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South west has lowest unemployment rate

BBC Business News

The south west region continues to have the lowest rate of unemployment in the country at 2.6%.

Unemployment across the UK was 3.8% between March and May 2019. The rate is at its lowest since late 1974.

It was highest in the North East at 5.6% which saw no change on the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Figures also showed wage growth in the UK was 3.6% in the year to May 2019, the highest growth rate since 2008.

Read more:

Unemployment graph

Devon and Cornwall weather: Showers fading but may return

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Any showers should fade on Monday evening to leave it dry in the night with mostly clear skies and light winds.

Minimum temperature: 9 to 12C (48 to 54F).


After a fine and sunny start to Tuesday, there will once again be a risk of a few showers during the late morning and afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 19 to 22C (66 to 72F).

Taking the lead: Recruitment drive for more therapy dogs

Janine Jansen

BBC Spotlight

There's a big recruitment drive in the South West for more volunteers with therapy dogs.

The charity Pets as Therapy currently has more than 250 canines working in the region.

Patients at Torbay Hospital's intensive care unit get regular visits from the charity volunteers and their pets.

Matthew Robinson works for the charity...

'Slight increase' in Cornish football abuse complaints

BBC Radio Cornwall

There has been a "slight increase" in the number of cases of discrimination reported to the Cornwall Football Association (CFA), it has confirmed.

There have been seven incidents reported so far in 2019, with issues taking place both on and off the field. The cases cover areas such as gender, sexuality and race.

Richard Pallow, the governance manager for the CFA, described the number as a "fairly average amount".

But he added he believed the rise was because people were "more confident" about coming forward to report incidents like racism, homophobia or online abuse.

'Concerning' number of cat poisonings in Cornish village

Adam Durbin

BBC News Online

There have been a "concerning" series of unexplained cat deaths in a Cornish village, according to local police.

The main theory of the deaths is poisoning by anti-freeze, but Devon and Cornwall Police said there is no evidence of a crime having taken place in Gunnislake.

A police spokesperson said that it was likely the cats have been "exposed to an unexplained source of ethylene glycol, often found in coolant, antifreeze and other such items".

They have consulted with local vets and are appealing for information.

The deaths have angered residents.


What are they doing about it? My grandkids have lost three since November. The only one left is pining away, bald in places. Someone is wicked."

Gunnislake resident

Devon and Cornwall weather: Sunny and a gentle breeze

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

After a fine and sunny morning, it will become increasingly warm, although cloud will soon bubble up and allow a few light showers to develop Monday afternoon.

Any showers should fade in the evening to leave it dry with mostly clear skies and light winds overnight.


Devon and Cornwall weather: Sunny and a gentle breeze

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

After a fine and sunny morning, it will become increasingly warm, although cloud will soon bubble up and allow a few light showers to develop Monday afternoon.

Any showers should fade in the evening to leave it dry with mostly clear skies and light winds overnight.

Giant jellyfish spotted off Cornwall coast
The huge barrel jellyfish, as big as a human, was seen off the coast of Cornwall.

Hospital boss says tackling '21st century needs in a 1948 system'

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Chief Executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) says they are "trying to deal with 21st century health needs in a 1948 health system".

A "critical incident" was declared at Treliske hospital on Tuesday as it struggled under "extreme pressures".


That status was removed yesterday, but Kate Shields says the hospital is still experiencing high levels of demand.

When asked who was to blame for the crisis, Ms Shields referred to 1948 - the year the NHS was created.

We definitely need to work more closely together as different organisations...but I also think that we need to support general practice around intervening earlier. We are fortunate in Cornwall that people are living longer, but they do have a multitude of health and social care needs, and we need to support people in communities to look after their own. It's not that there's anybody to blame, we're probably just not moving fast enough to keep up with the people who need looking after."

Kate ShieldsChief Executive, RCHT

People are being urged to seek advice from their GP, pharmacist of the NHS 111 service.

Patients can also visit one of the local minor injury units at Bodmin, Falmouth, Redruth, Launcester, Liskeard, Newquay, St Austell, St Mary's, Stratton, and Bude, or the urgency treatment centre at West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance.

Royal Cornwall Hospital remains under pressure

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online


People are being reminded to only go to the Emergency Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (RCHT) if their condition is life-threatening.

Advice on alternative ways of receiving treatment is available here.

It's been a difficult week for RCHT, which declared a critical incident on Tuesday.

The critical incident status has now been stepped down but the hospital remains under pressure.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Dry with sunny spells

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

It will be a dry day and, although a little cloudy at times, there will be some longer sunny spells developing.

Light or moderate northwesterly winds will be fresher at times towards the north coast and the far west.

Maximum: 22C (72F)


RCHT critical incident: 'Much better'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Conditions at the Royal Cornwall Hospital are "much better" says Susan Bracefield, director of operations at RCHT.

The hospital could be moved out of critical incident status with a decision due to be made at a meeting at 09:30.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Dry but increasingly cloudy

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Thursday morning will start largely dry with some bright or sunny periods, but cloud will be increasing through the afternoon with some scattered outbreaks of light rain or drizzle developing.

Cloud will also lower later in the afternoon and some hill fog patches are likely to develop to the west by evening.

Southwesterly winds will be mainly light or moderate but fresher for time around the north coast.

Maximum Temperature:18 to 20C (64 to 68F).


Royal Cornwall Hospital still dealing with critical incident

Mel Osborne

BBC Radio Cornwall

Royal Cornwall Hospital

Cornwall's main hospital says it is still dealing with a critical incident on Wednesday evening as it struggles to cope with "extreme pressure" on services.

Medics have been asked to step in to help after the Royal Cornwall Hospital, near Truro, declared the incident.

It came after 15 ambulances were observed queued up outside the hospital in Treliske on Monday.

The hospital has seen increased pressure on services since April.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the government was "aware of issues" after local MP Sarah Newton told the House of Commons of the situation.

Devon and Cornwall weather: More cloud but mostly dry

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

During Wednesday, cloud will be increasing from the northwest with mostly cloudy skies expected after midnight.

Most places should stay dry, but some patches of light rain or drizzle cannot be ruled out.

Minimum temperature: 11 to 14C (52 to 57F).

Devon and Cornwall weather

Thursday will be mostly cloudy day but also staying fairly dry for most of the morning and afternoon.

A few brighter spells likely in the afternoon, but a little drizzle is expected later.

Maximum temperature: 20 to 23C (68 to 73F).

Stadium for Cornwall deal 'in touching distance'

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Deals to provide the land and government funding required for the Stadium for Cornwall are within “touching distance” and could be signed by the end of this month.

That's the message from Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for planning and economy, who told a full council meeting he believed there would be a "happy outcome" for the long-awaited stadium.

The Stadium for Cornwall is planned to provide a new home for the Cornish Pirates rugby union team as well as for football side Truro City. It will also provide conference facilities, space for Truro and Penwith College and a gym, as well facilities for other sports clubs and community groups.

It is planned to be built at a site next to the park and ride at Langarth near Threemilestone.

Last year Cornwall Council agreed to provide £3m towards the project but only if that was matched by the government, fulfilling a promise that had been made by former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Conservative Councillor Philip Desmonde asked for an update and whether the deals for the stadium had been completed and whether landowner INOX was in a position to hand over the site.

Independent Mr Egerton said INOX had been set to hand over the site for the stadium as part of a Section 106 planning agreement linked with the major housing and retail development for the surrounding site.

However, the agreement was that the stadium site would not be transferred until the developer had started to build homes, adding: "We are in touching distance of not just getting the memorandum of understanding but the legal transfer to be signed off."

Stadium for Cornwall
Truro and Penwith College

South West Water 'on track to cut pollution incidents'

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

South West Water (SWW) says it is "on track" to deliver "zero serious and significant pollution incident" targets by 2020 after being strongly criticised by the Environment Agency.

The utility achieved just two stars out of a possible four after an "unacceptable level of performance", the Environment Agency said in its annual report.

It was also given a red rating for pollution incidents for "consistently demonstrating unacceptable performance".

SWW said it achieved its "best ever wastewater performance in 2018", but it also recognised "there is still more to do and we have an action plan in place to continue to drive improvement".

It added that, as well as aiming for zero serious and significant pollution incidents, it was working on "a further reduction in other incidents and 100% compliance with wastewater permits".

"We will continue to work alongside the Environment Agency to achieve this," it said.

South West Water HQ

SWW provides water and sewerage services to Devon, Cornwall, plus parts of Dorset and Somerset.

Port Eliot having last festival 'for foreseeable future'

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

The 2019 Port Eliot Festival will be "the last for the foreseeable future", bosses say.

The creative arts event at St Germans, due to be held later this month, was finding it "increasingly challenging to present a truly inspirational programme while remaining financially viable".

Organisers added: "We are very proud of what we have all created together. We sincerely hope to return one day in the future."

Port Eliot Festival website
Port Eliot Festival

Government 'looking into extreme pressure' on Cornwall NHS

BBC Politics

The government is looking into the crisis facing the Royal Cornwall Hospital, which is struggling to cope with "extreme pressure" on its services, the prime minister says.

A critical incident has been declared at the hospital near Truro, with GPs across the county apparently being asked to step in to help ease the crisis and make the situation safe.

On Monday, 15 ambulances were queued up outside the hospital at Treliske.

Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth Sarah Newton raised the issue in the House of Commons, saying that people around the county "rely on Treliske".

Theresa May said the government was "aware" of the crisis.

She added: "We know the hospital is taking steps to rectify this... and the health secretary is to meet MPs to discuss this issue."

Royal Cornwall Hospital sign

South West Water has 'unacceptable level of performance'

BBC News England

South West Water (SWW) has achieved just two stars out of a possible four for an "unacceptable level of performance", the Environment Agency has said.

The agency's annual report said only one of the nine major water companies in England was performing at the expected level, with most likely to miss 2020 targets.

SWW was also given a red rating for pollution incidents for "consistently demonstrating unacceptable performance".

Trade body Water UK said the report was "disappointing" and the situation was "never black and white".

SWW said it recognised there was "still more to do and we have an action plan in place to continue to drive improvement".

Waste water
Getty Images

SWW provides water and sewerage services to Devon, Cornwall, plus parts of Dorset and Somerset.

Bloodhound supersonic car back on track for high-speed run

Jonathan Amos

Science correspondent, BBC News

A supersonic car which underwent testing and trial runs in Cornwall will conduct new high-speed trials in October.

The team behind the rejuvenated Bloodhound project says it now has the financing to go test the vehicle at 500-600mph.

This should provide the engineering data required to send Bloodhound through the sound barrier and to smash the existing land speed record (763mph; 1,228km/h) in 2020.

Bloodhound reached speeds of 200mph at Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2017 and aims to hit 500mph in South Africa.

The trials will be conducted on Hakskeen Pan, a dried-out lakebed in Northern Cape.

The UK-led venture was rescued from administration by Yorkshire entrepreneur Ian Warhurst in December.

Bloodhound car
Bloodhound LSR

Cost of agency staff hits hospitals after increases

Jenny Walrond

Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

The cost of agency staff has rocketed at many hospitals in Devon and Cornwall, with levels now far higher than in 2014 and 2015, before measures were first introduced to reduce them.

The big spenders are the Royal Devon & Exeter, which spent just over £11.5m last financial year - its cap was £8.7m.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital spent £9.3m - more than 50% higher than at its original peak - with Torbay and South Devon spending roughly the same.

On the other hand Northern Devon Healthcare and University Hospitals Plymouth both reduced their spend considerably. Unfortunately there was no one available for interview to tell us how they had achieved that.

Royal Cornwall Hospital

Agency staff use matters because it's more expensive to buy in agency workers than pay for staff and NHS finances are already tight. Agency workers may also be less familiar with the teams they are working in.

Demand for services is rising at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to fill jobs, particularly in nursing. Brexit may be making the UK less attractive to some European workers.

The Royal Devon and Exeter Trust said its priority was to maintain safe staffing at all times and that it had taken a series of actions to do this, including national and international recruitment, better conditions for temporary workers and reducing turnover rates.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust also said it was trying to reduce such costs.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital near Truro (pictured) declared a critical incident on Monday because of the large numbers of patients putting the hospital under immense pressure.

Councillor calls for crackdown on 'brandjacking'

BBC Spotlight


It's been claimed Cornwall's tourism industry could be losing upwards of £30m a year to so-called "brandjacking".

This is when online booking agents make sure their advert comes out at the top of searches, instead of the business itself.

It is angering some hoteliers and B&B owners, who have said they are missing out on about 15% of the price of the accommodation.

Councillor Armand Toms is asking Cornwall Council to write to the government to help crackdown on the practice.

Guest house owner Nick Ames said: "You could be paying anywhere between 15 and 23% commission to these other companies."

A spokesman said search engines were open platforms where any business could pay to advertise.

He said properties that chose to list with the firm were able to do so at no charge and it invested millions in advertising to help fill their rooms every night.

Cornwall and Devon weather: Dry and sunny

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

A dry day with plenty of sunshine but some partly cloudy skies developing in the afternoon.

Feeling warm with light winds.

Maximum Temperature: 18 to 24C (64 to 70F).


Devon and Cornwall weather: Staying clear and dry

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Some late sunshine is anticipated on Tuesday evening. Then a dry and largely clear night will follow.

Through the early hours, some patchy mist may form in places. Winds staying light.

Minimum temperature: 9 to 12C (48 to 54F).

Devon and Cornwall weather

Any early patchy mist on Wednesday will soon lift.

The bulk of the day will then be mostly dry with some sunny spells.There will be an increasing risk of a few showers moving in from the west later on. Light winds.

Maximum temperature: 20 to 23C (68 to 73F).

Hospital major incident 'to prevent patients in corridors'

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

A major incident has been called at Cornwall's main hospital because "we don't want to see patients in corridors", a senior doctor says.

The alert has been called at the Royal Cornwall Hospital near Truro to deal with the high levels of demand, with requests put out to Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Partnership Trust to help resolve the situation.

It comes after 15 ambulances were seen queuing up to drop patients at the Treliske hospital's Emergency Department (ED) on Monday, prompting a plea from the hospital to seek alternatives before making a 999 call.

ED consultant Andy Virr admitted that, during Monday's situation, "for most patients the experience was poor in terms of being in a corridor, but we made every effort to make sure their treatment started in a timely way".

Royal Cornwall Hospital

We don't want to see patients in corridors which is why we have done what we have done today. But last night [Monday], it was on the edge. It was very difficult and required a whole team effort to make sure that no patients were going to come to harm."

It was a very worrying situation. I certainly saw one patient that had spent nearly four hours in the ambulance in the ambulance bay and that's a terrible situation."

Andy VirrEmergency Department consultant, Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust

Health bosses are urging people to use minor injuries departments or call NHS 111 before visiting the hospital.

Major incident declared at Royal Cornwall Hospital

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A major incident has been called to deal with the high levels of demand at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (RCHT).

This means RCHT is working with Cornwall Council and Cornwall Partnership Trust to focus on and resolve the current situation.

Last night the hospital was put on black alert when patients were being treated in corridors and up to 15 ambulances were waiting for beds to become available.

Emergency Department consultant Andy Virr was on duty and said: "It was a very worrying situation. I certainly saw one patient that had spent nearly four hours in the ambulance in the ambulance bay and that's a terrible situation."

He added: "A major incident gives permission to ask all the leaders of the organisations to clear their diaries and come together to work hand in hand to free up community hospital beds, to access packages of care to get patients home and to get extra transport home - all the things that need to be done. They are also asking staff - NHS nurses and doctors - to see if they can work extra hours in the next few days to make the situation safe."


Council forced to adjourn meeting after protesters' heckle

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cornwall Council was forced to adjourn a full council meeting on Tuesday morning after protesters refused to stop shouting in the debating chamber.

The council was meeting in Truro and there had been a protest beforehand about over-development in Cornwall.

Under the full council agenda there is time set aside for public questions but these needed to be submitted in advance and sent to the council by last Thursday. When it was announced there were no public questions, some in the public gallery started to shout down into the chamber.

Council chairwoman Hilary Frank tried to explain the procedures to the protesters but was drowned out by shouting. She then said she would have to adjourn the meeting and ask people to leave if they did not stop.

Council leader Julian German then stood up and explained the procedure. He said he was sorry if people did not realise the protocol but said that it had to be followed as part of the council’s constitution. He then said that full details of how to submit questions would be sent to people who wished to so they could do so in the future.

Cornwall Council meeting protest
Richard Whitehouse

Ms Frank then adjourned the meeting and the webcast was turned off while the situation was resolved. Protesters started to then slow clap in the public gallery.

Security staff started to ask people to quieten down or leave and Mr German then came into the public gallery to speak to the protesters and explained that they were welcome to stay but would have to remain quiet so that the meeting could continue.

Eventually the protesters left the public gallery peacefully. Within minutes the meeting was back under way.

Ms Frank thanked the public for attending and said that it was important the council listened to their views.

Protest against 'destruction' of Cornwall

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Dozens of protesters have been at County Hall in Truro to call on Cornwall Council to help prevent over-development.

Banners and chanted slogans on display including "need not greed" as councillors walked in ahead of a full council meeting. There were also outbursts of the unofficial Cornish anthem, Trelawny.

They claim Cornwall Council is not doing enough to prevent the over-development of sites across the county.

Cornwall Council leader Julian German and cabinet member for housing Andrew Mitchell both came out and spoke to the protesters.

Cornwall Councillor Andrew Long, deputy leader for Mebyon Kernow, said the protest was "excellent".

But he added: "They should be targeting it to the government. Not just the Conservative government, the planning policies that we have to follow are a result of the coalition government and the previous Labour government so they are all responsible.

"The policy now states that building is a golden thread which runs through the planning policies. In the past developers had to prove a need to build, but now they have to prove why there isn't a need to build."


Every time I drive through I see another estate - the houses are substandard, who lives in them? Where do they work? How do they get a doctor? It staggers me that this over development is being allowed to happen."

Matt BlewettProtestor from Four Lanes

Devon and Cornwall weather: Dry but partly cloudy day

BBC Weather

A dry and partly cloudy start to Tuesday, with a few spells of early brightness.

Thereafter, expect a dry and partly cloudy day, with some spells of sunshine, especially later on. Winds will be light.

Maximum Temperature: 20 to 23C (68 to 73F).

Weather map

Some late sunshine is anticipated. Then a dry and largely clear night will follow.

Through the early hours, some patchy mist may form in places. Winds staying light.

Minimum Temperature: 10 to 14C (50 to 57F).

Dog owners 'remorseful' after Kynance Cove hot car rescue

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Dog owners 'remorseful' after Kynance Cove hot car rescue Firefighters had to smash the window of a car to get to a dog that had been left inside in a temperature of 34C (93F).

The video shows how a fire officer climbed into the vehicle through a front window, and removed the Springer spaniel.

A witness said police and fire officers attempted to find the owners prior to smashing the window in the car park at Kynance Cove beach on the Lizard.

Police said the owners returned soon afterwards and were "remorseful", adding "officers felt that on this occasion words of advice were suitable".

The dog was unharmed and returned to the owners.

Dog rescued from hot car at Kynance Cove

Ambulances queuing outside hospital

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

ambulances queuing

Ambulances were seen queueing outside the Royal Cornwall Hospital's emergency department on Monday during a "busy" time.

In one instance 15 ambulances were lining up to drop patients at the hospital.

The hospital is encouraging people to use other services such as minor injuries departments or to call the NHS on 111 before visiting the hospital.

It has also said people collecting relatives and friends are encouraged to arrive earlier rather than later.

View more on twitter

Dog rescued from hot car at Kynance Cove

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Firefighters had to smash the window of a car to release a distressed Springer spaniel that had been left inside with the windows closed.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said the incident happened at Kynance Cove on the Lizard at about 15:00.

One witness said officers walked up and down the beach but could not find the owners.

The man said a "brave fire lady climbed in through the front window and saved the dog".

He added that the dog appeared to have been left in a crate at the back of the car for about an hour.

The fire service said six officers attended after a request from police.

"Using a thermal imaging camera crews recorded the temperature in the care was recording as 34 degrees Celsius.

"The Springer spaniel was left in the care of National Trust officers and this incident is being investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police."

Council to consult over its farms estate

BBC Radio Cornwall

A public consultation has been launched about the future of Cornwall's County farms estate.

Cornwall Council has 10,800 acres and lets 91 farms to tenants, providing an income of about £1.5m from the rent.

The local authority has come up with a strategy that includes focusing on environmental schemes and increased business opportunities.


Some councils are selling off farms but Deputy Leader Adam Paynter said Cornwall would definitely keep the estate because it was "really important" for the future of farming in Cornwall.

Michael Colwell has a county farm at Scorrier and said the estate was "vital" for new entrants to the industry.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Mainly dry with sunny spells

BBC Weather

It will be a mainly dry Monday with partly cloudy skies and some long sunny spells.

Devon and Cornwall weather

There is a low risk of the odd shower in the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

Government to give £200k to support Cornish language

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The UK government has announced it will give £200,000 to support Cornish language and culture.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne made the announcement in Falmouth at the first UK summit of national minorities.

The new funding includes £150,000 for the Cornish language programme, £25,000 for tackling education barriers, £10,000 to the Cornish Culture Distinctiveness Project, £10,000 to the Ordinalia Nessa work and £5,000 to the Gorsedh Youth Festival.

Cornish Embassy bus

Lord Bourne, who is in Cornwall on a three-day visit, said the Cornish language should be "supported".

"Cornwall has a rich history and a distinctive identity, and it's right that we are committed to promoting it," he said.

"This new fund will help further develop projects around culture and heritage in the area."

After making his speech Lord Bourne visited the Cornish Embassy bus which has been encouraging people to support the campaign for a Cornish tick box on the census and to get a Cornish passport.

Cornwall is a unique county and we welcome the funding announcement, which will allow us to preserve, share and develop our distinct culture and identity."

Bob EgertonCornwall Council

OFSTED acknowledges fines are hard for tourism sector

BBC Radio Cornwall

The South West director of OFSTED has acknowledged that fining parents for unauthorised absences in term time is particularly hard for people in Cornwall working within the tourism sector.

In recent years, the local education authority has been toughening its stance on unauthorised leave.

Cornwall Council gave out 19 unauthorised absence fines two years ago.

It went up to 387 last year and this year it was 686.

Bradley Simmons from OFSTED said he understood the difficulty - but says the law was changed in order to improve educational attainment.

Fishing towns have 'far higher' poverty than average

Hannah Stacey

BBC Radio Cornwall

A charity is warning that fishing communities in the south west are in crisis because of uncertainty over Brexit, new laws and declining catches.

Seafarers UK's 'Fishing for a Future' report identifies that Newlyn and Looe are locations where residents suffer far higher levels of deprivation than the national average as a result of the challenges faced by the sector.

A Defra spokesman said that a fisheries bill sets out powers for "taking back control of our waters, regenerating coastal communities and protecting the marine environment".

In Cornwall there are concerns that smaller boats are missing out on the mackerel catch because they can't compete with bigger vessels.


Drugs supply 'highest in six years' says police chief

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

"Drugs supply into the two counties is the highest it's been in my time as chief constable," says Devon and Cornwall's top cop Shaun Sawyer.

Shaun Sawyer

Mr Sawyer, who was appointed chief constable in 2013, spoke as a teenager said drugs gangs in Newton Abbot parks had made some areas no-go zones.

"My nieces won't go there any more because the gangs have taken them over," said the unnamed girl.

"So many people who could achieve so many amazing things are just throwing their lives away."

Mr Sawyer met partner agencies, police staff and vulnerable adults to discuss the challenges of tackling drug supply and county lines gangs, who bring drugs to rural areas from big cities.

Devon and Cornwall weather: Sunny and a gentle breeze

BBC Weather

Friday is set to be dry, warm and bright day with a good deal of sunshine. Expect a high level cloud that could turn the sunshine hazy later, as well as a gentle breeze.

Max Temp: 24C (75F)

UV: Very high

Pollen: Very high

Pollution: Low


South West MEP Ann Widdecombe under fire

BBC News

South West Brexit Party MEP, Ann Widdecombe has been criticised for comparing the UK leaving the EU to "slaves" rising up "against their owners".

She made the remarks during her maiden speech in the European Parliament on Thursday, which critics branded "disgusting" and "offensive".

Labour MP David Lammy described her words as "ahistorical".

But the Brexit Party accused Ms Widdecombe's critics of trying to "cleanse" the English language.

Ann Widdecombe

Devon and Cornwall weather: Pleasantly warm

BBC Weather

Thursday will be another dry day with long spells of sunshine and some patchy cloud. It will also be pleasantly warm with light or moderate winds from the north or northeast.

Max Temp: 22C (72F)

UV: Very High

POLLEN: Very High

Weather Map