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Summary

  1. Two charged after Blackbird Leys burglaries
  2. New shrimp named after Pink Floyd
  3. Investigation after Banbury factory fire

Live Reporting

By Alex Regan and Anna Browning

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Thanks for reading today. We'll be back tomorrow with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 from across Oxfordshire.

Detective accused of racist monkey comments to black colleague

Joe Nimmo

BBC South

A Thames Valley Police officer has been accused of gross misconduct over comments he allegedly made to a black colleague.

It is alleged that between 15 August and 15 September last year Detective Sergeant Andrew Mottau placed, or caused to be placed, a black toy monkey on the desk of a black female member of staff, saying words to the effect of: "When the black monkey sings it is your turn to make the tea."

He is accused of not allowing her to move the toy, and making various comments to her of a racist, inappropriate and disrespectful nature by reference to it.

These allegedly included, on more than one occasion, saying to her that as she had the black monkey it was her turn to make the tea, and on a further occasion asking her if she would like to embrace the toy.

A misconduct hearing will take place at Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington from 24 to 28 April.

Head-on collision between car and van in Standlake

Firefighters were called to a crash in Abingdon Road, Standlake, near Witney, at 14:08 today.

The crash
OFRS

The occupants of the car were taken to hospital by ambulance, but are not believed to have life-threatening injuries.

Incident Commander Crew Manager Chris Rowe said: "The incident would have been far worse if the occupants in the vehicles had not been wearing seatbelts."

Edmund Strainge's sheep have been attacked six times by dogs in the past seven years..
Edmund Strainge's sheep have been attacked six times by dogs in the past seven years.

Experiments to keep kids busy this half term

BBC Radio Oxford

Refugees' football tournament launched

Weather latest: Cloudy afternoon

After a sunny and dry start to the day, it is set to become cloudier as the afternoon progresses with temperatures at around 13C. 

Conditions are forecast to be similar tomorrow before things brighten up again at the weekend. 

BBC weather
BBC

Two charged after Blackbird Leys burglary

Thames Valley Police say Joseph Pancott, 38, of Crescent Road, Oxford, has been charged with burglary and theft.

Sammy-Jo Dillon, 29, of no fixed address, has been charged with burglary and theft.

The charges are in connection with two burglaries, on 3 April, in Knights Road, Blackbird Leys, and on 5 April in Lytton Road, Cowley.

They appeared at Oxford Magistrates' Court on 7 April and were remanded to appear at Oxford Crown Court on 5 May.

Public encouraged to 'go wild' to increase happiness

Atif Rashid

BBC News

Trees and sky
BBC

People are being encouraged to participate in a 30-day 'Random Acts of Wildness' challenge this summer. 

The initiative is being spearheaded by Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust who say it will increase health and happiness. 

Spending time with nature can greatly contribute to good health, studies have found.

This is important because happiness and connecting with nature influence improvements in health."

Dr Miles RichardsonDirector of Psychology, Derby University
Stars
Getty Images
Stargazing is one of the activities suggested

Having led the study, he added that there was a 30% increase in the number of people who reported their health as excellent and most who benefited were younger adults and ‘non-nature lovers’.”

Activities that are being encouraged include:

  • Stargazing 
  • Build a bughouse
  • Mindfulness in a meadow
  • Sitting in the garden 
  • Watch butterflies
  • Walking barefoot in the park
  • Feeding garden birds
  • And anything else 'wild'  
Butterfly
BBC
All sorts of activities proved positive for people according to the study

Their study found people who did something "wild" each day for a month, felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature.   

Today's local front page: On the brink of collapse

Pink moon spotted over Oxfordshire

Alex Regan

BBC South

Pink moon
Alex Watson

If you were stargazing last night you might have seen the first moon after the equinox. 

Yesterday was the day of the pink moon, but it doesn't appear to be particularly pink. 

The full moon in April was referred to as pink by Native Americans because the wild ground phlox blooms in early spring. 

Even though it wasn't particularly pink, Alex Watson did capture this lovely picture in the twilight hours. 

Investigation after Banbury factory fire

Fire in Banbury
OFRS

Firefighters are investigating the cause of a blaze at a plastic and wax factory in Banbury. 

The fire gutted the factory during rush hour on Tuesday, and required five fire engines to put out. 

Incident commander Chris Jarvis said: "Large amounts of smoke told us that we faced a quickly developing incident.

"[We] quickly put out the fire and stopped it spreading to adjacent buildings, which included the bus garage”.

BMW lodged in factory
OFRS
Firefighters were called to the area earlier in the week after a BMW became lodged in a factory in Swan Road

Firefighters were called to the same area on Monday, after a BMW became lodged in a factory wall.

The crash happened in Swan Road in Banbury after the car went through the wall of Laser Sailboats Ltd.  

Road police response up 10% despite cuts

Sarah Lee

BBC South

Road policing
BBC

The number of road incidents attended by police in Hampshire and the Thames Valley has risen by nearly 10% over the last three years, despite recent job cuts. 

Figures obtained by the BBC show policing units attended an extra 4,500 incidents in 2015-16 than in 2013 -14. 

Thames Valley and Hampshire road policing units merged in 2012 - seeing up to 100 officer posts axed. 

Altered shift patterns has ensured more resources are available, police said.

Travel latest:

Al Ryan

BBC Oxford travel presenter

Good morning, here's the latest from the Oxfordshire Travel Control Centre:

  • The M40 southbound is a bit patchy between junction 10 Brackley to junction 9 for the A34 to Oxford and A41 for Bicester.
  • In Henley you can expect more delays on all routes as Hart Street is closed in both directions.
  • And in Oxford city centre there are short delays on the A420 London Road through temporary traffic lights at the Headley Way junction.

Today's weather: Cloudy but chances of sunshine

Good morning, it's a bit of a cloudy start today but there will be some breaks of sunshine. 

We can expect highs of about 13C, and the possibility of the odd shower in areas. 

New shrimp species named after Pink Floyd

Joe Nimmo

BBC South

Pink Floyd shrimp
Oxford University

A new species of shrimp has been named after Pink Floyd thanks to a pact between prog rock-loving scientists

The synalpheus pinkfloydi uses its large pink claw to create a noise so loud it can kill small fish. 

The team behind the discovery vowed years ago if it ever found a new pink shrimp it would "honour" the rockers. 

Sammy De Grave, head of research at Oxford University Museum of National History, said he has been a fan of the band since he was a teenager.

'We don't need no new crustaceans'

Alex Regan

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to Wednesday's Oxfordshire Live blog. 

As a new species of shrimp is named after prog rock pioneers Pink Floyd we are saying "we don't need no new crustaceans" to the backing track of Another Brick in the Wall. 

Pink Floyd shrimp
Oxford University

So shine on you crazy diamonds, sit in a chair, and get comfortably numb to the latest news, sports, weather and travel updates from across the county. 

Thames towpath
Pauline Massey

As always send your latest snaps from across the county to be featured in this week's Oxfordshire's Big Picture. 

Above is a wonderful pixture of the Thames Path in Eynsham by Pauline Massey. You can send your pictures to us by email.