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Body of off-duty police officer found in house

Courtenay Road in Birmingham Credit: Google Maps

The body of an off-duty police officer has been discovered at a house in Great Barr in Birmingham.

The man’s family has been informed and the death is not being treated as suspicious.

He was discovered in Courtenay Road yesterday evening.

A resident said last night that one of her neighbours “had been found dead in the front garden” and “police and ambulances are everywhere”.

She added that her family were 'very concerned' after news spread among residents.

“The body has been confirmed to be that of an off-duty police officer.

“There are no suspicious circumstances at this time.

“The family of the deceased are being informed and the identity of the officer is not being released at this time.

“The matter has been reported to the coroner.”

– A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police

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NHS tops poll as most important issue to students

An election debate featuring MPs from all five English parties has been held at Birmingham City University this evening as a poll conducted by the university finds that the NHS is the most important issue to students.

A debate featuring all five English parties took place at Birmingham City University this evening Credit: Joseph Devo

The results mirror the latest Ipsos Mori monthly issues index, which polls the wider population and frequently shows the NHS as the number one priority for voters.

Nearly 20 per cent of student respondents said the NHS was the most important issue to them, closely followed by immigration at 17.6 per cent. The same percentage was returned for tuition fees, closely followed by unemployment at 12.8 per cent and low wages at 11.7 per cent.

Our poll shows that students place the same amount of importance on the future of the NHS as the wider population.

We are the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS, and many of our students feel passionately about it as an election issue.

– Louise Toner, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, Birmingham City University

A new poll asking students 'Which party are you planning on voting for?' goes out today.

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Teenage girl has been missing for four days

Sky Layton Credit: West Midlands Police

Police are appealing for the public's help in tracing a teenager from Birmingham who has been missing for four days.

Sky Layton was last seen leaving school in Tile Cross on Monday – she has been seen since in the Birmingham area.

The 16-year-old is described as white, 4ft 9ins tall, large build and straight brown hair. She was last seen wearing a grey Adidas hooded top with thin blue stripes, camouflaged trousers, and carrying a pink handbag.

“We are growing more concerned for Sky with every passing hour and need members of the public to come forward and help us find her.

“If you’ve seen her in the last 48 hours please contact us as soon as you can. We also want to appeal directly to Sky to get in touch with us and let us know she is okay”.

– Inspector Jenny Richards, from Birmingham Police

Anyone with information should contact Inspector Richards on 101 or call the Missing People charity on 116 000.

Thousands turn out for Vaisakhi celebrations

Vaisakhi celebrations watched by crowds in Birmingham Credit: Punjab2000.com

Organisers of a special Vaisakhi celebration held in Birmingham city centre over the weekend say around 15,000 people from all communities came to watch and take part in festivities.

Victoria Square hosted the city's big Vaisakhi celebration event, the first time a religious event of this size was held there. It was hosted by Walsall-based charity Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS), who feed hundreds of people in need every night across the region, in accordance with the Sikh system of a free kitchen called Langar.

Organisers say many attending told them they hope it will become an annual event for Birmingham city centre.

"It was a really great day for all. We hope that people learned something about our faith. It is a blessing to be able to serve our community like this".

– Midland Langar Sewa Society

"Events such as this are an excellent way to open up dialogue between different communities..the general public got to be part of a celebration which is most dear to Sikhs. Learning about each other we can appreciate different cultures, strengthening unity within our society.”

– Jagmeet Singh, Sikh educational charity Everythings 13

Click here for more coverage of Vaisakhi parades in the Midlands.

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