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Elite firearms academy to be built in former reservoir

Armed Police will be given tactical training at the new centre Credit: PA

A National fire arms training academy is set to be built in Bedfordshire.

The £20 million National Firearms and Tactical Training Centre will be based in a former subterranean reservoir in Bedford.

It's expected more than 80 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with a further 40 once the facility opens in January 2017.

The centre will train police officers across the country in hostage, terrorism and seige scenarios.

'This will put Bedfordshire at the centre of Britain's anti-terrorism and crime-fighting efforts while creating jobs and boosting the local economy'

– Andrew Young, National Firearms and Tactical Training Centre

Mr Young says the facility, which will be governed by strict Home Office guidelines on safety and security, will make Bedford a national centre of excellence in firearms and tactics training.

Construction work on the Manton Lane industrial estate is expected to begin in the next few months.

Bedford woman jailed after chasing her boyfriend down a street and repeatedly stabbing him

Charlene Brown. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A woman who chased her boyfriend down a street in Bedford and repeatedly stabbed him has been jailed for six years.

33-year-old Charlene Brown from Bedford stabbed her partner 16 times during the attack on 25 May.

She chased him along Needwood Road and knifed him in the back. He suffered a punctured lung during the ordeal.

Brown was eventually stopped by members of the public who managed to corner her in a garden.

She was initially charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

She was jailed for six years and eight months at Luton Crown Court.

“This was a very nasty attack which could easily have resulted in the death of the victim.

I’d like to thank neighbours who came to his aid and the actions of the paramedics who were able to quickly treat his injuries.

We will not tolerate violence of any kind, especially domestic abuse and will work hard to ensure offenders are brought to justice.

This case should send a clear message that anyone who thinks they can use such violence against their loved ones faces a lengthy spell behind bars.”

– Detective Sergeant Mark Stewart


Thor the police dog tracks down runaway offender

Thor helped police track an offender Credit: Beds Police

A man was arrested on suspicion of driving whilst over the prescribed limit in Bedford in the early hours of yesterday (Monday, August 31), after a police dog and handler helped track him down.

At around 2.30am, two cars, a silver Volkswagen and a silver Vauxhall, collided in Ampthill Road. It’s alleged the driver of the Vauxhall left the scene of the incident before officers arrived.

Police Dog Thor and his handler were called in to find the driver. Thor began tracking through an alleyway, across a railway bridge and into another alley.

Thor then led his handler through a park before tracking into Belfry Close, where a man was located and subsequently arrested.

Our dogs are chosen specifically for their excellent sense of smell, agility and temperament. These attributes make them ideally suited to assist their handlers and other officers at numerous types of incidents.

– Sergeant Vicky Stoughton from the BCH Dog Unit

Police hunt blonde woman in shorts after victim assaulted at concert

Police are appealing for witnesses to an assault at a concert at the weekend.

A woman suffered head injuries after being attacked by a group of people at the We Are UB40 event in Bedford Park at about 10.45pm yesterday (Sunday).

The main offender is described as a white woman with blonde hair in a bob, tanned, thin and was wearing denim shorts. She was with a group of men.

This was a nasty, unprovoked attack. I would urge anyone who saw what happened, or who knows is responsible, to call police."

– Detective Constable Claire Case

Man jailed for 18 years for string of child sex offences

Clint Gilbert Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A man has been jailed for 18 years for a string of child sex offences.

Clint Gilbert, who is 21 and from Bedford, groomed families in order to gain unsupervised access to their children.

Gilbert sexually assaulted young children and shared images of his victims across the internet for two years.

Links to Gilbert were made when files he shared on the internet were discovered as part of another investigation.

Gilbert pleaded guilty to 14 charges last month, including nine sexual assaults on five young children in the town and a further five charges relating to possessing and distributing indecent images.

This significant sentence shows the gravity of offences committed by Gilbert. The trauma he inflicted on his victims and their families is despicable and we are pleased that he has received such a long stretch behind bars.

Nothing can ever undo the harm he has caused however we hope this gives the families some closure."

– Detective Constable Tanya Shotbolt

Gilbert is due to be put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.


National competition to find best wakeboarders held in Bedford

Box End Park is host to the national wakeboarding competition Credit: ITV News Anglia

Some of the best competitors in wakeboarding are gathering in Bedford for a national competition.

Box End Park is hosting the Wakeboard and Wakeskate Cable tow Nationals. The event brings together some of the top riders in the country who put on a display of amazing Wakeboarding tricks and stunts.

It's one of the first times the event has been held outside of London.

Is university good value for money? 10,000 school-leavers look at options

A new poll suggests that four in ten students believe university doesn't offer good value for money. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A new poll suggests that four in ten students believe university doesn't offer good value for money.

The results come as the University of Bedfordshire kicks off one of the biggest higher education events in the country.

More than 10,000 students are expected to attend the two-day UCAS convention. It gives young people the chance to explore their post-school options with the guidance of professionals from across the country to help them make decisions about their future.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Sarah Beecroft

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