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Warning to the public after criminals impersonate police

Essex Police investigating burglaries involving criminals impersonating police officers have warned the public to be aware and not be afraid to challenge callers at their homes.

Forces in Essex, Kent and London are investigating over twenty offences where suspects have burgled the homes of vulnerable people aged over 70 using distraction techniques.

Nine of those incidents have been in Essex, where suspects have pretended to be police officers responding to an alleged crime and have on occasions showed fake police warrant cards or other identification.

"Targeting older or more vulnerable people is despicable and we need to catch these people as soon as possible. If you’re not expecting an officer to call and someone knocks on your door, please call 101 if you’re suspicious. On the call we’ll be able to check whether the call is genuine and if it is then the officer won’t mind at all. It’s really important that people pass this message on to friends and relatives and call us with any information.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Jason Hendy

Passenger smoking an e-cigarette sparks major alarm at airport

The queues at Stansted Airport Credit: Tom Orrell

It's thought a passenger smoking an e-cigarette in a toilet sparked a major alarm at Stansted Airport in Essex.

Passengers were kept back from entering security for 15 minutes just before six am this morning and queues rapidly built up.

We believe the smoke alarm was set off due to an individual using an e-cigarette in a toilet.

We apologies for any inconvenience caused by the alarm but our priority will always be to take the necessary and appropriate actions to investigation any activation to ensure the safety of passengers and staff is maintained at all times .

– Stansted Airport spokesman

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Tributes to mark 75th anniversary of Fall of Singapore

Regiments from East Anglia were involved in the surrender. Credit: ITV News Anglia / Imperial War Museum

Today marks 75 years since British forces suffered a huge defeat to the Japanese in Singapore during the Second World War.

Around 80,000 British and Allied soldiers were taken prisoner in what has become known as the 'Fall of Singapore.'

Regiments from East Anglia were involved in the surrender.

Many captured soldiers were forced to endure horrendous conditions in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

Credit: Imperial War Museum

"A lot of them would bottle it up and never spoke about it. It affected different people in different ways.

"But certainly it had a massive, massive effect on East Anglia - disproportionate to any of the other fighting in the war."

– Taff Gillingham, Military historian

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Rare mammal thriving in parts of Essex/Suffolk countryside

See ITV Anglia reporter, Kate Prout's report here

Dormouse numbers have dwindled dramatically over the last few decades.

One of our rarest mammals is thriving in some of the most unlikely parts of Essex.

Dormouse numbers have dwindled dramatically in the last century but there are 35 known colonies in Essex and parts of Suffolk. Including one near the Greenstead housing estate in Colchester where they nest in the woody scrubland.

The A12 corridor in Essex & Suffolk is seeing the tiny creatures thrive Credit: ITV News Anglia

Did you know that dormice are so rare you need a license to handle them? Their habitat is being monitored by the Essex Wildlife Trust.

"What we've really got to do is be aware of our open spaces and allow some of them to remain wild. Don't demand that everything has to be mown flat to look like a bowling green. Because these are the areas that are vital for wildlife"

– Darren Tansley, Essex Wildlife Trust

Mosque opens its doors to more than 300 visitors

The day was a big success. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Muslim community in Chelmsford welcomed more than 300 people to the Central Mosque today to give them a better understanding of Islam.

It comes after a reported increase in hate crimes and Donald Trump's recent travel ban.

The Chelmsford Muslim Society says there's been a need to engage with the local community for some time.

It's been really good, really positive.

Some people have never been here before, one or two people have and quite a few people will have been surprised about how similar the religion is with Christianity and with Judaism so for us it's been really nice, really positive.

– Ayman Syed, Chelmsford Muslim Society

Man charged following Harlow claw hammer attack

The attack happened on 26 January. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A man's been charged with attempted murder and fraud following a stabbing in Harlow.

The victim was attacked with a claw hammer in The Downs area last month and had to be taken to hospital.

19-year-old Osa Akapata from Bishop's Stortford was arrested on Friday and has since appeared in court.

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