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Bedford Prison: "Unsafe, overcrowded and understaffed"

Bedford prison has been branded "Unsafe, overcrowded and understaffed" following a critical report by inspectors.

Standards at the jail have fallen to "unacceptable levels" leaving inmates more likely to be able to get hold of illegal drugs than bed sheets.

A report found the number of prisoners saying it was easy to get drugs had almost doubled since the last inspection two years ago.

Watch Liz Summers' report below.

Drugs easier to obtain than clothes says prison report

Bedford Prison Credit: ITV News Anglia

Inmates at Bedford prison claimed it was easier to get drugs that clothes or bedsheets - according to a report from the chief inspector of prisons.

A survey of prisoners found that the number who found it easy, or very easy to get drugs, had doubled.

The report says that standards at the prison have deteriorated to "unacceptable levels".

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Man jailed following stabbing in Bedford pub

Daniel Chandler who has been jailed for stabbing a man at a pub in Bedford Credit: ITV News Anglia

A man has been sentenced to five years in prison after stabbing a man in Bedford in March.

Daniel Chandler, 20, of Newnham Avenue, Bedford, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) and possession of a knife, after he stabbed a man in the George and Dragon pub.

The man was stabbed in the neck and taken to hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Detective Constable Gemma Johnson, said

“There is no excuse for possessing a knife and I hope that this case serves as a stark message to young people that no good can come of carrying one.”

– DC Gemma Johnson, Beds Police

Police issue image of man they want to trace after race attack

Police investigating a racially-motivated attack in Bedford have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.

The CCTV image of a man Bedfordshire Police want to trace in an investigation into a race attack. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

The victim and his family were in their car in their car on Grafton Road at the junction with Midland Road, when they were approached by a group of men.

The victim was subjected to racially aggravated verbal abuse before being assaulted and threatened by the group. The group then kicked his car before making off towards Ashburnham Road.

The incident happened at around 6.15 pm on Monday 5 September.

Friends raise money for mother who drowned in Bedford river

Friends of a mother who drowned rescuing a young boy from a river in Bedford, have been raising money for her three children.

30-year-old Leanne Gordon got into trouble in the River Great Ouse Credit: ITV News Anglia

30-year-old Leanne Gordon died after she got into trouble in the River Great Ouse on July 21.

Friends invited families to Russell Park for a memorial picnic, to share their memories and help fundraise.

We want to raise as much money as we can for them, so that one day they are going to be able to have a little trust there and say that's what my mum's friends did for us in honour of our Mum. That's what she would have done.

– Lacey Gale and Natasha Filby, Friends

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Memorial service for mum who drowned in Bedford river

Leanne Gordon drowned back in July. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A memorial service for a mother-of-three who drowned trying to save a young boy in a Bedford river will be held today.

30-year-old Leanne Gordon got into trouble in the River Great Ouse back in late July.

It's understood she was playing with her children near a shallow section off Honey Hill Road when she tried to help someone who was struggling in the water.

Now, her friends are putting on an event in Russell Park this afternoon where people will be given the opportunity to come and pay their respects.

Bedford man jailed for 7-years for weapons and drug dealing charges

Nazish Shehzad, 35 has been jailed Credit: Bedfordshire police

A man's been jailed for seven years after a shotgun was found in a car in Bedford.

It was discovered in the boot of a taxi which was stopped by police in Roff Avenue. Four cartridges and a packet of heroin were also found in a holdall.

Nazish Shehzad, who's 35 and from Bedford, pleaded guilty to weapons and drug dealing charges.

Shotgun cartridges were found in the boot of a taxi Credit: Bedfordshire police

"Illegal firearms can strike fear into communities and have no place in our society. We will not tolerate those who use or supply such weapons and this case should serve as a warning as to how seriously the courts take such matters."

– Det Insp Gary Atkinson, Eastern Region Special Operations Unit
Shotgun Credit: Bedfordshire police

Nazish Shehzad pleaded guilty to possessing component parts of a prohibited weapon and possession of heroin with intent to supply.

The court heard the gun had been adapted to such an extent it was no longer viable, however the judge ruled that, due to the fact there was live ammunition with the weapon, Shehzad would not have been aware it was not a working firearm.

A destruction order was made for the gun, cartridges and drugs.

Investigation launched after shots fired at property in Bedford

Police were called to Brickhill Drive on Saturday evening Credit: PA

An investigation has been launched after shots were believed to be fired at a property in Bedford on Saturday.

Police were called to Brickhill Drive at around 8.40pm.

The man believed to have fired the shots is described as black, 5’11” and of stocky build, aged in his 20s to 30s. He had a trimmed beard and wore a dark beanie hat, dark hooded top and dark trousers.

The man left the scene in a black Volkswagen Golf with a male driver, who is described as black, with a beard, also aged in his 20s to 30s and wearing a grey hooded top.

The Golf was later found burnt out near Harlech Road.

We are appealing for anyone who witnessed any disturbances or suspicious activity in and around the area, or who saw a black VW Golf at the time to contact us.

We appreciate incidents such as these are unsettling for the community and would like to reassure residents that we are committed to finding the individuals responsible.

The black VW Golf, bearing the registration FL54 MJO, was recovered having been burnt out near Harlech Road, Bedford, at around 10pm last night (Sunday). Officers are also keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the car being driven in the area at this time, or saw the car being set alight.

– Detective Sergeant Kathie Rivers

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101

Mixed fortunes for Team GB in Olympic rowing events

Phelan Hill guided his team to the final. Credit: PA

There was mixed fortunes for two rowers from Bedford in the Olympics this afternoon.

Cox Phelan Hill and the rest of his men's eight team cruised through to Saturday's final after they won their heat, but Charlotte Taylor and her partner Katherine Copeland finished last in the women's lightweight double sculls.

The good news is they'll have another chance to qualify via the repechage later this week.

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