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Thousands of people expected to hit sales across the region today

Thousands of people are expected to hit the sales in the North West today Credit: PA

Thousands of people are due to hit the Boxing Day sales across the North West today with reports of even some people camping out at large shopping centres such as the Trafford Centre.

However, a recent survey by Barclaycard says that shoppers enthusiasm has dropped this year for the sales with only 23% of Britons heading out compared to last year's 32%.

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Watch: We spend Mad Friday with paramedics

The windy weather probably won't deter the thousands who'll be out on the town tonight enjoying the extended holiday many get as Christmas falls on a weekend.

It will be far from festive for the paramedics dealing with those who drink too much.

Assaults on ambulance staff are on the rise.

Our correspondent Amy Welch spent last Friday night with one of the rapid response crews in Manchester.

Co-op 'urgently recalling' chocolate Santas

Credit: Co-op

The Co-op is urgently recalling its hollow milk chocolate Santa foil figures after two alleged tampering incidents.

A spokesperson for the Co-op said:

The health and safety of our customers is our top priority. We are concerned about two separate instances of alleged product tampering involving our hollow milk chocolate Santa foil figures, which have been found to contain a small battery inside.

As a result we have begun a UK-wide product recall. The police and Food Standards Agency are being notified. Customers with one of these products should not eat it but call our customer relations team for a full refund.

We are investigating the matter and will be involving the relevant authorities to help.

– Co-op

Watch: Exclusive report on people trafficking raids

Watch our exclusive report on the series of raids and arrests that aim to smash a suspected network of people traffickers that stretches from the Middle East to right here, in the North West.

The Home Office claims the suspects may have links to more than 250 people alleged to have tried to enter the UK illegally from Iran and says there could be many more.

It's believed people pay up to £15k for safe passage and false documents which are then destroyed before arrival at UK passport control.

The Operation involved police in Spain, Greece, France and the UK.

Matt O'Donoghue has our top story tonight:

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Watch: Charity The Silver Line saved a Lancashire woman's life

Now, you might have spent the weekend getting the Christmas decorations out of the loft, or putting up the tree with family. But for many people the festive period can be the loneliest time of the year.

The charity The Silver Line says it's taken more calls from people feeling lonely or isolated in Lancashire, than anywhere else outside London.

Amy Welch has spoken to one woman who says the service is a life saver.

  • For more information on The Silver Line call: 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Or visit their website here.

Former footballers set up "Offside Trust" to help abuse victims get justice

Former North West footballers who say they were sexually abused as youngsters have formed a support group to help survivors and their families.

Andy Woodward and Steve Walters have formed the "Offside Trust". They promise it'll fight for justice, starting with a full and independent investigation into abuse in football.

Ashley Derricott reports.

Watch: We catch up with families affected by Storm Desmond

It's been a year since Storm Desmond devastated parts of the North West. We hear from the families who fear the rain will ruin their lives all over again.

Thousands of homes and businesses across the North West were swamped on this day last year.

It took months to repair the damage, after rivers burst their banks and sewers were overwhelmed by more than a foot of rain in 24 hours. The waters also claimed the life of a man who fell into the River Kent in Kendal.

Victoria Grimes has spent the day in the Lancashire villages of Churchtown and St Michael's on Wyre where residents are still counting the cost.

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