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  1. Labour 'astounded' by Dorset councillor's defection to Tories
  2. Dorchester Prison homes decision criticised
  3. Councils in south among highest spenders on bird control
  4. Havant has lowest rate of university applications
  5. Updates from Friday 17 February

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all for today

The BBC Local Live service for Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight will resume on Monday at 08:00.

You can still get in touch by email, on our Hampshire and Dorset Facebook pages or on Twitter @BBC_Hampshire and @BBCDorset.  

Have a good weekend.

Rape suspect released without charge

A man who was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault in Weymouth will not be prosecuted.

The alleged victim, a local woman in her late teens, had reported being attacked by a man she met on a night out.

Police were called to a house in Great George Street in the early hours of Tuesday 1 November.

They arrested a 25-year-old man who has now been released from bail without charge.

WW2 device found in Portsmouth Harbour

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts have detonated a Second World War device found in Portsmouth Harbour this morning.

It was discovered at 02:00 GMT in the excavator head of a barge dredging the harbour to prepare for the arrival of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier.

The device was detonated on the sea bed at about 08:30 GMT.

WW2 device
Royal Navy

The device was a British munition and it's a mystery as to why it would be at the bottom of the approaches.

Petty Officer Scott EatonRoyal Navy Southern Diving Unit 2

Murder conspiracy suspect bailed

A woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder after a man was shot and critically injured in Waterlooville has been released on police bail.

A 34-year-old man suffered "life-changing" head injuries in the incident on Monday in Athena Avenue and remains in hospital, police said.

Athena Avenue

The 31-year-old suspect and two people who were arrested on suspicion of murder are on bail until 28 April.

Hampshire police said the shooting "may relate to the supply of drugs in the area".

Hotel Watch scheme officially launched

A joint initiative between Dorset Police and hotels in Bournemouth will be formally launched next month.

Hotel Watch, which involves hotels sharing information, has been running since 2015 but will be formalised and expanded with two launch events on 7 and 8 March.

The Cumberland in Bournemouth

The Hotel Watch scheme has already assisted with a number of investigations. I would encourage all businesses in the area to register and I hope to see the initiative expand in the near future.

Det Ch Con James VaughanDorset Police

Bournemouth are charged for breaching the Football Association's rules on anti-doping regarding player whereabouts.

Read more

Shot man remains in stable condition

A man shot in the head in Crookhorn on Monday remains in a stable condition in hospital, police have said.

Officers are renewing their appeal for information following the shooting in Athena Avenue in the early hours.

A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Another woman was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. All three have been bailed until the end of April.

Police car at scene of shooting

We are still trying to establish the exact circumstances of what has happened to ensure that we identify everyone who was involved. We’re also continuing to review CCTV which has already shown there were pedestrians in the area who may have seen what happened or events shortly afterwards.

Det Ch Insp David BrownHampshire Constabulary

Water main repairs start on Saturday

Repairs to a water main in Portland begin this weekend.

The one-way system in Fortuneswell will be temporarily altered and manually-controlled traffic lights will manage the flow of vehicles from 19:00 on Saturday.

The A354 High Street will be close near Mallams with work expected to continue into Sunday.

View more on twitter

Sex offender jailed for more than 18 years

A man has been jailed for 18 years and 9 months for a series of sexual offences in Hampshire, including assaults on two children aged under 13.

John Cooper, 57, admitted 15 offences in the Ringwood area in 2014 and 2015.

John Cooper
Hampshire Constabulary

Cooper, of Hurst Road, was convicted of two further offences including the rape of a woman, following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court in January.

Police said the victims' courage throughout the investigation had "stopped a 'dangerous offender'".

Severe accident: M3 Hampshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire southbound severe accident, at J11 for A3090 affecting J9 for A34.

M3 Hampshire - Very slow traffic on M3 southbound at J11, A3090 (Winchester South), because of an accident involving multiple vehicles earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J9, A34 (Winnal Roundabout).

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

Pet lizard dumped in the 'cold and wet'

Portland Port lighthouse restoration complete

A historic lighthouse at Portland Port has been restored to its former glory after it was found to be in a corroded state.

Portland Port lighthouse before and after restoration
Portland Port

More than 10 tonnes of scaffolding was erected to carry out the repairs to the structure, which dates back to 1906.  

Safe stolen in Andover burglary

A safe has been stolen in a burglary in Andover.

The safe, which has since been found, was taken from a house in Rooksbury Road yesterday afternoon. 

Police are appealing for information.

The People's Cup: Ray's Story

Don't let Gary down!


Gary Lineker invites you to take part in the People's Cup

Here's one from our friends at BBC Get Inspired. I dedicate it to someone very close to me who, it is fair to say, is something of a fan of Mr Lineker - and has a life-size cardboard cut-out of him that I carried across the piazza at Media City.

Anyway, Gary would endorse the sentiment that it’s not too late to enter this year’s FA People’s Cup - as long as you do it by the deadline anyway - and that is at midnight on Sunday. 

Entry is completely FREE, there are categories for everyone AND you can enter either as a team or an individual player. 

Find out all the details here.

County's oldest crossing patrol officer retires

Les Tarling, Hampshire oldest school crossing patrol officer, is retiring at the age of 87.

Les has been helping families cross the road in Basingstoke for six years and says "everyone is so friendly".

View more on twitter

Alert after cold caller reports

Residents in Basingstoke have been urged to be vigilant after reports of rogue traders calling at people's homes.

Police have received reports of cold callers in Buckskin, Popley and Kingsclere.

View more on twitter

Residents 'suicidal' over maintenance costs

Travel: Three-car crash at Sturminster Marshall

The A31 is closed eastbound at Sturminster Marshall after an accident involving three vehicles.

View more on twitter

'Badly-parked cars' block Newport bus routes

Drone near miss at Southampton Airport

An aircraft has reported a near miss with a drone at Southampton Airport.

The incident was reported on Monday by an inbound flight.

Southampton Airport control tower
Roy Gray

An airport spokeswoman said police searched the area but the drone and pilot were not found.

"There was no direct risk to the aircraft or passengers," she added.

Severe accident: A31 Dorset eastbound

BBC News Travel

A31 Dorset eastbound severe accident, between A350 Poole Road and B3074 Blandford Road.

A31 Dorset - A31 in Sturminster Marshall closed and queuing traffic eastbound between Roundhouse Roundabout and Corfe Mullen junction, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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

Rural police reorganisation

Rural areas of north Dorset are to have a dedicated neighbourhood policing team (NPT) as part of a shake-up by Dorset Police.

The teams that covered Gillingham, Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton and Blandford are being reorganised into rural and town areas.

The towns of Blandford, Gillingham and Shaftesbury will each have a dedicated NPT while the rural areas of Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Blandford will be combined with Sturminster Newton to form a dedicated rural team.

The model has already been applied in east Dorset.

Sturminster Newton

The issues facing our towns and our rural areas are different, so they require a bespoke approach from their neighbourhood police. This restructure will ensure that teams have the correct expertise, resources and time to assist the communities they serve.

Rob ChalkleyNorth Dorset neighbourhood inspector

If your name's not down...

Hampshire residents are being reminded to make sure they have registered to vote ahead of the county council elections on 4 May.

The council is currently made up of 47 Conservatives, 16 Liberal Democrats, seven UKIP councillors, four Labour, one Community Campaign councillor and two independents. One seat is vacant.

The candidates will be published by 5 April.

Sailor Alex Thomson talks about circumnavigating the globe

Alex Thomson spoke to BBC Radio Solent's Louisa Hannan about his time at sea and returning home

Further Southern rail strikes possible says Aslef

Further strike action by drivers on Southern rail remains a possibility after union members rejected a deal to end their dispute, Aslef has said.

Assistant general secretary Simon Weller said it was hoping to reopen talks with managers, but the mandate for a strike ballot was still valid.

Aslef flag

We could put strike dates on if we wish but it is not where we want to be. I see no reason why we can't achieve a negotiated settlement that's acceptable to all our members.

Simon WellerASLEF

Ban for couple who 'left dog to starve'

Do you know this family?

This photo is on a camera that was found in the road between Wool and Moreton on Monday.

Pete Waddington, who found it, says the camera holds lots of family pictures that are probably of great sentimental value.

Woman in family photo
Copyright unknown

If you know who the camera belongs to, get in touch.

Labour 'astounded' by Dorset councillor's defection

Labour group leader on Dorset County Council Paul Kimber has said he is "astounded" by fellow councillor Mike Byatt's decision to defect from Labour to the Conservatives. 

Mr Byatt, who has served on the county council for 12 years, joined the Conservative group at a full meeting of the council on Thursday. It leaves Labour with three seats on the Conservative-run authority.

I don't know how he can reconcile himself going from a Labour to a Conservative philosophy. There are the problems of adult services, housing for young people, rough sleepers, all these issues I don't believe the Tory party will deal with - I'm absolutely astounded by his decision.

Paul KimberLabour group leader, Dorset County Council
Dorchester Prison

Critics of the Dorchester Prison housing development say the public have been 'ripped off'.

Read more

Deaf couple hear for the first time

A profoundly deaf couple from Wiltshire are hearing each other speak for the very first time after both having cochlear implants fitted in Southampton.

It's believed Helen and Neil Robinson from Salisbury are the first couple in the UK to be given the implants at the same time. 

They've been married for 12 years and have always communicated with sign language but now they're discovering the sound of each other's voices as well as other sounds like birdsong.

Watch: Deaf couple hear for the first time

Dorset Labour councillor Mike Byatt quits party for Tories

A senior Labour councillor in Dorset has defected to the Conservatives, claiming he has lost faith in Jeremy Corbyn's ability to lead the party. 

Councillor Mike Byatt represents Weymouth on Dorset County Council. He said he would not resign his seat but hoped to fight it for the Tories in elections later this year.

Mike Byatt

I have no trust or confidence in key issues of how he [Mr Corbyn] would potentially lead this country. I'm mindful of the major agenda we've got in local government and which party is best positioned.

Mike Byatt

Heading to Portsmouth today?

Cherries training in Madrid

Mine found in Portsmouth Harbour

Headlines: Affordable housing row and Labour defection

  • Affordable housing rules are not being applied robustly enough, according to critics of a new development at the former Dorchester Prison site
  • The former leader of the Labour group at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council has defected to the Conservatives
  • Events are being held to mark the centenary of a WW2 shipping disaster off the Isle of Wight in which more than 600 South African troops died