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Luton appeal to stop young men going to fight in Syria

An unprecedented appeal has been launched in Luton trying to stop youngsters travelling to Syria to fight in the conflict there.

Bedfordshire Police, Luton Borough Council and community leaders have all joined forces after a number of British men were killed in the fighting.

The appeal is particularly calling on muslim women who are worried about relatives going to Syria to come forward.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Lauren Hall


UK police chiefs release Syrian travel warning

The Association of Police Chiefs has released a document giving information and advice on travel to Syria. This comes on the day a national campaign is launched to stop would-be British terrorists visiting Syria.

The MET police document outlined terrorism risks, what could happen to you if you visited Syria, what the UK government is doing to help Syrians and how you help the Syrian people.

Some of the points outlined in the document are as follows:

  • Families may face ransom demands.
  • Assad uses the presence of UK nationals in Syria to support claims that his regime is fighting foreign terrorists.
  • If you travel for humanitarian reasons, you are very likely to come into contact with terrorist groups and you may get drawn into their activities.

Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing Helen Ball will be hosting a live webchat on the MET website at 2pm.



FBU: Government is burying head in sand over pensions

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack says the government is "burying its head in the sand" over firefighter pensions. He added the union remains "totally committed to resolving the dispute through negotiation."

After three years of negotiations and an intense four months presenting an indisputable, evidence-based case for the need to ensure a pension scheme that takes into account the unique occupation of firefighting, the government is still burying its head in the sand.

Several members of government were only too keen to praise firefighters during the winter floods, but their words amount to nothing when they simultaneously ignore issues that threaten the future of firefighters and their families.

– FBU general secretary Matt Wrack

Firefighters to strike for 22 hours over three days

Firefighters in England and Wales are to take part in industrial action over pensions next month, the Fire Brigades Union.

Firefighters will strike between noon and 5pm on May 2; between 2pm and 2am on May 3 and on May 4 between 10am and 3pm.

Firefighters in England and Wales have voted to strike for 22 hours over three days. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime across England and Wales from 3pm on May 4 until noon on May 9.

In Scotland there will be a ban on voluntary overtime between noon on May 2 and noon on May 9.


Luton man charged with manslaughter of baby daughter

A man from Luton has been charged with manslaughter following the death of his baby daughter in January 2013.

Adam Stokes, 32, from the Runfold area of Luton has been charged with the manslaughter of Scarlett Stokes-Craig who was 9-weeks-old.

Scarlett had been admitted to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital on 14 January 2013 but was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where she died on 24 January 24 2013. The cause of death was ascertained as head injury.

Stokes has been released on bail to appear before Luton magistrates on 12 May 2014.

Lorry fire keeps M25 closed during rush hour

A lorry fire on the M25 in Hertfordshire forced the motorway to close for several hours Credit: Beds, Cambs, Herts Road Policing Unit

Drivers are being warned the M25 anti-clockwise will be closed during Thursday's rush hour after a lorry fire.

The M25 is closed anti-clockwise between junction 23 (access to the A1(M)) and junction 21a (access to the M1).

A lorry carrying cooking oil and foodstuff has overturned, spilling its content – which later caught fire – onto the carriageway.

Emergency services are currently on scene, as well as structures engineers assessing damage to the road and overhead gantry.

A police investigation is underway. The road will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so but the closure is expected to last for several hours, and during rush hour.

Road users wishing to use the M25 anti-clockwise need to exit the M25 at junction 23 and take the A1(M) north; exit at junction 3 and join the A414 west. Take the A405 south and rejoin the M25 at junction 21.

RSPCA appeal after bird of prey is shot

Red Kite injured by shotgun pellets
Red Kite injured by shotgun pellets Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a rare bird of prey was shot in Wellingborough.

The bird suffered a badly-injured wing and was taken to the East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk. It was x-rayed and found to be peppered with shotgun pellets. The bird had to be put down.

X-ray showing Red Kite's shotgun injuries
X-ray showing Red Kite's shotgun injuries Credit: RSPCA

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to take, injure or kill a Red Kite and punishment can include fines up to £5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.

Red Kite's injured wing
Red Kite's injured wing Credit: RSPCA
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