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Petrov to play football again

Petrov was forced to retire from professional football after being diagnosed with leukaemia Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Former Aston Villa captain Stilliyan Petrov will line up alongside a host of ex-Villa stars in a charity match in Sutton Coldfield today.

The match is taking place at the Trevor Brown Memorial Stadium in Boldmere at 2pm in aid of the former skipper's new foundation.

Petrov was forced to retire from professional football following a battle with leukaemia.

West Midlands Police boss apologises to Mitchell over 'plebgate'

Mr Mitchell always denied using the word 'plebs' when speaking to officers at the gates of Downing Street Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell has received a formal apology from the Chief Constable of the West Midlands over the involvement of one of his officers in the plebgate affair.

Chris Sims visited Mr Mitchell at his constituency office today.

The apology is the latest from senior police staff. Mr Mitchell has always denied calling Downing Street police officers 'plebs'.


Police Chief set to apologise to Andrew Mitchell

West Midlands Police Chief Constable, Chris Sims Credit: West Midlands Police

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims, is expected to apologise to Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell today, over the role of one of of his officers in the 'Plebgate' affair.

Earlier this month, Mr Mitchell received an apology from Scotland Yard Chief, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, where they agreed on the importance of 'drawing a line' under the matter.

Police commander 'devastated' over foul-mouthed voicemail

Birmingham North police commander Rachel Jones has written an open letter Credit: ITV News Central

A police commander in Birmingham has written that she is 'devastated' after two police officers were accused of leaving an expletive-ridden voicemail message on the phone of a suspected domestic abuse victim.

Rachel Jones, Birmingham North police commander, has written an open letter saying that she was 'devastated' after hearing the recording:

"I’ve apologised to [the complainant] in person and reassured this will be vigorously investigated, but also for other victims who may, on the back of this, have reservations about reporting abuse to police.

"Understandably, accusations like this risk undermining public confidence in the police – but I would seek to reassure members of the public this alleged conduct is quite exceptional and in no way reflects the attitudes of our officers or the force generally."

Officers investigated as foul-mouthed rant left on suspected victim's voicemail

WARNING: This story contains language which some people may find offensive

Two police officers have been accused of leaving a vile, expletive-riddled voicemail message on the phone of a suspected domestic abuse victim.

An investigation has been launched by the professional standards team at West Midlands Police over the claims.

Emma Burrows spoke to the police who say they hope the alleged incident does not put people off reporting abuse in the future.


Domestic violence charity calls for public inquiry

A domestic violence charity has called for a public inquiry into the treatment of victims of domestic violence after allegations of verbal abuse from two police officers.

An official investigation has been launched by West Midlands Police following a complaint from a suspected domestic violence victim, 19-year-old Alex Faragher, who was shocked to find the foul-mouthed rant on her voicemail.

But charity Refuge says it isn't enough.

Chief executive Sandra Horley said the charity regularly deals with women who experience a "negative" response from police.

I was appalled, but not surprised, to hear the comments allegedly left by West Midlands Police officers on the voicemail.

We know that negative attitudes about women who experience domestic violence persist within the police, but it is rare to hear them captured on tape.

These horrifying comments are not an isolated incident. Day in, day out, we hear about police officers failing to respond to women experiencing domestic violence.

We urgently need a public inquiry to uncover the truth about the way the police, and all state agencies, respond to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

– Sandra Horley, Refuge chief executive

Police 'shocked and devastated' at foul message claims

A top police officer at West Midlands Police has said she was "shocked and devastated" by allegations two PCs left a foul-mouthed rant on the voicemail of a suspected domestic abuse victim.

Ch Supt Rachel Jones said she was particularly upset by the thought that the allegations may have an impact on other domestic abuse victims coming forward in future.

LISTEN: Shocking 'police rant' recorded on voicemail

The full audio from a voicemail allegedly left by two police officers on the phone of a suspected domestic violence victim has been released.

WARNING: This audio contains language which some people may find offensive.

The officers had arrived to take a statement at the Sutton Coldfield home of teenager Alex Faragher, 19 - but when they discovered she wasn't in, she says they called her phone.

And she claims a foul-mouthed rant was inadvertently recorded, in which they called her a "f****** slag" and a "bitch".

Officers in f-word rant claims put on 'restricted duties'

Two officers at the centre of claims they left a foul-mouthed rant on the voicemail of a suspected domestic violence victim have been put on restricted duties.

West Midlands Police have confirmed the officers, based at Sutton Coldfield police station, would not be in public-facing roles while an investigation was carried out.

The two officers under investigation are based at Sutton Coldfield police station Credit: Google Maps

It comes after the force's professional standards department launched an investigation into allegations of gross misconduct after the 19-year-old girl complained that officers had accidentally been caught swearing and insulting her on a voicemail message.

Birmingham North police commander Rachel Jones said the force was treating the accusation as "serious".

Maintaining the highest professional standards is essential as part of our ongoing commitment to securing and maintaining the trust and confidence of the communities we serve.

Across the force we expect the highest standards of professionalism from all officers and police staff.

Whilst professional standards enquiries are ongoing, the officers have been placed on restricted duties and in a non-public facing role.

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