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Bedfordshire Police Commissioner warns of 'funding Armageddon'

The Police and Crime Commissioner of Bedfordshire warns of 'funding Armageddon' Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire is warning of "funding Armageddon" for the county's force.

Olly Martins, the Labour PCC, says that despite years of underfunding, Home Office grant for Bedfordshire is to remain the same at 0.9% of the national police grant

"The Conservative Government appears set on playing politics not only with Bedfordshire's policing but also with national security.

"In Luton we are responsible for policing an area that has many of the characteristics of an inner London borough, but with a fraction of the police resource."

– Olly Martins, Police & Crime Commissioner in Bedfordshire

Mr Martins says Bedfordshire has 163 police officers per 100,000 population which is below the national average of 226 and less than half the 381 in the Metropolitan Police area.


Bedfordshire man in paedophile ring jailed for 32 years

Robin Hollyson has been jailed for 32 years Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A Bedfordshire man who was part of a paedophile ring has been jailed for 32 years.

Robin Hollyson, 30, was one of seven men jailed for a total of 107 years at Bristol Crown Court. They had been convicted of 30 child sexual abuse offences. Hollyson had pleaded guilty to a number of sex offences against children and possessing indecent images of children.

Hollyson had already been arrested Bedfordshire Police when the force was contacted by the National Crime Agency with information about his involvement in a wider ring.

The continuing investigation has led to the arrest of 28 more people. Three have been charged. The victims identified so far were under the age of five when the offences were committed.

“The sentences passed today show just how seriously the courts and law enforcement agencies consider the evil actions of these men.

"Hollyson and these men went to great lengths in order to carry out their depraved acts. Befriending and grooming a family in order to target their child is truly sickening and clearly shows their level of determination to identify and exploit a victim.

“Thankfully, such extreme cases involving a network of offenders are incredibly rare."

– Detective Inspector Jerry Waite, Bedfordshire Police

“No family ever wants to find that their child has been the victim of abuse, nor would they ever knowingly put their child at risk.

“As a family we now need to mend - seeing the perpetrators being brought to justice is the first step."

– Family of victim in Bedfordshire

Fears missing Luton family of 12 'may have fled to Syria'

The family. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Bedfordshire Police have confirmed they're investigating the disappearance of a missing family of 12 from Luton, who they fear may have fled to Syria.

The family, including a baby and two grandparents, have not been seen since May after visiting their home country of Bangladesh and are thought to have stopped in Turkey on their way home.

They were were reported missing by a relative in Luton on 17 May.

The family in full

  • Muhammed Abdul Mannan, 75
  • Minera Khatun, 53
  • Rajia Khanom, 21
  • Mohammed Zayd Hussain, 25
  • Mohammed Toufique Hussain, 19
  • Mohammed Abil Kashem Saker, 31
  • Sheida Khanam, 27
  • Mohammed Saleh Hussain, 26
  • Roshanara Begum, 24
  • Three children, aged between one and 11

Officers say there's a suggestion they may have travelled to Syria, although they can't yet be certain.

“We are devastated by the disappearance of these 12 and are very concerned for their safety.

This is completely out of character and we are very worried of the danger they may now be in.

Muhammed Abdul Mannan is elderly and both he and Minera Khatun have health issues.

This just does not make any sense. We can only think they have been tricked into going there, it is no place for elderly or young people.

We would urge any of them to please make contact with us or the police to let us know they are ok.”

– Family statement

Pictures of the family (three of the four sons)

31-year-old Mohammed Saker. Credit: Bedfordshire Police
19-year-old Mohammed Hussain. Credit: Bedfordshire Police
Mohammed Zayd Hussain, 25. Credit: Bedfordshire Police


Police appeal after stabbing

Police are appealing for information after a stabbing in Luton last Thursday (2 April).

A man was sitting on a bench in a park area at the junction of St Peter’s Road and Dallow Road between 9pm and 10pm when he was approached by a group of men and stabbed several times, causing back injuries.

The men then left the scene in the direction of Ashburnham Road.

“This was an unprovoked attack which could have been a lot worse. I’m urging anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact us immediately to help identify those responsible.”

– Detective Constable Nick Foster

Two men assaulted in Luton

Police are appealing for witnesses after two assaults in Luton last Friday.

The first attack took place in Arundel Road, close to the junction with Dunstable Road, at approximately 10pm. Three men approached a man and assaulted him using a baseball bat, causing serious facial injuries.

Approximately five minutes later, another man in Arundel Road, near to its junction with Wingate Road, was assaulted by three men.

In each incident the men are described as Asian, in their late teens to early 20s, and were seen to use a small black car.

Police keen to trace missing teenagers

Bedfordshire Police is appealing for help to trace two teenagers who have not been seen since Thursday 5 March.

Zin Elziat Credit: Bedfordshire Police
Marwan El’Abden Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Marwan El’Abden and Zin Elziat, both 17, were last seen heading into Bedford town centre.

Marwan and Zin do not speak any English. They are both described as 5ft 5ins tall, of medium build, with short black hair and brown eyes.

They were both wearing beanie hats, casual jackets and jeans.

Anyone with information relating to their whereabouts should call Bedfordshire Police on 101, or text information to 07786 200011, quoting BP-05032015-0146.

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