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Driver killed when van hit by concrete block is named

The man killed when his van crashed on the M11 in Essex and was found to have a block of concrete smashed through the windscreen has been named.

He was 61-year-old Andrew Brett of Alexandra Road in Sible Hedingham.

Mr Brett crashed into the central reservation of the M11 near Bishop's Stortford before veering into a tree on the side of the road on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened on the M11 at Birchanger near Bishop's Stortford on Wednesday afternoon. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The incident is being treated as suspicious because a brick-sized piece of concrete had hit the windscreen but police ruled out the block being thrown from a bridge or the roadside.

“We continue to keep an open mind as to how it came to strike the windscreen and ended up inside the van, and whether this was the result of a deliberate act or accidental. “It is vital we speak to drivers who were travelling on the M11 Birchanger area, either north or southbound, at around 4.50pm.

– Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

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E-fit released after attempted sex assault and indecent exposure

They made the e-fit after an attempted sex assault and indecent exposure they believe are linked. Credit: Herts Police.

An e-fit’s been released after an attempted sexual assault in Bishop’s Stortford.

A 16-year-old girl was walking home over a footbridge near Castle Gardens on Saturday 18 March.

She almost collided with a man who then grabbed her and inappropriately touched her. The girl screamed and the man ran off.

The image was created after another report of indecent exposure in the area.

He was described as in his 20s or 30s and of an athletic build.

This image was created after a second person came forward to report an indecent exposure in the same area.

We are currently looking at the potential connections between these incidents and would urge anyone who recognises this man to get in touch with me as soon as possible.

– Detective Constable Caroline Smith, East Herts Local Crime Unit

Veteran conned in phone scam backs fraud prevention plans

Cyril Banks was conned out of £9,000. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A war veteran from Bishop's Stortford who was conned out of £9,000 in a phone scam has welcomed new plans to stop financial fraud.

Cyril Banks, 91, had his life savings taken three months ago. Now Fraud experts and banks have teamed up for a National Campaign called 'Take Five' to give better advice on how to spot scams.

It comes as new figures show a sharp rise in cases.

Backing the campaign, Home Office Security Minister, Ben Wallace, said:

The impact of financial fraud can be devastating on victims, with fraudsters using increasingly cunning and convincing tactics.

They prey on people who are trying to get on with their lives but in a moment where they are busy or distracted become vulnerable.

The message of the Take Five campaign is don't be hurried or hustled, take a moment before you give out any personal information.

At the same time, the Government is working closely with law enforcement and the banking sector through the Joint Fraud Taskforce to take action to stop the organised criminals behind financial fraud.

– Ben Wallace, Home Office Security Minister

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Appeal to trace 'dark car' after burglaries in Bishop's Stortford

There's a warning from Thames Valley Police for people to check their home security after a series of burglaries at homes in Bishop's Stortford.

Eight burglaries were reported between Wednesday, September 14th and Friday, September 16th.

They happened in Parsonage Lane, Manston Drive, Blackbushe and Rochford Road late at night into the early hours.

On each occasion the burglars have got in through the front door and items such as handbags, wallets, purses, DVDs and a games console have been taken.

"A black or dark coloured Astra or Focus with two white men in has been seen in the area in recent nights in suspicious circumstances and I would be keen to hear from anyone who may have seen his vehicle, specifically if you noted the number plate or part of it."

– Detective Constable Dieter Sweeting, Thames Valley Police
  • Make sure you double-lock any PVCu doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
  • Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out.
  • Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting.
  • Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar.
  • Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home.
  • At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
  • Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
  • Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen

Shop damage in Bishop's Stortford was a result of 'mindless vandalism' say police

Hertfordshire police say damage to a number of shops in Bishop's Stortford overnight between the 6th and 7th of November was 'mindless vandalism'.

Four shops in the town were targeted, including Keech Hospice in Potter Street, Scope, Urban and Spa in Devoils Lane and Crew Clothing in South Street.

Nothing was stolen but damage was caused.

"This mindless vandalism has left the businesses targeted with hefty and unnecessary repair bills. We are linking the incidents and I would like to trace the person responsible as soon as possible."

– PC Stephen Gent, Hertfordshire police

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bishop’s Stortford Safer Neighbourhood Team via the non-emergency number 101.

Pupils and staff evacuated overnight after fire breaks out at Bishop's Stortford College

Fire crews have fought a blaze overnight at a college in Bishop's Stortford.

Around 40 firefighters were called to Bishop's Stortford College on Maze Green Road at around 3am.

23 pupils and staff were evacuated from the building but no-one was injured.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze is under way.

Credit: Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue
Credit: Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue
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