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Drink spiking 'doubled in three years'

Alcoholic drinks
Getty Images

The number of reports of drinks being spiked in the west of England has more than doubled in the past three years.

Police in the region said there were 104 incidents reported in 2018 compared to 49 in 2015.

The figures from Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Police were revealed by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The majority were recorded in the Avon and Somerset area, where 85 incidents were reported last year - up from 41.

Flood alerts along River Severn ahead of more rain

There's a weather warning out for Tuesday into Wednesday warning of rain and thunderstorms.

The Environment Agency has also warned of the potential for flooding along the River Severn in Gloucestershire.

There is also a more serious warning for the River Severn at Severn Ham, Tewkesbury.

The agency said: "River levels remain high but steady at the Mythe Bridge and Upper Pound river gauges as a result of recent heavy rainfall.

"Consequently, flooding of property and roads and farmland is possible today."

Flood alert map
Environment Agency
The new gargoyles that are the spirit of Gloucestershire
The new creatures at Gloucester Cathedral are being designed to represent the spirit of Gloucestershire.
Sheep, cow and alpaca's prepare for royal show.
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Emergency byelaw 'to protect salmon stock'


An emergency byelaw comes into force on Saturday to help protect salmon stock in the Severn Estuary.

The Environment Agency (EA) order means draft net and putcher fishing would be prohibited - and Lave net fishing, and rod and line, will operate on a catch-and-release basis only.

An EA spokesman said the move was necessary to protect this salmon population and comes after figures for the Severn, Wye and Usk, which salmon from the Severn Estuary migrate to, showed numbers to be extremely low.

"This has not been an easy decision to take. We have looked at other options, such as reduced catch limits for both net and rod fishermen and voluntary catch and release for lave net and rod fishermen, but felt that stopping any salmon being taken on the Severn this season through a by-law was necessary to protect salmon in the river," he said.

"We understand the impact this will have on fishermen, but only by the use of immediate and robust action, with cooperation from others, can we prevent the collapse of salmon stocks in the Severn in the future."

Police warning over Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman
Press Association

Police say they will prosecute anyone who trespasses onto rail tracks as the Flying Scotsman travels through Gloucestershire this weekend.

The iconic steam locomotive will pass through Kemble, Gloucester and Cheltenham tomorrow morning.

But some people have risked their lives to get a glimpse by going onto railway lines.

Sgt Phil Horne from British Transport Police says as well as being dangerous, trespassing can also cause big delays.

Work on A417 'missing link' to start in 2021

Work to fix the A417 ‘missing link’ will start in Autumn 2021, Highways England have confirmed.

The preferred solution to the problem stretch through the Cotswolds was announced in March.

The chosen option for the last stretch of single carriageway on the A417 east of Gloucester, between Brockworth and Cowley, will see a new section of road through Shab Hill.

The road changes will be 3.4miles (5.5km) in length and will cost £435m to build.

The new road will also have a speed limit of 70mph.

The A417 runs between Gloucester, Cirencester and Swindon and is used by many motorists travelling between London and the West Midlands as a shortcut between the M4 and the M5.

The existing road bottlenecks at the Air Balloon roundabout near Birdlip, but after the scheme finishes it will be removed and the Air Balloon pub will be demolished.

In 2014, it was reported there had been 340 casualties on the road in 15 years.

The next step of the project will involve more detailed design work and further public consultation before a formal planning application is submitted.

We are hoping to start construction in late 2021 and have the route open for traffic in early 2024, but this is all subject to successful completion of the planning process and funding as part of the Government’s RIS2 announcement.

Mike GoddardHighways England Project Manager

Motorcyclist injured in hit-and-run in Gloucester

A motorcyclist was injured in hit-and-run in the Barnwood area of Gloucester.

The 52-year-old man, from Gloucester, was travelling on a Honda motorbike along the A40 from the Elmbridge Court roundabout towards the C&G roundabout shortly after 06:30 BST when it is alleged a white van cut in front of him.

He collided with the crash barrier, suffering cuts and bruises, and was checked over at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital before being discharged.

The van driver did not stop at the scene and Gloucestershire Police is now appealing for the motorist, or people who saw what happened, to come forward.

Incinerator plans end up in court

Incinerator under construction

Campaigners against a planned waste incinerator in Gloucestershire will today have their case heard at the High Court.

Community R4C believes the contract for the Javelin Park facility in Gloucester, near junction 12 of the M5, was unlawfully awarded.

A preliminary hearing begins today at Bristol High Court.

Cricket board want to engage South Asian communities
The Gloucestershire Cricket Board says players are being put off from coming to training.
Ghost-like sculptures adorn Berkeley Castle
The sculptors used chicken wire to bring characters from centuries ago back to life in Gloucestershire.

New patient transport service begins

A new transport service has started for non-emergency patients in Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire.

E-zec will run the service for patients who cannot travel by other means due to a medical condition or mobility need.

Patients who want to make use of the service need to be assessed against national eligibility criteria.

E-zec delivers services across the UK and currently provides non-emergency patient transport services across Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Important changes to how you get your TV programmes

Changes are being made to the way some channels are broadcast on Freeview on June 5.

You may need to retune your TV equipment to continue watching programmes when these take place in your area.

More details about what to do can be found by clicking here. Scroll down for full information.

You can also call the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288

Watch to find details of what to do to make sure you can keep watching programmes after June 5

Abuse accuser 'in contact with reporter'

Carl Beech

A man accused of falsely claiming a group of public figures murdered three boys had been shown images of potential victims by a BBC journalist, a court has heard.

Carl Beech, 51, formerly from Gloucester, told police one of the images was of a boy he had claimed was killed by the former MP Harvey Proctor.

In an interview read to jurors, he said the image made him feel like somebody had "pulled my heart out".

Mr Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Click here for the full story.

Tudor treasure unearthed at Sudeley Castle dig

Archaeologists at Sudeley Castle
Sudeley Castle

Artefacts buried for hundreds of years have been unearthed as part of an archaeological dig taking place at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.

Archaeologists excavating a field within the grounds have found fragments of hand-made green glazed pottery, with the potter's thumbprints on it, possibly from the Tudor period, as well as glass, clay pipes and ornamental iron work.

The dig, which is underway from now until Sunday, offers the public a rare opportunity to see archaeologists working to unearth secrets of Sudeley that have remained hidden underground for hundreds of years.

To find out more about the dig and all the events on at Sudeley Castle, visit:

This archaeological dig is a hugely exciting and rare opportunity for members of the public to witness the re-emergence of a thrilling piece of Tudor history. It’s wonderful to have made such exciting discoveries already and we are keen to see what else we find over the next week.

Wendy WaltonSudeley Castle CEO