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Call for 'Adult Only' games rating

Video games that depict explicit content such as torture and murder should have an "adult only" rating certificate in order to protect children, according to a report from Northamptonshire's police and crime commissioner.

Adam Simmonds, wants the video games industry to give more to parents in order to protect children from exposure to potentially damaging content.

According to the research, one in four primary school age children have seen something online that upsets them, with the most common cause being in a video game.

Mr Simmonds has suggested a new rating - AO or adult only - should be introduced on certain games in order to help parents identify which content is suitable for children.

The Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating system is already in place in the games industry, with ratings and reasons for that rating displayed on packaging. But Mr Simmonds has suggested that titles that ask players to participate in extreme acts of violence, such as massacring civilians, should be given an 'AO' rating.

Speaking ahead of a conference in Northampton today he said:

The Conference on Video Gaming taking place in Northampton today Credit: ITV News Anglia

Controversy creates cash. However, today's report shows that children as young as five are being subject to graphic scenes while playing video games that have left them feeling extremely upset. "Many parents might not be fully aware that these games contain such disturbing scenes. "It is time for the industry to play a more proactive role in protecting young minds."

– Adam Simmonds Police and Crime Commissioner, Northants

Click below to watch Olivia Paterson's report

Supermarket cancels 'offensive' staff awards

Sainsbury's have cancelled an awards ceremony for staff at one of their stores after complaints that some of the categories were 'offensive'.

The planned Oscar-style event had 17 gongs up for grabs including the titles of Mr/Mrs Chatterbox', 'Pure Banter', 'Hard Grafter' and 'Longest Tea Breaker'.

But four other categories - 'Rear of the Year Male', 'Sexiest Male', 'Rear of the Year Female' and 'Sexiest Female' - caused upset among staff and their families.

The event, organised by the store in Ely, Cambridgeshire, was due to take place at a local venue at the end of this month but has now been scrapped.

Sainsbury's say they have spoken to the store about their events programme. Credit: PA

The fiancee of one employee, who asked not to be named, tweeted a photo of the leaflet promoting the night and said: "Does this leave a bad taste in your mouth too, or have I lost my sense of humour?"

She added: "I found the categories, particularly the ones about which colleague was the sexiest or had the best bottom, extremely offensive.

"Not offensive because my partner works there but offensive from a consumer's point of view.

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: "The event was organised locally and was cancelled the moment colleagues realised that offence had been caused.

"We have spoken to the store about their events programme going forward."

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Bedfordshire: See (and hear) the bear that's causing a Christmas kerfuffle...

Bernard the bear Credit: ITV

A musical Polar bear has been causing a song and dance in Bedfordshire.

Bernard, a 6 foot mechanical bear which sings Christmas songs outside a cafe in Shefford, has been investigated by the council after complaints about noise.

Central Bedfordshire Council said it takes all complaints seriously and is urging people to be mindful of their neighbours when planning festivities.

So what do you think? Click below to hear Bernard singing one of his Christmas songs.

Warning about buying puppies online

Trading Standards are warning about illegally imported puppies being sold over the internet. Four have been seized by officers in Peterborough in the past month.

It comes at a time when the Wood Green Animal Shelter in Cambridgeshire has said it's already exceeded its maximum capacity for the number of dogs it can rehome.

Click below to watch our report from Stuart Leithes

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Essex police launch online fraud campaign for Christmas

'12 online frauds of Christmas' campaign leaflet Credit: Essex Police

Essex police is joining a national online awareness campaign for people in the run up to Christmas.

called 'The 12 online frauds of Christmas', it aims to help people keep their electronic devices such as laptops and phones, safe.

They're hoping the advice will stop people becoming victims of cyber-fraud.

Every day for the next 12 days, police will be flagging up a range of ways people can be tricked.

  • Online shopping fraud
  • Christmas e-cards
  • Auction fraud
  • Holiday fraud
  • Loan and investment scams
  • Ticketing fraud
  • Donating to charity
  • Mobile malware/malicious apps
  • Money transfers
  • Social media scams
  • Dating/romance scams
  • Mobile payments

"We want to highlight to the public that fraud isn't just a scam, it's a crime."

– Essex Police Superintendent, Keith Davies

Landlady urges MPs to save our pubs

The House of Commons is due to debate an amendment to the Small Business Bill Credit: ITV

A Norfolk landlady is urging MPs to back changes which she believes could help stop the growing number of pubs closing.

Dawn Hopkins, landlady at The Rose Inn, said: "Pubs are getting turned into supermarkets, being developed for housing. Licencees are struggling and, if you have a pub company involved, it's even harder to make a living with the rents they charge and charging you double the amount for your beer that you would pay if you went directly to the breweries."

The House of Commons is due to debate an amendment to the Small Business Bill. It could help to secure fair rents and cheaper beer prices for licencees tied to big pub companies.

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