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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Dispersal order set up in Southend

    A dispersal order has been put in place in Southend town centre to tackle anti-social behaviour, police said.

    It started at 12:00 on Saturday and runs until 12:00 on Monday.

    A police spokesman said: "It is in response to an increase in disorder within the town centre in the last 10 days linked to groups of young people.

    "Much of this disorder has been focused on the High Street and officers have engaged with these groups."

    The boundaries of the dispersal order area are Wilson Road, Cambridge Road, Avenue Road to the west; London Road and Queensway to the north; Queensway and Southchurch Avenue to the east; and Eastern Esplanade, Marine Parade, and Western Esplanade to the north.

  2. Tourist office closures costing 11 jobs

    Tourist information centres in Lavenham and Stowmarket are due to shut with the loss of 11 jobs, it has been announced.

    Lavenham tourist office

    The closures will happen at the end of this summer season.

  3. Odeon cinema to become evangelical church as congregation grows

    The derelict former Odeon cinema in St Margaret's Street, Ipswich, could soon have a new lease of life as a church.

    A formal application has been made for a change of use by the Hope Church currently based at Fore Hamlet in the town.

    Former Odeon cinema

    Mike Cook, from the Ipswich Society, says the plans make sense as the Hope Church, part of the Evangelical Alliance which has 600 member churches, is growing.

    "Formerly the Orwell church, the Hope has an attendance of 320 adults and 100 children at its two Sunday services.

    "It needs a larger auditorium and the former cinema will be able to provide that," he said.

  4. Ten schools opting for academy status win government approval

    Ten Suffolk primary schools could become academies after winning approval from the Department for Education.

    Helmingham Community Primary School, Shotley Community Primary School, Stutton Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School and All Saints Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School in Newmarket are converting already.

    All Saints will join the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust in July while Stutton will be run by ASSET Education from June. Trusts for Helmingham and Shotley have not yet been disclosed. August is the proposed date for Shotley to be run as an academy.

    Four Church of England schools - Stradbroke, Fressingfield, All Saints in Laxfield and St Peter and St Paul in Eye, as well as Wortham Primary School on the Suffolk/Norfolk border and Woods Loke Primary School near Lowestoft have all opted for academy status and have begun conversion and are searching for sponsors.

  5. New Starbucks and filling station proposed for A14 near Ipswich

    The Orwell Crossing Lorry Park on the A14 near Ipswich could get a new drive-through Starbucks after plans were lodged by developers – and long term plans aim to establish a petrol station there too.

    The services, located on the eastbound carriageway near Nacton, is the proposed site for the coffee shop in a plan lodged by Orwell Truck Stop Ltd.

    The plans were lodged at the beginning of the month and they are currently in the consultation phase, with a Suffolk Coastal District Council planning decision expected in May or June.

    Chris Roberts from Orwell Truck Stop Ltd said: "We see that Felixstowe is the major port for the UK – particularly post-Brexit – and the roads are going to get busier so these offerings are required more and more.

    “Lots of people particularly like Starbucks. We have a cafe but I think people will like the chilled out area and the outdoor seating."

    The plans signal the latest in a string of development plans in the area, after a section of 26 hectares behind the truck stop had been eyed for development into a new business park.

    The plan proposes to use the existing entrance for the Orwell Crossing cafe to access the park, which Mr Roberts believes will bring in the region of 1,500 jobs on the site, and improvements at junctions 57 and 58.

    That proposal is expected to go before planning committee in May.

  6. Plan aims to safeguard Lowestoft's history

    Lowestoft’s historic buildings will get a new lease of life and a regular market will be restored as part of plans to safeguard the town’s history.

    North Lowestoft and the waterfront

    North Lowestoft was awarded Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England in 2017, which will allow renovation and regeneration work to take place to bring neglected historic buildings back to life and unlock economic and visitor potential.

    A draft action plan has been drawn up and among the measures proposed are the return of a regular market and hosting cultural events for both visitors and locals.

    The action plan focuses on the medieval High Street, the steep cliff paths known as Scores, the historic smokehouse, and the Victorian parks.

    Waveney’s cabinet will decide whether to adopt the plan on Wednesday, which is recommended for approval.

  7. Hunt for 'psychopath' animal killer spreads to Bedfordshire

    Patrick Byrne

    BBC News

    An investigation is under way in Bedfordshire following the deaths of three pet animals in the past six months.

    Police have promised they would be "keeping tabs on your tabby" under a new probe - Operation Cosmic.

    The force has been contacted by people concerned about fatal attacks on cats and other pets around the M25.

    Image caption: Rusty, a one-year-old cat, was mutilated and left on the doorstep of its owner's home in Northampton

    The so-called M25 cat killer is believed to have slaughtered around 400 cats and small animals, leaving their bodies in plain sight in order to "horrify" people.

    Police said they were hunting a "psychopath" who kills the animals with a blunt force before mutilating them.

    Operation Cosmic will investigate links between the deaths of two cats and a rabbit across Bedfordshire.

    Image caption: The death of Taz, whose body was found in his owner's Hertfordshire garden, is one of many linked to the same killer

    Other forces - in London, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire - have their own operations related to the killing of pets.

  8. Norwich's Sainsbury Centre turns 40

    Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

    The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - the first public building designed by architect Norman Foster - is 40 years old on Saturday.

    The gallery was first conceived after Sir Robert Sainsbury, grandson of the supermarket founder, and his wife donated their art collection to the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 1973.

    The gallery said hundreds of thousands of people have visited the centre on the UEA campus in the past four decades and it was marking the milestone with a "fitting" retrospective exhibition on architecture called Superstructures.

  9. Ipswich man bailed in Stowmarket rape case

    A man arrested in connection with a rape in Stowmarket has been released on bail.

    The victim, a 19-year-old woman, reported to officers she was sexually attacked in the area of the recreation ground at about 02:00 on 1 April.

    Suffolk Police said the 45--year-old man from Ipswich has been released on police bail until 1 May.

  10. CCTV images from Eye Town Hall burglary investigation

    CCTV images have been released in connection with a burglary and vandalism at a town hall.

    Vandals attacked and slashed four paintings during the break-in at Eye Town Hall overnight over the Easter weekend.

    CCTV images from outside Eye town hall

    Suffolk Police said officers want to speak to the man captured on CCTV.

    It said the man was wearing baggy trousers and a coat with a florescent logo, he was captured outside the front steps of the town hall on Sunday at about 22:20 and was seen leaving the area at about 22:45.

    The slashed paintings
    Image caption: Before and after photos of one of the damaged paintings
  11. Calls for ban on goldfish as prizes at Pleasure Beach


    A petition is calling for a fairground to stop giving away goldfish as prizes.

    Live fish are among the prizes at the hook-a-duck stall at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

    As reported in the Great Yarmouth Mercury, the online petition by Emily Burrows of Norwich claims prize-winners have no idea how to care for the fish, which become "easily stressed and may even die from changes in water temperature or oxygen starvation".

    It has attracted more than 1,200 signatories.

    Albert Jones, managing director of the Pleasure Beach, said the practice was not illegal and it provided small tanks, food and care instructions. Children had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and fish could be collected before the journey home, [or] on another day, he added.

    "We have taken advice from a local pet shop and it is no different to how they sell their goldfish," he said.

    "This is something we only had good feedback on and have people travel down just to win."

  12. New walk-in health centre planned for Bedford

    Bedford Borough councillors have said they are welcoming a proposal from the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) for a new walk-in health centre at Gilbert Hitchcock House on Kimbolton Road, which will retain the offered at the Putnoe Medical Centre, once that shuts.

    Putnoe Medical Centre

    Putnoe was due to close in March but will continue to operate until 30 September as its contract was extended to allow more time for a new urgent treatment centre to be set up.

    The development of the £1m service will mirror the current Putnoe hours and delivery model. BCCG has said it will provide a medium-term solution from 1 October.

    Labour councillor Anthony Forth called it "real progress" for all those who had campaigned for a walk-in centre.

    "It would be even better news if this was announced as a long-term measure by BCCG but given the continued underfunding of the NHS by central government, I understand that this would be difficult to guarantee," he said.

    The leader of the Conservative group, Stephen Moon, called it "good news" to "be applauded".

    Dr Sanjay Sharma, Urgent Care Clinical Lead for BCCG said it is committed to "involving local people" and will continue to engage with the community.

  13. Rickshaw plans approved for Suffolk towns

    Councillors have approved plans to allow motorised tuk-tuks and cycle rickshaws in all but one town in north east Suffolk.

    Southwold and a rickshaw

    The scheme was supported by Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Lowestoft, but Southwold said it did not want "any such vehicles to operate within the town".

    Approving the plans, Waveney District Council's licensing committee amended the proposals to allow passengers to travel at the front of pedal-powered rickshaws, as requested by a charity.

    The same proposals will go before Suffolk Coastal District Council's licensing and health committee on 24 April, which covers towns including Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Leiston, Aldeburgh, Saxmundham, Kesgrave and Framlingham.

  14. Surgery after stomach stabbing

    A man needed surgery after he was stabbed in the stomach following a row on a Northampton town centre bus.

    Police have released CCTV footage in a bid to track down two men wanted in connection with the stabbing outside Steffans Jewellers between 20:45 and 21:05 on Tuesday.

    CCTV image

    The 25-year-old victim is believed to have been in some sort of altercation with two other men while travelling into town on the Number 1 bus from the east of Northampton.

    When he got off the bus, he was followed and a further verbal row ensued after which he was stabbed in the stomach.

    The offenders then ran back up Wellingborough Road.

    CCTV image
    CCTV image

    The first offender, who is believed to have stabbed the victim, was white, in his early 20s, slim and about 5ft 7in. He was wearing a light-coloured top with the hood up under a black jumper and black trousers.

    The second man was white, in his early 20s, about 5ft 8in with short dark hair. He was wearing a black jumper and light-coloured joggers.

  15. Fulbourn High Street closed after Co-op ram raid

    A white Land Rover Discovery was driven into the Co-op in Fulbourn near Cambridge in the early hours of this morning.

    Cambridgeshire Police said four people wearing masks and dark clothes left the car and stole the cash box from a cash machine within the shop.

    Co-op in Fulbourn

    Officers were called to the scene at 02:18.

    The High Street was closed and police are appealing for information.

    Police cordon, High Street, Fulbourn
  16. 'Agitated' man placed items on railway at Braintree

    CCTV image of a man police want to speak to

    Police have issued a CCTV image of an "agitated" man they would like to speak to in connection with a trespassing incident at an Essex railway station.

    British Transport Police say that shortly before 07:00 on Sunday, 1 April, the man was in a waiting room at Braintree Freeport station when he started punching windows and walls, before pulling a bin from a wall and throwing it on the floor.

    The red-haired man, who was wearing a dark red long-sleeved top, black trousers and white trainers later walked onto the tracks and in the direction of Cressing station.

    Officers believe he then placed a piece of railway equipment over the tracks, causing extensive delays to trains.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the British Transport Police or Crimestoppers.

  17. Cyclist dies two days after collision in Norwich

    Aylsham Road at junction with Glenmore Gardens

    A cyclist has died after he was hit by a car in Norwich.

    The man, who was in his 30s, was on Aylsham Road, near Mecca Bingo, when he collided with a black Audi Q7 at about 16:00 on Tuesday.

    He was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital with life-threatening injuries and died on Thursday.

    Norfolk Police said a man, also in his 30s, has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, drug-driving and dangerous driving.

    He been released under investigation.

  18. New support for crime victims launched

    A new victim support hub has been opened by Bedfordshire Police.

    The Signpost Hub has taken over from Victim Support to look after those affected by crime.

    The Signpost Hub

    The force said it will be a "one-stop shop" offering practical and emotional support, help for witnesses through the court process, and referrals to specialists.

    Kathryn Holloway, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "We are aiming to transform the service for victims... the most important thing is we are aiming to contact those individuals within 24 hours of crime.

    "Every police officer who encounters somebody who's been affected by crime is required to put in an initial victim needs assessment so they can directly refer those individuals into the Signpost Hub.

    "You can receive absolutely free, impartial and confidential advice.

    "You are not speaking to police officers and there is no pressure on you to report to police."

  19. Speed camera volunteers experience praise and abuse on road

    Robby West

    BBC Look East

    A group of community volunteers who operate a speed camera patrol in partnership with Essex Police claim they receive abuse from drivers on a daily basis.

    The volunteers cover busy stretches of road near Harwich and while many people applaud them for trying to slow down the traffic, others hurl insults.

    Speed cameras

    The group is led by Dave Blackiston, a former police officer, who said he had seen how speeding can tear apart families.

    "I was on duty in the early morning when a young soldier was knocked down and killed and speed was a major factor," he said.

    "I had to tell his family he would not be home for Christmas.

    "Many drivers break the 30mph limit in built up areas as our camera shows."

    Camera speed screen

    When drivers are caught above 36mph, the team records the vehicle's details on dictaphone for the police who send a warning letter explaining the dangers of speeding.