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Merseyside Police unit to target teen crime

Merseyside Police will set up a unit dedicated to stopping young people becoming involved in violent crime, the area's police commissioner has said.

On Monday, a BBC investigation revealed Liverpool teenagers are being offered up to £1,000 to stab other youngsters.

Merseyside Police stock image

Commissioner Jane Kennedy said the new Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will "bolster the response to serious violence and knife crime".

It will be supported by £3.37m from the government's Serious Violence Fund.

North West weather: A damp start but brighter later

After a damp start, things will brighten up in the afternoon with sunny spells likely in most places.

Temperatures will climb to highs of 19C.

North West weather: Turning wet overnight

BBC Weather

Northern parts of the region will hang onto sunshine into the evening, while cloud is starting to build further south.

Rain will move in overnight with temperatures falling as low as 9C.

North West weather: Turning wet overnight

All change for Liverpool's bus routes

Nearly half of the bus routes serving Liverpool city centre are being overhauled in sweeping network changes.

Merseytravel and the region's combined authority are redrawing routes as part of the city council's £45m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme, which aims to cut emissions by introducing pedestrian-only areas on Lime Street and the Strand.

Bus in Liverpool

Cross-city buses between Queen Square and Liverpool One Bus Station will replace some services that run through the city centre.

Councillor Liam Robinson, who chairs the region’s transport committee, said: “Some people will be able to get on and off where they do now, others may be closer to their end destination and some may need to walk a bit further."

A consultation is under way and the proposals will come into force from January 2020.

Brexit referendum aftermath sees 'rise in extremism'

BBC Radio Manchester

Political extremism has increased since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the head of terrorism investigations in the North West has told BBC Radio Manchester.

Armed police officer
Getty Images

Det Supt Will Chatterton said dealing with far-right extremism was a real challenge, with "open hostility" towards politicians.

He said the unit's cases included "horrific sentiments" posted online.

The Home Office said it was "committed to stamping out extremism in all its forms".

Weather: Bright spells break through showers

BBC Weather

This afternoon will have bright spells together with a few showers although these should tend to fade away later on.

BBC Weather forecast in the North West of England

Blustery, with a brisk south-westerly wind. Highs of 17C.

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Weather: Showers and brisk winds

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Cloudy today with some scattered showers at times.

BBC Weather forecast for the North West of England

The showers should become isolated in the afternoon. Windy with a brisk south-westerly wind. Highs of 17C.

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Weather: Sunny spells and showers

BBC Weather

The rain should continue to peter out to leave sunny spells and a few showers through the rest of this afternoon.

Highs of 17C.

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Ambulance crews battled to save man who fell into lake

Police say the man who died after falling into Windermere earlier this week was 57 and from Heversham, near Milnthorpe.

Emergency services were called to Glebe Road, one of the busiest tourist areas in the Lake District, just before 13:00 on Wednesday, and medical staff from the ambulance and air ambulance tried in vain to save the man's life.

Police say the coroner has been informed, and they have no reason to be suspicious about the man's death.

Weather: More rain on the way, then brightening up

BBC Weather

A cloudy and wet start with persistent and heavy rain in places.

Rain should gradually ease and clear during the day with some sunny spells expected this afternoon.

Highs of 17C.

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Weather: Rain expected to ease

BBC Weather

This afternoon should see rain easing and becoming more intermittent - although it will remain rather cloudy.

A cool day in store, with highs of 12C.

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Wirral hospital warns of motorway flooding

Patients and visitors attending a hospital in Wirral have been warned to avoid a motorway junction due to flooding.

Wirral NHS Hospitals Trust, which runs Arrowe Park Hospital, has warned patients to avoid Junction 3 of the M53.

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Weather: Another wet day in store

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy this morning with widespread rain becoming persistent and heavy in some areas.

BBC Weather forecast for the North West of England

The Met Office has issued a yellow flood warning, which is in place until 12:00.

But the rain should ease this afternoon and become more intermittent. A cool day, with highs of 13C.

Read more from BBC Weather

North West weather: Wet and breezy

BBC Weather

Most parts of the region will see plenty of rain throughout Tuesday.

A brisk north-easterly wind will mean temperatures struggle to highs of 13C.

North West weather: Wet and breezy

Today's weather: Don't forget your brolly!

Today will start out sunny for most of the region but rain will move in later. The further north of the region will stay drier for longer. Highs of 18C.

The North West's weather forecast for Monday 10 June 2019

Weather for Monday 10 June 2019

The North West's weather forecast for Monday 10 June 2019

Reward offered over Yusuf Sonko murder

A £20,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to the conviction of those who murdered 18-year-old Yusuf Sonko in Toxteth in June 2017, Merseyside Police say.

Yusuf Sonko
Family handout

Mr Sonko died in hospital after being shot on Tagus Street, behind the Lodge Lane shops, at about 20:30 on 2 June.

A police spokesman said a number of men had been arrested over his death, but all have been released under investigation.

The force has also put out an image of Jason Curry again, who they still want to speak to in connection with what happened.

Jason Curry
Merseyside Police

Det Ch Insp Mark Baker said:

We hope that the second anniversary of the tragic death of Yusuf will serve as a reminder of the devastation that gun crime causes to families and communities, and the importance of telling us what you know.

Serious investigations can take time, and we still believe that people within the L8 and wider communities hold information which may be vital to putting those responsible before the courts.

Yusuf's family have continually appealed, marched and pleaded with people to share this information, and I can only emphasise how vital this is to giving them some form of justice and closure to ease their pain.

Boy, 15 'shaken' after being threatened at knifepoint

A 15-year-old boy was left "shaken and upset" after an attempted robbery at knifepoint in St Helens as he walked home from school.

Queens Park, St Helens

Merseyside Police said four youths demanded his phone as he walked through Queens Park on Lingholme Road at about 15:15 BST on Wednesday.

When he refused one of the gang produced a knife but the group left when they spotted other people in the park.

Det Ch Insp Craig Sumner said: “For a young teenager to be threatened at knifepoint in broad daylight has understandably left him shaken and upset."

Southport man sought over prison recall

Merseyside Police are appealing for information about a man who has breached the terms of his release.

Thomas Rigby
Merseyside Police

Thomas Rigby, 25, from Southport, who was released from jail in 2018, is wanted on "prison recall", police said.

Officers want to speak to him in connection with an offence of criminal damage at a shop on Hampton Road in Southport in February, and malicious communications in March.

Rain stops play in Liverpool again

Lancashire 449, Leicestershire 288 & 26-1

Just two more overs managed on Merseyside and off they come again - so they are taking lunch.

It is starting to look like Lancashire are going to be denied the chance of victory by the weather for the second game running, following last week's two lost days in Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College.

Time for BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae to put his hat on again . . .

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Foxes not following the sun

Lancashire 449, Leicestershire 288 & 5-1 (match resumes 11:00)

Leicestershire's Mark Cosgrove says one of the things holding back the Foxes has been the generally poor early summer weather. And it has not been at its best for them again in Liverpool this week.

"It's been tough this season," the Australian told BBC Radio Leicester. "It feels like we've never seen the sun. As soon as we get our pads on the lights come on and the clouds come in."

Cosgrove hit a season's best 70 against Lancashire at Aigburth which, aided by 87 from South African Dieter Klein and 37 apiece from debutant wicketkeeper Harry Swindells and Callum Parkinson, came within 12 runs of saving the follow-on.

But the Foxes, 5-1 overnight for the loss of nightwatchman Chris Wright, still believe they can save the game.

Mark Cosgrove was LBW at Liverpool to fellow thirty-something Graham Onions
Rex Features
Mark Cosgrove was LBW at Liverpool to fellow thirty-something Graham Onions

"We're really disappointed not to avoid the follow-on because the boys at the lower end batted so well," said Cosgrove.

"It's a pretty nice wicket - you might get the odd one jump up at you or keep low but most of those are every half hour or so and it's not one of those pitches that's a minefield. We showed there are no demons and that we can bat really well and deep. You never know - if we bat well in those first two session we might even get a little lead and you never know where that could take us at the back of the game."

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Man arrested after doorman assaulted

A man has been arrested after a doorman in St Helens was punched and kicked.

Westfield Street, St Helens

Police were called to Westfield Street at about 02:50 on Monday to reports that a 40-year-old man had been assaulted in the town centre.

The man received grazing to his arms and was taken to hospital for assessment, Merseyside Police said.

A 24-year-old man from St Helens was arrested on suspicion of assault and has since been released under investigation.

Det Con Kate Hawthorne said: “This was a sustained and unprovoked attack on a man who was simply trying to do the job he is paid to do."

Headache for Horton in Liverpool

Mike Perkins

BBC Sport

Captaincy is one of cricket's many great puzzles - but you have to feel for Leicestershire skipper Paul Horton against his former side Lancashire.

There was no danger that Horton would do anything other than bowl on one day one, having seen his side rolled out for 80 on their last visit to Lancashire in the One-Day Cup in April - and with the tendency of out ground cricket to provide trickier batting surfaces.

His captain sensible approach appeared to have been rewarded when Lancashire were reduced to 128-5. And, even when Liam Livingstone got going, when Horton turned to the off spin of Colin Ackerman, it brought a mistimed slog, dropped by another Lancs old boy Callum Parkinson.

Livingstone completed a century as Lancashire went on to post 449. And Horton's luck hasn't changed with the bat. After 37 minutes of difficult work, he edged onto his pad and the ball looped up agonisingly to allow the quick footed Tom Bailey to take a superb diving return catch.

'Extend Mersey tunnels reduced prices,' says MP

MP Justin Madders wants to extend reduced pricing through the Mersey tunnels.

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Police seize 140 cannabis plants in Birkenhead raid

Police officers have seized 140 cannabis plants from an address in Birkenhead.

Cannabis farm
Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police said the plants, which have an estimated yield worth about £560,000, were found by officers at a property on Craven Street.

Cannabis and white powder was also found at a second address on the street.

A 28-year-old man from Birkenhead was arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation and has since been released under investigation.

Sgt Andy Lloyd said it was "a significant find, which will remove a massive fire and flood risk".

Foxes confident of good reply

Lancashire 449 v Leicestershire (match resumes 11:00)

Leicestershire are facing an uphill battle on Merseyside this morning as, following yesterday's two lost sessions, and given the much-improved weather forecast, they launch their bid to overhaul Division Two leaders Lancashire's first-innings total of 449.

But Foxes fast bowler Chris Wright - who weighed in with two late wickets - is confident that they can respond well.

"It is a slow pitch and not easy to bowl on," he told BBC Radio Leicester. "If you're slightly off line and length it sits up to be hit. If we can play well against the new ball I expect us to get a decent score. But we need to win four or five of the sessions to get something. We certainly feel late in the game it will take some turn so hopefully you will see our spinner Callum Parkinson later on."

Former Essex and Warwickshire fast bowler Chris Wright has taken 21 first-class wickets for his new county this season
Rex Features
Ex-Essex and Warwickshire fast bowler Chris Wright has taken 21 first-class wickets for his new county this season

Although Lancashire have rested England Test star Jimmy Anderson this week, and are also without Saq Mahmood at Aigburth, fellow fast bowler Tom Bailey is keen to make his mark with the ball following his 57 with the bat.

"As long as the weather holds, we have the bowlers on this pitch to get 20 wickets," Bailey told BBC Radio Lancashire.

Weather: A dry clear night

BBC Weather

Rain will clear away to the north through the evening to leave it generally dry overnight, with plenty of clear spells. Lows of 11C.

BBC Weather forecast

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Significant fall in Merseyside homeless arrests

Arrest of beggars and homeless people on Merseyside has fallen by nearly three-quarters, the BBC can reveal.

Getty Images

Figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show how arrests fell by 72% from 248 to 68 in three years.

It comes as other data obtained by the BBC suggest arrests under the Vagrancy Act have halved over two years across the country.

Figures from 33 police forces in England and Wales show a sharp fall in arrests between 2016 and 2018.

Livingstone finds his red ball touch

Lancashire 347-7 v Leicestershire

Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone is the first to admit that he has not found it easy to readjust to red-ball cricket this season, following his time in the IPL with Karachi Kings, followed by two One-Day Cup games on his return for the Red Rose.

But he got it right at in Liverpool yesterday, as he started slowly and patiently to help rebuild Lancashire's innings from 128-5, before blossoming into a fine aggressive knock of 114, his first Championship century since August 2017.

"I've spent a lot of time playing white ball cricket," he told BBC Radio Lancashire. "And I've been beating myself up about why I can't bat for a long time and be nice and patient. It doesn't just come back that easily. But I've worked quite hard over the last couple of weeks to get back into a red-ball rhythm."

Liam Livingstone
Rex Features

Livingstone's efforts, backed by a half-century from his fellow former Lancs skipper Steven Croft and further supplemented by a late unbroken stand of 64 between Josh Bohannon and Tom Bailey, had helped Lancs to within three runs of a fourth batting point by the close.

But it was not all toil for Leicestershire, especially their young debutant wicketkeeper Harry Swindells, who safely pouched three catches.

"Being a Leicester lad, making my debut is all I've dreamt of so it was a very proud moment for me and my family and a day I'll remember for the rest of my life," he told BBC Radio Leicester. "There is a big build up and you think about a lot of stuff beforehand but when you get out there it's just another game."