Coursework News story: Nightclub thefts increase in Bristol

Police are warning people not to leave their valuables unattended. Photo: Verity Rogers.

Police are warning people not to leave their valuables unattended. Photo: Verity Rogers.

In the last two weeks there have been over a hundred thefts from bars and nightclubs in Bristol city centre. Avon and Somerset Police have started another campaign to try and prevent these incidents. Police are reminding people to take care of their possessions when they are out at night. Sergeant Sean Underwood said: “50% of the whole force area’s theft problem comes from mobile phone and purse theft at night”. He said: “The majority of these happen when people have had too much to drink and they leave their phone or bag somewhere and go off to the bar or to dance.” Bristol Life spoke to Sergeant Sean Underwood:

The police have had several campaigns in the last year to tackle the problem. Last year they had a campaign called ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ where police went into a bar or club for a minute and saw how many phones they could grab without being noticed. Despite these campaigns, the number of thefts is still high. Sergeant Underwood said:”There are people that feel they are more deprived than they were a few years ago, plus smart phones are a massive business at the moment – they’re the ones that are worth money.”

“Smart phones are a massive business at the moment”

As part of the latest campaign, bar staff have been wearing brightly coloured tops with the slogan ‘think phone’, and police have stamped people’s hands as they queue outside clubs, to remind them to check on their phones.

Raising awareness

Sergeant Underwood said: “A lot of it is about trying to raise people’s awareness, trying to get them to look after their property a bit more.” He has also been raising awareness of the dangers on Twitter:

Sarah Holland had her bag stolen from a pub in Bristol and the police were unable to retrieve it or catch the thief. Sarah said: “I was completely oblivious to the fact that my bag was stolen until I went to go and pick it up.” “When I looked back at the CCTV of it happening, I even remembered the guy who took it walking past. When he walked back the other way he must have picked it up, but I didn’t notice at the time.” Bristol Life spoke to Sarah about her experience:


Coursework TV Feature Package: International Women’s Day 2014

Studio link: March eighth is International Women’s Day, and this year it was celebrated by an all day event at the M Shed, Verity Rogers went along and talked to some of the women involved to find out why this day is so important (14 seconds)

Filming and editing by Verity Rogers
Originally published: May 14, 2014

Coursework Feature story: Get women talking: International Women’s Day 2014

photo38, March 2014 was the annual International Women’s Day, and Bristol Women’s Voice held an all day event at the M Shed to bring Bristol’s women together.

“Get women talking” was the theme of the event, and Bristol Women’s Voice arranged a day of activities and talks to do just that.

Bristol Women’s Voice are an equality forum set up by Bristol City Council. They aim to be a platform for women to influence public authorities.

International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a hundred years, since 15,000 women who worked in sweat shops marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights in 1908.

It is a day to celebrate women’s achievements and their continuing action against inequality.

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Involvement and accessibility were the key goals for the day; there were free buses to the event which picked women up from various points around Bristol, as well as the Bristol Playbus to keep children entertained. There was no excuse not to attend!

Sian Webb, Bristol Women's Voice.

Sian Webb, Bristol Women’s Voice.

Sian Webb from Bristol Women’s Voice helped organise the event.

She said: “We’ve had a fantastic number of women from Bristol come. One of our aims for the day was to get people talking across communities and I feel like that’s been a real success”.

There were a number of activities running throughout the day, from felt making to Breathing Fire drama workshops. The diversity of the day drew women in from across the city.

One of our aims for the day was to get people talking across communities

Stalls were set up for a variety of different women’s organisations, ranging from the Ovarian Cancer Campaign to Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group.

Bristol Life spoke to some of the organisations at M Shed:

Despite the light atmosphere, there were also serious talks from Penny Gane, the Chair of Bristol Women’s Commission, and Layla Ismail, a campaigner against female genital mutilation and founder of Refuge Women of Bristol.

Bristol Women’s Commission

It’s one year since George Ferguson signed the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life, making Bristol the first UK city to sign up to it.

The creation of the Women’s Commission was a direct result of this. Penny Gane, chair of the Women’s Commission, spoke about what they do, and why their work is essential.

She said: “This is the reason why we’re doing this work: a telephone line last year, in Bristol, received over 4,000 calls from women in distress. One in seven students have experienced a serious sexual assault while studying here. 14,000 women and girls are estimated to be victims of domestic abuse in Bristol.”

‘Chat Chairs’ were organised which gave people the opportunity to speak directly to members of the Women’s Commission committee about any issues they wanted to raise, throughout the day.

Dr Cezara Nanu also spoke at the event. She is the founder and chief executive officer for a new magazine, Bristol Woman. Bristol Life spoke to her about the magazine:

But why is it important that women talk?

The international theme for this years women’s day was ‘Inspiring Change’, and the message at M Shed was that creating change requires discussion and communication.

The event was busy all day, and it’s success indicates the message reached a wide range of Bristol’s women.


Related links:
Bristol City Council: George Ferguson signs European Charter on equality
Bristol Women’s Voice: International Women’s Day blog

Filming, video editing, story by Verity Rogers
Originally published: April 29, 2014

Rogue Trader Week: elderly advised to be careful

The event at Watershed.

The event at Watershed.

LinkAge, Avon & Somerset Police and Trading Standards ran an event at the Watershed, advising elderly people how to avoid being scammed in their homes.

The event was opened by Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens. It comes at the end of Rogue Trader Week.

The Knock, Knock Safe and Scam Wise event was offering advice to over 55′s about how to avoid getting caught out by cold callers, or people that knock on their doors.

LinkAge is a Bristol based charity that aims to empower older people to get out in the community, take part in activities and meet new people.

Claire Miller, is the Chief Operating Officer at LinkAge, she said: “[The event was] about giving people the tools to feel more self – confident, so that they want to get out and about”.

“This is the first one, but we’re keen to build on partnerships that we develop. We want to continue to work with the police, because by working together we can really help to build people’s confidence and really tackle door stop crime.”

“The more aware they are of it, the less likely they are to be duped.”

Activities took place throughout the day includingTai Chi sessions and Personal Safety Workshops. Claire Miller told us she had a lot of positive responses and requests for them to become a regular thing.

Rogue Trader Week

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Wilstead is responsible for the Doorstep Crime Team – they look into offences related to rogue trading and distraction burglary. He said: “victims of those sorts of crimes are usually the vulnerable and elderly, within their own homes.”

“This is the culmination of a week of focused work, but preventative policing is constantly ongoing. We’re trying to give people the skills and abilities to prevent them becoming victims of crime.”

Bristol Life spoke to Claire Miller and DCI Simon Wilstead about how the event was going:

A number of different organisations were there to inform people about the services available to them in Bristo. These included West of England Care and Repair who provide a list of trusted contractors to stop older people being scammed by builders or plumbers.

Gordon Chisholm, the area manager for West Country Crimestoppers believes that events like this are important. He said: “A lot of people that become victims at the door are worried about going to the police. Crimestoppers is a charity, completely separate from the police, take anonymous information and give it to the police.”

Story, filming and video editing by Verity Rogers
Originally published: April 11, 2014

Woman raped near Dean Lane in Southville

Woman raped near Dean Lane in Southville

Woman raped near Dean Lane in Southville

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for the public’s help after a woman was raped in Southville in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The attack happened in an alleyway off Dean Lane at 05:30 GMT. The woman, who is in her thirties, was on her way to work at the time.

Police have described the woman’s attacker as medium build, wearing a scarf across the bottom half of his face and a zipped hooded top.

Detective Inspector Mike Buck, of the Operation Bluestone team in Bristol, said: “The victim has been through a terrible ordeal and has been very brave in coming forward to report this incident to police.

“I would like to reassure residents that we are carrying out a full and thorough investigation and have dedicated officers carrying out a number of enquiries.”

Operation Bluestone is a team of police officers in Bristol dedicated to investigating incidents of rape and serious sexual assault.

Police ask anyone who can help with the investigation to contact the Bluestone team on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0845 555111, or use their online form

This is the place where the rape occurred.

This is the place where the rape occurred.

Related Links:

Avon and Somerset Police: Inquiry launched following rape in Southville
Rape Aware: Facts and information

Story by Verity Rogers
Originally published: April 4, 2014

Wild and neglected Northern Slopes inspires exhibition

Some of the art created during the year long project. Photo by Verity Jones.

Some of the art created during the year long project. Photo by Verity Jones.

A project which aims to inspire locals to appreciate neglected spaces celebrated with an exhibition in Knowle West Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

The Wild City project which was launched a year ago, encouraged people to capture and enjoy the spaces through photography and art.

Over the past year the centre has run a selection of workshops in photography and sound recording to engage local people to appreciate the spaces around them, in particular The Northern Slopes.

Jen Rolfe who lead the project said: “It’s an important project for Knowle as its usually an area associated with neglect, and I think its important to engage young people and let them see the spaces can be valuable to the area.”

Bristol artist, Synnove Fredericks, worked with the public to turn their pictures and sounds into work for the exhibition which will remain in the centre for 6 months.

Rolfe also said: “The Northern Slopes are always under review for development, and a lot of people see them as wasted space, but I think this project really celebrates the area.”

The Northern Slopes are three green spaces between Bedminster and Knowle. The wild spaces over the past five years have been the target of number of development proposals as housing demands have increased in the city.







Story by Verity Rogers and Verity Jones
Originally published: April 1, 2014

Row over Bedminster housing development

Love Windmill Hill protest group is opposing the plans to redevelop St Catherine’s Place in Bedminster. The group say it will radically change the nature of the area.

Bristol Life spoke Urbis Development for their reaction to the protest:

Story, filming and editing by Verity Rogers and Rebecca Megson
Originally published: March 28, 2014

Health workers protest over 1% pay increase

Protestors attached their banner to the outside of the BRI. Photo by Safia Yallaoui

Protestors attached their banner to the outside of the BRI. Photo by Safia Yallaoui

Hospital workers from Unite union were protesting outside the BRI hospital on Wednesday against Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s, announcement on pay rises.

Protestors were outside the hospital early in the morning asking passers by and staff coming into work to sign their petition, as well as handing out leaflets. They aim to raise awareness of the effects of the Health Secretary’s announcement and what is means for hospital staff.

Last week, Jeremy Hunt said that the 1% pay increase for all NHS staff that had been recommended by an NHS pay body would not be happening. Only workers that are at the top of their pay band will receive the 1% increase.

Rita Joyner, Chair of the University Hospitals Bristol said: “People are fed up, so we’re hoping to raise the profile and get them interested in what’s happening”.

More action to follow

Phil Hedges, the branch Chair at Unite Bristol Health, said: “This is the first step, we are just settling down from the dust”.

“Unite nationally will be mounting a campaign for action. Taking a lunch break is an action, going home on time is an action – there is a whole raft of measures, just to try and demonstrate to people that we are here to care but we need caring for.”

Bristol Life spoke to Phil Hedges at the protest:

When asked how the pay offer would affect patients care, Hedges said: “None of us in the health service will knowingly put a patient at risk, however, we are human beings. There is only so much time in the day, there is only so much we can give, there is only so much we can take.”

“This pay rise is a slap in the face.”

Sue Kilroe, a retired nurse and member of Bristol Pro Health Group, said: “I see nurses and support staff are working unbelievably hard. They’re stressed and disillusioned, and completely deflated.” She went on to say,”This pay rise they are being offered at the moment is a slap in the face. It’s the minimum they can do to get the headline that nurses are getting a 1% pay rise.”

Related Links:
Unite: Health workers protest

Story by:
Verity Rogers (filming, video editing, story)
Safia Yallaoui (interviewing)
Originally published: March 21, 2014

‘No make up selfies’ raise £1m for cancer charities

‘no make up selfies’ are now being posted with screen shots of the donation. Photo by Nicole Pilcher.

‘no make up selfies’ are now being posted with screen shots of the donation. Photo by Nicole Pilcher.

Facebook and Twitter have been inundated with ‘no make up selfies’, as part of an unofficial campaign that has raised £1m for cancer charities.

It is not clear who started the campaign, but after pictures started appearing on social media thousands of women joined in and took pictures of themselves without make up.

The ‘selfies’ are also being posted with screen shots of donations.

Although the internet campaign was not initiated be a cancer charity, but a number of charities have praised the money that has been raised, includingBreast Cancer Campaign and Cancer Research UK. Those who post pictures are encouraged to donate £3 by texting one of the cancer charities. It is not known who started the campaign.


Cancer Research UK posted this response to the campaign on their Facebook page: “Thousands of you are posting #cancerawareness #nomakeupselfie pictures and many have asked if the campaign is ours. It’s not but we love that people want to get involved!”.

Related Links:

Cancer Research UK: Make a donation

Story by Verity Rogers
Originally published: March 21, 2014