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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 26 May 2017
  2. 'Vile and offensive' ambulance worker jailed for 11 years for child sex offences
  3. Boy dies after swimming in Hertfordshire lake
  4. Teenager in hospital after Bedfordshire shooting
  5. Luton Carnival will be 'safe'
  6. 'Naughty' sports car driver ticked off by police

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for the Local Live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks for this week.

As it's a Bank Holiday on Monday, we won't actually be back with regular updates until 08:00 on Tuesday.

We hope you all have a great long weekend, and the hot weather stays around (unless you have fields or gardens which need rain).

Not forgetting to wish good luck to Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's Monaco F1 grand prix...

Weekend weather: Hot and humid

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

It's set to be a beautiful evening across the BBC East region, with fine and dry weather and clear skies, though it could feel muggy overnight. Some sea mist and fog may move in along the Norfolk coast for a few hours.

Weather map
BBC

Tomorrow is going to be another dry and sunny one, feeling hot and humid. Cloud will increase from the west and bring the risk of a few isolated heavy showers or thunderstorms during the afternoon, although many places will remain completely dry.

Moderate southeasterly winds, becoming light southwesterly by the end of the day.

Highs of 28C (82F).

Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe disruption, after J15 for M4.

M25 Berkshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise after J15 M4, because of a broken down van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Airlander testing could move to a new site

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The world's longest airship, The Airlander 10, could carry out some test flights from RAF Henlow later in the summer.

Currently all testing is taking place at Cardington Airfield just outside of Bedford.

Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company behind the craft, say discussions are taking place for heavy lift trials to take place there, but nothing is confirmed.

They told me it's because they need a "larger airfield" than is available at Cardington, as they need more space when the craft is heavier.

Airlander
South Beds News Agency

They also also stated that they've completed a "comprehensive post-flight inspection" after their third flight and everything has "come out very positively".

There's still no news when the next flights will take place.

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J6 for A355 Slough and J7 for A4.

M4 Berkshire - Slow traffic on M4 westbound between J6, A355 (Slough) and J7, A4 (Slough West), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Opening of Hertfordshire splash park delayed

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

On what could be a very hot weekend, the opening of a brand new splash park in Hertfordshire has has to be delayed.

The new "tropical island" in Kings George Recreation Ground in Bushey was due to open tomorrow, but a problem with the electrical circuit board means it's now on hold.

There's no news when it will open but Hertsmere Borough Council hopes it wil be "as soon as possible".

The fault was discovered during final testing today.

Splash park
Hertsmere Borough Council
Bra bunting around Bedford school for breast cancer awareness
Students leaving Bedford Girls' School raise awareness of breast cancer by decorating the school with bras.

Laura Kenny targets 2020 cycling medals

BBC Sport

Hertfordshire's Olympic champion Laura Kenny says she expects to be back competing in the velodrome at Tokyo 2020.

The 25-year-old is taking a break from the sport as she's expecting her first child later this summer.

"I feel like I'm almost wishing my life away, because I want it here now," said Kenny during a visit to to St Matthew's Church of England Primary School in Nechells in Birmingham.

"After that I'm going to give myself at least six weeks completely off after, get myself back going again.

"I don't want to rush into it, I want to enjoy my new life.

"It might take me a year before I race again, but yeah, Tokyo is definitely on the cards.”

Laura Kenny with school children
BBC

Manchester attack: Vigil to be held in Bedford

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A "Vigil for Manchester" is taking place in Bedford this evening.

The event, organised by the Bedford Council Of Faiths, starts at 18:00.

The Mayor of Bedford, David Hodgson, and the Bishop of Bedford, the Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, have been confirmed as speakers, as well as representatives from the Muslim faith, Friends of Refugees and the Quakers.

Anyone is welcome to come along.

Manchester bombing tributes
Getty Images

Twenty two people, including a number of children, died in Monday's suicide attack at Manchester Arena.

Luton Carnival will be 'safe'

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Security has also been stepped up for the annual Luton Carnival on Sunday.

It comes after the terror attacks in Manchester on Monday and a number of stabbings that happened after the event last year.

Robin Porter from Luton Borough Council says it's a "family-friendly fun event" and he told me he's looking forward to bringing his own family.

Luton Carnival
Kobiecy Klimat

He said: "The police have done a sterling job, they have got extra resources on the ground this weekend.

"Crowds are at times scary and after the very, very shocking and sobering events of this week we are absolutely clear that this needs to be a safe event."

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Luton gets into the Carnival spirit

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The sun is out, and preparations are well under way for the 41st Luton Carnival on Sunday.

Tens of thousands are expected to the annual event, which starts at 12:00.

About 20 floats are expected to parade around Wardown Park and I've been lucky enough to get a sneaky peak at some of the costumes.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J20 for A41.

M25 Hertfordshire - M25 lane blocked on exit slip road and slow traffic anticlockwise at J20, A41 (Kings Langley), because of a broken down car.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, before J9 for A5.

M1 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked on M1 London-bound before J9, A5 (Redbourn), because of a ladder in the road. Approach with care. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Dangerous sexual predator' jailed after sexual messages found of 11-year-old's phone

Alistair Hodge, 28, was arrested after one of his 11-year-old victim’s parents discovered sexual messages sent by him to the girl.

Today at Luton Crown Court he was jailed for 11 years.

When police executed a search warrant at his home in Horace Close, Bedford, they seized a number of phones and computer devices and digital forensics officers found multiple indecent images of several children.

Investigation Officer Amanda Dickson said: 2Hodge's computer devices contained images from the most severe category of child sexual abuse and there is no doubt that he is a dangerous sexual predator, so I am pleased he has received such a lengthy sentence for these sickening crimes.

"He took advantage of a young girl, grooming her via messaging apps and intentionally inciting her to engage in sexual activity, as well as encouraging her to send indecent images of herself to him which he added to his sickening collection."

Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A40 and J4 for A404.

M40 Buckinghamshire - Very slow traffic and two lanes blocked on M40 London-bound between J5, A40 (Stokenchurch) and J4, A404 (High Wycombe Handy Cross Roundabout), because of an overturned caravan.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Vile and offensive' ambulance worker jailed for 11 years for child sex offences

An ambulance service worker has been jailed for 11 years today after admitting grooming an 11-year-old girl and making indecent images of children.

Alistair Hodge, 28, from Horace Close, Shortstown in Bedford, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent photographs of a child, one offence of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one offence of inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Alistair Hodge
Bedfordshire Police

During the hearing at Luton Crown Court, it was revealed he met the young girl on social media and encouraged her to perform sexual acts over the internet. He then recorded her, but they never met up.

Passing sentence, Judge Mensah told Hodge that the offences "were vile and offensive" and he "manipulated" a "naive" youngster.

Teenager 'got into trouble' while swimming in Hertfordshire lake

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Eye witnesses have been described what happened when a 16-year-old boy died after getting into difficulties at a Hertfordshire lake last night.

They say the teenager, who was recovered from the water at Lee Valley Park, "was trying to swim to an island and got into trouble".

Lee Valley lake
South Beds News Agency

A friend of the boy said "the two boys he was with tried to save him, but there was nothing they could do".

Lee Valley lake
South Beds News Agency

Another said "it's an old quarry and is a lot deeper than you might think".

Sign
South Beds News Agency

"It was the end of school yesterday and it was hot, so I suppose they thought it was a good idea to go for a swim, but it is very dangerous," a visitor to the park said.

Teenager suffers 'facial and chest injuries' after Bedfordshire shooting

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A teenager is recovering in hospital with what the ambulance service called "chest and facial injuries" having been shot in Clifton last night.

An East of England Ambulance Service crew and the air ambulance were dispatched, after they were called at 20:23.

He was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for further care, and his condition is described as stable and not life-threatening.

Stanford Lane, Clifton, Bedfordshire
Google

Two teenagers are currently in custody following the shooting, which happened in Stanford Lane (pictured).

Police believe an air pellet gun was used.

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down lorry. On the hard shoulder.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down van. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Two robberies at Luton hotels 'linked'

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Robberies at two hotels in Luton are being linked.

Police have released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to after cash was stolen from the Luton Hotel Residence in Chapel Street on Monday 15 May at about 21:00.

They're also linking it to a robbery at the Easyhotel in Guildford Street yesterday at about 06:00.

Feeling hot, hot, hot...

It seems like most of us are trying to keep cool in the heat, and that of course includes the animals at Woburn Safari Park.

View more on twitter

Fire service warns of dangers of swimming after teenager dies at lake

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've just been given more information about the death of a 16-year-old boy in a lake in Hertfordshire last night.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue say two crews from Cheshunt and their Water Rescue Unit were sent to Lee Valley Park by Cadmore Lane at about 19:00 to reports a "boy had got into difficulties while swimming".

They've confirmed after "an extensive bankside and water search, a body was located. Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene".

Lee Valley Park
Google

Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen said: "Now that the weather is so warm it’s very tempting to cool off with a swim.

"However, even the strongest swimmer can get into difficulties and we would advise people to think carefully before swimming in unsupervised areas and look out for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the location where you are swimming."

Hospital 'first' opens in Milton Keynes

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

At 06:00 the new entrance to Milton Keynes Hospital was opened and I was lucky enough to be there.

It actually looks more like a hotel than a hospital and is rather magnificent.

Entrance to Milton Keynes Hospital
Milton Keynes Hospital

As you walk in you'll see a Costa Coffee and a Subway.

New entrance to Milton Keynes Hospital
Milton Keynes Hospital

I spoke to Robert Shaw, from the contractors, who told me it took five months to build, but the main building was actually put in place in just two days.

He's very proud of the work of his team and says the building is unique.

"There's not one in the UK like this, this is the first, and hopefully there will be a lot more," he said.

Mercedes' Hamilton eighth, Vettel quickest, in Monaco

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Bahrain

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set an impressive pace in second practice at the Monaco Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton - driving for Brackley-based Mercedes - ended the session eighth.

Formula 1 car in Monaco
Getty Images

Championship leader Vettel was 0.487 seconds quicker than Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, with Stevenage's Hamilton more than a second off the pace.

Hamilton was top in the first session, but Mercedes were less competitive later, a concern for the weekend.

Final practice and qualifying in Monte Carlo takes place from 09:55 on Saturday, with the race at 13:00 on Sunday.

As ever, there'll be full coverage available on the BBC Sport website.

Boys arrested after Bedfordshire shooting

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested and remain in custody after a teenager was shot in Clifton in Bedfordshire last night.

Officers believe a pellet gun was used, after they were called to Stanford Lane.

Police said the victim was airlifted to hospital for treatment, but his injuries are "not described as life-threatening".

Stanford Lane
BBC

Officers are treating it as an isolated case, but extra patrols are being made.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, at J22 for A1081.

M25 Hertfordshire - M25 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic clockwise at J22, A1081 (St Albans), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Overturned lorry: Lanes now open at A1/M25 junction

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Highways England have said that all lanes are now open following the overturned lorry and diesel spill on the South Mimms roundabout this morning.

Delays are "easing".

View more on twitter

Greg Rutherford: Great City Games can be Manchester tribute

BBC Sport

Milton Keynes athlete Greg Rutherford says Friday's Great City Games can show the world a united Manchester in the face of Monday's terror attack.

Greg Rutherford
Getty Images

The event, which is staged in the city centre, was given approval to go ahead by the council and police on Tuesday.

"It will be amazing to see people come out and get behind it, not just for the sport, but to show they're not going to let terrorists win," said former Olympic champion Rutherford.

Twenty two people were killed by a suicide bomber at a concert this week.

"After such a tragic and heinous event, I think it's important that everybody comes together and shows it's not going to stop people leading a normal life," Rutherford added.

'Naughty' sports car driver ticked off by police

The driver of this sports car has ended up with a fine for having no front plate.

View more on twitter

Boy dies after swimming in Hertfordshire lake

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A teenage boy has died after getting into difficulties in a lake in Cheshunt.

Emergency services were called at 18:57 last night after the alarm was raised at Lee Valley Park.

There were reports the 16-year-old was swimming in a lake.

After a search, his body was recovered, but he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Hertforshire Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

Watford FC: Silva available after leaving Tigers... and new name in frame

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

One of the favourites to be the new Watford manager - Marco Silva - is available after resigning from Hull City.

Marco Silva
Getty Images

The Hornets face stiff competition for his services, from Crystal Palace amongst others, whilst a new name has entered the equation to replace Walter Mazzarri, who resigned earlier this month.

Garry Monk's resignation at Leeds yesterday has added him to the bookmakers' shortlist. Monk did a fair job at Elland Road and he has Premier League experience with Swansea.

Still favourite for the hot-seat at Vicarage Road is the former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, with the ex-Bayer Leverkuesen manager Roger Schmidt not far behind.

Marco Silva has triggered his release clause at Hull and is still being linked with the Hornets, but Crystal Palace and Porto are also reportedly interested whilst former Valencia boss Mauricio Pellegrino also makes the list.

Teenager in hospital after Bedfordshire shooting

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A teenage boy has been airlifted to hospital after a shooting in the village of Clifton near Biggleswade last night.

Stanford Lane, Clifton
Google

Bedfordshire Police say they were called to Stanford Lane at about 20:20 after reports the boy had been shot by a group of youths with a pellet gun.

He's in a stable condition in hospital.

Officers said it was being treated as an isolated incident.

Today's weather: Hot and sunny

BBC Weather

Today is due to be dry, sunny and hot again everywhere, but a warm breeze will develop, particularly on the Chilterns.

Maximum temperature: 27C (81F)

Weather Watcher picture
BBC

Travel: Lorry overturns on South Mimms roundabout

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Fire crews are in South Mimms after a lorry overturned spilling diesel on the roundabout at the junction of the M25 and the A1.

Two lanes are closed on the roundabout and Highways England has said closures could remain until about 09:30.

It also means traffic cannot get onto the clockwise carriageway of the M25 or the northbound A1.

If you're already on the M25, you can't join the northbound A1 from any direction - those on the clockwise carriageway who want to travel north on the A1 are being advised to leave the M25 at J22 and use the A1081 and A414 to join it at J3.

You can't get onto the southbound A1 if you're on the anti-clockwise carriageway of the M25.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, at J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - M1 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic northbound at J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Milton Keynes police report 'racist incidents' over night

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Police in Milton Keynes have said there were a number of racist incidents in the town last night, with what they describe as "shocking comments" directed at the Muslim population.

In their tweet, they say they won't tolerate hate crime.

There are no further details at present.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, before J16 for M40 affecting J17 for A412.

M25 Buckinghamshire - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M25 anticlockwise before J16 M40, because of a broken down van. Congestion to J17, A412 (Maple Cross).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time