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No Covid-19 deaths in Yorkshire for first time since March

There have been no Covid-19 related deaths announced in Yorkshire's hospitals in the past 24 hours, according to the latest NHS England figures.

Coronavirus poster
PA Media

The figures, which cover a 24 hour period ending at 16:00 on 2 July, show across England 38 people died in hospital after testing positive for the virus.

However, for the first time since 15 March none of those deaths occurred in a hospital in Yorkshire.

The total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England now stands at 28,832.

'Extremely reckless' suspects jump from moving HGV

Five people jumped from a moving lorry as it was being pursued by police on a North Yorkshire motorway in the early hours of this morning, it's been revealed.

A lorry on the grass verge
North Yorkshire Police

A "suspicious" lorry was seen driving on the A1(M) north of Leeming Bar at about 01:20 this morning and its driver failed to stop when asked to by police.

Shortly after, five people, all dressed in black, jumped from the lorry and ran into nearby fields while the vehicle was still on the move.

The lorry subsequently came to a stop on a grass verge, police say.

Despite searches by officers, police dogs and the force helicopter in the Little Fencote area, the five suspects remain at large.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "Jumping from a moving lorry and letting it crash off the motorway was an extremely reckless act that could have had very serious consequences.

"Although no suspects have been located at this time, it’s highly likely our response has disrupted criminal activity overnight."

North East raids net almost 100kg of drugs

Drugs weighing almost 100kg have been seized in raids across the region as part of the biggest-ever crackdown on organised crime in the North East.

A total of 91kg of cocaine, amphetamine, MDMA and ketamine were uncovered in searches, along with thousands of cannabis plants, in just four months.

Officers seized £1.5m in cash, vehicles, firearms and a grenade as part of the operation.

It was led by the North East Regional Special Operations Unit, which saw raids and vehicle stops carried out from March, alongside Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police.

A total of 37 people have been arrested across the region, with nine people remanded in custody.

The operation, involving months of work, intercepted an encrypted phone network across Europe, and thousands of handsets were monitored and millions of messages analysed.

Nationally over two tonnes of drugs and £54m cash have been seized, with 746 arrests made as part of Operation Venetic.

Organised crime is anything which is planned, coordinated and conducted by brazen individuals who want nothing more than to turn a profit. This operation sends a clear message that we will do all we can to bring these people to justice and seize any assets achieved through criminal means."

Det Ch Sup Alastair SimpsonNorth East Regional Special Operations Unit
Cleveland Police
Cannabis plants
Cleveland Police
Seized money
Cleveland Police

Portrack roundabout remains closed as well as one lane A19 southbound

Police have closed a lane on the southbound A19 flyover as well as the Portrack roundabout after a HGV struck part of the flyover.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area as traffic could be delayed.

Cleveland Police warns it's likely the roundabout will be closed for up to five hours while emergency services deal with the incident.

Engineers will need to check the structure.

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'Drink responsibly' plea as pubs prepare for big reopening

More police are set to patrol North Yorkshire's streets this weekend as some bars and pubs look to reopen for the first time during the coronavirus outbreak.

A selection of beer
PA Media

Some rules have been relaxed from Saturday around which places are allowed to reopen, so long as they follow social distancing guidelines.

Many pubs and restaurants have said they'll have extra cleaning in place, along with lower capacities and time limits on tables to ensure people are kept safe.

North Yorkshire Police is asking people to enjoy themselves if they choose to go out this weekend, but to remember "the sacrifices that were made to get us to this point".

Assistant Ch Con Mike Walker, said: "Firstly, my thanks go to everyone who has stayed at home and allowed us to get to the stage where we can see our communities come back to life, albeit still with some restrictions.

"We understand it has been difficult for many people, both in terms of health concerns and economic concerns. As we see our high streets, communities and now licensed venues open up again, we urge people to drink responsibly and respect local residents and their peace and quiet.

"Licensees have had a very difficult few months, please don’t make things worse for your favourite pub or bar by risking their licence through anti-social behaviour or worse."

Patrols are to be stepped up this weekend to catch people who decide to drink and drive, the force added.

Dales park wants to to keep area in the dark

Part of the Yorkshire Dales park could be designated as a "dark sky reserve" after a study showed the central 30% of the area qualified because of the lack of artificial light.

Pendragon Castle
Ben Bush Photography’

Members of the board adopted proposals that would include adding guidelines about external lighting to the new Local Plan which is now being prepared.

Nick Cotton, a member of the board, said: "On a clear winter’s night in the National Park you can see the Milky Way, planets, shooting stars and sometimes even the northern lights.

"People will come to stay in the National Park for that."

  • The report supporting the bid can be downloaded from here.

Nine arrests after drugs and weapons recovered in raids

Nine people have been arrested and machetes, firearms and drugs seized in raids on properties on Teesside.

Cleveland Police said the raids in Stockton and Middlesbrough yesterday were part of an operation targeting organised crime.

Properties searched included in Limetrees Close in Middlesbrough, a house on Durham Road in Stockton, and a property in Hemlington.

Seized items included cannabis, three firearms, machetes and two swords, police said.

Three women aged 29, 46, and 59 and six men ranging in age between 22 and 37 were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences and are in custody.

Police generic
Police generic

Yorkshire's Wednesday weather forecast

A mostly grey and wet start to the day with scattered showers, some sharp, that will persist into the afternoon. Some showers will possibly be thundery later on. Staying breezy and cool.

A rather cool and cloudy evening with the odd sharp and heavy shower, possibly thundery, persisting on into the night. Overnight conditions are expected to become more isolated. Staying breezy.

weather graphic

Two men told by police to stay out of North Yorkshire

Two men who were arrested on suspicion of trying to steal quad bikes from a farm in North Yorkshire have been told to stay out of the county.

A police jacket

A farmer who had spotted two men acting suspiciously on his rural farm yesterday morning followed them while a family member called 999, police say.

Two men, aged 17 and 24, both from Hartlepool, were subsequently arrested nearby.

The 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and burglary.

Gloves, a spanner and a knife were seized from the 17-year-old suspect.

He was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, burglary, going equipped for theft and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Two quad bikes owned by the farmer were found nearby after being removed from a garage, police added.

The two men have been released on bail while inquiries continue and their bail conditions say they're not to enter North Yorkshire for any reason, other than answering bail, police say.

Child injured in 'hit and run'

Police in Middlesbrough are appealing for witnesses after a child was struck by a vehicle which then left the scene.

The seven-year-old suffered minor injuries to his face, ankle and leg in the incident in Central Mews on Friday morning.

He was taken to hospital for treatment, and later released.

The driver of the vehicle - a red, small delivery-style van - has been urged to come forward, and witnesses or anyone who may have dash cam footage are also asked to contact the Cleveland force.

South Tees Covid-19 patients can be monitored at home

A virtual ward has opened giving Covid-19 patients the opportunity to be allowed home early, with their oxygen levels monitored remotely.

Patients will be given a pulse oximeter, a small device which clips on to a finger, so they can check and report their oxygen levels to the respiratory team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Ramamurthy Sathyamurthy, a consultant in respiratory medicine, set up the virtual ward.

He said: “This is an innovative scheme with a number of benefits. It enables clinicians to discharge patients home early, allowing the patient to be at home with the confidence that they are being monitored remotely and supported by the respiratory nursing team.

"And often, allowing the patient to be at home and out of the hospital environment will improve their mental wellbeing".

South Tees respiratory team
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“It’s important to stress that it is not for all patients with Covid-19, but those identified as suitable by clinicians will be referred to the virtual ward."

Dr Ramamurthy Sathyamurthy

The pulse oximeters were donated by Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation (CCR), a voluntary organisation founded as the extent of the coronavirus pandemic started to emerge.

Bikes to four-poster beds: Yorkshire's shed loads revealed

A four-poster bed, a canoe and several bikes are among the more unusual loads which have been found left behind after falling off vehicles on Yorkshire's busiest roads.

Box van fallen on aside of A1 (M)
Highways England

Details of the often dangerous shed loads which have fallen off the backs of lorries - and the tops of cars - in the past year have been revealed by Highways England.

A total of 8,982 items were found on motorways and major A-roads in Yorkshire and the North East in just over 10 months from June 2019 to April 2020, according to Highways England.

Traffic officer Nick Ainsworth, from West Yorkshire Police, says he once came across the entire rear of a box van (pictured above) on the A1(M).

He says: "It was still intact, but ended up on its side on the hard shoulder and we had to get a recovery truck to remove it."

Now, as roads get busier with the easing of coronavirus restrictions, Highways England is urging drivers to make sure their loads are safely secured before they set off.

Jon Hammerton, from Highways England, who patrols roads in West Yorkshire, says: "I personally have dealt with bicycles, a canoe, a fully assembled four-poster bed, a metal shed, and many other weird objects.

"Shed loads can close a road for several hours as well as putting people at risk. You must secure your load before you set out. It could prevent an accident and save lives."

Harrogate libraries to reopen - but borrowers stay outside

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Libraries across the Harrogate district will begin a phased reopening next week as coronavirus restrictions are eased – but visitors won’t be allowed inside just yet.

Harrogate Library

North Yorkshire County Council has announced it is rebooting its library services in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon from Monday 6 July.

However, customers will only be allowed to collect and return books from the library entrance as part of a free "select and collect" online service.

Visits will be by appointment only and books will also be quarantined when they are returned.

Only when restrictions are eased sufficiently, will libraries reopen their public toilets, cafe areas, desks and tables for public use, the council said.

Councillor Greg White said: "Our staff and volunteers are eager to welcome people back, but the safety of our customers must always come first. This is why we are taking things gradually."

Meanwhile, anyone who borrowed books before the lockdown is being asked not to hurry to return them, with the loan period extended to 1 September and no fines payable.

There are currently about 105,000 books items out on loan, the council added.

Warning after bogus police officer 'fines' motorists

Police are warning of a scammer in North Yorkshire who's pretending to be a police officer.

Police jacket
PA Media

The man is said to have approached motorists in a supermarket car park claiming their vehicle tax is out of date.

After taking personal details, the man then calls the victims telling them they owe several thousands pounds in fines and will be arrested if they don't pay.

Officers in North Yorkshire say they would never ask people to transfer money to them.

People are being warned to be vigilant about this latest scam and say anyone can call 101 if they want to verify the details of a police officer.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway to reopen on Yorkshire Day

Staff at a steam railway in North Yorkshire plan to reopen the route after supporters raised more than £350,000 to keep it going through the coronavirus lockdown.

NYMR loco
Charlotte Graham

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) runs between Pickering and Whitby, with one of its stations famously featuring as Hogsmeade in a Harry Potter film.

It will reopen on 1 August, which is also Yorkshire Day, with journeys running seven days a week.

Measures will be in place to enable social distancing to be maintained.

These will include passengers being able to pre-book tickets, with each train carriage being cleaned and sanitised before each journey.

Onboard toilets will not be in use but there will be facilities on the platforms, NYMR said.

There will be four return departures daily from Pickering to Levisham, and from Grosmont to Goathland return, with each journey lasting about one hour.

Second care home due to close in Scarborough

A second care home in Scarborough will close within days after officials expressed concerns about the standard of care being offered to residents.

Elsinor Residential Home, Scarborough

Elsinor Residential Home is run by the same company which ran Grosvenor House, also in Scarborough.

The owner closed that home on 18 June over concerns about the quality of care offered.

At the time, North Yorkshire County Council and the Care Quality Commission health watchdog said they were also carrying out a review of the Elsinor home.

That review has resulted in the decision to close the home this week.

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire's director for health and adult services, said the coronavirus pandemic had presented a challenge to the entire care sector.

"Some homes have coped amazingly well, some have needed support and some just haven't been able to deliver - and that's why we have had to intervene here."

The council's social services team says it will work with residents and their families to find alternative care.

The home's owners declined to comment.

Yorkshire's Monday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Today will be breezy with lots of cloud around and some patchy rain, mainly this morning.

By the afternoon, that cloud and any rain will ease to leave it largely bright and dry

It'll be cool, windy and mostly dry through the night, although patchy light rain or drizzle may still push in from the west at times.

weather graphic

Six hurt in care home fire

Six people have been taken to hospital following a fire at a Sunderland care home.

The blaze broke out at Croft Residential Care Home on Ettrick Grove, at about 10:30, and fire crews remain at the scene.

The North East Ambulance Service said three people were taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital and three patients to South Tyneside District Hospital.

None of them had life-threatening injuries.

It also said some patients were treated and discharged on scene.

Scene of fire

Thunderstorm weather warning for Yorkshire issued

Yorkshire's warm weather could come to a sudden halt later after a weather warning for thunderstorms was issued by the Met Office.

A car drives through flood water
Ben Birchall/PA Media

Over the last two days, sunshine has brought the hottest day of the year so far, but that is set to change throughout today.

A yellow warning has been issued for much of the UK with thunderstorms being forecast from midday.

The warning is in place until 09:00 on Saturday morning, according to the Met Office website.

Flooding and disruption could follow, it added.

'One-way only' when York's walls reopen

Local Democracy Reporting Service

York's city walls, some of the "most complete and finest in England", will reopen on 4 July, it has been announced,


Those visiting the walls that stretch for about two miles (3km) will have to follow a one-way system to help social distancing.

There will be signs at all entry points to the walls to help visitors take the correct, clockwise, path around, said York City Council.

The walls were closed in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Keith Aspden, leader of the council, said: “York’s city walls are the most complete and finest in England, making them one of our most treasured historical assets."

Some of the original walls were built by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago.

The current walls were largely built in the 13th and 14th Centuries but include earlier remnants.

In pictures: Yorkshire basks in summer sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

Yorkshire looks great pretty much all the time, of course, but in the sunshine we're currently enjoying there aren't many better places...

On the back of the hottest day of the year so far, we're set for another heatwave today.

These pictures, taken by our BBC Weather Watchers, show clear blue skies across the county:

Shelly Marie

Shelly's photo from Ryhill in West Yorkshire (above) shows poppies flowering in a field.

Meanwhile, Bridlington harbour looks calm this morning, as Octopuck's picture shows:

Bridlington harbour
Foxgloves above Rivelin Valley

Rivelin Valley, near Sheffield, looked colourful on Wednesday, if Rich's photo above is anything to go by.

And a field of poppies in Gate Helmsley, North Yorkshire, looks great thanks to Picture it Pete's photo below:

Poppies in the field at Gate Helmsley
Picture it Pete

Future of North York Moors Railway back on track

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The future of a popular heritage railway in North Yorkshire is more secure following donations of over £350,000 thanks to a crisis appeal to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Steam engines at Grosmont

The North York Moors Railway usually runs regular steam services from Pickering to Whitby, but staff were forced to close the line, shop and tearooms due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Chris Price, general manager of the railway, says members of the public and loyal members of staff have rallied together to show their support.

Mr Price said: "I’m incredibly optimistic about the railway’s future. However, the next few months are undeniably going to be a challenge for us.

"The amount raised will help secure us for a few more weeks. We’ve managed to drastically reduce running costs, but even in its closed state there are utilities, insurance, maintenance, and security.

"These costs will rise even further once the government’s job retention scheme ends in October.”

To cut costs, the railway has cancelled this year’s annual Steam Gala event, which was planned for September.

Cannabis farm worth £77,000 found

A cannabis farm believed to be worth more than £77,000 has been uncovered by police in Middlesbrough.

The 111 plants were found by Cleveland Police at an address on Rainsford Crescent on Monday.

PC Dan Smythe from Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "As a result of information from the local community we have been able to seize 111 cannabis plants and stop these drugs from getting on to the streets of Middlesbrough.

"This is yet another example of the neighbourhood team acting on information from the public."

Police are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

Yorkshire's Wednesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

It'll be another dry and fine day today, with near-perfect sunshine throughout the day.

A hotter day, with temperatures peaking into the high 20s to low 30s Celsius.

This evening will be warm and sunny.

It'll be dry, calm and warm overnight with mainly clear skies, apart from a little high cloud:

Weather graphic

Bird mimics emergency siren at Alnwick ambulance station

The North East Ambulance Service has discovered a nesting bird on the roof of its Alnwick station, which starts every day echoing the ambulance siren!

Click below below and have a listen.

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£250,000 number plate sale boosts road safety schemes

Projects to make North Yorkshire roads safer are to benefit from the sale of a special car registration plate which once belonged to North Yorkshire Police.

The number plate
North Yorkshire Police

The AJ1 number plate sold at auction last year for £243,000, with the money now going towards road safety projects across the county.

The number plate was the first to be used in the North of Riding of Yorkshire when they were first introduced in 1903, the force said.

Once taking pride of place on the Chief Constable's car (pictured), it was decided that by selling the number plate, some of the money earned could then be invested in road safety projects.

The old Chief Constable car
North Yorkshire Police

In total, they will benefit from a £190,000 fund, with some money from the number plate sale already being spent on a memorial garden at North Yorkshire Police's HQ.

People can apply to the force for a slice of the money, with projects being asked "to focus on improving road safety for children and young people, cyclists, motorcyclists and older road users".

Digital signals boost for East Coast Main Line

The UK's first digital signalling system on a long-distance rail route will be installed on the East Coast Main Line, the Department for Transport has announced.

Cross Country train on East Coast Main Line
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

It is hoped the upgrade on the route, which runs from London Kings Cross through Yorkshire to Edinburgh, will cut thousands of hours of delays each year, with problems on the south of the route often having a knock-on effect further north.

The government has approved £350m of funding to start rolling out the technology on a 100-mile stretch of the line between London King's Cross and Lincolnshire.

Much of Britain's rail signalling uses Victorian technology, with line-side traffic lights controlling trains.

Digital technology enables trains to run closer together, boosting frequency, speed and reliability.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "This is just the beginning. In time, we will digitise signalling right across the country to make good on our promise of better reliability and punctuality for passengers."

The £350m funding is on top of the government's investment of £1.2bn between 2014 and 2024 in a bid to improve journeys on the East Coast Main Line.

No date has been given for when digital signalling will be operational on the route.

Yorkshire's Tuesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

It'll be dry and warm today, though it will be fairly cloudy initially this morning.

The cloud will gradually clear, with increasingly sunny skies this afternoon.

The evening will be dry and mostly sunny.

It'll continue dry, calm and warm overnight with mainly clear skies.

There'll be some mist, fog and low cloud along coastal parts:

Weather graphic

'It's still not OK to camp overnight' - Police warning

People are still flouting coronavirus restrictions and camping out overnight in North Yorkshire, police say.

Camping or sleeping overnight in motorhomes is still not allowed under government rules put in place earlier this year to contain the Covid-19 pandemic:

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Yorkshire 'staycations' urged as Covid-19 lockdown eased

People are being urged to go on holiday in Yorkshire this year to help businesses recover from the coronavirus lockdown.

Malhalm Cove
Getty Images

Tourism organisation Welcome To Yorkshire says it hopes to inspire people to see the area on their doorstep as a destination for a break.

Welcome to Yorkshire wants the government to encourage so-called "staycations" as businesses start to reopen following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The organisation's chief executive, James Mason, said: "We're all very passionate about our county which has suffered the effects of flooding in recent years and now this life-changing virus.

"We are very much looking forward to gradually welcoming visitors back to Yorkshire when the time is right.

"This has to start with people on our doorsteps, then nationally and eventually internationally."

Welcome to Yorkshire added that tourism to this part of the world is worth about £9bn, with 225,000 people relying on jobs in the sector.

Police investigate mosque graffiti hate crime

Three mosques in Stockton have been targeted with racists graffiti.

Pictures circulating online show racist slogans daubed on mosques on Bowesfield Lane, Dennison Street and Northcote Street.

Supt Sharon Cooney of Cleveland Police said: “Hate crime incidents such as this will not be tolerated. Enquiries are ongoing and we would appeal for anyone who may have information regarding these incidents to get in touch with us.”

"There will be increased patrols in the area in order to provide reassurance to the local community."

Police's non-emergency 101 number working again

The police 101 number for reporting non-emergency crimes is back up and running again, it seems.

The service was down nationally earlier, South Yorkshire Police said:

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101 non-emergency number 'not working', police warn

The police's non-emergency "101" number is currently not working because of a national issue, South Yorkshire Police has said.

101 on a phone

The South Yorkshire force says the 999 number is unaffected, but people should only call that in an emergency.

People are being directed to online reporting of non-emergency crime as work takes place to fix the problem.

North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside Police have also said they're facing "issues" with the service at present:

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Warning over barbecue fire risk at beauty spots

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Visitors to North Yorkshire's national parks are being urged not to light barbecues at beauty spots because they could spark major wildfires.

Firefighters tackle moor fire
PA Media

The National Trust, which owns numerous sites in the county such as Roseberry Topping and Rievaulx Terrace, said there had been a "significant" rise in barbecue use as the lockdown eases.

A blaze in 2003 which was started by a barbecue or discarded cigarette in a rubbish bin destroyed over four square miles of Fylingdales Moor.

The increase in people barbecuing at beauty spots in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales comes despite appeals stating a dry spring had heightened fire risks.

Recent rainfall has not stopped the landscapes from being at fire risk following the record-breaking sunny spring, the National Trust said.

It added that rangers were seeing an increase in litter, which can increase the risk of fires.

Ben McCarthy, from the National Trust, said: “We know people have missed the outdoors and open spaces these past few months – and we’re really pleased to be welcoming them back.

"But we’re urging people not to bring barbecues to the countryside or the coast. Many areas of land are still very dry and all it takes is a single spark to cause a serious fire."

PCC cash boost for river charity boat

A new charity aimed at protecting life and preventing crime in and around the River Tees has been able to purchase its first boat, thanks to a cash boos from the Cleveland PCC.

Tees River Rescue was founded earlier this year by friends James Ruddock, Rob Lynas and Phill Brette.

Once it is fully up and running it will respond to emergency call-outs,as well as patrolling an 18-mile stretch, to reduce antisocial behaviour, and support river by-law compliance.

Charity co-founder James Ruddock said: “We’re very grateful to the PCC for helping us get our venture off dry land by investing in the charity’s first boat."

Rescue boat
Cleveland PCC

Cleveland PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to help the team establish themselves.

“The River Tees is an integral feature of the Teesside landscape and one that deserves to be preserved and protected – as do the people who access it."