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Summary

  1. Our live page updates for the day have now ended
  2. Updates on Monday 31 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all for now

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for joining us today - we'll be back at 06:00 BST with more news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about?

You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.

#ICYMI: 'Wait till she shows you how she can bat'

From being the only girl in a boys' team in Sandwich, to being Player of the Tournament in England's World Cup winning side, opening bat Tammy Beaumont is putting women's cricket on the map.

Mural tribute to Taiyah Peebles

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

A giant mural has been painted in memory of a teenager who was electrocuted on a railway line.

The body of Taiyah Peebles was discovered on the tracks near Herne Bay station last week.

Margate artist Vince Pugh says he painted the mural as a "mark of respect" to the teenager.

A mural has been created in Margate in memory of Taiyah Peebles, who died in Herne Bay

It's looking sunny and warm on Tuesday

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter, BBC South East

Make the most of the sunshine as it's not going to last.

Here's my latest forecast.

Fight to save breastfeeding support services

Thousands have signed a petition to save breastfeeding support centres across Kent, but the council says the same help will still be available.

#ICYMI: Trucker watches film while driving

When Kent Police took to the roads in a 40-tonne lorry, they were able to see truck drivers using phones, completing paperwork - and one was even watching a film on a laptop.

Missing Abi: 'Just come home or let us know you're safe'

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

The father of a Medway teenager who's been missing for nine days has made an emotional appeal for her to come home.

Abigale Spree was last seen on 22 July.

Severe accident: M2 Kent southbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent southbound severe accident, at J3 for A229 Chatham.

M2 Kent - M2 in Blue Bell Hill lane blocked on exit slip road and slow traffic southbound at J3, A229 (Chatham), because of an accident involving car and lorry.

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

Police car skids after being called to Gillingham

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A police car responding to a call in Gillingham was involved in a minor collision with railings after it skidded on a wet road.

Kent Police was called at 03:03 BST on Sunday 30 July to Canterbury Street following reports of a disturbance.

The force said that a police car called to the scene was involved in a minor collision with railings after skidding on a wet road as it tried to stop. Nobody was injured.

Two men were arrested following the disturbance and have since been released without charge.

View more on twitter

Sex-for-rent deals illegal, says minister

Lauren Moss

BBC Live reporter

An MP is calling for landlords who offer accommodation in exchange for sex to be prosecuted after the justice secretary told him such arrangements were already a criminal offence.

A BBC South East investigation found that some landlords were targeting vulnerable young people with "sex for rent" deals.

They argued there was no compulsion on people to respond to such adverts.

But Justice Secretary David Lidington has revealed that such offers may breach the Sexual Offences Act.

Landlords that BBC South East spoke to in April said they did not believe they were breaking the law, one describing the deals as a "sex with benefits" arrangement, another as a "win-win situation".

Our video from April

But Hove MP Peter Kyle pledged to force website operators to ban "exploitative" adverts.

He took the case to the Ministry of Justice and has now been told by Mr Lidington that "such acts/arrangements are already a criminal offence in England and Wales by virtue of the Sexual Offences Act 2003".

Mr Lidington said in a letter: "Taken together, these [provisions] essentially mean that an offence is committed when a person offers accommodation in return for sex, as they are inciting/causing another person to have sex with them in return for 'payment'."

A woman in bed crying
Getty Images

Adverts seen by BBC South East included one posted by a Maidstone man asking for a woman to move in and pretend to be his girlfriend, another publicising a double room available in Rochester in exchange for "services" and one in Brighton targeting younger men.

Tenants told the BBC they feared they would lose their accommodation if they did not comply with requests for sex.

But Mr Lidington's letter suggests police already have the weapons to take action against landlords imposing such demands on tenants and says the offence carries a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Mr Kyle said: "This is an incredibly significant moment, and it's going to protect vulnerable people enormously.

"Right now there are people out there advertising accommodation in return for sex. I want to see them prosecuted; I want to see them go through the courts process; I want to see them convicted, and I want to see them go to jail."

Balbir Chatrik, director of policy at Centrepoint homeless charity, said: "These landlords need to know this is not acceptable and they need to feel the full force of the law if they resort to these kind of adverts."

Severe accident: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe accident, between J6 for A22 and J5 for M26.

M25 Surrey - Slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J6, A22 (Godstone) and J5 M26, because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

ICYMI: 'Predators see lights off and they see an opportunity'

A Ramsgate teenager caught the man who attacked her by using her mobile phone. But would it have happened if there had been better street lighting?

'My eye socket was completely shattered, I had haemorrhages in both eyes'

On the 50th anniversary of the partial legalisation of homosexuality, is it safe to be gay now?

Victims of recent homophobic violence describe their horrific experiences.

'Is it safe to be gay in the UK?' is on BBC2 on Tuesday 1 August at 21:00 BST.

Man charged after stabbing

Police have charged a man after a stabbing outside a petrol station.

Kent Police was called at 03:00 BST on Saturday to the Esso, in London Road, Ditton.

A man had suffered a serious assault and suffered injuries including a stab wound.

Following inquiries six people were arrested and one has been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent.

Firefighters tackling Dartford Heath fire

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is dealing with a fire on Dartford Heath.

An all-terrain vehicle and a fire fogging unit have been sent to the area.

We'll bring you more when we have it.

Sunshine after the rain

Owain Wyn Evans

BBC weather

After the weekend's washout, we're having a couple of dry days.

Here's my forecast.

Severe disruption: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J6 for A22 and J5 for M26.

M25 Surrey - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J6, A22 (Godstone) and J5 M26, because of a broken down car. Traffic is coping well.

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

Fight to save breastfeeding support services

Thousands have signed a petition to save breastfeeding support centres across Kent, but the council says the same help will still be available.

Ramsgate Festival organisers devastated at water slide cancellation

Ramsgate slide
Ramsgate Festival
How the slide would have looked if the event at the Ramsgate Festival had gone ahead

Nearly 200 people who won a ballot to go down an inflatable water slide have been left disappointed following a financial dispute with the supplier.

Organisers of Sunday's event at the Ramsgate Festival said they had been forced to cancel after the supplier pulled out late on Saturday night.

Adam Faulkner, director of Bloon, said full payment had not been received.

Festival spokeswoman Lorraine Williams said half had been paid and pre-payment of the balance had not been mentioned. Read more here.

A hero's final journey

Robin Gibson

Reporter, BBC South East Today

D-Day veteran Albert Figg got his final wish - to be carried to his funeral in #Canterbury on a Royal Artillery gun carriage.

Hunt for missing teenager

Police are trying to trace a 15-year-old girl, who went missing in Rainham more than a week ago.

Abigale Spree hasn't been seen since around 22:00 BST on 22 July, in the Bedson Walk area.

She's thought to have links to Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey.

Abigale Spree
Kent Police

'Wait till she shows you how she can bat'

From being the only girl in a boys' team in Sandwich, to being Player of the Tournament in England's World Cup winning side, opening bat Tammy Beaumont is putting women's cricket on the map.

Annual seal survey launched on Thames Estuary

A count of the number of seals along the Thames Estuary will get under way today.

Seals on the banks of the Thames Estuary
PA

The annual seal census will be conducted by conservation teams using aerial surveys of the Essex and Kent coastlines, in addition to land and boat assessments.

The Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) fifth annual seal survey will record numbers of both harbour and grey seals.

ZSL's estuaries and wetlands conservation manager Anna Cucknell said last year's census estimated there were 964 harbour and 1,552 grey seals.

"These fantastic animals are a real wildlife highlight of the Thames but they also face serious conservation threats," she said.

This morning's Kent newspaper headlines

Newspapers
Getty Images

Kent Online: Family of Shepway dad Andrew Wilson criticise hospital care he received before death

Kent News: Stab victim suffers serious injuries after walking away from large “altercation” outside Ditton petrol station

Kent Live: Flooding hits school and library in Wadhurst

ICYMI: Trucker watches film while driving

When Kent Police took to the roads in a 40-tonne lorry, they were able to see truck drivers using phones, completing paperwork - and one was even watching a film on a laptop.

Fewer police on roads

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Kent has 14% fewer traffic officers compared to 10 years ago, according to figures released this morning.

There are now 89 dedicated officers, compared to 104 in 2007.

Traffic police
BBC

By contrast, Sussex was one of only five forces across the country to increase its numbers, up by 11%.

Nationally there are a third fewer traffic officers patrolling the country's roads.

Traffic police
BBC

Travel update: Southern delays due to fallen tree

Rob Oxley

BBC Radio London, Travel reporter

Southern trains are now starting to run again between Caterham and Purley after a tree fell on the line earlier. There are still with some delays and cancellations.

The Tube and the rest of the trains have a good service.

For the latest information follow @BBCTravelAlert

Mayor needs bigger car "to reflect prestige"

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

The Mayor of Dover could have his civic car upgraded, because the Prius he currently uses has been deemed too small.

The town council is increasing the amount available for the official vehicle, from £3,950 to £5,000, after hearing that the town sergeant, who drives the mayor, is so tall his head touches the roof, even with the seat at its lowest position

This poses a risk of physical harm, the report says, and also causes discomfort to the mayor, Neil Rix.

Neil Rix
Dover Town Council
Dover's mayor, Neil Rix, says he needs a bigger official car

The options of Mr Rix using public transport, using his own vehicle or the town sergeant's were all considered and dismissed.

The report says the mayor believes the make of the vehicle should "reflect the prestige of the mayorality".

Three possible replacements are being considered, a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Skoda Superb Hatch SE l Executive and Volvo S90 hybrid T8 twin engine.

BBC South East Today breakfast bulletin

BBC South East Today
BBC

Here are the headlines from the BBC South East Today breakfast bulletin:

  • A man is due in court this morning charged with the murder of a Latvian national in St Leonards
  • The number of dedicated traffic police officers has decreased by 14% in Kent compared to a decade ago according to latest figures
  • Police are investigating a serious assault after a man was stabbed outside an Esso petrol station in Ditton, near Maidstone

Severe accident: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe accident, between J4 for A228 Leybourne and J3 for M26 affecting J6 for A229 Maidstone.

M20 Kent - Queuing traffic on M20 westbound between J4, A228 (Leybourne) and J3 M26, because of an accident. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J6, A229 (Maidstone).

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

Arrests after Maidstone stabbing

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police are investigating a serious assault after a man was stabbed outside an Esso petrol station in Ditton, near Maidstone.

It happened around 03:00 BST on 29 July, as the man walked home along New Hythe Lane, and involved a number of people.

Two men, both aged 21 and from West Malling, have been arrested.

The victim has been treated in hospital, but his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

It's a sunny Monday

Owain Wyn Evans

BBC weather

It's a bright start to the working week.

Here's my forecast.

Welcome to the week

To start this Monday morning here's a wonderful pic of Gravesend by Mark Dillen - it's our #PhotoOfTheDay

Gravesend
Mark Dillen

We'll be here until 22:00 BST with all your news, sport, travel and weather.

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about?

You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.