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Man found dead in canal identified as father-of-two

A man found dead in a Wolverhampton canal has been formally identified as father-of-two William Brittain.

The 64-year-old was rescued from the water on Saturday in the canal off Horseley Fields, but could not be saved by paramedics.

William Brittain Credit: West Midlands Police

Mr Brittain, who lived in the Heath Town area, had been out in the city the night before and was spotted on CCTV at around 1.25am in the early hours of Saturday.

He was seen walking towards Willenhall Road and Horseley Fields.

Officers say his distinctive stoop would make him noticeable and have appealed for anyone who spotted him that night to get in touch.

Police appeal for information after body found in canal

Our investigations so far have confirmed that the gentleman had been in Wolverhampton city centre on Friday night and was walking back out of town, towards the Willenhall Road and Horseley Fields at around 1.25am on Saturday morning.

That is the last time we have seen him alive and we want to hear from anyone who was heading out of town at around that time and may have seen him.

People will probably have been walking home themselves or maybe passed him by when in a taxi.

We need any information about this man to help us piece together his last known movements.

– Detective Inspector Gary Plant, West Midlands Police


Appeal for witnesses after man's body found in canal

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have been out in Wolverhampton city centre over the weekend. It comes after a man's body was found in a local canal. The man, who is believed to have been in his 60s, was spotted in the water off Horseley Fields.

Emergency services attended the scene but he could not be saved. The death is currently being treated as unexplained.

Police dogs can be 'difference between life and death'

Police Dog Ska with handler PC Keith Bennett Credit: West Midlands Police

After a woman was saved by a police dog in Northfield in the early hours of this morning, Inspector Russ Evans from West Midlands Police Dogs Unit said:

"Our dogs are highly trained and are able to follow a scent over long distances, in all sorts of conditions - so when someone is in grave danger, they really can make the difference between life and death."

Police dog Ska, along with handler PC Keith Bennett, was called in to help locate the woman when police were alerted to concerns over her welfare.

Police dog saves seriously injured woman

PD Ska with handler PC Keith Bennett

A police dog has saved a woman after tracking her blood trail in the Northfield area of Birmingham.

The police dog, named Ska, led handler PC Keith Bennett to the woman's location by tracking her scent and a trail of blood.

The West Midlands Police Dogs Unit were called in the early hours of this morning after evidence of an injury was reported near the scene.

After being saved by Ska the woman, yet to be named, is recovering in hospital.


Police search for missing 14-year-old

Missing 14-year-old Chloe Brierely Credit: Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police are appealing for the public to report any sightings of a missing 14-year-old girl.

Chloe Brierely, from the Leek area, was reported missing at 10:40pm on 20 January.

Police believe she may be somewhere in Nottingham and both forces are working together.

Chloe is white, 5'3" tall, with a slim build. She has straight, shoulder-length red hair, green eyes and a pale complexion.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said:

“We consider Chloe to be vulnerable and we are concerned for her welfare. Extensive searches are underway to locate her and we would ask that anyone who has seen her, or had any contact, to get in touch.”

More details following fatal Ansty Road crash

Coventry Police have released further details after a 27-year-old man died following a car crash in Coventry last night (January 23rd).

A black Peugeot 206 and a black VW Scirroco crashed some time between 10:00pm and 10:30pm.

The driver of the Peugeot died as a result of his injuries after a passing ambulance stopped to help him and the other driver, along with a passenger.

Sergeant Tim Rogers, from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, said:

This was a significant car crash which has sadly claimed the life of a young man. Our thoughts are with those affected by the incident and our priority now is establishing precisely what caused the cars to collide.

The 25-year-old driver of the other car has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The dead man's family have been informed.

MP 'concerned' by Chief Inspector's claims

Keith Vaz MP Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Leicester MP Keith Vaz has voiced his concern about claims from the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, that there are "cities in the Midlands where the police never go because they are never called."

In a Times article, Winsor said that some minority communities are taking the law "into their own hands".

The Home Affairs Select Committee chairman said: "I am concerned by these claims. I have represented an inner city Midlands constituency, which is home to many diverse communities, for 26 years and have not seen any evidence to support the idea of a sub culture of secondary justice.

"The evidence in fact points the other way. Ethnic minority communities have developed impressive partnerships with the police and seek to report crimes and bring criminals to justice.

"It is hazardous to suggest that some communities have lost faith with the justice system of this country without providing specific evidence.

"I hope that Mr Winsor will back up his statements in his report. The Home Affairs Select Committee will also ask Bob Jones, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, about this matter when he gives evidence to us on Tuesday."

Chief Constable responds to Chief Inspector's comments

Chief Constable Chris Sims Credit: West Midlands Police

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police has responded to comments made by the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, who claimed in a Times interview there are "cities in the Midlands where police never go because they are never called."

Chief Constable Chris Sims, said: "The experience of West Midlands Police officers and staff who actively work day in, day out with our communities could not be more different than suggested by Mr Winsor, assuming he’s referring to the West Midlands.

"There is no evidence to suggest that the under reporting of crimes is a significant issue here in the West Midlands and that some communities therefore feel compelled to take the law into their own hands."

"However we’re not complacent and we know there’s always more we can do to build trust and confidence. In fact, I would very much welcome the opportunity to see any evidence which supports Mr Winsor’s bold claims.

"As a force we enjoy excellent relationships with the diverse communities we serve and positively encourage members of the public report crimes to us."

"Major events such as the terrorist attacks on mosques across the Black Country last year saw key community representatives stand shoulder to shoulder with the police throughout the investigation and beyond. This is a typical example of our strong links with the community."

"Reports of hate crimes have risen over the past 12 months as a result of increased trust in police within communities and their confidence in our ability to thoroughly investigate offences and bring offenders to justice."

"In addition, West Midlands Police recently launched a long-running campaign strengthening the force’s commitment to protecting vulnerable victims, focusing on five key crime types including child sexual exploitation, forced marriage and female genital mutilation."

"This has already resulted in many more crimes being reported to us. These are just some of the issues communities tell us affect them and matter most."

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