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Police appeal for man who set fire to Smethwick home

Police are investigating a fire in Smethwick after a mother witnessed a man sticking a pipe through her letterbox and pouring liquid through it.

The fire service were called and were able to extinguish the fire before any serious damage was done but police say it could have been a lot worse.

Forensic experts have examined the scene for evidence and officers are conducting house to house enquiries in a bid to trace the suspect.

Hunt for two men who knocked out parking warden

Two men left an on-duty parking warden badly hurt after knocking him unconscious in a vicious racially-motivated attack in Sandwell, police revealed today.

The warden was working in Brick Kiln Street, Tipton, on the evening of August 11 when he was set upon by the men, who showered him with racist abuse before one of them punched him in the face.

Police are hunting these two men in connection with the attack Credit: West Midlands Police

The 46-year-old managed to take a picture on his digital camera during the attack, and police are now hunting the two men caught on the high-quality image.

Det Cons Sarah Russell appealed for anyone who recognises the men to get in touch.

This was a vicious and completely unprovoked assault on a man who was simply doing his job.

Thankfully he was able to take a photograph of two suspects on his digital camera. The image is very clear indeed and there’ll be people out there who recognise the men we are looking for.

I would urge anyone who knows who they are, or the men themselves, to contact us as soon as possible.

– DC Sarah Russell, Force CID Violent Crime Team

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Police officer attacked with a sledgehammer

The attack happened on Hampstead Road Credit: ITV News Central

A police officer responding to a report of a raid on a Sandwell cash machine has been attacked with a sledgehammer.

The 41-year-old was one of two officers who were first to arrive at the scene and was targeted by one man in a three-strong gang.

The attack happened shortly before midnight last night during a botched raid at the Tesco Express store ATM on Hamstead Road.

As the window of his police car was smashed the officer was struck in the head and arm with the sledgehammer.

The group then fled in what is believed to be a dark coloured, high powered, Audi A6 estate which was using false number plates.

Chief Inspector Havrvi Khatkar, from West Midlands Police, said:

Day in day out our officers put their safety on the line to protect the public from some exceptionally dangerous criminals.

Thankfully in this case the officer escaped major injury, but these were clearly desperate thieves who must be tracked down.

As the gang drove off, the boot of the car was open. People who were in the area at the time may remember this. I’d urge those people to get in touch along with anyone who saw a dark coloured estate in the area before the crime.

The officer, who is from Sandwell and joined the force in 2007, was taken to hospital and discharged following treatment for multiple cuts, bruising and severe swelling to his face and arm.

The store was closed at the time and no one else was injured. All three men were dressed in dark coloured clothing and had their faces covered.

CCTV footage which may have captured the crime on camera has been secured and is currently scrutinised by detectives.

Tools used in the raid and which were left at the scene have been seized by police for detailed forensic examination.

Cordon lifted after suspect package deemed 'sterile'

A 100m cordon around West Bromwich High Street has been lifted after explosives experts found a suspect package was not a threat to the public.

A small cordon is still in place around the shop where the package was found.

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100m cordon around West Brom High Street

A 100m cordon is in place around West Bromwich High Street after a suspect package was found in one of the shops.

The police explosives sniffer dog is currently en route.

Day release prisoner re-arrested in Sandwell

Police have re-arrested a man from Sandwell who failed to return to prison while on day-release.

Paul Cook went missing in West Bromwich on Saturday (7 June).

The 33-year-old was on day release from HMP Prison Hewell in Redditch.

Cook was sentenced to four years in prison in February 2012 for burglary.

He is due to appear in court Wolverhampton Magistrates this morning charged with being unlawfully at large.

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