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Summary

  1. About 100 firefighters have been tackling a major fire in Exeter
  2. PC quits Devon and Cornwall force saying she has 'lost all faith in the job I loved'
  3. Abuse victims assessed over phone by police
  4. Police are concerned for Dee Shelly, 58, from West Cornwall who has gone missing
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thanks for joining us at BBC Local Live for Devon and Cornwall

    BBC Spotlight

    Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

    Don't forget  Spotlight on BBC One  later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

  2. Cop resignation: Police 'put employees last'

    BBC Spotlight

    A police officer has published a damning resignation letter on social media criticising police for "putting their employees last".

    Laura Beal has told the BBC that police officers are not able to do the "job we were designed to do".

    Video content

    Video caption: Devon and Cornwall police officer quits over safety fears
  3. There's tin in them thar hills! At least they hope so...

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Drilling for tin will start at Kit Hill in Cornwall by the end of the month says mining firm Strategic Minerals.

    Kit Hill

    Cornwall Council has green-lit the scheme at the Redmoor mine.

    The firm said drilling is expected to take place in two phases this year.

    Tin mining was once a major industry in the area but died out amid overseas competition and a fall in prices.

  4. Extra police 'should relieve pressure'

    BBC Spotlight

    A senior officer at Devon and Cornwall Police said he hopes more staff will "help to relieve the pressure" on officers.

    Ch Supt Jim Colwell made the comments following a damning public resignation letter from PC Laura Beal.

    Ch Supt Colwell said “Last month the Chief Constable announced that, through additional budget provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner, we will be employing nearly 100 additional police officers onto the streets and into local policing, as well as 50 criminal investigators and 30 online record takers.

    "The extra 100 police officers will bring the total number back up to 3,000 and should help to relieve the pressure."

  5. Sunny periods and scattered showers

    Bee Tucker

    BBC Weather

    The rest of the day will be largely dry with some bright or sunny periods along with a few scattered showers. Moderate or fresh westerly winds will ease during the day and also turn to the south or southwest. Maximum tempurature: 11C (52F).

    Weather

    After a mostly dry start to the night with the odd shower, it'll become increasingly cloudy as a spell of occasionally heavy rain moves in from the south. The rain will become patchy by morning while light or moderate south to southwesterly winds will turn to the southeast, becoming strong later on the south coast. Minimum temperature: 6C (43F).  

  6. BreakingLeading businessman charged with sexual offences

    A leading south west businessman has been charged with 15 serious sexual offences. 

    Charles Howeson, 67, of Stonehouse, Plymouth is a former Naval officer who had a successful business career in the public and private sector. 

    Devon and Cornwall Police said the offences are alleged to have taken place against ten men between 1985 and 1994. 

    He is due to appear at Plymouth Magistrates' Court on 13 April. 

    Charles Howeson

    The police said all of the alleged victims are male. One was aged between 14 and 15, another aged between 16 and 18, and eight were in their early twenties. 

    Mr Howeson left the Navy to enter business and has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors. 

    Roles he has held include being chairman of NHS Property Services, regional chairman of Coutts and Co bank, chairman of First Great Western Trains Advisory Board and chairman of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

  7. Police 'more like a business'

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    A police officer who has publicly resigned from Devon and Cornwall Police said the force was "more like a business" now.

    Laura Beal said she was leaving the police because of the huge pressure put on officers.

    Ms Beal said: "We are more like a business now in how we function in relation to finance and ‘customer’ relations, yet we are so far behind on employee rights."

    Laura Beal
  8. It's a shark, but it's also a crocodile...

    Julie Skentelbery

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Shark

    Here's another up close and personal pic of the gaping maw of the Crocodile Shark which washed up in Hope Cove.

    Experts are amazed because the shark is most commonly found in warmer climes.

  9. Police officer: 'Leaving before it kills me'

    A police officer who shared her resignation letter online said she had decided to leave Devon and Cornwall Police to save herself.

    Laura Beal wrote on Facebook: "I am leaving before this job kills me both physically and mentally.

    "I am not only sad because I see what is potentially an amazing career get ruined by hypocrisy and lack of funding; but also because I know I am not the only one going through this and not everyone that needs the help and support will be as lucky as I am to be able to leave."

    The letter has been shared hundreds of times and has prompted hundreds of comments.

    Laura Beal
  10. Police resignation letter: "Staff are not coping"

    The damning resignation letter of police officer Laura Beal ties in with the findings of a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary into policing in England and Wales.

    The inspectors said there are now too few detectives and in some areas an erosion of neighbourhood policing.

    In her resignation letter Ms Beal told bosses : "Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them.

    "Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops."

    Laura Beal
  11. Crime commissioner to monitor police improvements

    BBC Spotlight

    Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Alison Hernandez, says she will be monitoring closely the actions being taken to address the shortcomings identified in a report by  Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

    Police

    She said she would ask the chief constable to deliver significant improvements in the consistency of services provided to the public through local policing teams and in the way that crime is investigated and offenders managed.

    Overall the report found services provided by Devon & Cornwall Police required improvement. 

    Key areas included community engagement through neighbourhood policing and the way that the force investigates crime and reduces re-offending.

  12. Tropical crocodile shark found at Hope Cove

    A rare species of shark has been found washed up on the UK coastline. 

    Conservationists believe it is the first time it's been recorded here.

    The animal was discovered on a beach at Hope Cove, in Devon, and reported to experts at the National Marine Aquarium, who believe it is a crocodile shark, usually found in tropical waters all around the globe. 

    View more on twitter
  13. Man 'attacked in Truro car park'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    It's reported a man's been seriously injured after being attacked in the Moorfield car park in Truro.

    A police officer is quoted as saying the victim was taken to hospital and had emergency surgery after being stabbed in the neck and losing a substantial amount of blood. 

    He's expected to make a full recovery. 

    The car park has recently become a sheltering place for some of Truro's homeless community.   

  14. MP secures meeting on tackling plastic bottles on beaches

    BBC Spotlight

    A government minister has agreed to meet one of the region's MPs to discuss the problem of plastic bottles left on South West beaches.

    Bottles

    Conservative Stephen Double, who represents St Austell and Newquay, raised the issue in the Commons.

    He's calling for an extra charge on bottles, which would be refunded once they're returned.

    Mr Double said: "The government's progress on banning microbeads is very welcome but there are other forms of plastic that are polluting our seas, including the 15 million plastic bottles that are thrown away every day."

  15. How much are Plymouth's bus lane cameras earning for the city council?

    BBC News England

    Bus lane cameras in Embankment Road, Plymouth have pulled in more than £1.5m for the city council since they were launched in 2012.

    But where are the other earners for the council?

    • Exeter Street - £130 a day and £46 a day
    • Leypark Walk - £103 a day
    • Penros Road - £92 a day
    • Tavistock Road - £65 a day
    • Saltash Road - £29 a day

    Across England almost 4,000 motorists a day are fined for driving in bus lanes , with the most lucrative camera making £6,000 every 24 hours.

    BBC England contacted 160 authorities responsible for highways in England, 64 of whom had bus lane cameras.

    What do you think? Email us.

  16. One lane closed on A38 in Glynn Valley

    BBC Travel

    On the A38 in the Glynn Valley eastbound between Carminow Cross and Doublebois, one lane is closed due to a broken-down lorry.