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Children in Need: How you've helped

Children in Need 2018: How you've been raising money
People across the East of England have been doing their bit to help Pudsey Bear raise money for BBC Children in Need.

Last year the region raised £5m towards the appeal's £60,750,000 total. 

The charity supports projects across the UK that help children and young people facing a range of disadvantages.

Severe accident: A1081 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A1081 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, from A505 to Airport Way.

A1081 Bedfordshire - A1081 New Airport Way in London Luton Airport closed northbound from the A505 junction to Holiday Inn Roundabout, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Fears for missing girl last seen at train station

Elisha Crimmins
Family handout

Fears are growing for the welfare of a 14-year-old girl who was last seen getting off a train in south-west London more than a fortnight ago.

Bedfordshire Police released a CCTV image of the last sighting of Elisha Crimmins and said they would like to speak to the two young men pictured with her.

Elisha went missing with friends on 29 September and has not been seen since CCTV cameras captured her at Kingston upon Thames station on 4 October.

She is originally from the Cardiff area but has lived in local authority care at a children's home in Bedfordshire since November 2017.

She also has links to the Croydon area of south London. There has been no phone contact with Elisha since she was last seen in public.

CCTV image of Elisha
Bedfordshire Police

Police poppies to show 'respect'

Poppies that are being places on police cars in across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire are to "show respect" and not "glorify war" according to officers behind the idea.

Vehicles in the BCH Road Policing Unit will feature a poppy on all of their marked patrol vehicles in the build-up to the centennial of the end of World War One.

It was the idea of PC Mark Fairclough and Assistant Chief Constable Paul Fullwood, who both previously served in the forces.

ACC Fullwood said: "This is certainly not a glorification of war.

"We will be supporting the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal as we show our respects on this momentous anniversary."

PC Mark Fairclough and ACC Paul Fullwood
BCH Road Policing

Call for Oyster extension to Luton and Stansted airports

Oyster card

Rail Minister Jo Johnson has been urged by City Hall's Heidi Alexander to back an extension of Oyster and contactless payments to Luton, Stansted and Southend airports.

London's deputy mayor for transport has written to Mr Johnson stating that thousands of football fans who will use the airports to attend Euro 2020 matches at Wembley Stadium should be given the "greater flexibility and convenience" of being able to use Oyster and contactless cards.

Wembley is set to host seven matches during the tournament - including the final.

Tourists arriving at the three airports are currently unable to pay for their onward train travel using the plastic cards, meaning many must queue to buy paper tickets.

Acceptance of Oyster was extended to Gatwick Airport in January 2016, joining Heathrow and London City airports which were already included in the Oyster zones.

Ms Alexander emphasised that Transport for London has "consistently expressed support for expansion of the technology" and called on Mr Johnson to provide an update on progress "for when these crucial extensions will be rolled out".

Body cameras for Central Beds traffic officers

Traffic, parking and community safety officers in Central Bedfordshire will all be hearing "cutting-edge" body cameras from today.

In total, 21 new wearable cameras will be fitted to officers' jackets, but will only be activated when necessary, Central Bedfordshire Council said.

It said they are to "improve their evidence-gathering, inspection and monitoring procedures, and increase the safety and well-being of the council staff."

The public will be told by the officer that a recording is being made.

Police forces work together to combat hare coursing

Police forces across the East of England are working together to combat hare coursing.

The activity, which involves dogs chasing and often killing hares, has been illegal since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004.

It is often highly organised and involves significant sums of money with people betting on the outcome.

Representatives from police, Natural England and National Farmers' Union
Hertfordshire Police

Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex police forces are working in partnership with the National Farmers' Union, Natural England and the Country Land and Business Association to tackle the activity which can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to land.

Officers will be carrying out patrols in "hot-spot areas" and "dealing robustly with offenders".

Rail compensation scheme extended for Govia passengers

A compensation scheme for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) commuters affected by the timetable changes in May is to be extended.

Bedford train at St Albans Station
Damien Stephenson

GTR changed the time of every train on its timetable on 20 May. The new timetable saw some services withdrawn and cancellations.

So far, only season ticket holders have been able to claim for disruption on Thameslink and Great Northern lines but the company has now said people who travel three days a week, who use the discounted carnet tickets, will also be included.

The scheme applies to passengers travelling from the most affected stations from 20 May to 28 July.

Govia Thameslink said it has been listening to feedback and is sorry for the disruption that followed the introduction of the new timetable.

London Luton Airport 'UK's worst airport' for third year

Luton Airport

London Luton Airport has been rated the UK's worst airport for the third year running.

A customer satisfaction survey by the consumer group Which found passengers faced disastrous customer service, queues at passport control and poor facilities.

An airport spokesman said the survey represented a fraction of passengers and that 70% of people it polled were "happy with their experience".

Trial of red routes to go ahead in Luton

Luton Borough Council will have a trial of red routes in the town, despite concerns about the impact on local businesses.

Vehicles will be forbidden from parking or waiting along the red routes, which will be monitored by CCTV and marked by double red lines.

At a meeting yesterday it was announced a red route will be introduced on Airport Way in November, but trials in other areas will not be introduced until January, in an aim to minimise disruption to businesses over the Christmas period.

The estimated cost of this scheme will be about £165,000, while a further £40,000 will be spent on the Airport Way red route, according to Labour South councillor Paul Castleman.

Beds police first to launch 'cyber van'

Bedfordshire Police have introduced what they claim is the first "mobile cyber van" in the country.

The force said its new "digital media triage vehicle" will be used to study devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, which police suspect contain criminal material.

It will "enable us to only remove the ones that contain evidence, to bring them back to our lab for further investigation", a spokesman said.

Kathryn Holloway handing over keys to a van to DS Pete Ward and Chief Constable Jon Boutcher cuts a ribbon
Bedfordshire Police

Here's the moment the keys of the van were handed over from the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway to Det Sgt Pete Ward, while Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is also on ribbon-cutting duty.