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  1. RAF serviceman attack being treated as attempted abduction
  2. Police seek two men and dark coloured people carrier
  3. The head of Norfolk's adult social services has collapsed and died during a meeting
  4. Updates on Thursday, 21 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the Norfolk Live team today.

Our main story has been the attempted abduction of a serviceman at RAF Marham. Norfolk Police says it is "unable to discount terrorism" at this stage of the investigation.

At least two people were involved in the attack, and a dedicated hotline has been set up for anyone who has information.

Other stories in the news include the sudden death of Harold Bodmer, the boss of adult social care for the county, and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital being put into financial special measures.

We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00. 

Watch: School says bye to boys who lost mother

Nine-year-old Kallum and 7-year-old Jack had an end of term to remember at Edward Worlledge Primary School in Great Yarmouth.

Their mother died of cancer a year ago and her dying wish was for her sons to move to America and start a new life with their aunt.

The school even organised a fundraising campaign which collected £35,000 towards the cost of the move and adoption process.

They were treated like celebrities on their last day at school and were even driven home by the East Coast Truckers.  

School says bye to boys who lost mother

Overnight weather: Staying dry with clear spells

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will be a mostly fine end to the day, with sunny spells. Turning a little cloudy in places with the small chance of an isolated shower. 

Most places staying dry overnight with clear spells, and lows of 16C (61F).

Friday's weather map

Tomorrow will start dry with sunny spells, with cloud building during the day. Mainly dry, with a top temperature of 24C (75F).

Get more on the forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

RAF Marham: Hotline set up after attempted abduction

Detectives investigating the attempted abduction of a serviceman at RAF Marham have set up a dedicated hotline for anyone who has information.

Police are urging members of the public to call 0800 056 0154 or 0207 158 0011, particularly if they saw a dark coloured people carrier in the King's Lynn area yesterday.

Hospital 'determined to improve financial position'

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is one of five NHS health providers that have been placed in financial special measures today.

The hospital, as seen from the road, with police car and private vehicle on the road

Mark Davies, the chief executive, said the board was "determined to improve the financial position while ensuring the best possible care for patients is maintained".

"We recently successfully applied to be part of a voluntary national financial improvement programme run by NHS Improvement, and we are keen to benefit from the expert support that this provides," he said.

"Our staff are doing an amazing job but they are under significant daily pressure which is not sustainable.

"This is why our plan to expand our services is crucial in both providing the best possible care to patients and bringing our finances back into balance."

Social services boss 'held in high regard'

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Wendy Thomson, managing director of Norfolk County Council, and council leader Cliff Jordan, issued a joint statement paying tribute to Harold Bodmer, the leader of adult social services who collapsed and died during a meeting yesterday.

"Harold Bodmer's election as President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services was a sign of the high regard in which he was held, not only in Norfolk but nationally," they said.

"He had launched his presidential year with the quiet competence we would expect, taking meetings in Downing Street and interviews with the Today program in his stride.

"He chose to use the platform afforded by this position to promote the cause of social care, and highlight in particular the need to rethink our approach to home care.

"We will find ways to honour his commitment to these causes in the coming weeks."

Harold Bodmer was 'committed to Norfolk and social services'

The other big story in Norfolk today has been the sudden death of Harold Bodmer, who collapsed and died during a council meeting yesterday.

In a statement, the county council said he would be "deeply missed, remembered for his kindness, generosity and commitment to Norfolk and social service".

Harold Bodmer
Norfolk County Council

Mr Bodmer was 61-years-old and was the executive director of Norfolk's adult social services.

He was born and educated in Rhodesia and came to England to continue his career in social work, joining Norfolk as assistant director in 2003 following various roles in London and Cambridgeshire. Three years later he was director.

Mr Bodmer leaves a wife, Julie, a daughter, Holly, and sons Joel and Sam.

How the TV channels are reporting the Marham incident

  • Forces TV: Warning to forces after bid to abduct serviceman from RAF base
  • ITV News: Police hunt men who threatened serviceman with knife at RAF Marham
  • Sky News: RAF knife threat treated as attempted abduction 

And here's the local coverage...

  • East Anglian Daily Times: RAF Marham incident being treated as attempted abduction, say Norfolk Police
  • EDP: Police not ruling out terrorism as two men attempt to abduct officer near airbase
  • Lynn News: Marham serviceman targeted in 'attempted abduction' - armed men on the loose
  • Wisbech Standard: RAF Marham on high alert after serviceman threatened with knife in abduction attempt

How the media is reporting the RAF Marham attempted abduction

The attempted abduction of a serviceman near RAF Marham is making the news throughout the country. Here's a look at how it's being reported:

  • Daily Express: RAF air crew told not to wear uniforms in public after 'terrorist' knife threat
  • Daily Mail: Police 'unable to discount terrorism' as motive after RAF base abduction bid
  • Daily Telegraph: RAF personnel on alert after knifepoint kidnap attempt near base
  • The Guardian: Police consider terrorism motive behind RAF abduction attempt
  • The Independent: Police hunting pair who threatened serviceman with knife
  • The Sun: Two 'Asian' knifemen who attacked RAF man outside airbase 'tried to abduct the serviceman'

Victim 'had headphones on during attack'

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

The RAF Marham serviceman who was attacked yesterday had headphones on while he was out jogging, police have said.

Police car

As a result, he can't recall what was said to him. He told police that the attacker placed his hand on his shoulder and wrist and started to pull him with force towards the parked people carrier.

The victim resisted, broke free and knocked the assailant on the floor. The second person emerged from the vehicle to help the first attacker.

RAF Marham victim 'a married man'

During the police press briefing it was made clear that the identity of the victim would not be revealed.

However, police said he was a married man and is based at RAF Marham.

Weapon used in RAF Marham attack 'some form of military-type knife'

Det Supt Paul Durham has described the knife used in the attack on the serviceman near RAF Marham.

"The handle is approx 3in long, the blade somewhere between 2.5 and 3in long," he said.

"It sounds like some form of military-type knife but in such a fast-moving dynamic incident such as this, the description isn't 100%."

Security threat 'unchanged'

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Dean said "the vigilance at RAF Marham and the wider community will be enhanced" after yesterday's incident.

Nick Dean

He added: "But in terms of the threat to national security, and particularly the military, there has been no change in terms of the security threat."  

RAF Marham victim 'very, very shaken'

The serviceman who was attacked near RAF Marham is "naturally very, very shaken" by the incident, police say.

Norfolk Police press conference

The press briefing was told the victim was receiving "significant support" from the RAF.

Spot of RAF Marham attack a 'regular running route' for servicemen

Police say the spot where a servicemen was attacked by two men is a "regular running route" for people at RAF Marham.

The press briefing was told it was a "well-trodden path".

'At least two people' involved in RAF Marham attack

Police say at least two people were involved in the incident at RAF Marham, but it's possible there were more.

A press briefing was told the victim was involved in a "melee" with two men, but there could have been others in the parked people carrier.

Police 'unable to discount terrrorism'

A police briefing has been told that the force is "unable at this time to discount terrorism" in the case of the RAF Marham attack.

However, other scenarios are "plausible" and are being considered.

Norfolk Police

RAF Marham: Press briefing at 15:00

Norfolk Police has called a press briefing for 15:00, when we may find out more about yesterday's incident.

RAF Marham incident 'deeply unpleasant'

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said it was "too early to draw any specific conclusions" about what is being treated as an attempted abduction near RAF Marham.

RAF Marham

"Our local police are very well equipped to work alongside the RAF Police to fully investigate this deeply unpleasant and cowardly incident," he said.

"At a time of ever-increasing threats from Islamic terrorists around the world we all need to be on sensible alert, but on no account should we allow incidents like this to detract from our normal way of life - that is why I am delighted that the RAF Marham Family Day will go ahead."

MP 'concerned' over RAF Marham attack

The Lord Chancellor and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, whose constituency includes RAF Marham, has issued a statement following the attempted abduction of a serviceman from the base yesterday.

"I know the investigation is ongoing and I am concerned when any member of the public or our service personnel are threatened in this manner," she said.

"I am in contact with both the station commander at Marham and Norfolk Constabulary to get an update on what has taken place."

Description of Marham suspects

Police have issued descriptions of the two suspects involved in the attempted abduction of a serviceman at RAF Marham yesterday:

  • Suspect 1 is described as between 20 and 30 years old, approximately 6ft (1.81m) tall, of athletic but stocky build, with dark hair, long on top, with a well-groomed beard. He was of Middle Eastern appearance with dark skin and wore dark casual clothing
  • Suspect 2 is described as between 20 and 30 years old, but younger than the first suspect, and of a slimmer build. Approximately 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall, he was clean shaven with short dark he.  He was also of Middle Eastern appearance and wore a white t-shirt and dark shorts.

The two men fled the scene in a dark coloured people carrier, and Det Supt Paul Durham says they're keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the vehicle in the King's Lynn area "but particularly towards Marham between midday and 6pm yesterday."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Motive for Marham attack 'remains unclear'

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Detailed inquiries are being carried out at the scene of an incident at RAF Marham yesterday when two men attempted to abduct a serviceman.

Police vehicles at RAF Marham

Det Supt Paul Durham, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, said the "motivation for the attack remains unclear and whilst we are currently unable to discount terrorism, there are a number of other possible hypotheses."

Squires Hill remains closed as police carry out patrols, house-to-house inquiries and more detailed searches.

Marham incident confirmed as attempted abduction

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Detectives have confirmed they're treating an incident at RAF Marham yesterday as an attempted abduction.

Police car at Marham

Between 14:55 and 15:26 at Squires Hill a serviceman in his 20s was approached by two men. 

One apparently shouted at him and made an attempt to grab him. The victim successfully fought him off, causing the suspect to fall to the ground.

The second man, who was armed with a knife, made to approach the victim, before helping his accomplice on the ground.   

The weapon has not been found.

The victim, who was not in uniform, ran off and was uninjured. 

BreakingRAF Marham incident treated as 'attempted abduction'

Detectives investigating an incident at RAF Marham yesterday, in which a serviceman was threatened with a knife by two men, have confirmed they're treating it as an attempted abduction.

Watch: Heightened security at RAF Marham

There's heightened security at RAF Marham today after a serviceman was threatened with a knife by two men yesterday. 

Norfolk Police is leading the investigation into the incident, which happened near the married quarters.

The victim was unhurt, and the two men drove away in a dark vehicle.  

Heightened security at RAF Marham

What does 'financial special measures' mean?

With the news that the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of five NHS providers placed into financial special measures, here's a quick guide to what it means:

  • Financial special measures sit alongside special measures for quality
  • NHS Improvements expects providers to address financial challenges with the same urgency as special measures requires for problems with quality of care
  • Providers in financial special measures will be expected to maintain, and where necessary, improve standards of quality during and after their financial recovery

Hospital in financial special measures

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of five NHS providers nationwide that have been placed in financial special measures.

Signage for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

The five hospitals will undergo a rapid review and agree a financial recovery plan.

A spokesman for NHS Improvements said: "This action could also include removal of autonomy over key spending decisions or, possibly, changes in leadership at providers."

BreakingHospital put into 'financial special measures'

We're hearing that the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been put into "financial special measures".

We'll keep you updated.

Council boss was 'universally liked'

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Tributes have been paid to Harold Bodmer, the head of adult social services who collapsed and died during a meeting yesterday afternoon.

Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council, says he "cannot think of a single man who has risen to the top of his profession as Harold did this year and been so universally liked".

"He was the very epitome of public service and of the caring professions," Mr Jordan said.

"It goes without saying that our thoughts are with his family at this very distressing time."

Shock at death of council boss

Council boss collapses and dies at meeting

Clare Worden

BBC Radio Norfolk

The head of Norfolk's adult social services department collapsed and died during a council meeting yesterday afternoon. 

Medical professionals who were attending the meeting were unable to revive Harold Bodmer, who was 61.

County Hall

Staff at the council are being offered support following his sudden death.

The flag at County Hall is flying at half mast, and formal meetings in the building have been cancelled today.

BreakingCouncil boss dies at meeting

The head of Norfolk's adult social services has collapsed and died during a meeting.

Russell Martin injury fear ahead of new season

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City's captain Russell Martin is struggling to be fit for the start of The Championship season. 

He's flown home from the club's pre-season trip to Austria to see a specialist about his back spasms. 

The Canaries lost 3-1 to Dukla Prague in their latest friendly yesterday, with Josh Murphy getting a late goal for them. 

Alex Neil speaks to BBC Radio Norfolk after Norwich City 1-3 Dukla Prague friendly

Weather: Warm sunny spells

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It's going to be another dry and warm day, with plenty of sunshine. 

It won't be as hot as recently, with a maximum temperature of 24C (75F).

BBC Weather has more information for you.   

Media checked at RAF Marham

There's heightened security at RAF Marham today, following yesterday's incident when a member of personnel was threatened with a knife by two men.

Our cameraman Shaun Whitmore has just sent us this photograph, and says "all media are being checked for firearms".

Two police officers and two members of the media being checked for weapons
Shaun Whitmore

RAF Marham home to nearly 10,000 people

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

RAF Marham is situated between Swaffham and Downham Market, just north of the A1122.

The west Norfolk airbase is home to nearly 10,000 people, including members of the RAF, Navy and Army, as well as the civil service and other staff.

Aerial map showing RAF Marham airbase

Marham houses front-line squadrons of the RAF's Tornado GR4 Force, which is focused on operations in the Middle East.

It's also home to The Tactical Imagery-Intelligence Wing, the No 3 (RAF) Force Protection Wing and the No 93 Expeditionary Armament Squadron, the RAF's specialist weapons support squadron.

The base is being redeveloped ahead of the arrival of the stealth jet, the Lightning II.

Airbase incident 'was attempted abduction'

Paul Moseley

BBC Radio Norfolk

Norfolk Police and The Ministry of Defence say they won't comment on reports that an incident at RAF Marham was an attempted abduction.

A serviceman was threatened with a knife yesterday afternoon by two men who haven't been found. 

The Eastern Daily Press is reporting that all personnel have been sent a memo warning them not to walk or cycle alone or be identified as military staff until the threat passes.

It also says that another memo described the incident as an "alleged abduction attempt".

Families Day will go ahead at airbase

Jill Bennett

BBC Radio Norfolk

I've been told that today's Families Day at RAF Marham will go ahead this afternoon.

It's a ticketed private event and I've already seen a lot of people coming on to the base to set up stalls.

Entrance to RAF Marham airbase

It's an important celebration for the station in its centenary year and is a way of saying thank you to friends and families who cope when service personnel are away on operations.

As well as a way of celebrating, it also helps raise money for service charities. 

RAF Marham to house advance warplanes

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

RAF Marham is a key airbase and is heavily involved in operations.

In a few years' time, two front-line squadrons of the world's most advance warplanes, the Lightning II, will be coming to the base, with a back-up training squadron.

Lightning II warplane on deck of ship

The west Norfolk airbase will be home to the first squadron of the jets from 2018, replacing the ageing GR4 Tornadoes, which will be retired from 2019.