.

“I’ve lost someone that I love,” Ms Davis said. “I think the positive thing about talking out about it to be able to help other people that are on the street struggling with drug addiction, there just wasn’t enough help out there for him.”

‘Numbs the pain’

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Kenneth Lowry has been volunteering in Birmingham for three years feeding the homeless

Kenneth Lowry, 46, volunteers with the Birmingham section of the charity CERT UK that serves hot meals to people on the streets.

He said the group often feeds more than 140 people and he had served Kane Walker in the past.

Mr Lowry said many of the homeless people he had spoken to had “hit rock bottom” after falling out with their families.

“The drugs and alcohol numb the pain to the reasons why they are homeless,” he said.

Mr Lowry, who spent a year homeless himself after leaving the army in 2001, said currently there “wasn’t enough support” available from local authorities and the government.

“They need accommodation,” he said, adding: “They’re just left on the street to fend for themselves.”

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Peter Caine

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Peter Caine (far left) and his group push trolleys with supplies for the homeless around Birmingham

Peter Caine, 33, volunteers with the charity, Helping the Homeless in Birmingham.He said over the past four and a half years speaking with people on the streets he found one of the reasons for drug use was sleep.”When you’re cold, you can’t sleep, your body won’t let you,” he said.”Then somebody says to you, ‘use this, it’ll help you sleep’ and they sleep like a baby. It’s a very hard thing to resist without the right support,” he added.Mr Caine also said with “fewer police on the streets” drugs were “easier to get hold of” for the homeless.He also said it was difficult to quantify the extent of homeless deaths of people from a particular area, as many tended to move around using public transport, partly to stay warm. “I think only about 20% of the people we serve are from Birmingham, we may never have seen them before,” he added.

Deaths related to drug poisoning among the homeless increased 55% between 2017 and 2018, compared to a rise of 16% among the population as a whole, the ONS said.

Of the 294 estimated deaths from drug poisoning in 2018, the substance detected the most was heroin or morphine, which was identified in 99 cases. This was followed by alcohol, which appeared in 75 cases.

The number of deaths where heroin or morphine was detected in 2018 was more than double the number recorded in 2013, while cases where cocaine was identified tripled over the same period.

The government said it had brought forward “new training” this year for frontline staff in the dangerous effects of new psychoactive substances, such as spice, to help “engage with and support rough sleepers” under the influence.

The statistics include people sleeping rough or using emergency accommodation such as homeless shelters and hostels at or around the time of death.

Government figures suggest there were 4,677 people sleeping rough in England in autumn 2018. This was a slight fall on the year before, down 74, but still more than double the number recorded in 2010.

The figures are collected by local councils, some of which count people they see sleeping rough on a given night and others provide estimates.

In Wales local authorities counted 158 people sleeping rough in 2018, down 16% on 2017.

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‘Unacceptable and avoidable’

Dr Peter English, from the British Medical Association (BMA), said: “For too long, the needs of this population have gone shamefully unaddressed.

“As well as seeing a radical overhaul of social housing provision, we need to ensure that our health services are adequately resourced to provide innovative and integrated models of care for the homeless population.”

He described the deaths as “unacceptable and completely avoidable”.

Polly Neate, from the housing charity Shelter, called for all political parties to commit to building the social homes we need to form the bedrock of a more humane housing system.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said the figures were a “sombre reminder” there was “still much more to do to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping for good”.

“Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities, which is why we are undertaking a comprehensive review which will help protect the most vulnerable – including homeless individuals – from the harms that drugs cause and give them a chance to recover and turn their lives around,” he said.

“We are also investing £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness and have made the most ambitious change to legislation in a decade,” the spokesman added.


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England weather: Heavy rain causes floods and travel chaos

Boy cycles through flood water near stranded car

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Some commuters in Birmingham were undeterred by the flooding

Heavy rain is causing travel problems and flash flooding across England.

Twelve flood warnings and 39 flood alerts have been put in place by the Environment Agency.

The Met Office has a yellow rain warning covering most of the country in force until 23:00 BST.

Floods have been reported on roads in Southampton, Birmingham and Liverpool, while Transport for London (TfL) said a number of roads across the capital were also affected by flooding.

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Colin Lee

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Flooding has also hit roads in Southampton

A flood warning is in place in Crawley for the Ifield Brook and River Mole at Ifield and the River Mole at Lowfield Heath.

Flooding is also expected on the upper Frome, between Maiden Newton and Dorchester, in Dorset and on the Grace Dieu Brook, between Whitwick and Thringstone, in Leicestershire.

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Media captionHeavy rain brings flash flooding to Wellingborough

Edwinstone and Ollerton in Nottinghamshire are also at risk of flooding from the River Maun, as are areas around the Whinney Brook at Maghull in Sefton, Merseyside, and Wash Dike in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Warnings are also in place for the River Tame at Hams Hall, Water Orton, Whitacre and Nether Whitacre in Warwickshire, and the Blackburn and Charlton Brooks, between Chapeltown and North Ecclesfield, near Sheffield.

National Rail warned of major disruption between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge earlier due to a tree blocking the line.

Southampton City Centre has seen problems with several cars having broken down in water on Millbrook Road West.

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Colin Lee

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The flooding in Southampton caused major problems for commuters

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PA Media

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The torrential downpours saturated pedestrians in Birmingham city centre

Motorists have also been advised to avoid the road between Waterhouse Lane and Paynes Road.

Roads have flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham, while Mersey Fire and Rescue Service reported vehicles trapped in floodwater in the Queens Drive and West Derby areas of Liverpool.

A service spokesman urged drivers to “please take extra care”, adding: “Slow down, increase your distances, switch your lights on and please don’t drive into floodwater.”

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Media captionHeavy rain causes flooding in Liverpool (Credit: Liverpool Echo)

About 2in (49.6mm) of rain fell in the six hours before 09:00 at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, according to the Met Office.

Spokesman Grahame Madge said it was a “significant” amount of rain.

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A road has been partially flooded at Colnbrook in Berkshire

He said the band of rain was “transient” and, having started in the South West, has moved to the Midlands before hitting the North later in the day.

He said some other areas could expect to see the same amount of rain as Boscombe Down.

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Clare McIntyre

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Roads were also affected in Liverpool

In Harrogate, the fan zone for the UCI Road World Championships has been closed due to the “heavy rain”.

The cycling action can still be seen on West Park and Parliament Street, organisers said.

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A road has flooded in the Longbridge area of Birmingham

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Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers