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New images in hunt for murdered teenager Charlene Downes from Blackpool

Charlene Downes 14 disappeared from Blackpool 13 years ago Credit: PA

Police have released new footage of the murdered Lancashire teenager Charlene Downes on the anniversary of her disappearance.

It shows the 14 year old , to the right of the picture, with her sister on the afternoon of 1st November 2003 in Blackpool.

No one has ever been brought to justice for her killing

Charlene's mum Karen on today's anniversary:

Detective Chief Inspector Richard McCutcheon from Lancashire Police made this appeal.

CCTV plea after woman punched in the face on bus

Credit: Lancashire Police

Detectives want help from the public after a 19-year-old woman was punched in the face on a bus in Blackpool.

Police were called at 5pm on Sunday, October 23, following reports of an assault in Talbot Road.

Around 4.45pm, a man sat next to a woman on the Number 14 bus and tried talking to her.

As the bus approached the Wilko store, the man then punched the victim in the face before making off.

Credit: Lancashire Police

The victim, a 19-year-old woman from Thornton, suffered minor facial injuries and went to hospital for treatment.

The offender is described as black and was wearing a black hoodie and black jogging pants.

“The attack seems to be random and unprovoked and the victim has received facial injuries as a result.

“We are particularly keen to speak to this connection with the incident.”

– PC Dave Watson
  • Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference WA1616547.
  • Alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at


Man jailed after airport's biggest ever heroin seizure

A man from Blackpool has been jailed for 24 years for attempting to import heroin worth a potential £26 million into the UK inside an oven. The drugs were discovered hidden deep within the commercial oven, which had been imported from Iran, at Manchester Airport on April 10 this year. Border Force officers stripped away metal panels and rendering bricks at the rear of the oven where they found more than 120 tape-wrapped packages, each containing around a kilo of heroin.

Ian Graham Credit: National Crime Agency

It is believed to be the biggest ever seizure of heroin at Manchester Airport. National Crime Agency investigators were able to trace Ian Graham, 45, of Raikes Parade in Blackpool, and obtained CCTV footage of him paying freight charges for the shipment at a bank in his home town using a false identity. On 18 April he drove to the airport freight centre in a hired van to collect the oven, where he was arrested by the NCA. Graham was found guilty of importing heroin following a trial, and at Manchester Crown Court. Today he was given a 24 year jail term.

“This was a substantial quantity of class A drugs, the profits from which would have ended up fuelling further criminal activity both in the UK and abroad.

“Had he not been arrested Graham would have played a crucial role in getting that heroin onto our streets.”

– Robert Miles, head of the NCA’s Manchester Border Investigation Team,

Police car involved in crash on M61 after vehicle pursuit near Blackpool

A police car has hit the central reservation and overturned on the M61 leaving a police officer injured.

The car had been involved in the pursuit of a silver Vauxhall Vectra on the motorway southbound near Rivington Services.

It's thought the officer's injuries aren’t thought to be life threatening.

Police are still trying to trace the Vectra - it's thought there were three men in it - and if anyone can help the inquiry they're being urged to contact 101.

They're advising motorists to avoid the area and to expect delays.

Police believed the Vectra was in a collision on Alfred Street in Blackpool this afternoon where a Bentley car was damaged.

Huge waves crash into lifeboat during Blackpool rescue

This dramatic footage shows the rescue efforts of Blackpool RNLI after three men went into the water at North Pier.

Huge waves can be seen crashing into their lifeboat as they search for the men. One man managed to escape from the water unaided but the other two were found clinging to the seawall at around 7.30pm yesterday.

The men were helped to safety after a joint rescue effort from RNLI Fleetwood, RNLI Lytham, Lytham Coastguard, Fleetwood Coastguard, police, fire service, ambulance service and the coastguard rescue helicopter.

"The outcome could have been very serious indeed had it not been for the quick thinking of staff on North Pier who threw them a life ring and phoned the Coastguard."

– Blackpool RNLI volunteer helmsman David Warburton
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