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Watch: Is the care system failing the young?

There are calls for more support and more mentors to help young people cope when they leave the care system.

And a teenager tells us how tough it is to have to live and cope on her own.

Zahra was in foster care but as soon as she was 18 she had to move out.

The government says Councils have a duty to allow care leavers to stay with their former foster carers until they are 21, but that doesn't happen in the majority of cases.

There are currently 8,600 children living with foster carers in the in North West.

Less than a quarter of young people who turn 18 stay with their foster carers, despite new legislation and improved financial support.

Dangerous driving conditions due to snow and ice

Snow in East Lancashire Credit: PA Images

There's a warning to take extra care on the region's roads, after overnight snow and ice has made driving hazardous in some areas of the North West.

Police say there've already been a number of weather- related accidents. Some routes and roads in the Peak District remain impassible.

  • M6 Northbound exit slip road closed due to ice at J31 A59 Preston New Road (Samlesbury)
  • A537 Cat & Fiddle Road closed due to ice and snow between Bull-Hill-Lane (Macclesfield) and A54 (Buxton)
  • A54 closed due to ice and snow between A523 (Bosley Crossroads) and A537 Cat & Fiddle Road (Buxton).
  • Hazardous driving conditions due to snow on A57 Snake Pass in both directions between Hurst Road (Glossop) and A6013 (Ladybower Reservoir).
  • Slow traffic and one lane closed due to accident on M6 Northbound between J16 A500 (Crewe / Stoke-On-Trent) and J17 A534 (Sandbach / Crewe).


Charity's warning over puppy smuggling

If you were one of the many families who bought a puppy this Christmas, do you know where it came from? How sure are you that it came from a reputable breeder?

These are questions one of our region's major pet charities wants everyone to think of before buying a puppy.

And it's because, they say, we're seeing a worrying rise in puppy smuggling from eastern Europe.

ITV News correspondent Rob Smith reports:

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%.


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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