Archive for December 22, 2011

Attempted Robbery In Redditch

Attempted Robbery In Redditch

Police are appealing for information about an attempted robbery in Redditch.

It happened at around 8.50pm on Tuesday 20 December at Church Hill News, Parkfield Close, Church Hill.

A man wearing a balaclava entered the shop, and demanded the assistant behind the counter hand over money, threatening her with what is described as a short samurai sword.

She called for help, and the owner, who had been in a back room, and another man chased the offender out of the shop.

Nothing was stolen, and the assistant was shaken but unhurt.

The offender is described as a white male, approx 5ft 5ins tall, of stocky build and wearing a khaki coloured balaclava. He also wore a navy, zip-up sports jacket, light denim jeans and white trainers.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact PC Sophie Gaffney at West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000 quoting incident 679-s-201211 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

West Mercia Police Press Office website

DOCTORS will visit 999 callers at their homes so they do not have to go to hospital as part of a pioneering scheme to ease pressure on A&E this winter.

NHS Worcestershire has drawn up a contract with charity Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS), a group of highly trained and experienced pre-hospital practitioners that has 14 doctors and two advanced nurse practitioners.

NHS Worcestershire, which holds the purse strings for county healthcare, will pay the charity about £20,000 to carry out the service, which runs until the end of March.

Winter tends to be the busiest period for hospitals with patients suffering more respiratory problems and illnesses which can have a devastating impact on elderly and vulnerable patients.

The winter diarrhoea and vomiting bug norovirus, which has already led to the total or partial closure of six wards at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, means further beds are taken out of the system at this time of year, adding yet more pressure to an already overstretched system.

Dr Jonathan Leach, medical director at NHS Worcestershire and also a member of the MARS team, dubbed “the Martians”, devised the scheme.

It will involve about eight doctors paid GP locum rates. The service will be available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

When a patient dials 999, members of MARS can take the call and treat the patient instead of a paramedic, which could prevent a hospital admission.

Dr Leach said: “The idea is that, rather than getting a paramedic, they can get a doctor who can help treat the patient in conjunction with a paramedic, keeping that patient out of hospital.

“It means the ambulance service will have a doctor on tap. This will be unique in the country, a national first. We think it will save money in the long term and we think it will be better for patients.”

Dr Leach said trials of similar schemes had reduced hospital admissions by 40 per cent, but this will also free up an ambulance crew.

Dean Jenkins, West Midlands Ambulance Service acting general manager for Worcestershire, said: “A lot of the 999 calls we get are not life-threatening. Having these doctors on hand will be a great help to us, allowing us to concentrate on the most serious cases.”


Helping victims of domestic violence stay in their homes

A home security scheme from the Redditch Community Safety Partnership has helped nearly 30 individuals and families facing domestic abuse stay in their own homes.

The Sanctuary Scheme supports and protects individuals and families that seek to remain in their own home once the person perpetrating the abuse has been excluded from the property, with works under the scheme ranging from security lights and window locks to house “safe rooms” equipped with security doors.

The scheme, which was recently praised during a Redditch Borough Council scrutiny exercise, has been managed by the Council’s Community Safety team since 2007 and is being highlighted as Redditch’s 16 Days of Action domestic abuse campaign continues.

Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for community safety Cllr Juliet Brunner said: “Domestic abuse by its very nature is frequently perpetrated in the home. But why should victims, particularly women, be made to feel their only choice is to leave their own home which could mean leaving their job, taking children out of schools or losing contact with nearby friends and family?

“By working with the Police and other agencies supporting victims of domestic abuse, this project continues to support residents who have made the brave decision to separate from their abuser and gives them a realistic option to stay in their own home if they choose to do so.”

The 16 Days of Action campaign runs until Sunday December 11, with white ribbons free from Redditch Borough Council One Stop Shops and special public events such as Thursday’s Christmas carol concert, with voluntary donations being accepted to try to raise £1200 so that domestic abuse charity SupportWorks can bring a new domestic abuse education programme to local young people.

The proposed nine-week Domestic abuse Awareness for Youth (DAY) programme could see three teachers delivering a multimedia programme of contemporary music, film and structured discussion to challenge beliefs and attitudes at the root of domestic abuse to young people over 14 in Redditch.

Domestic abuse describes a wide range of intimidating, threatening and violent behaviour. Victims may feel afraid, worthless, controlled, forced and bullied.  People with concerns about the behaviour of a partner or family member can obtain free, confidential advice 24 hours a day from the Worcestershire Domestic Abuse helpline by phoning 0800 980 3331.