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Extra patrols in town centre to protect festive revellers

Extra police officers and Street Pastors will be out and about in Stourbridge tonight as part of a project to keep festive revellers safe.

The Safer Stourbridge Project also includes dedicated first aid services thanks to West Midlands Ambulance Service and St John's Ambulance.

One of the clubs in Stourbridge High Street, where extra patrols will take place Credit: Google Maps

West Midlands Fire Service has donated the community room of the town's fire station to be used as a first aid centre, and taxi marshals will be sent out to try to ensure any party-goers get home safely.

The Safer Stourbridge Project is a joint venture between Dudley Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Ambulance Service, St John’s Ambulance and Stourbridge Street Pastors.

It is being stepped up over the Christmas holidays to help with the festive increase in nightlife.

Michael Jackson's hat fetches thousands at auction

The hat worn by Michael Jackson when he sang 'Billie Jean' during the most-watched TV special ever has fetched £3,840 at auction.

The black fedora hat was among 17 items of the King of Pop's memorabilia donated by his friend, David Gest, to a British auctioneers.

Michael Jackson's hat Credit: South-West News Pictures Desk

The 60-year-old American TV producer gave the gifts to Fieldings auction house in Stourbridge, who sold them for a total of £30,000 on Saturday.

Michael Jackson's hat Credit: South-West News Pictures Desk

The collection included the hat worn for the 30th Anniversary concerts in New York in 2001 - the last major performance before Jackson's death - which was viewed by 450 million viewers worldwide.

Michael Jackson's signature Credit: South-West News Pictures Desk

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DfT: Crash highlighted 'need for more stringent safety'

A statement from the Department for Transport has said that the 1993 minibus crash which killed twelve children saw a change in the law over wearing seatbelts. A spokesperson said:

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who died of the 1993 minibus crash, in which 12 children and their teacher lost their lives.

The crash highlighted the need for more stringent safety measures on school transport vehicles. The law was subsequently changed in 1997, making it a requirement for seatbelts to be fitted in all minibuses and coaches carrying three or more children on an organised trip. Since 2001, all new buses, including minibuses and coaches, are required to have seatbelts fitted, apart from buses designed to carry standing passengers.

Parents that lost children in crash call for regulation

Parents that lost children in the crash on the M40 in 1993 are now calling for measures to ensure that voluntary operated buses are regulated properly and for drivers to be licensed by the DVLA.

Around 140,000 buses are driven in the UK on a voluntary basis.

The campaigners say the government could have prevented the M40 crash if the buses were properly regulated.

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  1. Chris Halpin

Shopping centre transformation puts hundreds back to work - full report

Peter Croxford is one of 98 long-term unemployed people to be employed at a new Tesco store in Stourbridge.

The 63-year-old was made redundant last year after 40 years in the car industry but is now training as a fishmonger with the supermarket chain after joining through Tesco's regeneration partnership scheme, which aims to get unemployed people back into work.

The store opens on October 31 and will be employing 350 people in total. Chris Halpin reports.

Pilot death: Investigation into collision to take place

The pilot killed has yet to be formally identified Credit: ITV News Central

An investigation is to take place after a pilot was killed when his microlight aircraft crashed into pylons in Stourbridge.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch will look into the circumstances of the collision at Barratt's Coppice, Bridgnorth Road as part of their investigation.

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