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Partner of YouTuber who died in electric scooter crash joins SAS: Who Dares Wins

The partner of YouTuber Emily Hartridge, who died in an electric scooter crash in London, has signed up to appear on SAS: Who Dares Wins.

ersonal trainer Jacob Hazell, 28, said he decided to take part in the gruelling Channel 4 series to “make peace with the whole situation”.

Ms Hartridge, 35, was involved in a fatal collision with a lorry in Battersea, south London, in July 2019, while riding a scooter gifted to her by Hazell days earlier.

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Foxy, Ant, Melvyn and Billy (Channel 4/PA)

Foxy, Ant, Melvyn and Billy (Channel 4/PA)

Foxy, Ant, Melvyn and Billy (Channel 4/PA)

Foxy, Ant, Melvyn and Billy (Channel 4/PA)

In the aftermath, Hazell became the target of online trolls and has since used his social media platform to advocate for better mental health support.

He said: “My experience on SAS: Who Dares Wins was one of the toughest I have ever endured. I am sure most people would say it would be without doubt the toughest. However after losing my girlfriend Emily in 2019, SAS: Who Dares Wins takes second spot.

“It’s fair to say that I was not expecting it to be as challenging as it was for me. It brought up things in me that I have had buried deep down for a very long time. And I am so grateful for the show and the opportunity as since leaving the course, it has helped me face up to and deal with some of those issues, rather than bury them down inside me.

“It helped me make peace with the whole situation. To the fellow recruits, DS, and all of you that work on the show, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Hazell said he signed up because he felt “very lost in life”.

Rebekah (11).

He added: “After losing Emily back in 2019, I fear sometimes that I have given up in life without her. I needed to prove to myself that I hadn’t.

“I screamed down that cliff during the abseil task, but the fact I walked off that edge proved that I still had some fight left in me.”

Series six will see 21 men and women leave the comfort of their homes and head to Scotland for an unforgiving selection course including tasks built around abseiling, freezing water and chemical weapon attacks.

Among their ranks are a solicitor raised in a Mormon community and a former stripper now working as an aesthetician.

Former soldier Melvyn Downes, 56, has joined Foxy and Billy on the directing staff for this series, led by chief instructor Ant Middleton, who recently severed ties with the show.

Downes, who spent 24 years serving in the British Military, including 11 years in the SAS, is the first mixed race DS to feature.

He said: “I’m incredibly proud to join such an amazing series and it’s an honour to be the first mixed race DS on the series.

“I’m also incredibly thankful for this opportunity, especially at this time in my life. Age is no excuse not to go for your goals, and I’m living proof of that.”

Despite his years of experience, he admitted being wary of the cameras.

He said: “It was an exciting experience but also terrifying as I’ve spent most of my life undercover.

“Once I got over the initial shock of all the cameras, I loved being back in that environment with the fellow DSs, putting the recruits through their paces.”

Earlier this year, Channel 4 severed ties with Middleton over his “personal conduct” and said it would not be featuring him in future series.

But Middleton said it was his decision to quit the programme because it had become a “reality show”.

SAS: Who Dares Wins airs on Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4 from May 9.

PA

References

  1. ^ Close (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

‘We’re piggy in the middle’: Brexit has made life impossible, say Jersey fishers

Steph Noel, who has been fishing the waters off Jersey[1] for almost four decades, could not see the point of chugging out to sea in his 8.5-metre boat, Belle Bird, this weekend.

“There’s no value in it for me,” he said. “It’ll cost me in bait and diesel but even if I have a good day there’s no market there for what I bring back.”

Noel, 52, last went out on Sunday and had a decent haul of lobster and crab but could not find a buyer for them and they remain – alive – tucked away in a floating container out at sea. “You can’t keep them there for too long, especially as the sea warms up. They’ll start eating each other. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.”

The French fishers’ blockade of Jersey’s main port[2], St Helier, this week and the UK government’s decision to send two naval vessels to keep an eye on the situation made headlines across the globe. But people like Noel aren’t interested in the banner headlines. He just wants a market for his fish. The root of the problem, he says, is not the actions of a few French fishers but, ultimately, the UK’s departure from the EU.

Brexit has led to fishers across the UK struggling[3] to find a market for their fish. They complain of excessive paperwork, delays at ports, rows over labelling. They did not get a vote on Brexit in Jersey, which is not part of the UK, but they are directly affected.

When the UK left the EU’s single market and customs union on 31 January 2020 it also exited the common fisheries policy[4] that has divvied up the spoils of Europe’s waters since the 1970s.

In addition, the Bay of Granville agreement, which had established a pattern of rights for French boats up to three miles from Jersey’s coast, came to an end.

French fishers now believe they have been given a raw deal from Jersey over a new licensing scheme governing their post-Brexit fishing rights in the area. The French government has threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey[5] and French ports have begun to turn away Jersey fish. Then came this week’s blockade.

Fernando Carvalho from Aqua-Mar, fish merchants, Victoria Pier, St Helier, Jersey.

It is complicated but Noel summed it up succinctly. “Brexit has put a spanner in the works,” he said. “I have a mortgage to pay. If it isn’t sorted, I may lose the house. My wife [a civil servant] is having to support me. We were told frictionless trade for Jersey fish going into France, and it hasn’t happened. I don’t blame the French for protesting. They are just doing what we’re doing, trying to make a living out of the sea. We’re the piggy in the middle, caught up in the fallout.”

The tanks at the shellfish exporters Aqua-Mar on Victoria Pier tell a sad tale. They are heaving with lobster and brown and spider crab – about £40,000-worth.

One of the workers, Fernando Carvalho, said they usually kept the shellfish in the tanks for two or three days before exporting them. The creatures have been in there for up to 10 days now. The weaker ones die or are eaten.

“We’re struggling a lot,” said Carvalho. He said Brexit had led to “crazy” amounts of paperwork. “It used to take 15 or 20 minutes, it takes hours now.” They were starting to cope with that – but now have been hit by the loss of their route to the markets of continental Europe[6].

Jack Bailey, St Helier, Jersey.

Previously, they had sent their lobsters and crabs to the French port of St Malo in Brittany, three hours away. French, Spanish and Portuguese buyers would meet them there and take what they needed. The rest would be driven by lorry to Italy.

Now they are not being allowed to land their catch in France and are desperately seeking another route, looking at the possibility of getting the lobster and crabs to continental Europe via England. “It used to take a few hours to get it there, it will take days now,” said Carvalho. “We don’t know how to do what we used to do. All this is because of Brexit and we didn’t even get a say in it.”

Jack Bailey, 24, the skipper of the 10-metre lobster and crab boat White Waters, said there was not a lot of money to be made from fishing at the moment.

“My grandad was a fisherman, my dad was a fisherman. It’s in the family. I’ve started to think to myself, would I have been better off staying at school and getting a trade behind me. It’s a sticky one.”

He reckons the profit from his catches has been down 30% this year on the average for the last few. That’s a big chunk of your money,” he said. “I’m just about covering my costs.

“I haven’t landed this year in France. Last year, it was once every seven or 10 days. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen. I wasn’t for Brexit but now I’d like France to exit the EU – then Jersey and France would be able to work it out themselves. I just hope there is a fishing industry left after this.”

While the French boats were blockading St Helier harbour, the Jersey fisher Jason Bonhomme tried to land a catch of cuttlefish over at Carteret in Normandy.

He was prevented from landing and forced to turn back. He gave away the whole catch – 400kg – on St Catherine’s breakwater after posting a message on social media inviting people to bring bags and buckets and take it away for free. “Shame to see it spoil,” he said.

Stephen Vinney, 54, who owns a boat called Progress, expressed frustration that it is the French rather than Jersey fishers who have been making the headlines.

Stephen Vinney, St Helier, Jersey.

“We’re suffering far more than they are,” he said. “They have EU subsidy given to take the sting out of Brexit. Jersey has had nothing in support.”

As well as fishing for crabs and lobster, one of Vinney’s key catches is scallop. “Our scallop season should be in full flight,” he said. “It’s not.”

“Because of the UK leaving the EU, our scallops and whelks, which are a big part of our fishery, can’t be landed into France directly. They need testing and health certificates. At the same time, French fleets are putting more effort into our waters than they have for years, catching the same scallops out of our waters and landing them into France. They can dig my spuds in my garden but I can’t.”

He argued that the island was effectively a post-Brexit test case. “Jersey is being used as a guinea pig in imposing the licensing regime on the French. Eyes are on Jersey and Boris [Johnson] is putting pressure on Jersey to stand firm.”

Vinney is worried about the future. “It’s not a job; it’s a way of life. A lot of Jersey boats have sold up. We are losing fishermen we won’t get back into the fleet. We are getting squeezed out.”

Toby Greatbatch, Greatcatch Seafood.

Toby Greatbatch, 31, has stopped working as a fisher after 13 years. He has a nine-month-old baby and could no longer be sure the work was there to support the child.

He was preparing scallops he had hand-dived for off the east coast of Jersey and tipping live brown crab he had bought from another fisher into a boiler. He sells the scallops and crab meat at a market stall.

“Brexit and Covid has made it too difficult to be a fisherman,” he said. “When you can’t export it, there’s no point in catching it. I think I’ve found my niche doing this and can’t see myself going back to it.”

References

  1. ^ Jersey (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ blockade of Jersey’s main port (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ Brexit has led to fishers across the UK struggling (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ it also exited the common fisheries policy (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ The French government has threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey (www.theguardian.com)
  6. ^ Europe (www.theguardian.com)

Jersey: ‘deeply embarrassed by this nonsense’ – reactions to jingoism from papers

The Jersey fishing dispute were the main stories in Friday’s right leaning national papers.

The authorities in Jersey[1] have promised further talks to help resolve the row, but the French government hit out at a “British failure” to abide by the terms of the UK-EU trade deal and warned it would “use all the leverage at our disposal” to protect the fishing industry.

The European Union also accused Jersey of breaching the deal signed by the UK and Brussels.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said efforts would be made to resolve the dispute with Emmanuel Macron’s government and the EU.

“What we have done is make very clear to the French ministers who said some very unwise and disproportionate comments that we will stand with the people of Jersey,” the Cabinet minister said.

Last night ex-speaker John Bercow slammed the Government’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’ on Question Time.[2]

Papers

Well certain newspapers, didn’t take Bercow’s approach, and saw this argument as a great way to do a spot of warmongering with a series of jingoistic headlines.

The Sun cheers the Navy seeing off the protest around the Channel Island’s main port, St Helier, under a fish-themed headline of “Take sprat”.

The Daily Star runs with “‘Allo ‘Allo! French fishermen retreat after Brexit battle”.

The Daily Mail says French fishermen executed a “familiar manoeuvre”, calling it “Le grand surrender”.

And Metro calls the fishing skirmish a “Smash & crab”, reporting on the “French retreat” after a British boat was rammed.

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph reports on the “battle of the lobster pots” but leads on the end of facemasks in classrooms.

The Daily Express splashes on forecasts of a strong rebound for Britain’s economy, saying it is set to grow at its fastest rate in 70 years.

The Times leads on same story, while also reporting people younger than 40 will be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Reactions

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Related: “Like one of those hostage videos” – reactions to Johnson casting vote with Carrie Symonds[37]

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References

  1. ^ Jersey (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. ^ slammed the Government’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’ on Question Time. (www.thelondoneconomic.com)
  3. ^ https://t.co/5gYaXqggUH (t.co)
  4. ^ pic.twitter.com/b7cl9w36P1 (t.co)
  5. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  6. ^ @dailystar (twitter.com)
  7. ^ #frontpage (twitter.com)
  8. ^ https://t.co/DZvrHq3njl (t.co)
  9. ^ #TomorrowsPapersToday (twitter.com)
  10. ^ pic.twitter.com/hhaACP2B4B (t.co)
  11. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  12. ^ @DailyMailUK (twitter.com)
  13. ^ #MailFrontPages (twitter.com)
  14. ^ pic.twitter.com/YZFjHoTA4L (t.co)
  15. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  16. ^ pic.twitter.com/C24TgdJdSy (t.co)
  17. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  18. ^ #TomorrowsPapersToday (twitter.com)
  19. ^ https://t.co/x8AV4Oomry (t.co)
  20. ^ pic.twitter.com/h8ebFU7XoP (t.co)
  21. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  22. ^ #tomorrowspaperstoday (twitter.com)
  23. ^ https://t.co/B0xeeVTNx9 (t.co)
  24. ^ pic.twitter.com/8axX3xG0iG (t.co)
  25. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  26. ^ #TomorrowsPapersToday (twitter.com)
  27. ^ pic.twitter.com/4yaAn8csk8 (t.co)
  28. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  29. ^ pic.twitter.com/DP77p0N4e5 (t.co)
  30. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  31. ^ May 7, 2021 (twitter.com)
  32. ^ May 7, 2021 (twitter.com)
  33. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  34. ^ pic.twitter.com/KAi79SDmbD (t.co)
  35. ^ May 6, 2021 (twitter.com)
  36. ^ May 7, 2021 (twitter.com)
  37. ^ “Like one of those hostage videos” – reactions to Johnson casting vote with Carrie Symonds (www.thelondoneconomic.com)
  38. ^ click here (www.thelondoneconomic.com)
  39. ^ here (moteefe.com)
  40. ^ SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER (www.thelondoneconomic.com)

Staffless betting shops: the future for retail?

Related Articles

The Irish retail betting landscape has come up against its fair share of challenges in recent years, with the introduction of a 2% tax on turnover over €2.5 million, the absence of a central gambling regulator and most recently the closure of all non-essential shops.

But despite these hurdles, fixed costs have remained at a steady level (and in some cases, have increased). 

Colm Finlay is the Founder / Director of BetXS – a subsidiary of Orchadia Systems. He told SBC News that between 85-90% of outgoings for ‘traditional’ shops are fixed, however an increased focus on variable costs can help bring a ‘breath of fresh air’ to the land-based sector.

He said: “Needless to say that the self-service, staffless shops operate on a much lower cost basis when compared to their traditional, manned shop counterparts. What’s happened in Ireland and the UK over the last 10 years or so is that as fixed costs have increased, certain towns and villages no longer have the population base for which to support those shops with high fixed costs. 

“If you look over here in Ireland, it’s not permissible to do single-manning because you’re expected to give your staff breaks after every three of hours of work done. After five hours of work, they are then permitted to take a full hour lunch break. The effect of that is that you can’t really operate a shop on a single-man basis. 

“When you then apply that to the quota of hours that a betting shop can open over the week, you’d really need four or five labour units to keep a betting shop open. From an Irish perspective that’s €100,000 – €110,000 in costs which are fixed and have to be serviced. 

“When you then bolt on the €47,000 in fees to media rights holders, the money that has to be paid to landlords and all of the other fixed costs associated with a manned shop, your fixed costs are exceeding the €200,000 mark with a few variable costs.”

He shared that a shift towards automation and “use of efficient and reliable technology” can help alleviate any risks of human error – with costs equating to approximately 35-40% of traditional shops. These costs, Finlay continued, are expected to drop even further through negotiations with rights holders such as SIS and TRP.

“With BetXS operating between 35-40% of the cost basis, with further decreases to those levels when we have a proper revenue-share / turnover-based arrangement in place with the rights holders, those costs will drop even further,” he continued. 

“What will then happen is that these remote communities can get their betting shops back. From a horse racing perspective, that’s great news. The expected revenue in terms of incomes for horse racing and for the Exchequer has dropped to zero. But we’re going to turn those zeros into something.” 

Now open in Rathcoole, Kilbeggan and Ballivor, all BetXS shops are run on a remote basis – with CCTV, shutters, security systems, displays and lights all controlled using a fully automated solution – and all bets placed and settled via self-service betting terminals (SSBTs). 

But with no carriage of goods, Finlay believes that the Irish land-based sector could wholly benefit from the roll-out of automated betting shops, bringing with it a whole host of benefits for local communities.

He added: “We don’t have a carriage of goods. Betting shops are so well suited to this model. Say if I was to have a shop in Cahersiveen in the ring of Kerry, that shop just has to open up tomorrow – I don’t have to bring any horse racing down there in a horsebox, unlike grocery shops I’m not having to unload a refrigerated lorry full of goods. 

“The broadband carries the content from whatever race track or football ground and brings it into these remote locations. Having no carriage of goods is great and it makes betting shops much more suited to automation – it makes betting shops much more viable.”

When it comes to responsible gambling measures, the BetXS Founder addressed the need for advanced facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to identify and verify the age of a customer. 

The SSBTs[1] feature high-resolution biometric cameras which require a one-time sign up for bettors which appear to be under the age of 25. 

Finlay also highlighted the cross-network self-exclusion system, with that data then distributed across all Orchadia Systems shops – something which can help reduce levels of problem gambling. 

“Safer gambling is where I truly believe that Orchadia Systems is in a completely different league to the incumbent way of doing things,” he said. “From my experience as an experienced betting shop worker, I’ve received those self-exclusion forms from customers who no longer wish to bet. It’s not a very nice thing for the customer to have to endure. 

“We used to hand out an A4 sheet of paper where bettors had to fill in their name, address etc. They then had to attach a copy of their passport photo which was stapled to the form. This would disencourage people from submitting these details. It’s a very intrusive thing to do – especially given how tough it is for people to recognise that they have a problem gambling issue. 

“At Orchadia Systems, players can self exclude via their mobile application. They don’t need to speak to anyone. What is better is that this is then subsequently deployed to a network of shops operating on the Orchadia Systems platform. 

“That means a customer could call into a betting shop in John o’Groats, self exclude, jump on an airplane to Land’s End, walk into a betting shop and will also be instantaneously self-excluded.”

Reaffirming his belief that responsible gambling is at the front and centre of Orchadia Systems’ operations, Finlay went on to discuss the company’s plans to introduce budgetary, time and sport constraints.

He explained: “Where we step it up even further is that we’re not just limited to self-excluded. In our development pipeline, we’re working on introducing budgetary constraints. If a player is paid on a Friday evening, they go to the pub and try back a few winners – but by Saturday morning, all of their wages could be spent.  

“What we’re planning to do is enable the customers to set constraints – whether that be budget, time, or even sport. These are the kind of problem gambling tools that the industry really needs.

“Self-exclusion is not really a viable solution under the current system. Orchadia Systems[2] aims to change that by bringing a proper, meaningful safer gambling environment to punters all over Ireland, the UK and on a global scale. We’re not stopping here in Ireland, we’re taking this even further – that’s where our aspirations are.” 

With it increasingly likely that fixed costs for bookmakers will increase in 2021 in the wake of the pandemic, the prospect of automated betting shops can act as a cheaper, easier way for betting operators to reach their audience. 

From a bettor’s perspective, these shops can remodel the entire customer journey, with increased opening times and easy-to-use SSBTs meeting the needs of the tech-savvy punter. 

So as the retail sector looks to bounce back from the events of 2020, staffless, automated betting shops could become the ‘new normal’.

References

  1. ^ SSBTs (sbcnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Orchadia Systems (orchadiasystems.com)