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  1. Updates on Friday, 26 May 2017
  2. 'Vile and offensive' ambulance worker jailed for 11 years for child sex offences
  3. Boy dies after swimming in Hertfordshire lake
  4. Teenager in hospital after Bedfordshire shooting
  5. Luton Carnival will be 'safe'
  6. 'Naughty' sports car driver ticked off by police

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    That's it for the Local Live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks for this week.

    As it's a Bank Holiday on Monday, we won't actually be back with regular updates until 08:00 on Tuesday.

    We hope you all have a great long weekend, and the hot weather stays around (unless you have fields or gardens which need rain).

    Not forgetting to wish good luck to Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's Monaco F1 grand prix...

  2. Weekend weather: Hot and humid

    Chris Bell

    BBC Look East weather

    It's set to be a beautiful evening across the BBC East region, with fine and dry weather and clear skies, though it could feel muggy overnight. Some sea mist and fog may move in along the Norfolk coast for a few hours.

    Weather map

    Tomorrow is going to be another dry and sunny one, feeling hot and humid. Cloud will increase from the west and bring the risk of a few isolated heavy showers or thunderstorms during the afternoon, although many places will remain completely dry.

    Moderate southeasterly winds, becoming light southwesterly by the end of the day.

    Highs of 28C (82F).

  3. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Berkshire clockwise severe disruption, after J15 for M4.

    M25 Berkshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise after J15 M4, because of a broken down van.

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

  4. Airlander testing could move to a new site

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    The world's longest airship, The Airlander 10, could carry out some test flights from RAF Henlow later in the summer.

    Currently all testing is taking place at Cardington Airfield just outside of Bedford.

    Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company behind the craft, say discussions are taking place for heavy lift trials to take place there, but nothing is confirmed.

    They told me it's because they need a "larger airfield" than is available at Cardington, as they need more space when the craft is heavier.


    They also also stated that they've completed a "comprehensive post-flight inspection" after their third flight and everything has "come out very positively".

    There's still no news when the next flights will take place.

  5. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

    BBC News Travel

    M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J6 for A355 Slough and J7 for A4.

    M4 Berkshire - Slow traffic on M4 westbound between J6, A355 (Slough) and J7, A4 (Slough West), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder.

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

  6. Opening of Hertfordshire splash park delayed

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    On what could be a very hot weekend, the opening of a brand new splash park in Hertfordshire has has to be delayed.

    The new "tropical island" in Kings George Recreation Ground in Bushey was due to open tomorrow, but a problem with the electrical circuit board means it's now on hold.

    There's no news when it will open but Hertsmere Borough Council hopes it wil be "as soon as possible".

    The fault was discovered during final testing today.

    Splash park
  7. Video content

    Video caption: Bra bunting around Bedford school for breast cancer awareness

    Students leaving Bedford Girls' School raise awareness of breast cancer by decorating the school with bras.

  8. Laura Kenny targets 2020 cycling medals

    BBC Sport

    Hertfordshire's Olympic champion Laura Kenny says she expects to be back competing in the velodrome at Tokyo 2020.

    The 25-year-old is taking a break from the sport as she's expecting her first child later this summer.

    "I feel like I'm almost wishing my life away, because I want it here now," said Kenny during a visit to to St Matthew's Church of England Primary School in Nechells in Birmingham.

    "After that I'm going to give myself at least six weeks completely off after, get myself back going again.

    "I don't want to rush into it, I want to enjoy my new life.

    "It might take me a year before I race again, but yeah, Tokyo is definitely on the cards.”

    Laura Kenny with school children
  9. Manchester attack: Vigil to be held in Bedford

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    A "Vigil for Manchester" is taking place in Bedford this evening.

    The event, organised by the Bedford Council Of Faiths, starts at 18:00.

    The Mayor of Bedford, David Hodgson, and the Bishop of Bedford, the Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, have been confirmed as speakers, as well as representatives from the Muslim faith, Friends of Refugees and the Quakers.

    Anyone is welcome to come along.

    Manchester bombing tributes

    Twenty two people, including a number of children, died in Monday's suicide attack at Manchester Arena.

  10. Luton Carnival will be 'safe'

    Kate Bradbrook

    BBC Look East

    Security has also been stepped up for the annual Luton Carnival on Sunday.

    It comes after the terror attacks in Manchester on Monday and a number of stabbings that happened after the event last year.

    Robin Porter from Luton Borough Council says it's a "family-friendly fun event" and he told me he's looking forward to bringing his own family.

    Luton Carnival

    He said: "The police have done a sterling job, they have got extra resources on the ground this weekend.

    "Crowds are at times scary and after the very, very shocking and sobering events of this week we are absolutely clear that this needs to be a safe event."

  11. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

    M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

  12. Luton gets into the Carnival spirit

    Kate Bradbrook

    BBC Look East

    The sun is out, and preparations are well under way for the 41st Luton Carnival on Sunday.

    Tens of thousands are expected to the annual event, which starts at 12:00.

    About 20 floats are expected to parade around Wardown Park and I've been lucky enough to get a sneaky peak at some of the costumes.

    View more on twitter
  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J20 for A41.

    M25 Hertfordshire - M25 lane blocked on exit slip road and slow traffic anticlockwise at J20, A41 (Kings Langley), because of a broken down car.

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

  14. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, before J9 for A5.

    M1 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked on M1 London-bound before J9, A5 (Redbourn), because of a ladder in the road. Approach with care. Traffic is coping well.

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

  15. 'Dangerous sexual predator' jailed after sexual messages found of 11-year-old's phone

    Alistair Hodge, 28, was arrested after one of his 11-year-old victim’s parents discovered sexual messages sent by him to the girl.

    Today at Luton Crown Court he was jailed for 11 years.

    When police executed a search warrant at his home in Horace Close, Bedford, they seized a number of phones and computer devices and digital forensics officers found multiple indecent images of several children.

    Investigation Officer Amanda Dickson said: 2Hodge's computer devices contained images from the most severe category of child sexual abuse and there is no doubt that he is a dangerous sexual predator, so I am pleased he has received such a lengthy sentence for these sickening crimes.

    "He took advantage of a young girl, grooming her via messaging apps and intentionally inciting her to engage in sexual activity, as well as encouraging her to send indecent images of herself to him which he added to his sickening collection."

  16. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A40 and J4 for A404.

    M40 Buckinghamshire - Very slow traffic and two lanes blocked on M40 London-bound between J5, A40 (Stokenchurch) and J4, A404 (High Wycombe Handy Cross Roundabout), because of an overturned caravan.

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

  17. 'Vile and offensive' ambulance worker jailed for 11 years for child sex offences

    An ambulance service worker has been jailed for 11 years today after admitting grooming an 11-year-old girl and making indecent images of children.

    Alistair Hodge, 28, from Horace Close, Shortstown in Bedford, pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent photographs of a child, one offence of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one offence of inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

    Alistair Hodge

    During the hearing at Luton Crown Court, it was revealed he met the young girl on social media and encouraged her to perform sexual acts over the internet. He then recorded her, but they never met up.

    Passing sentence, Judge Mensah told Hodge that the offences "were vile and offensive" and he "manipulated" a "naive" youngster.

  18. Teenager 'got into trouble' while swimming in Hertfordshire lake

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    Eye witnesses have been described what happened when a 16-year-old boy died after getting into difficulties at a Hertfordshire lake last night.

    They say the teenager, who was recovered from the water at Lee Valley Park, "was trying to swim to an island and got into trouble".

    Lee Valley lake

    A friend of the boy said "the two boys he was with tried to save him, but there was nothing they could do".

    Lee Valley lake

    Another said "it's an old quarry and is a lot deeper than you might think".


    "It was the end of school yesterday and it was hot, so I suppose they thought it was a good idea to go for a swim, but it is very dangerous," a visitor to the park said.

  19. Teenager suffers 'facial and chest injuries' after Bedfordshire shooting

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    A teenager is recovering in hospital with what the ambulance service called "chest and facial injuries" having been shot in Clifton last night.

    An East of England Ambulance Service crew and the air ambulance were dispatched, after they were called at 20:23.

    He was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for further care, and his condition is described as stable and not life-threatening.

    Stanford Lane, Clifton, Bedfordshire

    Two teenagers are currently in custody following the shooting, which happened in Stanford Lane (pictured).

    Police believe an air pellet gun was used.