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Police firearms seizures on the up in West Yorkshire

Over 225 firearms were seized by West Yorkshire Police over the last year - an increase of 100 from the previous year, the force has revealed.

Person with gun in silhouette
Getty Images

A total of 228 firearms were seized by officers in the past 12 months, with the number of firearms discharges falling by 9 to 42 when compared to the previous year, the force says.

The seizures were made as part of an ongoing crackdown on serious and organised crime, West Yorkshire Police said.

Det Ch Supt Pat Twiggs, from the force, said: "The reductions we have seen in the last 12 months and the increase in the seizure of firearms is a testament to the hard work of officers and staff across the whole force and the very valuable work being undertaken by our partners.

"These efforts are clearly having an impact, but we will never stop in our pursuit of those involved in this type of serious criminality."

Tuesday's weather forecast for Yorkshire

Today is set to be dry and fine with plenty of sunshine and top temperatures of 17C.

It will remain bright this evening with sunny spells and some areas of cloud.

However, cloud will spread in the small hours.

weather graphic
BBC

Monday's weather forecast for Yorkshire

After a cloudy start to the day with perhaps the odd spot of rain it will then brighten up, with long sunny spells in the afternoon.

Tonight we're in for a fine, sunny evening and it will remain dry overnight though it will be quite chilly.

Top temperatures today of 15C.

weather graphic
BBC

England cricketer Rashid in 'stay at home' warning

England and Yorkshire cricketer Adil Rashid has urged people to stay at home to avoid catching coronavirus.

Adil Rashid
Reuters

Rashid has teamed up with Bradford Council to encourage people in his hometown to stay home during the crisis.

He said: “It’s very important we do that as it so easy to go out there and catch it.

"And once you catch it, it spreads - and spreads fast."

Sir Patrick vows to read 'a sonnet a day'

Sir Patrick Stewart is sharing daily videos of him performing Shakespearean sonnets during the coronavirus crisis.

The actor, who was born in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, plans to film himself reading all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Sir Patrick, who lives in Los Angeles, said: "All my family are in the UK and of course my concerns for them are very high."

Coronavirus: Queen to address country over outbreak

The Queen will speak to the nation on Sunday about the coronavirus outbreak - only her fourth special address at a time of crisis during her 68-year reign.

HM The Queen
PA Media

Buckingham Palace said the message, recorded at Windsor Castle, will be broadcast on TV and radio at 20:00 BST.

The Queen records annual Christmas messages but other addresses are rare.

It comes as the number of people who died with coronavirus in the UK rose by 684 in 24 hours, latest figures show.

The Department of Health said that as of 17:00 BST on 2 April, the total number of deaths is now 3,605, up from 2,921. There are 38,168 confirmed cases.

West Yorkshire Police officers applauded NHS workers outside Calderdale Hospital.
Police and hospital workers applaud each other during the Clap for Carers weekly event.

MPs back newspaper editor's call for help

More than 20 of Yorkshire's MPs have signed a letter to the chancellor supporting calls for a business rate holiday for news publishers.

The Yorkshire Post file image
BBC

Earlier this week, Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson wrote to MPs across Yorkshire asking for their help in securing tax relief to help cover a drop in revenue linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

He says that advertising income has dropped by 80% with staff being asked to take a pay cut to keep the newspaper running because of the virus.

JPI Media, that runs newspapers such as the Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star, has furloughed a "significant number " of staff, he wrote in the letter.

Now, 23 MPs have responded by co-signing a letter to Rishi Sunak MP asking for business rate holidays for news publishers as well using the newspapers to run a public information campaign.

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Thursday's forecast for Yorkshire

We're in for a mix of cloud and sunny spells this morning but that cloud will tend to develop through the course of the day leading to a mainly cloudy afternoon with the chance of the odd shower in places.

Tonight it'll stay cloudy with a possibility of showers but things should clear as the night progresses.

We should see top temperatures of about 9C today:

weather graphic
BBC

Fire service share pics of moorland blaze damage

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have shared images of the damage caused by a major moorland blaze last month.

Moorland fire
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

At it's height more than 100 firefighters were called to tackle a "mile-long fire-front" at Deer Hill Reservoir in Marsden, West Yorkshire, on 23 March.

Posting the images on Twitter WYFR urged people to stay at home saying "BBQs, picnics & meeting friends are NOT essential activities."

While it is believed the fire at Deer Hill Reservoir was caused by controlled burning that spread a number of recent incidents have been sparked by barbecues, including a major fire in February 2019.

Moorland fire
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

Newspaper editor asks MPs to help titles survive

The editor of the Yorkshire Post has written to MPs to ask the government to help them "survive" as the coronavirus outbreak has seen income drop.

The Yorkshire Post and the Star file picture
BBC

James Mitchinson wrote the letter to MPs across Yorkshire asking for a business rate holiday for news publishers.

He says that advertising income has dropped by 80% with staff being asked to take a pay cut to keep the newspaper running because of the virus.

JPI Media, that runs newspapers such as the Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star, has furloughed a "significant number " of staff, he wrote in the letter.

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Mr Mitchinson asked MPs to urge the government to commit to investing in a significant local media public information campaign, as well as a business rates break.

He said: "I believe local newspapers are so much more to communities than just a newspaper.

"I hope you can help us survive".

Wednesday's weather forecast for Yorkshire

It'll be mostly cloudy today with a scattering of showers, though we may see a few bright spells

Tonight will remain cloudy tonight with further showers pushing in at times on a moderate westerly breeze.

weather
BBC

Tuesday's forecast for Yorkshire

It'll be mostly cloudy today with perhaps the occasional spot of rain and a few brighter interludes at times.

Tonight we will see plenty more cloud with patchy light rain in places.

Weather graphic
BBC

Air Ambulance staff to return to frontline NHS roles

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) is scaling back its service to allow its crew members to return to their jobs and help in the fight against coronavirus.

Air Ambulance
Yorkshire Air Ambulance

In a statement the YAA said it was re-deploying staff to ensure Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) and the NHS could provide as much frontline care as possible.

As a result it said one of its two helicopters would be temporarily grounded.

Peter Sunderland, YAA Chairman said: “In the midst of this unprecedented crisis, the YAA wants to do everything it can to support the NHS and YAS in their fight against COVID-19. It is important that everyone does their part, including us.

“As the cases of COVID-19 rise, it also increases the pressure on the NHS. We know that YAS anticipates a significant increase in 999 calls across the region and by redeploying our Doctors and a small number of our Critical Care Paramedics back to their respective hospitals or ambulance operations, we can do our bit to support the frontline effort.”

He said the outbreak had also resulted in a "huge downturn in fundraising incomes", saying that as a result of cancelled events the service would lose an estimated £400,000.

Simple message from police on non-essential travel

West Yorkshire Police officer Martin Willis has a simple message for drivers.

In the video below the officer, who is often seens patrolling the motorways of the county, explains what essential and non-essential journeys are - and the difference you can make to keeping the nation safe by sticking to the rules:

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Police raid 30-strong Bradford birthday party

It seems not everyone is getting the #StayHomeSaveLives message.

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A special constable working in West Yorkshire tweeted the message above over the weekend.

His tweet follows on from an incident in Derbyshire over the weekend where police broke-up a party.

Party food laid on a table
DERBYSHIRE POLICE

Police there say they were left "in absolute shock" after finding 25 adults and children having a "massive party".

Everyone was dispersed and the hosts "dealt with" after social-distancing rules.

Burberry making masks in trenchcoat factory

David McKenna

Reporter, BBC News Online

Person wearing mask and gloves
Getty Images

British fashion brand Burberry says it is using its global supply chain to deliver 100,000 surgical masks to the NHS, for use by medical staff.The firm says it is also re-purposing its trenchcoat factory in Castleford, West Yorkshire, to make non-surgical gowns and masks for hospital patients.

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'I can't hug my children for 12 weeks due to the coronavirus'
Sarah Moore, who works in the Kirklees area, decided to isolate her children to keep them safe.

Five more people die with coronavirus in Yorkshire

A further five people have died at hospitals in Yorkshire after testing positive for coronavirus, according to the latest NHS figures.

A NHS sign
BBC

In total 759 people diagnosed with the virus have now died across the UK, with 14,579 people testing positive for the disease.

The deaths happened in hospitals in Doncaster and Bassetlaw, Sheffield, York and at a Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Kirsten Major, from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said since 17 March ten people have died at hospitals in the city.

"The families of these patients have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this very difficult time."

Yorkshire people stuck abroad call for government help

Corinne Wheatley

BBC Look North

Tourists from Yorkshire stranded abroad due to coronavirus have been telling Look North that they are desperate to get home - and are calling for extra help from the UK government.

The foreign secretary Dominic Raab said earlier this week that any Britons on holiday should consider travelling home now while they still can. But a number of travellers have told us they've unable to get any flights and some are running out of money

Network Rail asks former signallers to return to railways

Retired rail workers are being asked to consider coming back to work to help keep the railways running during the coronavirus crisis.

Trains
Getty Images

Network Rail is appealing to former signallers to help man signal boxes and control centres and it looks to provide crucial cover for members of the workforce who may need to self-isolate.

Chris Gee, Head of Operations (Eastern Region) for Network Rail, said: “We are working hard to keep vital services, which get key workers to their jobs and food and medical supplies across the country, moving.

“We are appealing for signallers who’ve retired, moved on to other careers at Network Rail or left the railway to come back and help us keep signal boxes and control centres open.

“Signallers are crucial to keep the railway open and we need more former workers to help us provide back-up if some of our staff can’t come to work. Full re-training will be given.”

Any former professional signallers interested in helping to keep trains moving should email: RetiredSignallersEasternRegion@networkrail.co.uk

'Give blood' plea as donations drop

People are being urged to give blood after a drop off in donations because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A person with bags of blood
Getty Images

The NHS says going to give blood is essential and people should, where possible, keep going to appointments.

"We need people to keep donating as normal", an appeal said.

"We have extra safety measures in place and travel to donate blood is essential for the NHS.

"Our blood donor sessions and donor centres are open and our staff are taking special measures to provide a clean and safe space for you to donate."

Yorkshire joins 'Clap for Carers' NHS tribute

People around Yorkshire have taken part in a "Clap for Carers" tribute, saluting NHS and care workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Clap for Carers campaign, which started online, was staged because "during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful", according to the organisers.

A message from the NHS on social media described the countrywide tribute as "emotional":

Nurse who appealed over bare shelves may have coronavirus

A critical care nurse from North Yorkshire who urged panic-buyers to think about other people after finding supermarket shelves empty has revealed she might have contracted COVID-19.

In a tearful appeal (shown above), Dawn Bilbrough, from York, who had been working in West Yorkshire, urged people to stop and leave goods for everyone.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain today, she said doing things around the house is making her breathless and she has persistent nausea and headaches.

Asked if she was showing signs of coronavirus, she replied: "I believe I am."

She added she had "ongoing nausea and persistent headaches", adding: "I do believe I have Covid but I haven't been tested."

On Monday, Ms Bilbrough posted a video to say she had woken up with coronavirus symptoms so was staying off work and self-isolating.

Plea to only use public transport for 'essential' journeys

People in West Yorkshire are being urged not to use public transport unless their journey is "essential" during the coronavirus shutdown.

Leeds railway station and bus stop
Google

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority says it wants people to follow the government’s guidelines to stay at home.

Councillor Kim Groves said: “We are urging everyone to stay at home and avoid non-essential use of the public transport network to help slow the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.

“This is vital to protect key workers who depend on these vital bus and rail services."

Supermarket's measures to keep staff and customers 'safe'

West Yorkshire-based supermarket chain Asda says it's put special measures in place in its stores to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and keep people "safe".

Asda with 2m floor markings
ASDA

The company, which has its HQ in Leeds, says it's introduced 2m apart floor markings in stores and says where necessary, the number of customers will be limited so social distancing can be observed.

Asda says: "All of our colleagues will be supplied with hand sanitiser and gloves and pharmacy and optical colleagues will also be provided with face masks."

A spokesperson said there were also plans to introduce perspex screens at checkouts and kiosks to protect customers and staff.