Govia wins new rail franchise

The Government has announced the winner of the competition to run a new rail franchise that includes the £6.5 billion Thameslink project.

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Bedford: New consular service for Italians to open

The Italian community protested in 2012.
The Italian community protested in 2012. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A new consular service for Italians is officially opened in Bedford today.

The office is run by volunteers and means Italians won't have to travel to London for services such as renewing passports.

It follows protests by the Italian community in 2012 when the consulate office was shut as part of the country's cost-cutting measures.

Flashback: Hundreds protest against consulate closure

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RSPCA launch campaign to find new homes for abused and neglected horses

Molly was found collapsed in Bedford, then nursed back to health in Shewsbury and rehomed in Peterborough.

The RSPCA is launching a campaign to find new homes for abused and neglected horses.

There has been a big increase in the number of abandoned horses across our region. Last year in Cambridgeshire, 60 had to be rescued.

The charity says it is due to an increase in feed and care costs.

Man jailed after drugs operation

Mohammed Aleem Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A man who fled abroad after evading arrest on drugs offences has been sentenced to 6 years in prison in Luton Crown Court.

Mohammed Aleem, 25, formerly of Ford End Road Bedford, was wanted by police in 2010 after disappearing during the investigation into an organised crime group supplying drugs.

Aleem went to Pakistan, but recently contacted detectives saying he wanted to come back and face the consequences.

He pleaded guilty in April at Luton Crown Court to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

The police investigation started in December 2009, when officers found heroin with an estimated street value in excess of £2.6million at a flat in Bedford. With the huge haul of heroin was 325g of crack cocaine, 25kg of cutting agents, a hydraulic drug press and £124,000 in cash.

Piecing together where the huge haul of drugs came from and who was responsible for it, took many months. It resulted in search warrants involving armed and unarmed police officers in Queen’s Park, Bedford. Two men are still wanted in connection with the operation.

World Cup 2014: Respect campaign launched in Bedfordshire ahead of England v Italy showdown

There's been a call for calm ahead of the world's biggest sporting event.

The World Cup kicks off tonight and bars and clubs across the region are bracing themselves for a busy weekend as England start their campaign against Italy late on Saturday night.

In Bedfordshire fans of both countries have launched a respect campaign in a bid to avoid the violence which marred Euro 2012.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

Read more: Couple cover house in flags

Bedford football fan starts campaign for calm during World Cup

Simone Licciardi preparing for Saturday's England game against Italy.
Simone Licciardi preparing for Saturday's England game against Italy. Credit: ITV News Anglia

As the World Cup starts today, a football fan from Bedford has launched a campaign to encourage more respect between supporters from different countries.

Italian Simone Licciardi, from Bedford, has been taking his message to pubs and clubs in the town ahead of Saturday's England game against Italy.

The England flag and Italian flag together.
The England flag and Italian flag together. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The "Respect Campaign" is being backed by Bedfordshire police and comes after violence between rival fans during Euro 2012.

Posters have been put up in Bedford to encourage calm ahead of Saturday's game.
Posters have been put up in Bedford to encourage calm ahead of Saturday's game. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I'm encouraging the fans to get on together," he said.

"I've been promoting it through Facebook. It's not even been up for two weeks and I'm hitting over 500 likes now which is absolutely fantastic."

You can add your support to Simone's Facebook campaign here

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Meet the man from Bedford who's painted a fresco on the side of his house

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and the Last Supper in Rome - two of the most famous wall paintings in the world.

Perhaps one day we can add to that list: the side of Iain Carstairs' house in Bedford.

He's painted a giant fresco on his home to brighten up the area.

Click below to watch a report ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes

Police hunt attackers who beat homeless man with a metal pole

Police are hunting two men who attacked a homeless man with a metal pole in Bedford Credit: ITV Anglia

Police in Bedford are hunting two men who beat a homeless man with a metal pole knocking his unconscious. They stole his wallet which contained what police say was a "considerable amount" of cash.

The incident happened at just after midnight on Thursday 5 June. The man was sleeping rough in the Roff Avenue area of Bedford near the junction with Clapham Road and Tavistock Street.

The attackers are described as white and in their early twenties and one was wearing a grey hoodie.

Man charged with four counts of rape

A 32-year-old man has been charged with four counts of rape after a woman was attacked in Bedford.

Abdul Ghafoor, whose address is not yet unknown, is also charged with causing actual bodily harm and possessing cannabis.

The rape is believed to have occurred at around 11pm on Friday (May 30th) in Cardington Road in Bedford, in the walk way behind the Tesco superstore and Oasis Beach Pool.

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