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Team to help children involved with crime

A team dedicated to helping children involved in crime in Norfolk has been set up by the county council.

Drug den
Norfolk Police

In the 18 months to June, one in five arrests for drug offences involved children, according to figures supplied by Norfolk Police.

Councillor Penny Carpenter said the Child Criminal Exploitation team would attempt to help children involved in criminal activity to get their lives back on track.

"Children from all backgrounds are being groomed by criminals," she said.

"These children are victims – we want to protect them and give them a future."

The team, which comprises personnel from youth offending, social workers and a police analyst, has been allocated £250,000, redeployed from existing social services budgets, a council spokesman said.

Man and teenager threatened with knives

A man in his 20s was treated in hospital after he was threatened with a knife by a group of people in Norwich in the Mousehold Heath area late on Saturday night.

The group wanted to know what was in the man's bag and he was punched and later taken to hospital with injuries to his face.

Two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, were arrested.

Earlier in the evening police responded to reports of a robbery in Anglia Square in Norwich, after a teenager was threatened with a knife.

A 14-year-old was arrested and a knife seized. Police are not linking the robberies.

Group that supports bereaved parents in closure threat

A support group for parents and families who have lost a baby is in danger of closing because of a shortage of volunteers.

Sands works in Norfolk and it wants to recruit extra befrienders to support bereaved parents over the phone and in person at group meetings.

Bereaved parent

"When your baby dies, you feel like the only person in the world it's happened to," bereaved mother Laura Burdett said.

"No-one knows what to do or say, so often they say nothing, leaving you feeling isolated and utterly alone in your grief."

Sands also works in partnership with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals and the James Paget Hospital to support them in providing the best care and facilities possible for bereaved parents.

Parents given time off for children's first school day
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Education minister resigns directorship from Inspiration Trust

The founding chairman of the Norfolk-based academy chain, the Inspiration Trust, has resigned his directorship of the company.

In April, a Labour peer questioned why Lord Agnew was still a trustee and member of the trust at the same time as he was concerned it was a conflict of interest.

The Inspiration Trust says Lord Agnew's increased workload with the Department for Education means he doesn't have to time to commit to them moving forward.

According to its website, Lord Agnew and his wife remain members of the Trust.

Lord Agnew, who set up the Trust in 2012, resigned as its chairman last September, after he was appointed an education minister.

Police forces work together to combat hare coursing

Police forces across the East of England are working together to combat hare coursing.

The activity, which involves dogs chasing and often killing hares, has been illegal since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004.

It is often highly organised and involves significant sums of money with people betting on the outcome.

Representatives from police, Natural England and National Farmers' Union
Hertfordshire Police

Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex police forces are working in partnership with the National Farmers' Union, Natural England and the Country Land and Business Association to tackle the activity which can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to land.

Officers will be carrying out patrols in "hot-spot areas" and "dealing robustly with offenders".

Wildlife advisor hunts for injured seal seen off coast

A wildlife advisor is hoping to capture a seal which has been spotted off the North Norfolk coast with a fishing hook and float embedded in its eye.

Kevin J Murphy, who founded Norfolk Wildlife Rescue, has blamed anglers for discarding or losing tackle which then endangers marine or river animals.

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He is setting out on his kayak to track down the seal which was photographed on Monday by an unnamed woman on a boating trip.

"She said the animal seemed to say to her 'please rescue me', but that's not an easy task because they're big animals and difficult to handle in the water," he said.

"Ideally we would use a tranquilising dart and bring the seal to land to remove the fishing gear, but we need a vet to to assess the weight of the animal so we give the right dose and then treat it."

Great Yarmouth care home resident died after being pushed over

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A 86-year-old resident of a care home, which was rated inadequate by a watchdog, died in hospital two months after being injured when he was pushed over by another resident, an inquest has heard.

Salisbury Residential Home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Keith Barry, who was living at Salisbury Residential Home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, suffered a fractured femur when he was pushed over by a man who was suffering from dementia - called Mr R - on 28 October 2017.

The fracture was fixed at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, but Mr Barry suffered a chest infection and died from pneumonia in December that year.

Det Sgt Paul Claxton, of Norfolk Police, said there was no evidence the staff or home were neglectful and that it was an unfortunate and spontaneous incident.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake delivered a narrative verdict in which she said the home had addressed issues over concern about record keeping and communication.

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Fire started deliberately near Breydon Bridge

Firefighters dealt with a fire in a field close to Breydon Bridge in Great Yarmouth at about 09:50 this morning.

The fire service says it was started deliberately.

'Too few homes' being built in county

Not enough houses are being built in Norfolk, according to figures released by local councils to the BBC.

Row of houses
Getty Images

The data shows the county consistently failed to reach government house-building targets each year since the beginning of this century from 2001 to 2017.

The government says Norfolk should be building 4,106 dwellings a year but the district councils' own assessments puts the figure at 3,989.

But over the whole period the county has averaged 3,600 homes, a 10% shortfall.

The leanest years were 2009 to 2015 but last year, for the first time in nine years, the county exceeded government targets by building more than 4,100 new homes.

Since 2001 more than 58,000 homes have been built in the county.

Witnesses sought after pensioner attacked in robbery

A pensioner was robbed by four men who took his mobility scooter, police said.

The incident happened on Saturday at about 20:30 on Camperdown in Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk Police said one of the men pushed the 77-year-old man off his scooter and then restrained him by lying on top of him while the other three put the vehicle in the back of a grey-blue van.

Officers said the victim was shaken by the experience but did not receive any physical injuries.

Police are appealing for witnesses, saying all the suspects were in their 20s and were wearing dark hooded jumpers/jackets, one of which had a distinctive white line around the hood trim.

Severe accident: A47 Norfolk both ways

BBC News Travel

A47 Norfolk both ways severe accident, between Runham Road and A1064.

A47 Norfolk - A47 blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between Runham Roundabout and Acle Roundabout, because of an accident.

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

Growth in Neighbourhood Watch in Norfolk

The number of people joining Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Norfolk has more than tripled since 2015.

Neighbourhood Watch scheme sign

There are now more than 350 groups in the county after a national rebrand two years ago.

Bill Forcett, a co-ordinator of a new scheme in Shipdham near Dereham, said the resurgence of neighbourhood watch was down to a couple of factors.

"I think it is mainly due to the increase in the amount of rural crime that is happening and due to our stretched police force," he said.

Trade unionists oppose Norfolk PCC's fire service 'power grab'

Plans by Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner to take over the fire service are being opposed by King's Lynn trade unionists.

Lorne Green

The town's trades council said it was opposing what it called a "power grab" by Lorne Green (pictured).

A public consultation has been under way and Mr Green said he would do a better job if he took over from the county council.

But King's Lynn and District Trades Council secretary Jo Rust said it was a waste of money.

"The costs of this consultation so far could have paid for two full-time posts," she said.

"This is some kind of power grab. The cost of testing his argument is going to continue to use much needed vital funds that could have gone towards frontline services."

Mr Green has argued combining the governance of the police and fire services would end a "duplication of time, effort and resources".

Fire threatens racecourse in Great Yarmouth

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service says a blaze in Great Yarmouth threatened a holiday park, a golf course and racecourse last night.

The fire seen from the racecourse
Sarah Lynn

It broke out just before 17:00 on up to 30 hectares of grass dunes near the Seashore Holiday Park and Great Yarmouth Racecourse, but was soon brought under control.

The 18:20 race was delayed by 20 minutes as a precaution, said executive director of the racecourse Glenn Tubby.

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Rail cables damaged by fire mended but delays continue

Network Rail says work to replace signalling cables destroyed by fire have now been completed and rail services on the Norwich to London Liverpool Street should be returning to normal.

However, passengers are being warned by Greater Anglia that a dozen or so services between east London and Essex will be cancelled or amended by the high temperatures.

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A points failure at Ilford was to blame for some of the delays according to Network Rail.