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Help Hertfordshire police find missing Robert

Robert Farrow has gone missing in Stevenage. Credit: Hertfordshire Police.

Police want help to find a man from Stevenage who has been missing since Wednesday morning.

Robert Farrow was last seen in the Poplars area of the town at 8.45am and officers are concerned about his welfare.

The 53-year-old has connections in the Stevenage and Cheshunt areas. He is 6ft 2in tall and slim with short grey hair. Mr Farrow was wearing a light grey and black-striped jumper, black trousers and black shoes.

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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Local firm to develop futuristic laser weapon

MBDA headquarters, Stevenage

The government is finalising a £30 million deal with s Stevenage company to build a futuristic laser weapon which could bring down enemy missiles in mid-air.

Under the agreement, missile manufacturer MBDA UK is to build a "capability demonstrator" for a "laser-directed energy weapon" leading to the development of a one-off prototype to be delivered by 2019.

The Ministry of Defence said the programme was intended to demonstrate how the technology can be exploited by the military in future.<

MBDA, which is based in Stevenage, Herts, will assess how the system can be used to acquire and track targets in varying weather conditions over both land and sea, with sufficient precision to enable "safe and effective engagement".<

Purse snatchers preying on elderly

Police are appealing for information following incidents in North Hertfordshire where members of the public have had their belongings stolen this month.

Detective Inspector Duncan Sales

“Purses, a mobile phone and a cash card have been stolen from victims through a variety of means without them knowing. I would appeal to members of the public, particularly the elderly, to ensure their valuables are secure and to be mindful of those around them.”

– Detective Inspector Duncan Sales

Incidents include a woman in her eighties having her purse stolen from a bag in her car at a supermarket in Royston. Two woman had approached her asking for directions.

In Welwyn Garden City a 73 year old woman had her purse taken from her bag and a man in his eighties had his cash card stolen in Hitchin.

Here is some police advice:

 Carry your bag close to you, keep it zipped up and make sure your wallet or purse can’t be seen.

 Don’t carry large amounts of cash. • In public places, such as a bars and restaurants don’t hang your bag on the back of your seat where you can’t see it.

 Don’t leave your phone on tables in pubs and restaurants and try not to use it in a crowded place.

 Register your phone with your network operator so they can block calls if your phone is stolen and register your phone on the free property database www.immobilise.com

600,000 more seats available on trains

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Train operator Abellio Greater Anglia says there are now 600,000 more seats available a year on its intercity trains between Norwich and London.

Seven catering carriages have been fitted with 54 seats each and extra seats added to some standard carriages. Its all part of a £12 million refurbishment of all intercity trains.

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Hackers leak Laura Trott's medical records

Laura Trott in action Credit: PA Images

Hertfordshire's Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott is the latest athlete to have her medical records leaked by hackers.

The move has been condemned by UK Anti-Doping claiming "unnecessary and unwarranted worry" is being caused.<

Laura and fellow gold medallist Nicola Adams became the latest British athletes to have private information released into the public domain when they featured in the third batch of names whose 'therapeutic use exemptions' , held on file by the World Anti-Doping Agency, were released by cyber espionage group 'Fancy Bears'.<

The exemptions can be issued to athletes who have an illness or condition which requires the use of medication which is on the prohibited list.<

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of the athletes.

Demand for ambulance service spikes during heatwave

Figures show a spike in demand for ambulances during heatwave Credit: East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

New figures show a sharp rise in demand for ambulances during this month's heatwave.

From 12th - 15th September, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) received more than 11,500 emergency calls regionally, compared to 10,300 over the same period last year.

"Despite the increase in demand faced over recent days, our staff and volunteers have continued to deliver quality care to all of our patients and for that I want to thank them. We would like to remind patients to only call us in an emergency such as a heart attack, stroke or major trauma and to otherwise consider contacting your GP, attending an urgent care centre, attending a hospital or contacting a pharmacist.”

– Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery for EEAST

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
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