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Shop security guards emerge as heroes following Chelmsley fire

A pair of quick-thinking security guards at a Solihull shopping centre helped to evacuate terrified residents after a fire tore through the roof of a nearby tower block . The fearless guards at Chelmsley Wood1 Shopping Centre were on patrol when they spotted the flames and smoke coming from the top of the building in nearby Moorend Avenue. As shoppers watched the drama in horror, the brave duo sprinted across to the block, which is managed by Solihull 2Community Housing (SCH) and alerted the concierge to the danger.

Smoke from the fire in Chelmsley Wood

The plucky twosome, who would not be named, swiftly took to the stairs and banged on the doors of the flats in the 10 storey building. Residents told the Birmingham Mail they had been unaware of the blaze which could be seen for miles away after the fire took hold at around 1.45pm. Twenty-five firefighters3 tackled the incident and gave oxygen therapy to one man who was injured.

Residents from the top two floors were evacuated.

The fire at the block of flats in Moorend Avenue Chelmsley Wood

One of the security guards said: There didn t seem to be a fire alarm in the block.

We tried to find one so that we could actually hit a panic button.

My colleague went to the top floor and I started on the fifth so we worked it between us.

We were there for about five to 10 minutes but it seemed longer.

We didn t think about it, we just went in to help . Then the fire brigade took over. Liberty Chester, who has a four year old daughter Lacie, said she didn t feel safe.

I m just glad Lacie wasn t there, she said.

If she had been she would not have gone back into the flat. The 24-year-old added: It was the security guards from the shopping centre who saw the smoke and ran over to tell us.

They tried to find the fire alarm but couldn t.

Then they began banging on all the doors to tell us.

We were waiting outside for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes.

We weren t told anything . Nobody knew what was going on.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service4 spokeswoman said one ambulance was at the scene.

One man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes after the blaze was extinguished at about 3pm.

Chloe Moore, 18 and her mum Michelle Thomas at the scene of the fire in Chelmsley Wood

Michelle Thomas lives on the third floor and her daughter Chloe Moore lives on the top floor of the building. Michelle said: When I got there I saw a roofer who was working there . He tried to put it out himself and his arm was covered in bandages.

Chelsea Lee has lived in the block for 3 years . The 23-year-old said: Everyone looks out for each other here. Peter Stoate, a spokesman for SCH, said: We are pleased to report that the fire on the roof of Cheshunt House was quickly extinguished by the fire services .

One contractor working on the roof was treated at the scene but no tenants were injured.

Some tenants had to leave their homes for a couple of hours while safety procedures were followed but all were able to return soon afterwards.

References

  1. ^ Chelmsley Wood (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Solihull (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ firefighters (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ West Midlands Ambulance Service (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

Claims council has removed long standing security patrols

Nightly security guard patrols have been removed from Dundee city centre, The Courier understands. Guards have patrolled City Square and the surrounding area on 12 hour shifts for several years. Patrollers were asked to check in at points throughout the centre while attempting to curb anti social behaviour.

Now it s claimed the patrols have been dropped by Dundee City Council. Night shift cover on the council s Dundee House building has also been removed, it s said. Dundee City Council refused to elaborate on the reported changes, citing security reasons for the refusal.

However the administration notes changes to security arrangements at Dundee House and City Square in its annual budget report. The changes, the administration claims, will involve improved risk management and more effective use of technology (which) will enable increased efficiency in this area . But The Courier has been informed by an industry source that a long-standing security arrangement for guards to patrol both the city centre and Dundee House has been withdrawn.

In 2014, figures emerged showing the council spends around 40,000 every year on security guards for City Square. At the time, Councillor Will Dawson, city development convener, said: Costs of vandalism and graffiti have greatly reduced since security was introduced at City Square.

The presence of security helps to protect property, while offering reassurance for staff who work in the square. Earlier this month, figures were published showing the administration has spent 250,000 on maintaining CCTV cameras in Dundee over the last four years.

In the last financial year alone, the council paid 69,371.33 refurbishing some of its 87 cameras. The most recent update from the local authority shows there are currently five with minor faults which are not working. The peak expenditure came in 2013/14 when 74,046.12 was spent maintaining the cameras

Commenting on the figures, Daniel Nesbitt, research director of Big Brother Watch,said: Dundee City Council should be regularly reviewing its CCTV network and if the cameras aren t making a difference then they should be scaled back.

‘Get out or I’ll chuck you out’ Teenager grabbed around throat by security guard at Cardiff shopping centre

This is the moment a security guard at Cardiff s main shopping centre grabbed a 15-year-old boy by the throat and told him: Get out or I ll chuck you out . The incident, which happened at St David s Shopping Centre on Sunday afternoon, involved a group of friends. They had been skateboarding in the city centre and were heading to eat when they were approached by security officers and asked to leave.

A video of the incident – which has since been posted online – then shows one of the security guards grabbing one of the teenagers by the throat. The security guard has been suspended with immediate effect .

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The 15-year-old boy involved was Luther Small from Llanrumney, Cardiff. His mother, Carol, said: Luther doesn t really want to take things any further . He accepts the guy overreacted but doesn t want him to be suspended . It s just one of those things.

A video of the incident was posted online by Rhayna Mann, whose 15-year-old son, Riley, was also a part of the group of friends. Posting the footage to Twitter, she wrote: Disgusting . Appalling . Shameful.

Rhayna s husband, Jason Mann, added: My son and his friends were in Cardiff skating on Sunday . They decided to get some food at around 5pm.

Obviously one of the only places open at that time on a Sunday was St David s Shopping Centre.

They went in and took a seat in a caf , but they were approached by security and told they had to leave.

They were not misbehaving or playing up, but were told they had to leave because they had skateboards.

My son and his friends told the guards they didn t understand . They were only having food . They hadn t even skated inside the centre.

But security kicked them out . They tried their luck at another entrance and the security guards were waiting for them there.

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This is when Luther was grabbed by one of the guards. Jason says the management team at St David s have been in touch to explain the situation but the incident has left them feeling upset and angry.

Riley was OK when he came home – he skates a lot, so is used to having run-ins with people, Jason said.

But he s a good kid .

I m not just saying that as his parent – Riley is a bright and well-mannered boy.

His mum was upset when she saw the footage, but I was just angry that someone in a position of power would abuse their rights.

The boys are 15 at the end of the day . Even if they were mouthy and the security guard felt justified in throwing them out, you don t grab a young boy by the throat. Mark Nott, centre manager for St David s Cardiff, said: We have been made aware of this incident and the security officer involved has been suspended with immediate effect.

This is not the level of conduct we expect from our officers and we apologise to all parties involved.

A full investigation is now taking place and we are liaising with the customers concerned directly.

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: “We are aware of an alleged assault at St David s shopping centre, Cardiff, which occurred at approximately 8.30pm on Sunday, April 9.

“Enquiries in to the incident are ongoing.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has video footage which may assist with our enquiries, should contact 101 quoting reference 1700134453.”