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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Goodbye for the week

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's all from the team providing regular updates of news, travel, sport and weather in Cambridgeshire for this week. Here are some of today's stories:

We'll be back fully from 08:00 on Tuesday, but any breaking stories will still appear here.

Have a good Easter.

Goodbye for the week

That's all from the team providing regular updates of news, travel, sport and weather in Northamptonshire for this week.

Here's a recap of some of the stories we've been covering - scroll down for more:

  • Thieves blow up cash machine at Rushden petrol station
  • A rare cigar case that belonged to Nazi Hermann Goring is to be auctioned
  • Six new free schools are to be set up in the county.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday.

Have a great Easter.

That's all for today

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

Thanks for your company.

We'll be back after the long weekend on Tuesday with live updates of news, weather, travel and sport - but any breaking news will be posted here for you.

We hope you have a lovely extended break, and for anyone working, give yourself a pat on the back!

Hitchin bird
BBC

Infant's stolen birthday presents returned

A five-year-old boy, who thought he would never see his presents again after they were stolen, has had them returned.

Jayden Wijemunige celebrated his birthday on 21 March, and the presents were stolen from the boot of his dad's car sometime between Monday, 3 April and Wednesday, 5 April.

The car was parked on Monklands in Letchworth.

The presents were found dumped in a front garden on Icknield Way by a passer-by who called the police.

Det Sgt O’Toole said: "He was clearly over the moon to receive his presents back and I would like to publicly thank the member of the public who saw the dumped boxes and alerted police."

Jayden Wijemunige and his presents
Herts Police

Manjula and Watsala Wijemunige, his parents, said: "Jayden was so sure that police were going to get him his presents back, but we realised it might not happen. 

"However, we are so pleased that they did and we can’t thank them enough for making our son smile again. He is a very happy boy now."

Woodland wedding venue fire - more pics

As you can see, there's nothing left of the treehouse and the tree whose trunk it was built around is scorched.

A trailer with a canister forms part of the police inquiry.

Lila's Wood tree showing scorched trunk
Lila's Wood
Trailer with canister
Lila's Wood

Housing demonstration in Cambridge

Police preparing for a demonstration in the centre of Cambridge are advising people to "go about their daily business as usual" on Saturday.

Officers have been informed that a London-based protest group is planning to demonstrate outside King's College from 14:00.

This follows reports of "houses for local people" campaigners spraying graffiti in Latin on new-build houses in Water Street last week.

Supt Jon Hutchinson said: "We will work in partnership to provide a proportionate policing response to the protest, balancing the needs and rights of protesters with those impacted by the protest."

Remember this: PM Margaret Thatcher visits Cambridge school in 1981

Some 36 years ago this month, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and, on her left, Kenneth Baker MP, watched pupils Neil Cassidy (right) and Robin Ward at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge.

They were using the new prototype mini-computers that were going into British schools.  

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and, on her left, Kenneth Baker MP, watching pupils Neil Cassidy (right) and Robin Ward use the new prototype mini-computers that will be going into British schools, at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge in 1981
Getty Images

Hertfordshire county council backs Crossrail 2

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Hertfordshire County Council is among 40 local authorities backing a call for ministers to rally behind the Crossrail 2 project, which they say is "crucial". 

The line would run from Surrey to Hertfordshire, with the exact route still to be decided. 

A letter to the transport secretary says mainline stations in London like Euston will buckle under the strain of overcrowding and the benefits of HS2 will be lost in chaotic transport connections if Crossrail 2 doesn't go ahead.

Cambridge gets ready to jump to it... again

Katharine Park

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A tradition that it's claimed has its roots in a pagan ritual will be revived on Parker's Piece in Cambridge tomorrow. 

Between 1838 and 1939 families would gather in the centre of the city to skip together in celebration of spring. 

Skipping on Parkers Piece
Cambridge Collection, Cambridge Central Library

Taking place on Good Friday the practice had its roots in more ancient rituals of jumping that symbolised leaping into the future in the hope of better times to come.

The re-enactment will take place at 11:00. Anyone is welcome at the free event which will feature World Jump Rope Champion Adrienn Banhegyi.  

New Mayor for Wellingborough announced

Craig Lewis

BBC News

The name of the Mayor of Wellingborough has been announced.

Councillor Paul Bell (pictured centre back at the opening of Glamis Hall in the town), who has served on the Borough Council of Wellingborough since 2003, takes up the annual role.

He will raise money for Links Day Centre for adults with learning disabilities and the Mencap Wellingborough Gateway Club during his year as mayor, which will begin on 23 May.

Paul Bell
Wellingborough Borough Council

Wedding venue victim of arson

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

A wedding venue has been targeted by arsonists just days before their wedding season kicks off.

Hertfordshire Police are investigating the incident which took place at Lila's Wood in Hastoe, near Tring,

The venue specialises in woodland weddings, but last night their centrepiece - a large treehouse - was set alight.

Offenders gained entry to the venue by damaging a surrounding fence.

It took firefighters three hours to control the blaze.

Lila's Wood treehouse before fire
Marie Kent Photography

Owner Faye Messenger said: "This is devastating for us, it's been our labour of love for the past three years.

"We created this space not only as wedding venue, but for local people like Brownies, Scouts and schools to enjoy.

"We would like to re-build what was there before and if anyone in the local community would like to help, we would greatly appreciate it."

Treehouse after
Sharon Grufferty

Det Sgt Victoria Coleman said: "This mindless act caused significant damage to property and had the potential to put people’s lives in danger. 

"Thankfully no one was hurt, but it could have easily been a different story with very serious consequences."

Man arrested in Wisbech murder inquiry

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a woman in Wisbech.

Ambulance crews were called to an address in Orange Grove on 5 April and found Dzilva Butiene, 48.

Detectives launched a murder investigation yesterday following a post-mortem examination which found she had died of a trauma of the abdomen.

A 46-year-old man from Wisbech has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cambridgeshire Police.

BreakingMan arrested for Wisbech murder investigation

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a 48-year-old woman in Orange Grove, Wisbech.

 A 46-year-old man from the town is in custody.

Grandmother thanks community for her new bike

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

An 89-year-old grandmother from Berkhamsted says she's been overwhelmed by support after her bike was stolen last week.

Mary Hampton
BBC

Mary Hampton had left the bike unlocked outside Waitrose in the town last Thursday.

In just 24 hours after it became known she'd lost it, the community had clubbed together to get her a new bike and a lock.

"It was an old-looking bike, I didn't think anybody would be going to steal it," she said.

"One bad action happened, but think of the wonderful kindness and caring that's come from it."

Prickly puzzles set to find hedgehogs

David Webster

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Forget hunting for Easter Eggs, it's all about hedgehogs in Wisbech. 

This Sunday at the Octavia Hill's Birthplace House, more than 50 hedgehogs will be taking part in a big game of hide and seek.

The creatures have been made by a number of volunteers and placed all over the home and grounds of the founder of the National Trust. 

Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House
Brenda Thorlby, Diane Parker and Brenda Donald

Whatever child finds the most will win an egg. 

So get cracking and try and solve the rather prickly puzzles. 

Cash machine explosion 'started by gas canister'

An explosion at a cash machine is believed to have been started by a gas canister, police have said.

As we reported, thieves targeted the cash point at a petrol station at Crown Park, Northampton Road, Rushden, in the early hours of today.

Northants Police said a "significant" amount of damage was caused to the cash machine and it is not known how much cash was stolen.

An investigation is under way and the force is asking witnesses to come forward.

No-one was hurt in the incident.

Ed's cast offs sell like hot cross buns (we're trying to be seasonal)

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

As we reported earlier, items offered up for sale the new East Anglia's Children's Hospices shop in Cambridge, by the charity's ambassador Ed Sheeran have been selling like hot cakes (or should that be hot cross buns, as it's Easter?).

In their first hour of trading the shop in Cherry Hinton took £925. 

Ed Sheeran's items
EACH

One of the shoppers was Lauren Seager (left), who came down from Scotland to visit her relative, Penny Haggarty (right), one day early, so she could browse the singers cast-offs. She started queuing at 08:30. 

Penny said: "Ed Sheeran’s been very, very nice [donating his clothes]. I thought it was absolutely amazing and I hope the shop does really well in Cherry Hinton."

Lauren Seager and Penny Haggarty
EACH

The charity has just confirmed that only a small selection of Ed's tops and shoes remain. 

They’ll be in the shop until Saturday and if they haven't gone by then, they'll be sold online. 

Motorist performs handbrake turn and drives wrong way on M1

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

Police are trying to trace the driver of a van who performed a handbrake turn before driving the wrong way on the M1.

On Sunday, 2 April at 02:49 officers signalled for the white Citroen Berlingo van (registration - X641 WRM) to pull over in Grove Mill Lane, Rickmansworth, as the vehicle had no MOT or insurance.

Hertfordshire Police said the driver failed to stop which led officers on a pursuit along the A414 before the van turned around and traveled in the opposite direction along the dual carriageway.

For safety reasons, police withdrew from the pursuit.

Van driving wrong way on M1
Hertfordshire Police

Shortly after, police re-established the pursuit, following the van to J8 of the M1.

The van then performed a handbrake turn and drove the wrong way on the northbound carriageway.

Once again officers withdrew from the pursuit for safety reasons.

CCTV later showed the van exiting the M1 at J5 for Watford.

Sgt James Bessant said: "This is an example of extremely dangerous driving and the driver’s reckless actions put members of the public at unnecessary risk.

"If you think you may know the identity of that person, or you have any further information to share with us, please call us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference C1/17/1707."

Explosion targets cash machine in Rushden

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident at a petrol station in Northampton Road, Rushden, earlier today.

Officers were called to Crown Park at about 03:45 following reports of an explosion targeting a cash machine.

Emergency services attended to make the area safe and no-one was hurt in the incident.

An investigation is under way.

Latin graffiti nearly gone

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Workers have been busy removing Latin graffiti that was painted on four new £1m-plus homes in Cambridge last week. 

The tweet below by Richard Taylor shows what the buildings currently look like. 

Work is expected to start again next week to paint over the graffiti which remains. 

View more on twitter

Blooming wonderful Cambridgeshire

A blooming marvelous site has been spotted in Brampton

The bluebells are in full bloom as this tweet shows:

View more on twitter

Bouncer bitten in suspected race attack

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Police in Luton are appealing for witnesses after a doorman was bitten in a suspected race hate crime.

Flame nightclub
Google

The bouncer was verbally abused, bitten and had punches thrown towards him at Flame nightclub in Wellington Street at around 02:45 on Sunday. 

A 22-year-old Luton man has been arrested and bailed.

Hermann Goring cigar case to be auctioned off

A rare silver cigar case that belonged to leading Nazi Hermann Goring is to be auctioned in Northamptonshire.

Whittlebury-based auctioneer JP Humbert will be putting the presentation case, emblazoned with the family coat of arms of both Goring and his wife Emmy, up for offer in May.

Hermann Goring cigar case
J P Humbert

It was presented to Goring on his 50th birthday in 1943 by Luftwaffe Field Marshall Erhard Milch, whose father was Jewish and who enjoyed Goring’s "protection".

Goring was the founder of the Gestapo and in charge of the German air force until the end of World War Two. While on trial in Nuremburg on charges including crimes against humanity, he committed suicide.

Jonathan Humbert said: "This is an historic museum piece that belonged to one of history’s most notorious individuals and was presented to him by Milch - who would never be able to reconcile his position within the Nazi party and his own Jewish ancestry.

Hermann Goring cigar case
J P Humbert

"We anticipate much interest from museums, institutions and private collectors.

"While we are always mindful of those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime, this cigar box serves as reminder of the excesses of the high-ranking individuals and those who sought to ingratiate themselves with them."

The box will be up for sale as part of an International Militaria auction on 25 May and is expected to bring in £800-1,200.

Hermann Goring cigar case
J P Humbert

Afternoon weather: Cloudy but dry

BBC Weather

It will turn cloudier through the afternoon but it should stay mainly dry throughout. 

The best of any brightness will be across southern areas with light winds throughout. 

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

For the full forecast where you are visit BBC Weather.

Bird in Hitchin
BBC

Latin graffiti almost removed from Cambridge luxury homes

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Latin graffiti, written across luxury homes in Cambridge has nearly been removed

Four new five-bedroom river-front houses were painted with the words Locus in Domos Loci Populum by a "local housing for local people" campaigner, last Tuesday (see pic at bottom).

Paul Ursell MD of HC Moss (Builders) Ltd told me that the paint has so far come off the brickwork, glass and windows frames. 

Worker cleaning graffiti
BBC

It's mostly gone from the boards, but as it can still be seen it's set to repainted from next week.

Graffiti on houses
Richard Taylor

He expects the repair bill to remain close to the estimated £4,000 costs.

Rory McLeod qualifies for World Snooker Championships

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Wellingborough's Rory McLeod has qualified for the World Snooker Championships, which starts at the Crucible in Sheffield on Saturday.

Rory McLeod
Getty Images

He came through he qualification last night, beating Hammad Miah 10-7, and will find out this morning who'll he face in the first round.

McLeod told me: "Whenever you get to the Crucible it is going to be a major experience for any snooker player.

"To get there after winning three [qualification] matches, I'm going to be buzzing."

For more on the World Championship, visit the BBC's snooker session.

Cloudy and dry afternoon ahead

BBC Weather Watchers

It will turn cloudier through this afternoon, but it should stay mainly dry throughout, as the best of the BBC Weather Watcher pictures show. 

River in Longthorpe
BBC
Blossom
BBC
Bluebells
BBC

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F). For a more detailed forecast, visit BBC Weather.

Police spot driver with no insurance

U's Corr still injured

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Cambridge United will again be without star striker Barry Corr for tomorrow’s crucial trip to Grimsby in League Two. 

Corr has suffered another groin problem and is expected to miss the entire Easter weekend programme, which a home tie against Exeter on Monday.

The U’s are just two points away from the League Two play-off places.

Midfielders Piero Mingoia (groin) and James Dunne (heel) remain doubtful, but defender Scott Wharton (hamstring) should be fit.

Barry Corr
Getty Images

Travel: All lanes now open on M1 southbound

BBC News Travel

All lanes have now re-opened on the southbound M1 in Bedfordshire following an collision this morning involving a lorry and a van between J13 (A421) and J12 (A5120).

The hard shoulder remains closed due to barrier damage.

View more on twitter

Dylan Hartley says Saints European bid is his focus, not Lions

BBC Sport

Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley says he is concentrating on guiding his side to at least a European Champions Cup position in the Premiership.

Saints are seventh in the table, but level on points with sixth-placed Harlequins.

Dylan Hartley
Getty Images

The England captain says he won't let possible selection for the British & Irish Lions have an impact on that aim.

"It's an uncontrollable," he said. "The selectors have got a pretty difficult job.

"What I can control is what I do this weekend against Saracens, every other player is thinking that as well.

"[Representative rugby] is the bonus of playing well off the back of club rugby or for your international side. 

"It's not my job to worry about selection - it's my job to play well."

'Exciting talent' Borg signs professional contract with Posh

Nick Fairbairn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Peterborough United's teenager midfielder, Andrea Borg, has just signed a two-year professional contract. 

Borg, who has recently returned from a Malta under-19 training camp, is expected to be included in the team's Good Friday clash with Fleetwood Town. 

He joined Posh last summer and scored his first goal at the ABAX Stadium earlier this week for the reserves in a 5-2 victory over Newport County. 

Andrea Borg and Grant McCann
Joe Dent

Under-18s manager Jack Collison said: "He is an exciting talent. He likes to take people on, create goals and score goals and it has been great to have him at our disposal."  

Hartley 'not building himself up' over possible Lions place

BBC Sport

England captain Dylan Hartley says it would be a "bonus" to be selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand this summer.

Dylan Hartley
Getty Images

Hartley, 31, led Eddie Jones' side to the Six Nations championship last month and will finish the Premiership season with his club side Northampton.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland names his touring party next week.

"I'm not building myself up for possibly what would be a setback in my eyes," Hartley said.

24 Hours in Police Custody nominated for BAFTA

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

The Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in Police Custody, which follows Bedfordshire Police, has been nominated for a BAFTA.

The series, produced by Garden Productions, has been nominated in the Factual Series category.

The team is currently filming with Bedfordshire Police for another series.

View more on twitter

Early queues form for Sheeran's old clobber

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The excitement of buying some old clothes from a well-known singer has proved very popular for some shoppers in Cambridge this morning. 

East Anglia's Children's Hospices opened its new charity store in Cherry Hinton, with some people queuing from 08:00. 

New charity shop being opened
EACH

Twenty items of clothing worn by Ed Sheeran were put up for sale - the latest in many giveaways from the Suffolk songwriter who is an ambassador for the hospices.

Ed Sheeran's items
EACH

The new shop is in the former Lloyds Bank premises on the High Street. 

Deadline to register to vote looms

Today is the last day to register to vote in the local elections on 4 May.

Elections will take place for seats on Northamptonshire County Council, as well as for the by-election for the Long Buckby ward on Daventry District Council.

People can register to vote online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.

Ballot box
BBC

Free as a bird

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

Free range chickens will get their first taste of a bit more freedom today - as a ban on keeping poultry out in the open has been lifted.

Back in December, owners across England were told they had to keep their birds inside to protect them from an infectious strain of bird flu.

The government has since carried out a new assessment to evaluate the risk of poultry becoming infected by wild birds and has now relaxed the safety measures.

The BBC's Stuart Ratcliffe watched one flock's release:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Travel: Delays M1 southbound

BBC News Travel

There are still delays on the southbound M1 in Bedfordshire due to an earlier collision involving a lorry and a van between J13 for the A421 and J12 for the A5120.  

View more on twitter

HMIC 'satisfied' with most aspects of Hertfordshire Police

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

Government inspectors have revealed they are "satisfied" with most aspects of Hertfordshire Police, after the force acted quickly to rectify issues raised in a report.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said it is "pleased" by the force's approach to tackling anti-social behaviour, preventing crime and tackling serious and organised crime.

But inspector Zoe Billingham expressed her concerns about the force's approach to investigating crime, suggesting improvement is needed in how it engages with victims,

In a closing statement Ms Billingham said: "I am generally satisfied with the service that the force provides, and I am reassured that it is taking action to address the specific areas of concern that I have described."

The Police and Crime commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, has "welcomed" the annual assessment.

He said: "Whilst some areas of improvement were identified in previous inspections, the inspector has told me she was pleased by the constabulary’s response in dealing with the issues.  

"As a result I expect the re-inspection to show that Hertfordshire’s performance has returned to its normal high standard."

New free schools: 'Quality teaching, not just classrooms, needed'

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

The Northamptonshire chairman of the National Union of Teachers says he's concerned six new free schools in the county would be allowed to put unqualified teachers into classrooms to save money.

Teacher in class
BBC

Proponents say the new schools are needed to address excess demand, but Gordon White told me the quality of teaching, not just new classrooms, is key.

He said: "If there are downward pressures on funding the temptation is to use cheaper staff and even unqualified staff."