Live updates

Fire service issues chip pan warning

With chip pans causing more than one in twenty house fires in the UK, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is issuing a safe sizzling warning ahead of National Chip Week (16-22 February).

“While we all love our fried chips, chip pans can be very hazardous and leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite in a matter of moments.

“Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite meal, or consider investing in a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer to help prevent the worst. But if you do choose to deep fat fry please don’t leave the pan unattended. If your pan does catch light, do not throw water over it – get out, stay out and call 999.”

– Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer Ian Cartwright

If you do decide to deep fat fry your chips – whether they’re ‘chip shop style’ chips, French fries, crinkle cut chips or curly fries – Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service say these all-year-round simple safety tips could help reduce the risk of fire:

  • Use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer (it’ll help make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot).
  • Check that it doesn’t overheat - hot oil can catch fire easily.
  • Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Have an escape route in place in the event of fire.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Get a smoke alarm and test it monthly

For further advice on fire safety visit or contact Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service on 01768 812612.

Breathalyser sales up in Border region

It's almost four weeks since the new drink drive laws were introduced in Scotland and some retailers are seeing record sales in DIY breathalysers.

On December 5 the drink drive limit in Scotland was lowered from 80mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood, to 50mg.

It's thought drivers are taking warnings onboard.

Some shops, including DA Autoparts in Dumfries and Galloway, have sold out of kits.


Be safe on Black Friday

People are being reminded to be careful when shopping on Black Friday.

In America, Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving in the US that kick-starts the Christmas season. To celebrate many American stores offer lots of heavily discounted one-day deals, but usually it’s only on one or two big star products.

Read: What is Black Friday?

It's a day which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Police Scotland have issued the following advice:

  • Use cash machines in well lit, non-secluded areas and stay alert.
  • Check the machine hasn't been tampered with, hide your PIN, beware of who is behind you and keep your cash out of view.
  • When you're out Christmas shopping, you might not realise how much all the presents you're carrying are worth - look after your shopping bags and don't leave them out of view.
  • If you're driving to the shops, park your car in a busy, well-lit area.
  • Don't keep any presents you've bought in the car for longer than you have to and always keep them out of view.
  • Ensure your bag in closed and not easily accessible when not being used.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Careful of 'free trials' warns council

"If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. A free trial could end up costing you a lot of money.” Credit: PA

People in Cumbrian are being urged to be avoid ‘free’ trials of goods after some people have been charged up to £95 a month for “free” products.

Shoppers are invited to sign up for a free trial of a product where they’ll pay around £5 for postage and packing. But unless the trial is cancelled within 14 days, monthly payments may be made automatically which could be anything up to £95 a month.

Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards team is urging shoppers to read the terms and conditions when signing up for a supposed ‘free' trial.

If people are worried they’ve been targeted by this type of scam, they should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

"This typically happens on the internet. It’s a widespread problem. The scams involve all kinds of products including anti-ageing miracle creams and serums, health supplements and slimming aids. They’re different products, but all the scams are virtually all the same.

When the product arrives the paperwork contains the small print or terms and conditions. This type of scam is operating on a wide scale and the companies doing this are often based abroad, some as far away as the USA. Consumers should be on their guard; if it mentions repeat billing and it’s a free trial that requires you to cancel then it’s probably a scam.

If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. A free trial could end up costing you a lot of money.”

– Councillor John McCreesh, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Trading Standards


McVitie's bought in £2bn deal

The factory in Carlisle hires almost 700 permanent staff Credit: PA

One of Carlisle's largest employers, the McVitie's biscuit factory, has been bought by a Turkish firm.

United Biscuits, which make McVitie's and Jaffa Cakes, was bought in an estimated £2billion deal.

Yildiz , who owns Belgium's Godiva Chocolate, is believed to have a strong presence in China, Japan, North America, North Africa and the Middle East. The company hopes to use this worldwide network to drive growth for United Biscuits, who will keep their existing management.

The takeover will create the third-largest biscuit manufacturer.

Elderly woman robbed in Selkirk

An elderly woman has had her purse snatched in Selkirk.

The 86-year-old was walking alone at the junction of Curror Street and Bleachfield Avenue at around 2pm yesterday (Friday) when a young man came up to her and stole her purse from her hand.

He was then seen running off along Curror Street where he was lost from sight.

Scottish Borders Police are appealing for witnesses. Local officers are trying to trace the man responsible and anyone who can help identify him is asked to come forward.

He is described as white, between 15 and 18-years-old with a slim build, short black hair and wearing an orange long-sleeved top.

"The elderly lady was thankfully uninjured but clearly shaken by this incident. I am appealing to anyone who was in that area of Selkirk on Friday afternoon, or who remembers someone fitting the description of the suspect, to get in touch with us as soon as possible. In addition, I would urge anyone with any further information relevant to this investigation to contact police immediately."

– Inspector Bryan Burns
Load more updates