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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday, 13 April 2017
  2. HMIC has 'serious concerns' over Bedfordshire Police
  3. Chinese community in Milton Keynes want more police protection
  4. Virgin Trains East Coast staff to stage 48-hour strike
  5. Woodland wedding venue attacked by arsonists

Live Reporting

By Sarah Jenkins

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all for today

    Sarah Jenkins

    BBC Local Live

    Thanks for your company.

    We'll be back after the long weekend on Tuesday with live updates of news, weather, travel and sport - but any breaking news will be posted here for you.

    We hope you have a lovely extended break, and for anyone working, give yourself a pat on the back!

    Hitchin bird
  2. Infant's stolen birthday presents returned

    A five-year-old boy, who thought he would never see his presents again after they were stolen, has had them returned.

    Jayden celebrated his birthday on 21 March, and the presents were stolen from the boot of his dad's car sometime between Monday, 3 April and Wednesday, 5 April.

    The car was parked on Monklands in Letchworth.

    The presents were found dumped in a front garden on Icknield Way by a passer-by who called the police.

    Det Sgt O’Toole said: "He was clearly over the moon to receive his presents back and I would like to publicly thank the member of the public who saw the dumped boxes and alerted police."

    Jayden Wijemunige and his presents

    Manjula and Watsala Wijemunige, his parents, said: "Jayden was so sure that police were going to get him his presents back, but we realised it might not happen.

    "However, we are so pleased that they did and we can’t thank them enough for making our son smile again. He is a very happy boy now."

  3. Woodland wedding venue fire - more pics

    As you can see, there's nothing left of the treehouse and the tree whose trunk it was built around is scorched.

    A trailer with a canister forms part of the police inquiry.

    Lila's Wood tree showing scorched trunk
    Trailer with canister
  4. Hertfordshire county council backs Crossrail 2

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Hertfordshire County Council is among 40 local authorities backing a call for ministers to rally behind the Crossrail 2 project, which they say is "crucial". 

    The line would run from Surrey to Hertfordshire, with the exact route still to be decided. 

    A letter to the transport secretary says mainline stations in London like Euston will buckle under the strain of overcrowding and the benefits of HS2 will be lost in chaotic transport connections if Crossrail 2 doesn't go ahead.

  5. Wedding venue victim of arson

    Sarah Jenkins

    BBC Local Live

    A wedding venue has been targeted by arsonists just days before their wedding season kicks off.

    Hertfordshire Police are investigating the incident which took place at Lila's Wood in Hastoe, near Tring,

    The venue specialises in woodland weddings, but last night their centrepiece - a large treehouse - was set alight.

    Offenders gained entry to the venue by damaging a surrounding fence.

    It took firefighters three hours to control the blaze.

    Lila's Wood treehouse before fire

    Owner Faye Messenger said: "This is devastating for us, it's been our labour of love for the past three years.

    "We created this space not only as wedding venue, but for local people like Brownies, Scouts and schools to enjoy.

    "We would like to re-build what was there before and if anyone in the local community would like to help, we would greatly appreciate it."

    Treehouse after

    Det Sgt Victoria Coleman said: "This mindless act caused significant damage to property and had the potential to put people’s lives in danger. 

    "Thankfully no one was hurt, but it could have easily been a different story with very serious consequences."

  6. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise severe accident, before J16 for M40 affecting J19 for M25.

    M25 Buckinghamshire - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise before J16 M40, because of an accident involving car and a lorry earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J19, M25 (Watford).

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

  7. Grandmother thanks community for her new bike

    Sophie Sulehria

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    An 89-year-old grandmother from Berkhamsted says she's been overwhelmed by support after her bike was stolen last week.

    Mary Hampton

    Mary Hampton had left the bike unlocked outside Waitrose in the town last Thursday.

    In just 24 hours after it became known she'd lost it, the community had clubbed together to get her a new bike and a lock.

    "It was an old-looking bike, I didn't think anybody would be going to steal it," she said.

    "One bad action happened, but think of the wonderful kindness and caring that's come from it."

  8. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, between J9 for A5 and J10 for M1 affecting J6A for M25.

    M1 Hertfordshire - Severe delays, one lane closed and queuing traffic on M1 northbound between J9, A5 (Redbourn) and J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road), because of an accident. Congestion to J6a M25.

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

  9. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J26 for A121.

    M25 Greater London - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down van.

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

  10. Motorist performs handbrake turn and drives wrong way on M1

    Sarah Jenkins

    BBC Local Live

    Police are trying to trace the driver of a van who performed a handbrake turn before driving the wrong way on the M1.

    On Sunday, 2 April at 02:49 officers signalled for the white Citroen Berlingo van (registration - X641 WRM) to pull over in Grove Mill Lane, Rickmansworth, as the vehicle had no MOT or insurance.

    Hertfordshire Police said the driver failed to stop which led officers on a pursuit along the A414 before the van turned around and traveled in the opposite direction along the dual carriageway.

    For safety reasons, police withdrew from the pursuit.

    Van driving wrong way on M1

    Shortly after, police re-established the pursuit, following the van to J8 of the M1.

    The van then performed a handbrake turn and drove the wrong way on the northbound carriageway.

    Once again officers withdrew from the pursuit for safety reasons.

    CCTV later showed the van exiting the M1 at J5 for Watford.

    Sgt James Bessant said: "This is an example of extremely dangerous driving and the driver’s reckless actions put members of the public at unnecessary risk.

    "If you think you may know the identity of that person, or you have any further information to share with us, please call us on our non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference C1/17/1707."

  11. Bouncer bitten in suspected race attack

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Police in Luton are appealing for witnesses after a doorman was bitten in a suspected race hate crime.

    Flame nightclub

    The bouncer was verbally abused, bitten and had punches thrown towards him at Flame nightclub in Wellington Street at around 02:45 on Sunday. 

    A 22-year-old Luton man has been arrested and bailed.

  12. Afternoon weather: Cloudy but dry

    BBC Weather

    It will turn cloudier through the afternoon but it should stay mainly dry throughout. 

    The best of any brightness will be across southern areas with light winds throughout. 

    Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

    For the full forecast where you are visit BBC Weather.

    Bird in Hitchin
  13. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M40 Buckinghamshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M40 Buckinghamshire northbound severe accident, between J1A for M25 and J1 for A40.

    M40 Buckinghamshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M40 northbound between J1a M25 and J1, A40 (Denham Roundabout), because of an accident.

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

  14. Travel: All lanes now open on M1 southbound

    BBC News Travel

    All lanes have now re-opened on the southbound M1 in Bedfordshire following an collision this morning involving a lorry and a van between J13 (A421) and J12 (A5120).

    The hard shoulder remains closed due to barrier damage.

    View more on twitter
  15. Number of trespasses on railway tracks at 'all-time high'

    Sarah Lee

    BBC South

    Across Britain, one person trespasses on the railway every hour, according to new data.

    Figures from Network Rail and British Transport Police show an increase in the number of people risking their lives on the rail network by trespassing on the tracks in the south-east region.

    The data, which looks at trends over the last five years, shows trespass incidents are at all-time high in the region, while nationally one person trespasses every hour:

    Tresspass

    Number of trespass incidents in the last five years:

    Reading: 

    2012: 98

    2013: 94

    2014: 94

    2015: 109

    2016: 127

    Number of young people under the age of 18 who came to the attention of BTP in 2016 while trespassing: 

    Berkshire: 7

    Buckinghamshire: 4

    Hampshire: 14

    Oxfordshire: 2

  16. 24 Hours in Police Custody nominated for BAFTA

    Sarah Jenkins

    BBC Local Live

    The Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in Police Custody, which follows Bedfordshire Police, has been nominated for a BAFTA.

    The series, produced by Garden Productions, has been nominated in the Factual Series category.

    The team is currently filming with Bedfordshire Police for another series.

    View more on twitter
  17. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe disruption, at J10 for M1.

    M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M1 northbound at J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road), because of a broken down vehicle.

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