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Record-breaking passenger numbers bring tourism season to a close for Luton Airport

London Luton Airport. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Luton Airport welcomed a record number of passengers to its terminal last month - up nearly 20% on last year.

September saw 1.2 million people choose to travel through the Bedfordshire airport - 19.2% more than in the same month in 2014 - making it the 18th consecutive month of growth.

Chief executive Nick Barton said the latest figure was proof that the airports £100m expansion plans were need.

"These record passenger numbers demonstrate the increasing popularity of London Luton Airport with travellers. They also highlight the importance of expanding the airport to help meet the capacity needs in the south-east."

– Nick Barton, chief executive, London Luton Airport.

Luton Airport's expansion plans will increase its annual capacity from 12 million passengers to 18 million by 2026, as well as adding extra shops and restaurants, and improving the site's rail links.


Armed raid in Luton

Detectives in Luton are appealing for witnesses after an armed robbery at a post office in the town.

A man wearing dark clothing with a hi-visibility jacket, entered the post office and threatened the staff with what is believed to be a handgun.

He escaped in the direction of Lamorna Close after stealing a quantity of money.

Luton: Arrest made by officers investigating disappearance of woman 12 years ago

Natalia Doherty has not been seen since April 2003. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Police investigating the disappearance of a woman 12 years ago have arrested a man and are searching a house in Luton.

Natalia Doherty, who was 50 at the time, vanished in 2003. She spent a lot of time in the Luton area.

A 71-year-old man from Scotland has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and preventing a lawful burial.

He has been bailed until next month.

“This has been a complex 20-month investigation for our officers, who are committed to finding out exactly what happened to Natalia to bring anyone involved in her disappearance to justice, and to finally bring closure to her family.

We are still focusing our enquiries on Natalia’s time in the Luton area in the days surrounding 15 April 2003. I would urge anyone who recognises her or her husband Gerald from their time at the now-demolished Regents Arms pub in Hastings Street to contact us on 101.”

– Detective Sergeant Graham McMillan


Man charged with attempted murder after attack in Luton hotel

A man has been charged with attempted murder after another man was found with serious head injuries in a hotel in Luton.

The incident happened at around 9pm on Sunday September 20 in the Hampton by Hilton hotel near Luton airport.

The victim, a man in his 30s, was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Reinis Bupolins, 21, from Latvia was arrested at the scene and taken to Luton Police Station for questioning.

Yesterday (Monday) he was charged with attempted murder and a further count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against another man.

Luton: Trio jailed for trying to smuggle heroin into the UK in mini footballs

The men were jailed for 17 years between them. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Three men from Luton have been jailed for trying to smuggle a kilo of heroin into the county in some mini footballs.

The Border Force intercepted the package from Pakistan on Christmas Day last year. They found nearly 200 balls in total - 17 of which were stuffed full of drugs.

Sarfraz Asif, Shamiraz Khan and Syed Haider were sentenced to 17 years in prison between them.

Fresh appeal for help in mystery of woman who disappeared 12 years ago and is now feared murdered

Natalia Doherty went missing 12 years ago and police now think she was murdered. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Police have launched a fresh appeal for information about the disappearance of a woman in Luton 12 years ago.

Detectives now say they believe Natalia Doherty was murdered.

They say when she was last seen she was on her way to stay with her ex husband Gerald who owned a pub in Luton. He's since died.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

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