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Appeal after metal grid 'deliberately jammed' into rail tracks

Credit: British Transport Police

Police have launched an appeal after what they say was a "mindless and criminal" act on the railway line in Swadlincote near Derbyshire.

Officers found a large metal grid and other items on the tracks near Greasley Tunnel in Castle Greasley.

Workers on the line reported seeing five teenagers placing items just outside the tunnels entrance at around 3.45pm on 1st September 2016.

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police by calling 0800 40 50 40 or texting 61016.

Credit: British Transport Police

We are treating this incident extremely seriously. The grid was large and very heavy and was deliberately jammed into the tracks so it was stuck up. If it had been hit by a train the consequences could have been unthinkable.

This was a mindless and criminal act and I would urge those who think that putting objects onto railway lines is fun, or a good idea, to think about the consequences of their actions, which could quite easily have resulted in someone being seriously injured or killed.

– Sergeant James Paget

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Things heat up as Sports Direct owner blames Unions

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley Credit: PA

Founder and majority shareholder Mike Ashley said in a video statement that he would put a workers' representative on its board.

Amid heated exchanges at the annual general meeting this morning, Mr Ashley clashed with members of Unite, blaming the union for the businesses problems.

In response to Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said:

"This is probably your fault we are in this mess because we can't talk to you. I made a commitment to make a difference, I am trying, don't pull me down.> "I accept I have made some errors and I accept I can learn something. Please don't do the whole showboating thing, it will make me turn away and it's the people who work in Sports Direct who suffer."

– Steve Turner

Mr Ashley also criticised an independent shareholder for not declaring that she had links to Unite when she asked a question.

He said there also needed to be more transparency from the unions if they were to begin working together more closely.

Zero-hours contracts not 'negative for anyone' says Sports Direct boss

The boss of Sports Direct has pledged to end zero hours contracts for shop staff and says he doesn't see it as a negative for anyone.

The company sent an interview with Mike Ashley this evening in which he says "there's no reason why this wasn't put in years ago."

The retailer has also agreed to pay all workers in its Derbyshire-based warehouse above the minimum wage.

The announcement came today after the firm faced criticism over working conditions.

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  1. Chris Halpin

Sports Direct call end to zero hours contracts after review

Controversial retailer Sports Direct has pledged to end zero hours contracts for retail staff and pay all workers in its Derbyshire-based warehouse above the minimum wage.

Unions have described conditions at the firm's headquarters in Shirebrook as 'Dickensian', with staff working in a culture of fear, facing regular searches and punishments for taking too many breaks.

In response to the allegations the company called in a private firm to review the retailers working practices, and today the changes to terms for hours and pay were announced.

However today's move does not apply to thousands of agency workers employed by the company.

ITV News Central tried to contact Sports Direct today but they didn't want to comment. We are due to talk to officials tomorrow at the company's headquarters in Shirebrook. Chris Halpin reports.

Man arrested on suspicion of trying to rob a pensioner

Man arrested on suspicion of trying to rob a pensioner Credit: PA

Derbyshire Police have arrested a man on suspicion of attempting to rob a 70-year-old woman.

The woman was walking along Arleston Lane, Sinfin, near to the underpass on August 23, when she was approached by a man.

He pulled her to the floor and tried to take her necklace and bracelet before running off, empty-handed, toward Cromarty Close.

A19-year-old man has been arrested and released on bail while inquiries continue.

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