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Police officer failed to arrest man with crack cocaine

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer - who failed to arrest a man found in possession of crack cocaine - has been given a final written warning.

It follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into a stop and search.

The incident was referred by the force in November 2017 after others raised concerns.

A hearing found the police constable had committed gross misconduct for failing to arrest the man for a drugs offence.

The officer had the grounds to arrest the suspect for a drugs offence but chose not to. The officer’s improper conduct and failure to appropriately handle and log evidence meant the man could not be subsequently prosecuted for any offence relating to the drugs found on him. His actions compromised the integrity of the investigation and also put his colleagues in a difficult position.”

OPC Regional Director Catrin Evans

A referral was also made to the Crown Prosecution Service as there was an indication a criminal offence may have been committed. The CPS decided not to authorise any charge.

Robot lawnmowers in council trial

Alison Johns

BBC South West

Robot lawnmowers are being used by a Devon council in a bid to save money and free up staff.

East Devon District Council is using the robot mowers for a trial period to mow its parks and green spaces. It will see if it can reduce costs and free up staff for other jobs.

Once the trial is over in the autumn, the council says it will assess the potential to roll-out more robot mowers across the district.

Withy pitches/EDDC

Takeaways dish up wheat, egg and milk to allergy sufferers

Alison Johns

BBC South West

Kebab shops in Devon and Somerset are being warned they must do more to provide safe food for allergy sufferers.

Inspections by the Trading Standards Service found more than 40% of kebab takeaways failed to comply with laws designed to keep consumers safe.

Officers visited 38 takeaways in Devon and Somerset. In five cases, milk was found in kebab meat without it being on the label. In 12 cases where officers said they had allergies to wheat, egg and milk, they were still served food which contained them.

Getty Images

Nineteen arrested in County Lines crackdown

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

As part of a national crackdown on County Lines drug gangs, 19 people have been arrested, thousands of pounds of drugs have been seized, as well as £81,000 cash.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers joined forces with Regional Organised Crime Units across the country for a national week of action to disrupt the activity of suspected County Lines networks.

County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines.

Police said the gangs are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults in order to move and store drugs and money, often using coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.

Between 13 and 20 May:

  • 19 people were arrested - 16 men and three women.
  • 33 vulnerable adults and two children were engaged for safeguarding purposes.
  • 49 suspected 'cuckooed' addresses - where drug dealers target the vulnerable - were visited.
  • Officers seized £81,187 in cash.
  • Suspected Class A drugs, including around £7,000 of cocaine, 45 wraps of heroin, crack cocaine, plus suspected cannabis and unknown tablets were also seized.
  • Seven weapons were seized including knives, a BB gun and an axe.
  • Nine mobile phones were seized, plus £25,000 of designer goods.

Throughout the week we have taken action against suspected individuals as well as giving support to young people and vulnerable people who are at risk from County Lines. Young people and vulnerable adults are exposed to physical and mental abuse from these organised networks, and in some instances are trafficked to places a long way from home.

Antony HartDet Supt

Project to help people make sustainable clothes choices

BBC Spotlight

Exeter University is running a new project which aims to encourage people to be more sustainable when choosing their clothes.


Volunteers have spent the year learning how to make clothes and mend and recycle old garments.

They have even been taught how to make their own fabric and wool.

How you can help medical science with hospital research

BBC Spotlight

Researchers have been encouraging people to take part in clinical trials to try to help further medical science.

The work being carried out by the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital covers a range of conditions.

It can involve taking a new medicine or having a pre-existing symptom regularly monitored.

They're also hoping to involve more children in their trials and there's more information on how to get involved here.

Weather: Fine, dry and sunny

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Early fog patches will quickly clear to leave another fine and dry day with some good periods of sunshine.

Some patchy fair weather cloud is likely to build as the day progresses, particularly along southern coastal areas.

Winds will be light and variable with sea breezes developing during the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17C (57 to 63F).

Dealing with mental health in low income communities, is not purely a medical problem
Dealing with mental health in low-income communities is not purely a medical problem, says new research.

Chelsea Flower Show: Interest takes root for SW growers

BBC Spotlight

Chelsea Flower Show

Horticultural exhibitors from the south west are showing off their skills to Her Majesty the Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show.

They have been putting their finishing touches to exhibits for the show ahead of judging.

One of those on display is the Duchess of Cambridge-designed garden titled Back to Nature, which is due to head to NHS Langdon in Dawlish after the event.

You can find more coverage of the show on the BBC website here.

Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea Flower Show

Authorised travellers sites could be created across Devon

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A network of authorised transit sites for gypsies and travellers to stay at across Devon could be created.

Councils across the county have agreed to seek a more coordinated way to deal with influx of travellers who often turn up at "high profile and unsuitable" locations.

Devon County Council, working with district councils, is exploring the creation of a "network" of pieces of land across Devon, with one or two in each district area, in which gypsies and travellers can be directed to if they turn up in those unsuitable locations.

A willingness to explore negotiated stopping has been agreed already. It would means that local authorities would no longer resort immediately to legal means.

Instead they would direct travelling families to stay, for limited periods of time, on land already identified and agreed where it isn’t causing great inconvenience to anyone.

Travellers in car park
Daniel Clark

Pioneering £2.7m project will help dementia sufferers

BBC Radio Devon

A £2.7m project led by the University of Plymouth will use artificial intelligence to personalise live radio, to help people living alone with dementia.

Radio Me will seamlessly "remix" live digital broadcasts so that listeners receive personalised reminders, information and music.

It's hoped that will improve their quality of life and keep them at home for longer.

The AI software will be created at the university and trialled for 50 months in Cambridgeshire and Sussex.


Weather: Bright or sunny spells, but rain possible

BBC Weather

There will be bright or sunny spells throughout Monday.

It should be dry but there is a chance of a few showers developing, most likely this afternoon. Feeling pleasantly warm in the sunshine.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17C (57 to 63F).


Weather: Rain overnight but a bright day tomorrow

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain may linger through the course of the night.

However, it should become largely dry by dawn, though a few mist patches may develop.

Minimum temperature: 7 to 10C (45 to 50F)

weather chart

Tomorrow, any mist will clear early.

It will be a bright day with sunny spells, variable amounts of cloud and a few potentially sharp showers.

Maximum temperature: 13 to 16C (55 to 61F)

South Hams to consider climate request

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The South Hams will consider a request from Teignbridge to work together to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Teignbridge District Council recently declared a climate emergency and set a target of being carbon neutral by 2025, and earlier this week, sent an email to South Hams District Council asking them to join them and work together.

A packed public gallery of climate change campaigners at Follaton House saw the council eventually agree to consider Teignbridge’s request, as well as to consider working with Devon County Council.

Climate campaigners

Scone row causes ‘split’ in the Exeter Chiefs camp

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

With the final Premiership league game of the season tomorrow, there are signs of a deep ‘split’ within the ranks at Exeter Chiefs - over the correct way to make a cream tea.

While Devonian centre Sam Hill is a believer in cream first, Cornish wing Jack Nowell has publicly shot him down on Twitter, calling his view “ridiculous”.

Traditionally, some believe a cream tea should be served on a split rather than a scone, but we had better not get into that.

The Chiefs play Northampton tomorrow, ahead of the playoffs that begin next weekend.


Senior Devon councillor denies sex attacks

Jenny Kumah

BBC South West politics reporter

A former leader of Devon County Council has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault at Exeter Crown Court.

Brian Greenslade, 71, from Barnstaple is accused of the indecent assault of two women between January 1994 and December 1995.

Mr Greenslade is also charged with the sexual assault of another woman between June 2005 and January 2006.

He was granted bail and a trial date has been set for 24 February 2020.

Brian Greenslade

Memorial to historic regiment to be unveiled

BBC Spotlight


A unique memorial created in Devon, which commemorates more than 300 years of service by the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, will be officially revealed today.

The 18ft (5.5m) statue was built by sculptor Andrew Sinclair and weighs 1.5 tonnes.

It recognises the service of more than 205,000 men, as well as the families who supported them.

It will be unveiled at a ceremony in Halifax later.

Converted camper and caravan raise money for RNLI

A man rescued by the RNLI has converted a camper and caravan to fundraise for the charity
A man rescued by the RNLI has converted a camper and caravan to look like lifeboats to raise money for the charity.

Jared Colclough from Creech St Michael, near Taunton, was rescued when his boat sank off the coast of Exmouth in 2015.

Dawn French weighs in on 'jam or cream first' debate


Weather: Cloud, sunny spells and showers later

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

It will be a morning of variable amounts of cloud and sunny spells, the best of which will be in the west.

Through the morning, more cloud will invade from the east.

This will be followed by some isolated outbreaks of initially light rain, but some heavier bursts may be possible in the afternoon.

This rain will be very patchy, and not all of us will see it, especially the further west you are.

Winds will be light north easterly, becoming northerly and increasing moderate in the west.

Maximum Temperature: 11 to 14C (52 to 57F).


Travel: Congestion near Devon County Show

BBC News Travel

Heading towards the Devon County Show there's busy traffic southbound on the M5 at junction 30, then between Clyst St Mary and Westpoint on the A3052 there's slow traffic in both directions.

On the A376 Exmouth Road traffic is also heavy northbound towards Clyst St Mary.

There is also busy traffic on the M5 northbound around Exeter.

Robots and insects: The farming answer to climate change

Anna Varle

BBC News Online


Farming leaders in Devon say it's time for agriculture to be recognised as part of the solution to climate change - not the problem.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change says the industry needs to make major changes to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2050.

But researchers involved in a multi-million pound project say they're already looking at a number of innovative ways to do this, including using robotics to harvest crops and farming insects to feed animals and humans


Professor David Hosken, a researcher at the University of Exeter's Penryn campus, is investigating the use of crickets to feed animals and people.

The ultimate aim of the project is to provide a protein source that has low environmental impact...I think it could be massive, actually. In 50 years time, I'll be surprised if large proportions of our protein intake are not supplied by insects."

Professor David HoskenUniversity of Exeter

School funding cuts 'having impact on mental health'

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Devon's Director of Health says the dire state of finance in schools is putting pressure on the county's mental health services.

Professor Virginia Pearson told Devon County Council's Cabinet the cuts in funding meant schools did not have the resources to provide support, which was costing the council a huge amount of money in treating people at a later date.

In presenting this year's public health annual report, Professor Pearson set out a ten point plan to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the population of Devon.

The ten recommendations include:

  • The promotion of mental health and wellbeing in schools and educational settings.
  • Recognising and addressing the mental health risks associated with poverty, poor housing and lack of decent employment.
  • Implementation of recommendations concerning maternal mental health and women from vulnerable groups.
  • Recognising the potential impact of caring on carers' own mental health and wellbeing.

Without mental health there is no health, and it is increasingly recognised that we should be giving the same priority to mental health as physical health in terms of prevention, early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation. Poor mental health carries an economic and social cost of over a hundred billion pounds each year in England."

Professor Virginia PearsonDevon's Director of Health

Young farmer doesn't have a cow about show appearances

BBC Spotlight

A farmer with her own herd of Ayrshire cows is competing in the first day of the Devon County Show.

Now that may not sound particularly unusual, but Anna Mortimer, from Crediton, is just 12 years old.

She started showing cattle when she was four and got her very own first calf to rear when she was eight.

Now she has her own herd of cows, and, although she's been competing in the show since she was seven, she said she was still excited about the event.

Anna Mortimer

It just feels better with your own calves to try and learn new things."

Anna Mortimer

Sub-postmasters wanting to quit 'in limbo'

BBC Spotlight

Post office counter

Sub-postmasters in the South West say they are in limbo as they wait for new operators to take on post offices in their communities.

Steve Pile said he had been waiting seven years for a new operator to be found in Charmouth in Dorset. He is retiring on Friday without anyone taking over.

In Trewoon in Cornwall, Sally Bourton said she could not afford to leave until another post office was established at another shop in the village.

This is despite the Trewoon branch earmarked for what Post Office Ltd calls its transformation programme in 2012, meaning it could be moved into another shop or taken over by another business.

Post Office Ltd describes such closures as temporary and its planned changes would lead to a sustainable network across the country.

Devon County Show: Animal judging gets under way

BBC Spotlight

It’s a beautiful start to the Devon County Show, with displays and judging under way already.

You can find the timetable for the show on its official website.

Horse judging at Devon County Show
Peter Trembath

Devon Link Road: £93m upgrade work to begin next year

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The major £93m upgrades to the North Devon Link Road are set to begin in November 2020.

The improvement scheme to widen a 7.5km stretch of the A361 for a stretch of carriageway had planning permission granted earlier this year.

Wednesday’s Devon County Council cabinet meeting saw councillors agree to progress with plans for a pedestrian and cyclist underpass at Bishop’s Tawton Junction and a pedestrian and cyclist bridge at Landkey Junction.

Link road

Weather: Dry with some hazy spells of sunshine

BBC Weather

A fine Thursday morning with some hazy spells of sunshine.


A little more cloud is expected in the afternoon but it will remain dry and bright with some hazy sunny spells.

Feeling cooler compared to Wednesday.

Maximum temperature: 14 to 17C (57 to 63F).

Devon County Show 2019: Gates prepare to open

Gordon Sparks

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

The Devon County Show kicks off on Thursday, promising to celebrate the very best of rural life.

It may be looking quiet here at the ground at the moment, but farmers and exhibitors have been preparing their livestock and produce for months in preparation for the three-day event, which attracts up to a 100,000 people.

Drivers are being warned to expect heavy traffic around the showground at Westpoint.

Devon County Showground

Bathing season begins in the South West

BBC Radio Devon

Pendower beach
bathing water quality signs
Environment Agency

The quality of the water on South West beaches will be under the spotlight later as the bathing season gets officially under way.

The Environment Agency is responsible for carrying out sampling and testing from now until the end of September.

Last year, 96% of beaches in Devon and Cornwall were rated as either "excellent" or "good".

More information about bathing water quality can be found here.

Weather: A dry day with sunshine

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Any early mist patches will lift to leave a dry day with sunshine.

The sunshine will be hazy as times due to high cloud but it will be warm for most.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

weather map

Beaches across Devon and Cornwall celebrate Blue Flags

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

Beaches across Devon and Cornwall have gained the coveted Blue Flag awards.

Fourteen Devon beaches have been given coveted annual awards by Keep Britain Tidy which recognise places for their cleanliness, safety and facilities, with seven of those beaches within Torbay alone.

Among those named are Torbay's Torre Abbey Sands and Meadfoot Beach, as well as Dawlish Warren and the beach at Westward Ho! (pictured). Teignmouth has also received the prestigious gong for the first time.

Keep Britain Tidy has also announced that Coryton Cove in Dawlish, Dawlish Town and Shaldon's Ness Cove retained their seaside awards.

In Cornwall, seven beaches have been given coveted Blue Flag.

Among those named are Falmouth's Gyllyngvase Beach, as well as Porthmeor in St Ives and Trevone Bay. The privately-owned Carbis Bay is also a winner.

Westward Ho!

Weather: Staying dry and fine, winds easing

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Staying fine on Tuesday evening with plenty of late sunshine, but staying rather breezy.

It will then be dry overnight with mainly clear skies. The brisk winds will start to ease slightly.

Minimum temperature: 3 to 6C (37 to 43F).


On Wednesday it will be another dry and fine day with plenty of sunshine, but there could be a little patchy cloud developing.

The winds will be lighter.

Maximum temperature: 15 to 18C (59 to 64F).

South West patients needed for depression study

BBC Radio Devon

Patients in the South West are needed for the biggest ever study into depression and anxiety.

The Devon Partnership NHS Trust and its sister trust in Cornwall will be encouraging patients to take part in a study exploring the genetic links to mental ill-health.

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders worldwide, with one in three people in the UK experiencing symptoms during their lifetime.


Recruits are now being sought for the biggest ever study of its kind - the GLAD study - short for Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression.

It's a collaboration between the the National Institute for Health Research, the mental health charity MQ, patients and service users.

More than 1,600 people have taken part in mental health research in the South West in the last financial year.

Unemployment at 2.4%

BBC Business News

Unemployment rate chart

Unemployment in the south west was 2.4% in the first three months of the year.

The UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8%, its lowest since late 1974.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48264511

Weather: Plenty of sunshine but breezy

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

It will be a dry and fine day with lots of sunshine.

However, it will be fairly breezy too with moderate to fresh winds.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

weather map

Head teacher 'serves lunch' and 'mends loos'

Jenny Kumah

BBC South West politics reporter

A head teacher in Devon says he's having to serve lunches and mend toilets because of a lack of funds.

Paul Gosling from Exeter Road School in Exmouth is also consulting on reducing the number of classroom assistants by a third because of budget pressures.

The government says more money is going into education than ever before but the county council says each pupil in Devon receives £294 less than the national average.

Local Conservative councillor, James McInness is the chair of the campaign group F40 which represents the lowest funded education authorities in England.

Later, he's meeting MPs in Westminster and asking for an additional £3.7bn for schools and special needs provision in England.


If we don't take action, it's really starting to have an effect across the country in terms of the actual education attainment and exams. We're going to see a downturn if we're not careful and I'm sure the government wants to see education in this country improve constantly, so we do need this extra money.

James McInnessDevon County Council

Council 'making progress' after 'inadequate' report

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Torbay Council is “starting to make some progress” in improving children’s services almost a year after they were judged inadequate for a second time, according to Ofsted inspectors.

It was the second monitoring visit since the council’s children’s services were declared inadequate for a second time last June.

The visit by two inspectors in April followed “serious and widespread child protection concerns” identified in January.

Torbay Council

A report after the April visit said: “The local authority is starting to make some progress, from an extremely low base, in improving services for its children and young people, but these improvements remain exceedingly fragile.”

Torbay council’s director of children’s services Alison Botham welcomed the recognition by inspectors of the hard work and commitment by staff and managers, and added: “I know that there is still much to be done.”

South West weather: Sunshine continues

BBC Weather

It's going to stay sunny into Monday evening and there will be a dry night with clear skies, although it will remain rather breezy with moderate or fresh south-easterly winds.

Minimum temperature overnight: 3 to 6C.

Tuesday is set to remain dry and fine, with plenty of sunshine, although high level cloud will tend to build through the day, making the sunshine a little hazy at times.

Winds will continue to be moderate or fresh east or south-easterly.

Maximum temperature: 15 to 18C.





Day of action to reinstate GWR buffet car

BBC Radio Devon

Campaigners calling for Great Western Railway to "bring back the buffet car" have been at Plymouth station.

Members of the RMT Union said the removal of the refreshment carriage from the new Intercity Express trains was a step backwards, and they were highlighting their case at the station.

RMT action

Union spokesman Mick Cash said the replacement trolley service could prove difficult for staff, particularly when trains were busy.

A petition to reinstate the buffet car has been signed by more than 1,700 people.

GWR has been asked for its response to the action.

Devon council tackles climate change with cash pledge

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A drive to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change is being backed by a cash pledge from Devon County Council.

Wednesday's cabinet meeting will see councillors asked to set aside £250,000 towards an initiative to persuade organisations, communities and individuals to do more to reduce global warming.

The cash comes from an emergency fund the council holds and has been used to create the Climate Change Emergency Reserve.

The funds have been reallocated from the 2018/19 budget, for which a £63,000 underspend was recorded - with the cabinet to be asked to approve the allocation of the funds to get the climate change initiative moving.

Council leader John Hart has also called for a Devon Carbon Plan to be produced that would set out how everyone - from the largest organisations through towns and villages right through to individuals - is going to reduce emissions.

climate protesters at county hall in Exeter
Daniel Clark

We clearly can't do this alone, but I want Devon to take a lead in bringing organisations, communities and individuals together to take action. This is an issue that affects us all and requires action from all of us from large-scale corporate concerns to the individual resident."

John HartLeader of Devon County Council

Drivers nicked by 'undercover' police lorry

BBC Radio Cornwall

More than 150 dangerous drivers have been picked up on roads in Devon and Cornwall in the past year in an operation using unmarked lorry cabs - so officers can see down into cars and vans.

Police lorry

Police said a total of 167 offences were recorded, including dozens of people using mobile phones or not wearing seat belts.

Football: Weale to leave Exeter City

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Exeter City goalkeeping coach Chris Weale is leaving the club after a season in the role.

The 37-year-old former Yeovil Town and Leicester City goalkeeper is leaving to be closer to his family.

Chris Weale
Getty Images

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working here and developing my skills and, hopefully, I have had a positive influence on not only the group but the squad overall," he told the club website.

"However, during the season, the time commitment has put a strain on my family and on reflection, and, giving it a lot of consideration, I will be leaving my position as first-team goalkeeping coach.

"I will stay and support the club’s recruitment of the first team goalkeeping coach and goalkeepers however Matt (Taylor, Exeter City manager) sees fit."