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Five arson attacks in Worcestershire village overnight

Police are investigating a series of suspicious fires at public buildings in a Worcestershire village overnight.

Detectives are investigating four incidents and a failed attempt in Broadway between 5pm and 8am this morning.

  • Wooden door set on fire of the 11th Century St Eadburgha’s Church.
  • Doors set alight at Lifford Hall.
  • Lower panel of door of Broadway Police Station set on fire.
  • Object placed in letterbox of Worcestershire County Council library.
  • Flammable liquid thrown over the front door Barn Close Surgery.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

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Around £700k ploughed into fixing potholes after floods

Around £700,000 has been ploughed into repairing thousands of potholes plaguing Worcestershire roads after the recent floods.

Thousands of potholes have been fixed in Worcestershire since the start of the year
Thousands of potholes have been fixed in Worcestershire since the start of the year Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

So far this year, the team at the county's highways department has filled in around 6,400 potholes - though had to wait until the waters receded before they could tackle the most recent weather-damaged sections of road.

Last year, around 27,000 potholes were fixed by the county council - and leaders have now urged anyone who spots any damage on the roads to get in touch.

Hylton Road in Worcester at the height of the floods last month
Hylton Road in Worcester at the height of the floods last month Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Highways chief Councillor John Smith said:

Our teams have been working hard all year, with the pace accelerating a few weeks ago when the flood recovery work began.

Inspections and repairs have increased and this will continue as we fix the inevitable problems caused by the heavy rainfall and flooding we've experienced so far this year.

I'd like to say thank-you to everyone that's been in touch and reported any problems they spot. Please continue to let us know.

To report a problem, visit the council's highways page.

Police warn people not to swim in rivers and ponds after teenager drowns

Richard Fellows, 15, was with two friends on Sunday when he got into difficulty in a pool on the River Arrow.
Richard Fellows, 15, was with two friends on Sunday when he got into difficulty in a pool on the River Arrow. Credit: BPM

Police are warning people not to cool off in rivers and ponds after a boy drowned while swimming near a weir in Redditch.

Richard Fellows, 15, was with two friends on Sunday when he got into difficulty in a pool on the River Arrow.

He was taken to Redditch's Alexandra Hospital but was confirmed dead.

View of the visitor centre at the Arrow Valley Country Park near Redditch
View of the visitor centre at the Arrow Valley Country Park near Redditch Credit: Arrow Valley Country Park

Inspector Ian Joseph, of West Mercia Police, said:

"This was a dreadful tragedy and our thoughts are with Richard's family and friends.

"While the investigation is at a very early stage, it was a beautiful spring day and it appears the boys went into part of the river which forms a pool by the weir for a swim.

"Unfortunately the water there is deep and cold, and Richard did not resurface.

"I cannot reiterate strongly enough that swimming in a warm indoor pool is very different to swimming in open water, and even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulty in rivers, canals, ponds, and quarries."

'Quietest' neighbourhoods in the country revealed

Worcestershire received the third lowest number of noise complaints per 1,000 people in the country
Worcestershire received the third lowest number of noise complaints per 1,000 people in the country Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The counties of Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire appear to have some of the most peaceful neighbourhoods in the country, with less than one statutory nuisance complaint per 1,000 people last year.

Nottinghamshire received the fourth lowest number of noise complaints per 1,000 people in the country
Nottinghamshire received the fourth lowest number of noise complaints per 1,000 people in the country Credit: Neil Squires/Press Association Images

More than three quarters of councils across the UK revealed they received nearly half a million complaints from householders about their neighbours' behaviour in a series of Freedom of Information requests by Churchill Home Insurance,

Peterborough was also one of the quietest areas between January and September last year with an average of 1.2 statutory nuisance complaints per 1,000 residents while Amber Valley received an average of 1.7.

But these areas could not compare with the Isles of Scilly which was described by Churchill as "perhaps the most harmonious place in Britain" after its local council recorded a single nuisance complaint and no statutory complaints between January and September last year.

Leicester was one of the noisiest areas in the Midlands, with the city council receiving 1,746 complaints last year.

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Tributes to Redditch teenager who drowned in lake

West Mercia Police has tonight identified the teenager who is believed to have drowned in a Redditch lake.

The force has confirmed 15-year-old Richard Fellows from Brockhill, Worcestershire, was swimming in the River Arrow near the lake at Arrow Valley Country Park at the time of the incident.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, the North Worcestershire Police Commander, said: “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family after this tragic incident and we pass on their request to respect the family’s privacy at this time.”

A report is now being prepared for the Worcestershire coroner.

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RIP Richard Fellows from Redditch, 15 is such a cruel age to be taken away from his family

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Our respects to Richard Fellows and his family. Way too young for a harmless kid to leave this world. R.I.P Porky.

Hcrwynot_normal

My sincerest condolences to Richard fellows family, he will be sorely missed #sleeptight

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