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  1. Updates on Wednesday 31 August 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live updates across the day

Updates for London have now ended for the day but we'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with the latest videos, news, sport, travel and weather.

For further updates on the police chase which saw a woman and boy die earlier in Penge, south-east London, keep checking BBC News.

IPCC confirms it has launched investigation into Penge deaths

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed the events surrounding the deaths in Penge are now the subject of an independent investigation and it has deployed investigators to both the scene and the post-incident procedure at a local police station.

The IPCC has asked that any witnesses should contact the IPCC if they saw the accident or anything leading up to it:Call the IPCC on 0800 096 9070 or email

Analysis: Penge fatalities show the devastating consequences of police chases in the capital

Nick Beake

Home affairs correspondent, BBC London

Police at scene

The majority of police pursuits in London take place at relatively low-speed and end quickly when the driver pulls over.

But there's been concern about a recent rise in the number of people killed in car chases.

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), says there were 13 deaths in the UK in 2015/16 - during or after police chases - up from six the previous year.

In London in 2015/16 there were three deaths, up from one the previous year.

The Metropolitan Police philosophy is no pursuit is worth risking the safety of the public and that travelling through built-up areas at more than 40/50 mph is simply not worth it.

Also,  the amount of CCTV on the streets of the capital, tracing vehicles - after the event - is easier than ever before. 

However, watching a suspect get away is clearly galling for officers, and a great worry if the suspect poses an immediate threat.

Sources say it's become increasingly common for a senior officer - monitoring events in real-time in the police control room - to call off a chase if they feel the risk to the public has become too great.

Often, the control room will try to scramble the most highly-trained pursuit officers to take over. 

They are in the minority though, and the body which represents rank and file officers, the Police Federation, has said a reduction in specific road policing officers nationally has led criminals to thinks they can get away.

With fewer specialists on the roads, more chases will be allocated to officers who don't have the daily experience of high-speed pursuits. 

The details of what happened today in Penge are still not clear. The investigation is now in the hands of the IPCC.

But this crash shows once again how devastating the consequences of police chases can be.

Penge deaths: driver found 'hiding in bushes'

Ilya Baxter, 23, saw the police chase in Penge from a window in his flat. 

He described seeing a white man aged between 18 and 25 running across the road around the corner from the crashed car, before police caught him. 

He said: "I heard the cars and saw someone pointing to the police where he went.

"I knocked on the window and pointed." 

He said the man was hiding in the bushes. Police then caught the man, handcuffed him, and then went to help the injured, he added.

"Twenty guys all lifted the car up so everyone could come out"

An eye-witness describes her account of the crash in Penge which has left two dead.

Analysis: Road traffic accidents involving the police

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Over the last 10 years, 252 members of the public have died following road traffic incidents involving the police in England and Wales, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. 

The number has been broadly on the decline, though in the most recent 12-monthly period, to the end of March, there were 21 deaths - the highest total for three years. 

Of the 252 deaths since 2006-07, 159 were what the IPCC describes as "pursuit related", 13 of which occurred during 2015-16. 

In 2007, the IPCC published a review of police road collisions and made 29 recommendations to improve safety and reduce crashes. 

In 2011, the Home Office issued an updated code of practice for police on the way they manage and deal with pursuits. 

Southeastern rail commuters faced hour-long London delay earlier due to signal failure

London Bridge station

Commuters from Kent and Sussex into London were left frustrated once again on their journey to work as they endured hour-long delays earlier.

A signal failure at Lewisham caused delays on commuter services on the Southeastern rail franchise.

A second problem with the points on the track just outside Charring Cross station also disrupted services.

Network Rail said delays would continue into the afternoon but that both issues had been fixed.

Ambulance confirms woman and boy killed in Penge crash

Scene of the Penge accident

 A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We were called at 14:05 to reports of a road traffic collision at Lennard Road SE20. 

"We sent multiple resources to the scene including three ambulance crews, two incident response officers, an advanced paramedic and London's Air Ambulance. 

"Sadly, a woman and a boy died at the scene.

"We treated a further three patients, all girls, at the scene for multiple injuries and they were all taken to hospital." 

Penge eyewitness says woman and boy, 10, killed

Venissa Vassell, 18, heard sirens and a car screeching as she walked from the train station and immediately ran to help.

She said there were twin girls aged around seven trapped under the car and 20 people came to lift the car up to free them. 

The girls "crawled out", she said, but another girl, aged around 11, who was later taken away by ambulance, was screaming 'I can't feel my legs'. 

Another woman, believed to be in her late 30s or early 40s, and 10-year-old boy she was was related to, were killed, Ms Vassell said. 

She said: "I did CPR on this lady. I blew in her mouth. It wasn't working. Her body was trying to revive." 

She said the accident "all happened too quick" and she "could not explain" what she saw. 

Watch: Scene at Penge following fatal accident

This is the scene at Penge this afternoon after two bystanders were killed following a police car chase.

The car was being chased because it had been reported stolen. 

Footage of the scene in Penge where two have died after being hit by a car

'People were trying to lift a car off a little girl'

The witness said that a black car was being chased by two police BMWs when the driver lost control as he turned into Lennard Road in Penge.

"He lost control and ploughed into a family that was walking on the pavement down Lennard Road. 

"People were trying to lift a car off a little girl. The police officers that were chasing were distraught." 

Another eyewitness, who also did not want to be named, said that apart from the two people who died, he saw two casualties who were children being taken away by ambulance.

Two dead after car chased by police ploughs into pedestrians

Scene of crash
Shulem Stern

Two people have died after they were hit by a car being chased by police. 

Witnesses described the scene in the aftermath of the smash this afternoon in Penge, south-east London, which saw the pursued car plough into pedestrians. 

One man, who lives near the scene, said: "It was a horrific scene on a sunny afternoon in a sleepy place." 

Car being chased by police collides into members of the public killing two

A Met Police statement says: "At approximately 14:05 a car was in collision with a number of members of the public in Leonard Road, SE20. 

"The car was being pursued by police at the time of the collision. London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance attended - two people have been pronounced dead at the scene. 

"We await updates regarding any other injuries. 

"The driver of the car has been arrested and remains in custody at a south London police station. 

"The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been informed."

BreakingTwo die in police chase accident in Penge

Two people have died in a road traffic accident in Penge, south east London, after they were hit by a car being chased by police, Scotland Yard said. 

Photos: Serious accident in Penge

Road blocked after serious accident in Penge

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

Billy Reeves says there are delays and a road is blocked due to a serious accident on A213 Parish Lane in both directions around Penge Lane in south east London.

It's not far from Penge East train station. There is a diversion affecting the 75 and 194 bus routes.

Third of people have 'not seen a bobby on the beat'

Met Police

More than a third of people in England and Wales have not seen a bobby on the beat for a year, research suggests.

A survey of 26,000 people, carried out for HM Inspector of Constabulary, found 36% had not seen a police officer on patrol over a period of 12 months.

Another 23% said they had seen police on foot only once or twice over a year.

The public perception of police was "vitally important" in having the confidence to report crime, HM Inspector Mike Cunningham said.

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Twelve taken to hospital after turbulence on Heathrow-bound flight

United Airlines plane

Twelve people, including three children, have been injured after turbulence prompted a flight bound for Heathrow to make an emergency landing in the Republic of Ireland.

Ten passengers and two crew members were taken to hospital from Shannon Airport at about 06:00.

The landing in County Clare followed "severe and unexpected turbulence".

The United Airlines flight was travelling from Houston, Texas, to the London airport when it diverted.

Watch: Inside Crossrail's tunnel

BBC London transport correspondent Tom Edwards goes inside the Crossrail tunnel between Custom House and Canary Wharf as 75% of the contstruction reaches completion.

Inside a Crossrail tunnel

Afternoon weather: Staying dry

BBC Weather

Staying mostly dry through this afternoon although the odd spot of light rain is possible. 

The cloud should clear all bar the far southeast by this evening, with further sunny spells developing. 

Maximum temperature 23C (73F).

CCTV footage shows missing Veronica Sbircea in Brixton
CCTV footage has been released showing missing 15-year-old Veronica Sbircea, who is from Kettering, in Brixton.

Enfield detectives hunt suspect after schoolgirls sexually assaulted

Alleged attacker
Met Police

Police in Enfield are hunting a man in connection with two sex assaults on schoolgirls.

A 13-year-old girl was attacked on her way home from school in Silver Street, near to the junction with Tanners End Lane, at about 16:00 on 20 July.

The man walked past the girl and without talking to her, allegedly sexually assaulted her and kept walking, detectives say.

A few minutes later in the same street the man did the same thing to a 14-year-old girl who was also on her way home from school.

The suspect is described as white, about 5ft 8ins, of medium build. He has short black hair and stubble. He was wearing a grey t-shirt, dark body warmer and bright red trousers.

Watch: Exhibitions from the 'London's Burning' festival

‘London’s Burning’ is a contemporary arts and ideas festival, marking the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

The City Corporation are promoting a wide range of activities marking the anniversary, including these exhibitions, as described by Brenda Emmanus.

Images courtesy of Station House Opera and Early Morning Opera.

Man sought after woman raped in Hounslow park

A 59-year-old woman was raped in a park after she left a minicab office with an unknown man. 

The victim was discovered at around 03:40 on 10 July when a group of friends heard her in distress and climbed into Inwood Park, Hounslow, to help.  

Police said she was seen on CCTV leaving a minicab office in the High Street at around 01:15 and walking along Hanworth Road with an unidentified man. 

Today they released a clip of the suspect, who is seen leaning against a railing and talking on his phone. He is 6ft, clean shaven and has short, dark hair. 

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Watch: Mayor rides the Elizabeth line

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited the Crossrail project at Custom House earlier to mark the construction programme reaching the 75% complete milestone.

BBC London transport correspondent Tom Edwards is reporting from the line between Custom House and Canary Wharf.

London mayor Sadiq Khan takes a ride on the Elizabeth line for the first time.

Regular trains on the line will run under the centre of the capital from December 2018, and a full service linking parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to Essex will begin operation in December 2019. 

The route is expected to be used by more than 200 million passengers each year, increasing central London rail capacity by 10%.

Nearly all the platform structures at 10 new stations on the line are in place, to enable step-free access to the 200-metre long trains. Half of the permanent track has been laid. 

South Eastern rail delays

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

Commuters from Kent and Sussex into London Charring Cross have faced delays of up to 80  minutes due to a signal failure. 

To make matters worse, engineering work is being carried out in the area and Cannon Street.station is closed until the end of the week as a result. 

Services to London Bridge have also been delayed. 

South Eastern has told BBC London it expects services to return to normal by this evening's rush hour.

Police presence after second Tottenham shooting in a week

There's been a large police presence in Tottenham overnight after the second teenage shooting in a week.

An 18-year-old man was shot in the head yesterday afternoon while sitting in his car on Wightman Road near Turnpike Lane. 

He's in a critical condition in hospital.

Five days ago another 18-year-old was shot in the foot in nearby Turnpike Lane. There have been no arrests.  

BBC London News: Today’s headlines

Latest headlines from London

Watch: Twins conjoined at birth start school

Twins Rosie and Ruby were conjoined at birth and given a 20% chance of survival.

Four years on they're starting school.

Twins Rosie and Ruby were conjoined at birth. Four years on they're starting school

Notting Hill Carnival: Mayor to review event

BBC Radio London

The Mayor of London has promised a thorough review of the Notting Hill Carnival and one of his predecessors - Ken Livingstone - has said that he believes there's a direct link to the huge cuts in police numbers in the Met.

Of the 450 arrests made over the two days, 25 of them were for assaults on police. 

Lewis Benn, from the Notting Hill Carnival Trust, has praised the police and says this year's trouble is unprecedented. 

Blaze rips through grass marshes

A blaze ripped through an area of grassland the size of three football pitches in London.

Around three hectares of scrubland were alight on Tottenham Marshes in Lee Valley Park last night.

More than 60 firefighters brought the flames under control in two hours using grass beaters and water backpacks.

Tottenham Marshes fire
Paul Wood

Travel: Jubilee Line delayed

BBC London Travel

BBC Radio London Travel

There are severe delays on the Jubilee Line because of a faulty train at Baker Street. 

Other lines seem to be running well.

 On the roads, the A21 Bromley Common is closed because of a burst water main.

Keep up-to-date with BBC Travel.

Weather: Dry with cloud forming in the afternoon

BBC Weather

We'll see a dry start across London this morning, with perhaps the odd fog patch at first. 

The sun will continue to shine throughout the morning, although cloud will tend to build during the afternoon with the odd spot of rain possible at times. 

Maximum temperature: 23C (73F)

Weather: Dry before turning cloudy