Matthew Hopkins

The Witchfinder General of Essex

Many myths surround Matthew Hopkins, the self proclaimed Witchfinder General but his actions in 1645 in Essex are well documented.

Live updates

Farmers warned to take precautions against straw stack arsonists

Farmers warned to take precautions against straw stack arsonists.
Farmers warned to take precautions against straw stack arsonists.

Farmers across the region are being warned to take precautions this harvest to protect straw stacks from arsonists.

The CLA says they see more deliberate straw stack fires throughout July and October - which cost farming businesses thousands of pounds, as well as disrupting rural communities and motorists.


Organisers warn no tickets will be available at the gate for the sold out Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival.
Cambridge Folk Festival.

Today is the first day of the Cambridge Folk Festival - with thousands of people expected to attend.

The four day event which celebrates its 50th anniversary at Cherry Hinton Hall has completely sold out.

Organisers are warning people not to show up without a ticket as there will not be any available at the gate.

Body-worn video cameras help officers bring criminals to justice

 The forces have been trialling the cameras since last year.
The forces have been trialling the cameras since last year.

More than a thousand body-worn video cameras have been purchased for police officers in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

The forces have been trialling the cameras since last year. Government funding means the technology can now be rolled out to more frontline officers.

Bedfordshire Police say the cameras are already helping to bring criminals to justice.

Bedfordshire Police see increase in fake 999 calls

Increase in fake 999 calls.
Increase in fake 999 calls.

Bedfordshire Police say they are seeing an increasing number of fake 999 calls.

They say many of the calls are being made by children messing about or from toddlers playing with their parents mobile phones or land lines inadvertently pressing the 9 button.

Please help police put genuine emergencies first by doing the following:

  • Lock the keypad on your mobile phone so you – or your children can’t make accidental 999 calls.
  • Teach your children about the dangers of abusing the 999 system. The police will prosecute persistent offenders.
  • Think whether your problem is genuinely an emergency before using 999. Could you wait five minutes and use 101 instead?
  • Could another service or organisation help you more efficiently? Noise complaints are dealt with by your local borough council and all have an out of hours service to deal with noisy parties etc.


Police appeal to cut our hoax 999 calls

Bedfordshire Police say the number of unnecessary 999 calls has taken its traditional upturn at this time of year and control room operators are appealing to the public to help cut the number of calls that are made.

Many of the calls are being made from phone kiosks by children messing about in the school holidays; others are from home landlines where children have been playing with the phone, and some are from toddlers inadvertently pressing the 9 button on a parent’s mobile phone.

These type of calls run into many thousands in the course of a year and calls are up substantially in the last few days.

Today two boys were arrested in Luton after a hoax 999 call reporting a man shot in the chest. This apparently life-threatening incident meant the police response included armed officers, the helicopter on standby and an ambulance crew attending the scene of the supposed offence.

Celtic cross stolen

The stolen cross
The stolen cross

Police have released a picture of a stone Celtic cross that has been stolen in a village near Peterborough.

The Saxon cross was taken from Sutton Cross, at the junction of Ermine Street and Peterborough Road in Ailsworth, between 8am on July 20 and 2pm on July 22.

The cross was renovated for the Millennium.

Police appeal after sex assault

Police would like to speak to a couple who may be able to help with an investigation into a serious sexual offence which took place at Harlow in Essex.

A woman, who is in her 40s and from the Harlow area was sexually assaulted in Harlow Town Park at around 4.30pm on Sunday, July 27.

She was with a man who she had met earlier that day. He pulled her into a big wooded area of the park and sexually assaulted her. She shouted at him and ran away.

Detective Inspector Terry Balding said: "After the incident, the victim ran off down the path towards School Lane. The man then pulled up in his silver car and asked her to get in but the victim shouted at him and walked off along First Avenue. She saw a white man and woman, who she thinks were in their 50s, who may have seen or heard their exchange. I would really like them to contact my team as they may be able to help with information into the investigation.”

Bikers condemn new A11 safety barriers

Motorcyclists want the central barrier being installed on the new section of the A11 in Norfolk and Suffolk to be replaced...Bikers claim the steel rope is dangerous and is capable of causing far more serious harm than the metal central reservation on many roads. But the Highways Agency says its an appropriate safety measure for that particular road. Malcolm Robertson reports

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