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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

CCTV network mooted for Suffolk

Suffolk could get a countywide CCTV network as part of measures to tackle increasing demand on police, Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has said.

Talk of the scheme emerged during Friday’s Police and Crime Panel held in Bury St Edmunds, where councillors on the panel were given updates and able to scrutinise the work of the PCC.

Addressing the panel, Mr Passmore said: “Why don’t we look carefully at a countywide network of CCTV?

“It does reduce crime, catch offenders and you can bet your bottom dollar I am absolutely behind that.

“If we are going to have this system, let’s have it supported properly for the next 10 years.”

'More to do on assuring victims,' says PCC

Suffolk police said that victims of serious sexual offences and domestic abuse need to have confidence in the justice system in order to come forward.

Latest Suffolk police figures revealed that the number of serious sexual offences had increased by nearly 35% in the last 12 months compared to the three year average, while fewer than one in 10 were solved.

Less than 50% of domestic abuse cases reported resulted in a victim wanting to pursue prosecution.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said there was a “heck of a lot to do” but progress was being made.

Police in Berkhamsted given powers to search for knives

Police in Berkhamsted have been given powers to stop and search members of the public they believe are carrying knives this weekend.

The Section 60 order is in force from 17:00 to 02:00 tonight and tomorrow and covers the railway station, Lower Kings Road, Castle Street, Mill Street, Church Lane, The Wilderness, part of the High Street and St John's Well Lane.

Hertfordshire Police said it was in response to intelligence about young people committing crime and carrying knives.

Sgt Ryan Hemmings said: "The consequences of carrying a knife are a possible custodial sentence and a criminal record which could affect your job prospects.

"Or worse, you could cause yourself or another person serious injury or even death. Please think before you carry a knife."

Luton 'postcode feud' youth spared jail for stabbing

A teenager from Luton has been spared jail for stabbing another boy, because he has since been stabbed himself.

Luton Crown Court heard the 17-year-old was with about 20 youths who confronted five others in Leagrave Road on Boxing Day 2016 as part of a "postcode feud".

Map of Luton, centred on Leagrave Road
Google

The victim was stabbed through the chest resulting in a collapsed lung.

His attacker, also 17, who had admitted wounding and possessing a knife, appeared in court on crutches, as he had been stabbed four times in the back and leg in November last year.

The judge said: "If you were fit and healthy you would be going straight into custody."

Instead he sentenced him to a 16-month Youth Rehabilitation Order, a 3-month 17:00-07:00 curfew and a 90-day extended activity requirement.

Biker dies in Norfolk lorry crash

A motorcyclist has died after a collision with a lorry in Norfolk this morning.

Salhouse Road at Rackheath
Google

The biker, in his 50s, died at the scene in Salhouse Road (pictured), Rackheath, near Norwich.

Police were called at 08:50 and closed the road for four hours.

The driver of the Scania HGV was unhurt, they said.

Officers appealed for any witnesses, or those with dashcam footage, to come forward.

Bobbies-on-the-beat days 'have gone', says Suffolk PCC

Jason Noble

Suffolk Local Democracy Reporter

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner says the days of having bobbies-on-the-beat "have gone".

The county's police and crime panel has met in Bury St Edmunds to discuss a host of issues, including the perceived lack of visibility of officers in the community.

Public leaders had shared their concerns in a report published ahead of the meeting, with some stating that, particularly in rural communities, the level of police visibility was "none".

Speaking to the panel, Mr Passmore said the combination of increased workloads and a lack of funding from central government were factors.

He said it comes down to "resources and priorities".

Tim Passmore
BBC

Luton woman's home ransacked in 'appalling' burglary

A 97-year-old woman has been left "badly shaken" after her Luton home was burgled on Thursday night.

Police say a number of offenders forced their way into her house on Abbey Drive, ransacked bedrooms and stole cash, between 19:45 and 20:15.

Investigation Officer Gary Hales said: "This type of crime, on the most vulnerable people in our community, is appalling and I would urge anyone with information to contact us."

Abbey Drive
Google

'Concern' grows for Vietnamese boys missing from Bedford

Police say they are "growing concerned" for four Vietnamese teenagers, who have gone missing from Bedfordshire.

They say Dat Minh Hua, Dinh Tran, Tuyen Nguyen, all 17, and Huynh Nguyen, 16, were reported missing on 8 March.

Officers believe they may be together, and were last seen at their Bedford accommodation.

Tuyen Nguyen, Huynh Nguyen, Dat Minh Hua and Dinh Tran
Bedfordshire Police
From top left to bottom right, Tuyen Nguyen, Huynh Nguyen, Dat Minh Hua and Dinh Tran

Basildon shop owners face eviction for new development

About 20 shop owners and traders in Basildon could be evicted if they refuse to leave the town centre to make way for a new multi-million pound development.

Compulsory purchase orders were approved by Basildon Borough Council last night for an area which includes businesses in East Square, where a new cinema, restaurants and coffee shops will be built.

Conservative councillor Kevin Blake, for Burstead ward, said: "Most will go willingly, but perhaps not all.

The council insisted it will do its best to help people move and talks are expected to continue despite last night's vote.

Mr Blake added: "We don't want to force people to leave. But you can't hold up a project for the odd few."

Mother aims to get nature book into Bedford schools

A Bedford mother has started a crowdfunding page to get a nature book into every primary school in the borough of Bedford.

Lisa Bremner is hoping to raise £1,600 to buy multiple copies of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris to "inspire any child".

The Lost Words book
Rachael Rogan

Ms Bremner said: "Did you know that children in the UK are no longer finding it easy to recognise common species such as adder, bluebell, heron, otter, puffin and wren?

"All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world.

"Let's help our children to reclaim the natural world for themselves".

Charity sleep out to help homeless in Bedford

More than 40 people will be braving the cold in Bedford tonight.

YMCA Bedfordshire is behind the Sleep Easy, which will see volunteers camp out from Friday night to Sunday morning in cardboard boxes to raise funds for, and awareness about homelessness.

The Sleep Easy, 2017
YMCA

Paul Hunt, YMCA Bedfordshire’s chief executive, said: "With both Bedford and Luton rough sleeper figures appearing in the top five across England, we are passionate about seeking to open additional bedrooms to help reduce the number of individuals on our streets."

The Sleep Easy 2017
YMCA

So far the event has raised £6,000 and activities like quizzes and games are planned to keep morale up.

'Mini Beast' set to hit the East of England

'Mini Beast' to bring cold weather to the east

MPs critical of liquidated local enterprise partnership in report

Peterborough Telegraph

MPs have criticised an organisation which funded infrastructure projects in Peterborough before being liquidated.

Passenger's head shatters windscreen after 30mph crash

Cambridgeshire Police have shared a picture of a shattered windscreen to remind to motorists to always wear a seatbelt.

It follows an incident in which a car passenger, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was involved in a 30mph collision.

Windscreen shattered
@cambscops

"You can clearly see where their head hit the windscreen. Please just #WearIt," the Cambridgeshire force tweeted.

Tories warned 'we have a version of Momentum' in Fenland

Cambs Times

The North East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association is split over a rule change that has allowed party activists to de-select four district councillors – three of them cabinet members.

Shoppers complain of stink at Peterborough shopping centre

Serpentine Green exterior
Google

Staff at a Peterborough shopping centre say they are working with Anglian Water after shoppers complained about a bad smell.

As first reported by the Peterborough Telegraph, visitors to Serpentine Green in Hampton have complained of a smell of sewage at the centre, which is home to a number of shops, restaurants and cafes.

The smell issue was raised by Roy Proud, who tweeted:

View more on twitter

In response, a spokesman for the centre, which was subject to a large upgrade last year, said: "We are working with drainage companies and Anglian Water to identify the problem to resolve this.

"We hope that this will be resolved soon."

A14 delays after four lorries and car collide at Bar Hill

There are continuing problems on the roads around Cambridge this afternoon after a collision between four lorries and a car on the A14.

The westbound carriageway is down to one lane at Bar Hill, having been completely shut earlier, with severe delays back to junction 12 of the M11.

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit has shared this image...

a14 crash
@raodpoliceBCH

This Google Traffic Flow map gives an overview of the delays:

Google traffic map
Google

App to help insomnia across Thames Valley

To mark World Sleep Day the NHS in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire has revealed a new digital programme to help people who struggle to sleep.

Sleepio is a sleep improvement programme which is available online or via an app. It has been developed by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network and digital medicine company Big Health.

Sleepio app
Big Health

Anyone in those three counties will be able to access the programme, which aims to tackle insomnia without the use of sleeping pills, for free from October.

The co-founder of Big Health, Professor Colin Espie, said: "The programme is based on cognitive behavioural therapy and we hope it will give effective help to people who have persistent sleep problems."

Watford-based Wetherspoon profits up

The Watford-based pub chain, JD Wetherspoon, has announced pre-tax profits increased by 20% in the six months to the end of January

Wetherspoon pub
Getty Images

The group posted a 36.1% rise in pre-tax profit to £54.3m in the 26 weeks to 28 January, with revenue rising 3.6% to £830.4m.

But the company says it's cautious about the second half of the year because it anticipates costs rising.

Two Norfolk locations named among best places to live in UK

Eastern Daily Press

Two places in Norfolk have been included on the Sunday Times Best Places to Live list for 2018.

Norwich and Wymondham are two of 12 locations from across the East of England to be included on the list.

Suffolk is represented by Bungay, Orford, Woodbridge and Hadleigh while Chelmsford in Essex was named the number one spot in the top 12 places to live in the east.