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Stormy conditions for the Anglia region on Wednesday night

The storm was centred off the west coast of Ireland at 5.30pm on Wednesday. Credit: Met Office

The Met Office is warning of gales or severe gales on Wednesday night into Thursday with potentially damaging gusts of wind.

A yellow weather warning has been issued and there's the risk of disruption to transport and power supplies.

"Inland gusts may locally exceed 60 mph close to the squally cold front, whilst gusts of 60 to 70 mph seem likely at coastal sites in the south and west, as well as across hills. Gusts may exceed 75 mph in the more exposed coastal locations."

– Met Office

The yellow weather warning is in force until 6am on Thursday 15 January 2015

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Report claims female Yarl's Wood inmates watched by male staff while showering

Yarl's Wood immigration centre Credit: ITV Anglia

It's been claimed that female inmates at Yarl's Wood immigration centre in Bedfordshire are routinely watched by male staff - even when they're undressing, showering or using the toilet.

It comes despite earlier reassurances from Home Office officials that this would not be allowed. The claims are made in a new report for charity Women for Refugee Women.

Norman Abusin, Serco’s Contract Director at Yarl’s Wood, said: “As the report admits, these allegations, are uncorroborated. They contradict Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, who found Yarl’s Wood to be a safe and respectful place; the establishment has also received the highest possible rating by against the “healthy establishment test” for Respect. The HMCIP report stated “In our survey, 84% of detainees said that they were treated with respect by most staff, and 67% said that there was a member of staff they could turn to for help if they had a problem. We saw mostly friendly interactions between staff and detainees. We saw staff managing a number of situations with patience and good interpersonal skills.

“We take all complaints seriously and we have strict procedures for dealing with them. They are always fully investigated and, if appropriate, disciplinary action is taken. We also report any substantive issue of this kind to the local Police and to the Home Office and we work closely with both organisations to resolve any complaint.

“Our first concern is always for the safety and wellbeing of all the residents at Yarl’s Wood. Our team do their utmost to look after these vulnerable people and to ensure they receive the appropriate level of care and support at a particular difficult and uncertain time in their lives.

Our male staff are not allowed to ‘enter women’s bedrooms and bathrooms without any warning’ nor do they watch women showering, nor when naked nor when in the toilet.


Flurries of snow have fallen in parts of the region

Parts of the region have had flurries of snow today. Parts of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk reported brief falls. These pictures were taken at Kelling Hospital at Holt in North Norfolk.

Snow falling in Holt Credit: Dawn Crafer
Snow falling at Kelling Hospital, Holt Credit: Dawn Crafer

There were heavy downpours of rain elsewhere - leaving spectacular sights in the sky. These rainbow pictures were sent in by Adele Price from Bradwell near Great Yarmouth. You can get the full forecast here.

A spectacular double rainbow over Bradwell in Norfolk Credit: Adele Price
Another view of a rainbow, from Beccles Credit: Ian Thompson

Elderly man robbed at cash machine

The theft happened on Marsh Road Credit: ITV Anglia

Bedfordshire Police are looking for witnesses after a man in his eighties was robbed at a cash machine in Luton.

The 82 year old victim was using the ATM machine at HSBC, Marsh Road, Luton when a man leaned over and took his bank card.

The offender then used the card in another cash machine to withdraw a large sum of money from the victim’s account. The offender tried another three times to withdraw cash at other ATM’s but was unsuccessful as the card had reached its daily withdrawal limit.

Shortly after the card was stolen an unknown woman approached the victim and told him that two men had been watching him at the cash machine.

Police are looking for anyone who saw these men hanging around the HSBC cash machine before 12.45pm on Sunday 1st January.

Police hunt man behind vicious attack that broke young woman's nose

Woman attacked outside Subway in Dunstable Credit: ITV Anglia

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman suffered serious injuries after being assaulted in Dunstable.

The woman, in her 20s, was attacked outside Subway in High Street North at about 3am on 19 December, after she had left The Crown pub.

She was approached by two men who bumped into her before one punched her in the face. She was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken nose and injuries to her wrist.

The men ran off in the direction of NatWest Bank and the Quadrant Shopping Centre car park.

This is a particularly vicious attack on a young woman. We’d like to trace anyone who saw this assault outside Subway or the offender as he fled towards the Quadrant car park.”

– Detective Constable Samantha Toombs
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