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  1. Hill End probe: Information came from 'a number of sources'

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    Following the news that Hertfordshire Police had received reports of physical and sexual abuse of child patients at the former Hill End Hospital Adolescent Unit in St Albans, the officer leading the investigation has said that "sometimes you just get a feeling" about things and need to probe further.

    Hill End flats
    Image caption: Some of the Hill End wards have been converted into flats

    The force went public on Thursday with its investigation into the alleged abuse at the unit between 1969 and 1995.

    Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson said the investigation had been running for sometime, but it wasn't a particular report that set it off.

    He said information had come from a number of different sources, so they began to review the information they had and look at records from the 1970s and 1980s. It was then decided that it "needed a proper look".

    "It was prompted by a number of bits of intelligence so we have gone back and looked at if we joined the dots," he said.

    "Sometimes you just get a feeling that we need to lift the lid and have a proper look at it with a dedicated team."

    Those who believe they have been a victim of this type of abuse are encouraged to contact the police. There is a special online reporting option on the force's Operation Meadow web pages.

    No arrests have been made but Mr Jephson said if anyone was found to be currently at risk, mechanisms were in place to respond.

    Hill End Hospital no longer exists and a housing estate was built on the site in Hertfordshire.

  2. A421 'still blocked'

    Bedfordshire police have asked motorists to "bear with us" as they try to reopen the A421 in both directions by the Black Cat Roundabout.

    An accident between three lorries shut the road at 15:00.

    They hope it will re-open by about 18:45.

    View more on twitter
  3. Decision on incinerator to be made in 'due course'

    There's still no date on when the decision will be made to see if the green light can be given to build an incinerator in Bedfordshire.

    The consulation period has now ended to see if a permit can be given to the company, Covanta, to build a site, at Rookery Pits close to Stewartby.

    If it goes ahead it will burn 500,000 tonnes of waste a year.

    The Environment Agency says it is now "assessing" the many comments it has received and "a decision will be made and communicated in due course.”

    Artists impression of incinerator

    The Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson says the fight to stop the plant being built is "far from over".

    He states Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Councils have submitted a "joint response" that the permit is "rejected".

    Planning permission has already been given for the plant to be built, but it can't operate without the permit.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Animals may be put down if zoo is forced to close

    A zoo has been told by a local council that it never had the correct planning permission.

  5. Watford pet rabbit death 'linked to Croydon cat killer'

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    An animal charity helping police investigate the violent killing of hundreds of cats and rabbits across the UK has said the death of a rabbit in Watford is being linked to the case.

    The animal was mutilated and its body left in a garden in Silver Dell on Monday or Tuesday. Hertfordshire Police said its possible link to the wider investigation is a line of enquiry.

    Tony Jenkins from charity Snarl said: "It is clear these animals were killed by a human" but added it was difficult to say how many people were responsible for the attacks and whether they were working together.

    Other recent incidents considered to be linked include the deaths of a cat and another rabbit in Hertfordshire as well as two cats in Northampton.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Bobby Seagull and The Open University offer personal finance course for teenagers

    Bobby Seagull, of BBC show University Challenge, is teaching teenagers about personal finance.

  7. Cars stuck by Black Cat roundabout for 'hours'

    Drivers stuck on the A421 by the Black Cat roundabout say they haven't moved for "hours".

    Lisa Roerig has been stationary for several hours and says: "Looks like I won’t be going to the England vs Germany game. "Stuck on #A421".

    She added: "If you are on the #A421 towards Black Cat Roundabout, get off if you can."

    Highways England says the road remains closed westbound between the A1 (Black Cat Roundabout) and hte A4280 because of an accident between three lorries.

    Drivers are being asked to exit the A1 at the Black Cat roundabout and continue southbound on the A1 to its junction with the A603.

    Then continue westbound along the A603 via Moggerhanger to re-join the A421 at the Cardington Cross Roundabout.

    View more on twitter
  8. A421 to be 'closed for some time'

    Bedfordshire police say the A421 by the Black Cat Roundabout will remain closed for "some time" after an accident involving three lorries.

    They were called at 14:45 and closed the road at 15:00.

    View more on twitter
  9. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A421 Bedfordshire eastbound

    BBC News Travel

    A421 Bedfordshire eastbound severe accident, between A421 Bedford Southern Bypass and A1 Great North Road.

    A421 Bedfordshire - A421 Great Barford Bypass in Bedford closed and stationary traffic eastbound between the A421 Bedford Southern Bypass junction and Black Cat Roundabout, because of an accident involving two lorries.

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

  10. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J24 for A111 and J23 for A1.

    M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise in Potters Bar between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J23 A1(M), because of an accident.

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

  11. Long delays due to crash by Black Cat roundabout

    There are long delays near the Black Cat roundabout at Wyboston in Bedfordshire because of a crash between three lorries.

    Police have confirmed the A421 has been closed.

    There are reports that four fire engines and the police are in attendance.

    The East of England Ambulance Service says "two rapid response vehicles, an ambulance and a unit from our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) are at the scene".

    It's affecting traffic between Bedford and St Neots just over the border in Cambridgeshire.

    Drivers have taken to social media to say they've been stuck for more than an hour and are not moving.

    View more on twitter
  12. Funeral held for Luton man killed in Syria

    Thousands of people have attended the funeral of a Luton man who was killed by so-called Islamic State militants in Syria.

    Crowds gather for Mehmet Aksoy

    Mehmet Aksoy, 32, had been working as a film-maker alongside a Kurdish militant group. He died in September.

    Mehmet Aksoy

    His funeral was held at the Kurdish Community Centre in Harringay, London, followed by a procession to Highgate Cemetery.

    Funeral of Mehmet Aksoy
  13. #Rickshawchallenge in Buckinghamshire

    Laura Devlin

    BBC News

    Pudsey and friends have been winding their way through Buckinghamshire as the annual #rickshawchallenge completes its second day of an epic 500-mile ride to Glasgow.

    Led by The One Show's Matt Baker, a team of six riders are braving the elements over nine days to raise money for Children in Need.

    It had a fanfare send-off at BBC's New Broadcasting House on Thursday and is hoping for plenty of support along the route from North London to Banbury, Oxfordshire.

    Earlier, Duncan Gauld, headteacher at Chorleywood Church of England Academy, tweeted: "Look who popped in this morning!"

    Matt Baker with pupils and staff/parents at Chorleywood CofE Academy

    Rider Sabba, who is 18 and awaiting a kidney transplant, was pictured by David James as the convoy passed through Aston Clinton...

    Children in Need tweeted that the show of support on Friday had been incredible...

    According to the team's live updates, they are now in the Marsh Gibbon area and close to the county border.

  14. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A421 Bedfordshire eastbound

    BBC News Travel

    A421 Bedfordshire eastbound severe accident, between A421 Bedford Southern Bypass and A1 Great North Road.

    A421 Bedfordshire - A421 Great Barford Bypass in Bedford closed and stationary traffic eastbound between the A421 Bedford Southern Bypass junction and Black Cat Roundabout, because of an accident involving two lorries.

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

  15. Petition to save Hertfordshire zoo gets public support

    An online petition to save a Hertfordshire zoo from closure has been supported by more than 1,000 people in a week.

    Ventura Wildlife Park

    East Herts District Council has served two enforcement notices on Ventura Wildlife Park near Ware, saying it has never had the correct planning permission.

    Ventura is a community-based wildlife park in the grounds of the Van Hage Garden Centre in Great Amwell.

    It is home to more than 45 different species of wild animals, including a number that have been rescued and rehomed. This includes species that cannot be seen in any other UK zoo or wildlife park, including the Cuban Hutia and Red Rumped Agouti.

    Since it opened in July 2016 - on land which previously formed part of the Van Hage Garden Centre's existing zoo - it has had 45,000 visitors. The zoo licence was transferred over to Ventura Wildlife Park in June 2016 after inspection by East Herts Council.

    Since being told it needed to close, it has had all retrospective planning applications turned down, but it is still looking for ways to fight the council's decision.

    It said a petition had been created to demonstrate "the overwhelming support" which exists for the park and its importance within the local community, because if it is forced to close it would have "devastating consequences".

    The wildlife park said the shrubs and trees planted, bird and bat boxes and the education centre would have to be demolished, and animals may need to be euthanised if homes cannot be found.

    The BBC has approached East Herts District Council for a response.

  16. Offenders pay for good causes

    Convicted criminals are quite literally paying for their crimes in Hertfordshire - so far to the tune of more than £100,000.

    David Lloyd

    In March, police and crime commissioner David Lloyd (pictured) unveiled a £120,000 community fund, generated through offender confiscations under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to help organisations deliver projects that reduce crime.

    Grants of up to £5,000 are provided for successful applications, which can cover a range of activities such as research projects, equipment and materials or training. So far, it has supported 24 initiatives to the value of £103,636.

    For example, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue received £5,000 for its Think Safe project - an evening course for adults with learning difficulties to learn how to keep themselves safe from abuse, fires and crime.

    The Watford Community Safety Partnership received £4,700 for its Rough Sleepers Campaign, and Citizens Advice in Stevenage was awarded £4,987 for a dedicated adviser to work with its domestic abuse unit.

    "It's a great example of offender pays," Mr Lloyd said.

    The deadline for the next round of applications is 12 January 2018.

  17. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J21A for A405 and J22 for A1081.

    M25 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J21a, A405 (St Albans) and J22, A1081 (St Albans), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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