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Summary

  1. A campaign has been launched to save an ancient stone in Soulbury, near Leighton Buzzard, after a driver backed into it
  2. About 1,000 people are expected to demonstrate in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire in April
  3. A teenage boy has died after his motorcycle hit a lamppost in Luton
  4. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the live team today. We'll be back with you again from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

If you missed anything, why not take a scroll through the page? And if you'd like to get in touch at all, you can email here.

New air ambulance for first time in 20 years

Charity fundraisers in Hertfordshire are being praised, after the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust announced it would be buying its own helicopter for the first time in its 20 year history. 

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

The £6m helicopter will start flying in June next year. As well as donations from the public and businesses, the charity successfully bid for £1.5m from the Government's LIBOR fund

Weather: Sunny spells but risk of showers

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

There will be some sunny spells to end the day but it will turn a little cloudy with the risk of a shower this evening. Lows of 0C (32F).

Weather graphic shows rain Thursday
BBC

There will be a cold start tomorrow with a touch of frost in places. Highs of 12C (53F).

Tools and number plates stolen from South Oxhey vehicles

Power tools and number plates were stolen from several vehicles in South Oxhey last night.

Raglan Gardens, South Oxhey
Google

Police are appealing for information after the tools were stolen from Ford Transit vans in Raglan Gardens, Ashburnham Drive and Oaklands Avenue. Three males were seen in the Raglan Gardens area (pictured).

Number plates were stolen from two vehicles on Hillcroft Crescent and Greenfield Avenue, police say.

Bletchley store ram raided by gang

One MK

A store in Bletchley has spoken to OneMK after more than £10,000 worth of damage was caused in an unsuccessful ram raid.

Weather Watchers or wildlife watchers?

BBC Weather Watchers

It's not all pictures of sunshine and clouds coming into our Weather Watchers inbox...

We also receive delightful photographs of wildlife like this cheeky-looking squirrel in Bedford.

Squirrel climbs tree in Bedford
BBC/tony home

Afternoon headlines: High Wycombe demonstrations... Luton teen killed in crash

The headlines:

  • About 1,000 people are expected to demonstrate in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire on 9 April 
  • A Closure Order has been placed on an address in Hitchin following complaints about suspected drug taking 
  • A teenage boy has been killed after his motorcycle hit a lamppost in Luton

Man freed from car after bus crash in Princes Risborough

A car and a bus collided in Princes Risborough earlier this afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene in Bell Street just before 14:15.

The fire service released a man from the car, who was injured. All bus passengers were checked over by ambulance staff.

The legend of the Soulbury stone

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

An ancient stone in Soulbury, near Leighton Buzzard, will stay put despite a driver threatening legal action after damaging her car backing into it.

People told us about the legend of the stone...

M1 overnight closures continue

Luton Airport is reminding passengers travelling by road of the M1 overnight closures that may affect journey times.

The closures began two weeks ago and continue until 9 April as 40 giant steel bridge beams are lifted into place for the new J11a.

View more on twitter

High Wycombe police prepare for demonstrations

Toby Friedner

BBC Three Counties Radio

About 1,000 people are expected to demonstrate in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire on Saturday, 9 April.

Supt Ed McLean and Chf Insp Rebecca Mears giving the briefing
BBC

Thames Valley Police have been advised there will be about 200 from the far-right English Defence League and a counter demonstration of about 800 people. 

Supt Ed Mclean, the district commander for Wycombe, says the "police are here to allow a lawful and peaceful protest" and "will do our very best" to ensure it is a safe day for everyone.

Woman hit with metal pole in Biggleswade attack

A woman was struck over the head by what's believed to have been a metal pole in an attack in Biggleswade on Good Friday.

Biggleswade train station
Google

The woman was walking along an alleyway near Biggleswade train station between 05:30 and 06:00 when she was hit from behind.

Police say it's "vital" they find the offender, who is described as a female of stocky build with long dark hair.

Hitchin property 'closed' by police

A Closure Order has been placed on an address in Hitchin following complaints about suspected drug taking.

Desborough Road in Hitchin
Google

The property, in Desborough Road, was investigated by the police after lresidents complained about anti-social behaviour.

Police, North Herts Homes and North Herts District Council received complaints from neighbours about loud music, arguments and suspected drug dealing. The order prevents anyone from entering the property for three months. 

Luton playwright up for three Baftas

Luton News

Luton author and playwright Jack Thorne has been nominated for three Bafta TV awards.

Tributes to Luton teen who died in motorbike crash

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Tributes are being left for a teenage boy who died after his motorcycle hit a lamppost in Luton yesterday.

Bedfordshire Police said the boy died in hospital following a collision on a pavement outside Whitefield Primary School in the Marsh Farm estate.  

Travel: Collision on M25 in Hertfordshire

BBC Travel

There's a lane closed on the M25 anti-clockwise in Hertfordshire just before J23 due to a collision. Traffic is queuing to J24.

Check your journey here.

CPS 'right' not to charge officers over Jean Charles de Menezes death

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled British prosecutors were right not to charge police officers involved in the shooting of a Brazilian electrician they suspected was a suicide bomber.

A permanent memorial was unveiled on what would have been Mr Menezes 32nd birthday
Getty Images

Jean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head by specialist firearms officers as he boarded an underground train at Stockwell station in south London on July 22, 2005.

The chief constable of Bedfordshire Police, Jon Boucher, was a detective superintendent on the case that day.

Weather Watchers: Sunshine in Chalfont St Giles

BBC Weather Watchers

It looks like the ducks were out enjoying the sunshine in Chalfont St Giles this morning - perhaps later they'll be enjoying the rain that's forecast?

Ducks in stream in Chalfont St Giles
BBC/Pinny's Patch

If you'd like to share your images of what the weather's like where you are, you can sign up to become a Weather Watcher here.

Family of Tube shooting victim Jean Charles de Menezes await court decision

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes will learn the outcome of a court challenge over the decision not to bring charges over his death.

Jean Charles de Menezes
de Menezes family

Relatives of the Brazilian took their case to the European Court of Human Rights last year - almost a decade after he was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot dead by police marksmen on a London Tube train.

Bedfordshire Police's chief constable Jon Boucher was a detective superintendent on the case that day.

New plan drawn up for future of Luton's High Town

Luton News

Plans for two public squares and up to 750 new homes have been laid out in a bold vision for the future of High Town.

Soulbury stone background

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

We've been hearing plenty about the Soulbury stone in Buckinghamshire today, for which residents began a campaign when it seemed as though it may be moved after a motorist threatened to claim compensation after driving into it.

Here are just a few of the more interesting points about the "rolling stone"...

Soulbury stone graphic
BBC

Lunchtime headlines: Teenager killed in bike crash... Soulbury boulder won't be moved

Jon Kaye

BBC Three Counties Radio

The top stories this lunchtime:

'Vicious attack' by teen gang in Leighton Buzzard

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Police are appealing for witnesses to what they have described as a "vicious attack" on a man by a gang of teenagers in Leighton Buzzard on Sunday night.

Vimy Road junction with Leighton Road
Google

It happened at around 20:45 near Tesco at the corner of Vimy Road and Leighton Road. Passers-by stopped to help the man, and chase the gang away. 

Officers have described it as an "unprovoked, brutal attack on an innocent stranger".

Campaign to save Bucks community store gutted by fire

Ben Nye

BBC Three Counties Radio

A campaign has been launched in Buckinghamshire to help rebuild a community store recently gutted by a fire.

Hughendon Valley shop
Louise Jones

The group in Hughenden Valley, near High Wycombe, have been quoted £18,000 to replace the structure and are appealing for help. 

"It's the hub of the village and now it's just gone. Many people are saying we've lost the heart of the village," founder and manager Louise Jones said.

Boulder in road

A large boulder which has sat in the middle of a road for decades is to stay where it is, despite a car allegedly crashing into it, a councillor confirms.

Read more

More than 200 crimes in Bedfordshire children's homes

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

Bedfordshire Police have recorded more than 200 crimes in children's homes in the last three years, according to the Howard League for Penal Reform.

The charity says the figures show youngsters are being criminalised at a higher rate than those in other types of care, and that staff at homes call the police over minor incidents that wouldn't come to officers' attention if they happened in family homes.

Child outside
BBC

In Bedfordshire since 2012 there were 213 crimes reported. In Thames Valley, which includes Buckinghamshire, there were more than 600 reported.

The charity claims a child is almost six times as likely to be dealt with by the police than in any other type of care, and almost 20 times more likely than a child not in care.

Weather: Showers later, with hail and thunder possible

BBC Weather

While some areas may remain dry throughout the day, showers will develop later, with hail and thunder possible at times.

Maximum temperature: 11C (52F).

Weather graphic shows some rain across three counties later
BBC

Plans for Bedford to Cambridge rail link revealed

Nicola Beckford

BBC Look East

Plans have been revealed for the Bedford to Cambridge rail link, with Network Rail saying its preferred route, from a list of 20 potential ones, is through Sandy.

Sandy railway station
Google

It's part of the scheme to link Oxford and Cambridge - via Milton Keynes and Bedford.

Network Rail won't publish its reasons for choosing this route until May, but says it's looked at the costs, population and feasibility of each of the options. We are yet to find out which communities will be affected.

#JeffsMarch from Luton to Watford

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Yesterday, sports broadcaster Jeff Stelling completed his ninth marathon from Luton to Watford in as many days as part of his fundraising in aid of prostate cancer.

Many football fans joined Jeff's March, including Luton Town's chief executive Gary Sweet, who appeared to swiftly move away from rival teams' mascot Harry the Hornet at their arrival at Vicarage Road last night!

View more on twitter

Today marks Stelling's final marathon to Wembley Stadium.

Soulbury stone: The facts... and fiction?

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Here are some of the things we’ve been told about the Soulbury stone:

  • It is an erratic boulder carried by a glacier and deposited as the ice retreated at the end of the last ice-age
  • It’s about 250,000 years old – it landed where it now sits about 11,000 years ago
  • Somebody in the village had a row with the devil and tore off his foot and it turned into the stone
  • It rolls down the hill on the 31 October every year and then rolls back again
  • One villager was told by her grandfather it was a mounting stone for getting on a horse
  • A tank was supposed to have tried to get rid of it during the last war, but couldn’t manage it
Soulbury stone
BBC

Latest headlines: Boy killed in motorbike crash... Hemel kidnap investigation

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines:

  • A teenage boy has been killed after his motorcycle hit a lamp-post in Luton
  • A misconduct hearing continues today into the actions of two Bedfordshire police officers 
  • Police are investigating a kidnapping in Hemel Hempstead last night, after a man was dragged out of his car in the rush hour

Appeal after teen is killed in 'off-road' motorbike crash

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A teenage boy has been killed after his motorcycle hit a lamp post in Luton yesterday.

Bedfordshire Police have said the boy was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital in a critical condition following the crash on a pavement just off Denham Close shortly after 13:40, but he later died.

Lamp post off Denham Close
BBC

The force has appealed for witnesses.  

Faruk Ali 'can't sleep at night', says brother

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

The brother of an autistic man from Luton who believes he was assaulted by police officers says the incident has had "a significant impact".

Faruk Ali
BBC

Dhobir Ali, giving evidence at a police misconduct hearing about events outside their family home in August 2014, said his brother Faruk now "can't sleep at night" and the "routine he had was greatly disturbed".

"I saw my brother come into the house - behind him was the officer. I could see the fear, and I saw marks on his neck." Two officers were cleared of assault at Luton Crown Court in December 2014.

Faruk Ali police misconduct hearing: Brother gives evidence

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

The second day of a misconduct hearing is under way in Bedfordshire into the way two police officers treated an autistic man in Luton, more than two years ago.

Faruk Ali
BBC

The officers, PCs Christopher Pitts from Bedford and Christopher Thomas from Welwyn Garden City, have previously been found not guilty at Luton Crown Court of assaulting Faruk Ali.

Today, Faruk Ali's brother Dhobir is giving evidence. I'm at the hearing in Wyboston and will bring you more on this throughout the day.

Council says ancient stone 'will not be removed'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Bucks County Council has said an ancient stone in the village of Soulbury, near Leighton Buzzard, will not be moved.

Soulbury stone
Google

Villagers started a campaign to save it after a driver backed into it damaging her car. Transport for Buckinghamshire had told the Leighton Buzzard Observer it "may have to resort to removing it".

But Councillor Mark Shaw told BBC Three Counties Radio: "It's quite clear to move it, or even discuss moving it, which has never been on the agenda, would be absolute madness."

Travel: Problems on the West Coast line

BBC Travel

There's a reduced service on London Midland between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central due to a broken down train at Bushey.

Get the latest updates from BBC Travel.

View more on twitter

Campaign to save ancient stone after driver claims compensation

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

A campaign to save an ancient stone in Soulbury near Leighton Buzzard has begun after a driver backed into it and damaged her car.

Soulbury stone
South Beds News Agency

As first reported in the Leighton Buzzard Observer, the motorist is now threatening legal action, with Bucks County Council saying the stone, thought to have been located in Chapel Hill for millions of years, could be removed.

But Parish Council chairman Victor Wright told BBC Three Counties Radio he and "at least seven other people" were prepared to chain themselves to the stone to save it: "The village is enraged about this situation... we will protest to the end."

Today's weather: Mainly dry with sunny spells

Alina Jenkins

BBC Weather

Today will be largely dry with some sunny spells, but with the chance of some heavy showers later.

Maximum temperature: 11C (51F)

You can find a more detailed forecast where you live at BBC Weather.