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Searches ongoing for missing 79-year-old in Borders

UPDATE: Sarah has been since been found safe and well.

Police Scotland is searching for an elderly woman reported missing in the Scottish Borders.

Sarah Philips was last seen at around 7:30am on Saturday, May 14, near her home in Bonchester Bridge.

The 79-year-old is fit for her age and is believed may have walked into a rural area through fields or local forestry routes.

Specialist search teams including dog handlers and police helicopter are carrying out an extensive search in the vicinity in an effort to find Sarah as quickly as possible.

They are being aided by the Coastguard and by members of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue.

Sarah may appear confused or disorientated and police are growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.

She is described as 5'1''tall, with short white hair, of medium build and with blue eyes. As the time of her disappearance she was wearing a brown coat, short blue trousers, a red hat and tan coloured boots.

Sarah may appear very confused and concern for her is growing as time passes.

Anyone who may have seen her should contact police.

Spate of power tool thefts in Scottish Borders

Three work vans have been broken into in the Scottish Borders with thousands of pounds worth of power tools stolen.

Police are appealing to the public to be vigilant after the thefts in Tweedbank and Melrose.

Ford Transit vans were targeted outside separate addresses on Honeylees Drive in Tweedbank and another address in Melrose sometime overnight between Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8.

Police say the power tools stolen were worth around £5,500.

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

"Given the nature of these crimes and their close proximity it is highly likely that these incidents are linked.

"Today, I ask anyone with information that might help trace those responsible or who noticed any unusual behaviour around the time of these offences to come forward as soon as possible.

"Likewise, if you have been approached recently to buy second-hand power tools and are suspicious about where they came from then you should let us know.

"I would also ask all owners of Ford vans to review their security in light of these recent break-ins and make sure they have taken adequate steps to protect their vehicles.

"This includes parking in well lit areas and removing any high value items from within. If this is not possible then ensure that any valuable items are hidden from view. Thieves are opportunistic by their nature and are always looking for soft targets. By taking some straightforward preventative measures you reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime."

– Inspector Mike Bennett, Police Scotland

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Police Scotland ask for public feedback on policing

Police Scotland have launched their annual public consultation, asking for feedback on the way their communities are policed.

It's the first year the consultation is being held online, which they say will help them reach a much wider audience.

Police Scotland say it will help them to focus on the priorities that matter most to the communities.

83-year-old knocked down on Moffat High Street

Police Credit: PA

Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses after an 83-year-old woman was hit by a car on Moffat High Street.

The incident happened at around midday on Wednesday 6th April, when a black VW Polo was in collision with the woman outside the Bank of Scotland.

The woman was knocked to the ground, however was not injured and the driver of the car stopped at the time.

"We want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this collision on Wednesday. They can call us at Moffat on the 101 number."

– Constable Terry Robertson, Police Scotland

Second person arrested in Galashiels drugs bust

Police Scotland says a second person has been arrested and charged with drug offences in the Scottish Borders as part of the ongoing Operation Gatekeeper.

Dealer quantities of heroin were recovered during a police rain at an address in Galashiels on Monday, March 28. A number of diazepam tablets and other drug related items were also found.

A 28-year-old man will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and appear in court at a later date.

Operation Gatekeeper was launched to tackle all forms of drug crime across the Scottish Borders and actively target those responsible for the production and distribution of harmful substances.

Once again, vital information from the public resulted in the successful recovery of heroin and a male will face drug charges at court.

We will continue to work alongside our relevant partner agencies and local communities to identify those responsible for drug crime and bring them to justice.

– Detective Inspector David Fyvie from the Lothians and Scottish Borders Proactive Unit

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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New police commander for Dumfries & Galloway

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie (left) and Chief Superintendent Mike Leslie Credit: Police Scotland

Police Scotland has appointed a new commander for Dumfries and Galloway.

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie replaces Chief Superintendent Mike Leslie who has retired after 30 years of police service.

Mr Ritchie has been a police officer for 23 years and previously worked in operational roles in North Ayrshire, Paisley and Glasgow.

“I am delighted to be taking charge here in Dumfries and Galloway in what has consistently been one of the best performing divisions in Scotland and I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining this high standard.

"I have already been around some of the region visiting officers and staff and they are clearly committed to delivering the best service possible to the community. I hope to build on what is an excellent community policing model."

– Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie

Caravan fire in Thornhill

Credit: PA

Police are appealing for witnesses in relation to a fire which saw a caravan totally destroyed in a lay-by near to the entrance to the Tarmac quarry at Morrington, Dunscore, Thornhill.

The fire was discovered at around 1.30am on Monday 18 January 2015.

The caravan is unable to be identified due to the extent of damage and there have been no reports of a caravan being stolen.

It appears from the information we have that the caravan arrived at the lay-by sometime between midnight and the time it was spotted on fire at around 0130 hours. Anyone who can help is asked to call the 101 number.

– Constable Jim Kirkpatrick, Police Scotland

Window smashed at office of Dumfries SNP politician

MSP Joan McAlpine's constituency office window was smashed by vandals caught on CCTV Credit: @JoanMcAlpine

Police in Dumfries are investigating after the front window of the constituency office of SNP MSP Joan McAlpine was smashed.

It happened around 3.00am on Monday 18 January 2016. The office is on Loreburne Centre in High Street Dumfries.

A male was seen on CCTV wearing a dark jacket with a hood up and jeans smashing the window, then seen to run down towards Dock Head.

Following the incident, Joan McAlpine tweeted: "My constituency office was deliberately targeted by man with brick at 3am. He's on CCTV. I will not be intimidated."

Anyone who has any information which might help identify this person is asked to call Police Scotland at Dumfries on the 101 number.

Jewellery stolen in Moffat raid

Police Scotland is investigating a break in at a house in Old Well Road, Moffat, between Sunday 10 and Saturday 16 January 2016.

Jewellery including gold chains, an engagement and wedding ring and a broach have been stolen.

The house in question was not occupied when the break-in happened. Some of the items were antique and were of great sentimental value. We ask anyone in the area to get in touch with us with the 101 number."

– Constable Gary Gillan, Police Scotland
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