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24 Arrests, Huge Drugs Haul, Firearms and Cash Seized in Police Raids in Bedfordshire

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More than 90 kilos of Class A drugs, seven firearms and over £180,000 in cash has been seized in Bedfordshire on Thursday as part of the UK’s largest-ever operation to combat serious and organised crime.
Twenty-four people have been arrested in the county and 11 people charged so far as part of a major coordinated period of action by law enforcement agencies across Europe.
Throughout June Bedfordshire Police worked alongside colleagues from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) to run two intensive days of action against suspected organised crime gangs.
This was followed up today (Thursday) with another wave of enforcement action, with more than 70 police officers and staff involved in warrants across Luton.
The massive breakthrough in the fight against serious and organised crime comes after the takedown of a bespoke encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals.
Encrochat offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service, but an international law…

Be Vigilant Against Any Unsolicited Scams

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Unsolicited scams are popping up all over the place and we are encouraging you to share this information with your elderly and vulnerable family and neighbours. In June Beds Police dealt with two incidents where a person had contacted a victim and claimed to be a detective investigating their bank and claimed that the people working in the bank are part of the scam. The victim is then told to go and withdraw money from the bank and is encouraged to lie to bank staff about the reasons for the withdrawal. Once the money has been obtained the victim will be contacted again, the fake detective will then declare the cash is forged and arrange for a courier to come and collect the money from the victim. We are urging you not to act on any demands from these calls and instead report it to Action Fraud, our online reporting centre, or by calling 101.
Here are some tips which can help you spot a fraudulent message. 
Police will NEVER ask you to make payments using Amazon Gift Cards or PayPal AND ne…

40°C Days in South-East By the End of the Century

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Towards the end of the century parts of the UK could see 40°C days every 3-4 years on average under a high emissions scenario, says the Met Office.

Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre have found that by the end of the century extremely high temperatures will be possible.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK is 38.7°C set in Cambridge in July 2019.

By 2100, under a high emissions scenario, the UK could see 40°C days every three to four years, especially if emissions are not reduced in line with the Paris climate agreement.

Lead author Dr Nikolaos Christidis, said “We found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century, with the most extreme temperatures expected to be observed in the south-east of England.”

“Some parts of the south-east between 1960 and 2019 the hottest days of the year have already increased by 1°C each decade. The UK is already on a warming trend when it comes to …

Telford Way Underpass - Did You Witness A Nasty Violent Attack on 13 June?

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Bedfordshire Police force is appealing for witnesses to an incident in the Telford Way underpass in Luton on Saturday 13 June.
A man was assaulted and knocked unconscious following an altercation which arose from a conversation about the victim and offender both wearing similar red checked shirts.
The victim was walking by the roundabout with two female friends and passed the offender who was wearing a similar-looking shirt to him. One of the victim’s friends made a comment about it, then the offender turned and approached the victim, aggressively asked if he wanted a fight, and struck him on the head.
The victim fell to the ground and was kicked, punched, and knocked unconscious. He suffered head and facial injuriesrequiring him to have hospital treatment.
The offender is described as a Polish speaker, around 30 years of age, bald, and was wearing a red checked shirt, similar to the one pictured here.
PC Abbi Netherton, investigating, said: “This was a particularly nasty, violent, motivel…

Dunstable Road,: Domestic Abuse Attacker Gets Jail Sentence

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A man has been jailed for more than four years, after he attacked his partner in her home last year. 
Russell Ward, 33, of Dunstable Road, Luton was sentenced to four and half years in jail at Luton Crown Court on Monday (22 June) for attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH).
On Tuesday 30 July, Ward went to his partner’s home in Luton and began shouting in the street.  His victim let him into the house to try and calm him, but he continued to be aggressive and argumentative and threatened her with a hammer. Then, breaking the coffee table, he beat her with one of the legs until she passed out. He then left the property.
In the early hours of Thursday 8 August, Ward returned to the location and made verbal threats towards her, overhead by concerned neighbours who called the police. It was then the victim disclosed the earlier attack.
Ward was arrested, and on searching his home, officers found a gym bag containing bloodstained clothing.
The investigation into the earlier incident began and, th…

Round Green: Human Trafficking Victim Safeguarded

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A woman has been safeguarded and three people arrested after another police operation targeting organised crime gangs suspected of being behind the Luton sex industry.
Officers executed a warrant in the Round Green area of the town on Wednesday and arrested two men and a woman on suspicion of keeping a brothel.
A man in his 40s from Luton, a man in his 30s from Kent and a woman in her 20s fromLuton have all subsequently been released on bail, pending further enquiries.
A Romanian woman identified at the address is being supported through the national referral mechanism for victims of modern slavery.
This marks the latest action police and partners such as Luton Council and local charity Azalea have taken to disrupt the organised criminal networks suspected of running brothels in Luton and protect potential victims.
Last week a multi-agency operation was carried out at three addresses in the town, which identified six suspected victims of human trafficking.
Eleven women were safeguarded duri…

Suspected Drug Paraphernalia Seized By Police

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Thousands of pounds in cash and a substance suspected of being used to mix with illegal drugs have been seized following a police operation.
Officers carried out a warrant at a property in Leagrave Road, Luton on Wednesday.
Police seized a large quantity of suspected bulking agent, which is commonly mixed with other Class A drugs and is considered a controlled Class A drug in its own right.
A large amount of cash, as well as other drug paraphernalia such as deal bags and scales, were also recovered.
Two men were arrested at the property and have now been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.
Detective Constable Tracey Litchfield said: “Drugs underpin some of the most serious crimes in our communities.
“Organised crime is a scourge on our society, exploits vulnerable people and allows these criminal networks to line their own pockets.
“We will continue to carry out proactive patrols and warrants targeting drug dealing and other gang activity and bring those behind these org…

CPRE In Attempt to Stop M1-A6 Link Road

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In a letter to their supporters Campaign for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) urged ”pressure to be put on local decision makers” to demand a rethink about the A6-M1 Link road. The letter, of 18 June 2020 addressed from Lois Wright, Manager, CPRE Bedfordshire reads,

“This is our last chance to stop the A6-M1 Link Road so will you join us in demanding a better deal for our Bedfordshire countryside?
“The need for economic recovery post COVID-19 has been widely welcomed as a chance to build a healthy, green and fair future for all and we are hopeful that this will include a review of spending and road building. But we need to put pressure on our local decision makers NOW and demand that they think again about the A6-M1 Link Road for the following reasons:- “THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR COUNTRYSIDE This road runs alongside an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Bedfordshire Chilterns and will be entirely within the Green Belt and beside 2 Ancient Woodlands. These are vital parts of our “Natu…

Police Officer Assaulted While Party-Goers Ignored Coronavirus Regulations

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Detectives are investigating after a police officer was seriously assaulted while responding to a breach of the coronavirus regulations.
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has used the incident as a catalyst to renew calls for people to maintain social distancing and stay at home if they can.
Some 20 people were at the party in Underwood Close, Luton on Saturday night (13 June) when officers responded.
As they attempted to break the gathering up, one of the two police officers had a drink thrownin his face by a man and was then hit over the head with an object.
The officer required treatment from paramedics at the scene and was taken to hospital, where he received stitches to his head wound.
The other officer also suffered minor injuries.
“It is outrageous that a police officer who was acting to protect the wider public with regard to the deadly risks presented by the coronavirus should have been attacked and injured in this way,” said Commissioner Holloway.
“We …

Luton Man Jailed For 71 Burglaries

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Prolific burglar Aaron Evangelou, 32, of Crescent Road, Luton, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to three burglaries, handling of stolen bank cards and fraud.
Evangelou was arrested by the Operation Maze team, which is the force’s standalone team dedicated to tackling burglary. During his interview with Detective Constable Jason Wheeler, Evangelou made admissions to a further 68 burglary offences.
Detective Constable Jason Wheeler, investigating said: “Evangelou is a prolific burglar and I am glad he has been sentenced to time in prison. I hope that he uses this time to reflect on his actions and does not re-offend in the future.
“Fortunately I was able to identify Evangelou through CCTV footage and due to the good work of our forensic officers at the scenes.
“Burglary is a key priority for the force and such criminality will not be tolerated in Bedfordshire.
“The force continues to run dedicated operations to target those individuals who commit burglary off…

PC Jon Henry Remembered

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The bravery of a police officer who gave his life to protect others was remembered at memorial services at the spot he was killed and at force headquarters on Thursday.
A small number of officers and the family of late PC Jon Henry joined Chief Constable Garry Forsyth today to mark the 13th anniversary of his death. Flowers were laid in his memory at his memorial stone in George Street, before a minute’s silence was held.

Officers who served with PC Henry were invited to attend a separate service at police headquarters in Kempston.
CC Forsyth said: “Although 13 years have passed, PC Henry will always be remembered across the force for his bravery and his sacrifice, which is still felt among all ranks as we all work hard to protect the public on a daily basis.
“In the face of the challenges we are experiencing today, it’s important we all take the opportunity to reflect on his commitment to protecting others.
“PC Henry’s loss is also felt acutely by his family who are very much in our thoug…

Five Year Sentence For Drug Dealer in Possession of a Gun

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drug dealer who had stored a gun in his bedroom has been jailed for five years.
Umar Javid, 19, of Hastings Road, Kempston, had pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition, two charges of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of cannabis.
It was reported to police earlier this year that Javid was believed to be in possession of a firearm.
In April armed officers recovered a gun from Javid’s bedroom and established that it was a blank-firing weapon that had been converted into a viable firearm.
Prior to this, on 21 June last year, Javid was arrested when officers stopped a vehicle in Bassett Road, Leighton Buzzard.
He was captured as he dropped cling-filmed packages containing Class A drugs while he attempted to run away from police.
He also had a small amount of cannabis in his possession as well as a mobile phone, which when investigated indicated he was involved in dealing drugs.
Javid appeared at Luton Crown Court on Monday (8 June) via vi…

Former Teacher Pleads Guilty To Online Child Sex Offences

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A former teacher from Hertfordshire is facing time in jail after admitting to sending sexually explicit messages, images and videos to young girls.
Khaled Miah, 40, of Belswains Lane, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to the offences at Luton Crown Court on Friday (5 June) and will be sentenced on 26 June.
In November 2019, when Miah was living and working in Luton, he used an online chat site to communicate with who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, before taking her number so he could send her messages via WhatsApp.
Over the course of approximately six days, he sent a number of highly sexualised messages,images and a video of himself.
ArrestedHe was arrested after his actions were discovered during a proactive police operation. He was released under investigation in February 2020. 
In June 2020, the Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team (ICAIT) was informed that Miah has been communicating with who he believed to be 12-year-old girl using the same methods. He was arrested and his pho…

LBC - “Please be extra vigilant - we are still fighting a deadly virus”

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Please be extra vigilant - we are still fighting a deadly virus urge Luton CouncilLuton Council is appealing to residents not to lower their guard and to be extra vigilant as restrictions are slowly lifted and more shops and businesses begin to open.
​ Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of the Council, warns: “Now is not the time to relax and to become complacent. We have all had to make sacrifices to help reduce the spread of the virus and to save lives and it’s important we don’t undo all of our hard work.
“With lockdown easing, it’s easy to think that things are back to normal but they are not. If you do need to go out it’s even more important to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing frequently so that we all can keep safe.”
Luton recently saw a sudden increase in cases, which shows that the infection is still spreading.
Therefore residents are reminded:
stay at home as much as possible, and work from home if you canif you have to go out, you must keep a 2 metre (three ste…

Zoo Is Allowed to Reopen - Over 100,000 Signatures in a Day!

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Zoos in England are to be allowed to reopen their doors to visitors from 15 June 2020.. Also permitted to reopen will be outdoor attractions where people stay in their cars, such as safari parks or drive-in cinemas, and takeaway food services.
But some things will have to remain closed like aquariums, reptile houses, other indoor exhibitions, cafes, and gift shops.
The news was embargoed until 22:30 Tuesday 9 June, reported The Independent
Earlier in the evening, a petition that had just 111 signatures at 10am on the morning of 9 June, was on course to get 100,000 signatures by 10:30pm. At 100,000 signatures Parliament would have had to consider debating it.
The 100,000 signatures were actually reached just after 11pm, with over 1,000 signatures coming from South West Bedfordshire, Andrew Selous' constituency where ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is situated.

Map source: parliament.uk


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Flappy Birthday: Live Lockdown Party To Celebrate Sealion's First Birthday

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ZSL Whipsnade Zookeepers mark sea lion’s first birthday with a lockdown party – and you’re invited
Zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are hosting a FB live birthday party for the colony of sealions, as part of the fundraising appeal to save the iconic zoo.

The sealions (and zookeeper Alex) have already helped to raise thousands for the conservation charity through live talks from the sealion pool, so keepers thought a live birthday party would be a great way to drum up support.
As zoos up and down the country remain closed, while furniture stores, off-licenses and car showrooms open, the conservation charity behind Whipsnade is appealing to the public for support and donations.
Zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are throwing a party for sea lion Maui’s first birthday during lockdown - and you’re invited to join the celebrations as they’re broadcast live on the zoo’s Facebook page.

Join In Celebration Birthday Party!On Wednesday 10 June at 12pm, you and your whole family can celebrate with the Zo…
Luton local news and events for the town of Luton, Bedfordshire, UK. Editor Alan Winter.