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Soldier's coastal challenge for PTSD awareness

Sam Doyle from Rossendale says there is not enough for support for people with PTSD. Credit: ITV News/Granada Reports

A former soldier from Rossendale, Lancashire, is walking the entire British mainland coastline to raise awareness of PTSD. Sam Doyle's struggled with the disorder since he served in Afghanistan. He says the walk will be therapeutic.

He will visit 283 towns as he travels clockwise around Britain. Sam, who also served with the French Foreign Legion, will be relying heavily on his army survival training to see him through the 7000 mile journey. He's expecting it to take him two years.

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Last two people arrested in Manchester bomb attack investigation released

Police arrested 22 people as part of the investigation Credit: GTV

Police investigating the Manchester Arena Bombing have released the last two people who were arrested as part of the investigation.

In all 22 people were arrested in relation to suspected terrorism offences. Police say that two were de-arrested where they were detained because officers were satisfied that they were not involved. The remaining people have now been released without charge.

The Nissan Micra used by bomber Salman Abedi Credit: GMP
Barrels like this were stored in the car Credit: GMP

We are three weeks on from the horrific incident that took place at 10.31pm on Monday 22 May when Salman Abedi detonated an improvised explosive device killing 22 people and leaving many more with serious injuries, some life changing.

We now have a deep understanding of Salman Abedi’s movements in and out of the country in the weeks leading up to the attack. We understand how the chemicals and equipment were obtained and where the bomb was assembled. We have an understanding of where he has been in the days before the explosion almost hour by hour

We said at the start we had to rapidly understand whether this was an attack committed by an isolated individual or a wider network and we have made enormous progress in this and are far more confident on who was not involved and who could still be involved.

The terrorist investigation has involved officers drawn from across the national Counter Terrorism Policing Network, from the National Crime Agency and police forces across the country. More than 1000 officers have been involved.

Within the first hours after the attack, a dedicated counter terrorism operation room had been established to co-ordinate the policing response and the hundreds of staff involved in the hunt for any further potential attackers, and anyone who had helped Abedi to carry out his attack.

A dedicated specialist team was set up to co-ordinate the identification of those who had been killed and also to support their families. Each of the families received the support of specially trained family liaison officers and this will continue. More than 200 people were injured in the attack and a dedicated team was put in place to work with them and keep them informed of progress in the investigation.

In the first few hours after the attack the priority of the investigation was to identify the attacker. This urgent work was needed to identify any other threats or possible further attacks. Within two hours Abedi’s identity was known through the work of forensic teams who attended the scene.

In such investigations we try to piece together the last movements of the attacker and understand if they were helped. This has been one of the main lines of inquiry in this case. During the investigation we have arrested 22 people in relation to suspected terrorism offences. Two were quickly de-arrested at the place of their detention because we were satisfied that they were not involved. The remaining people have now been released without charge.

We have conducted 29 house searches looking for evidence of explosives and connections to the attacker. We have found evidence of explosive material at several locations. Each location has links to Abedi.

This is one of the largest investigations Greater Manchester Police has ever conducted. We have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and there are many hundreds of hours of CCTV being examined. There are now more than 8,000 entries on our logging system and we have seized around 700 media devices such as phones which are being examined for evidence.

Each of the 20 detained people have been interviewed many times and they have been questioned about their associations and contacts with Abedi. During the investigation, we have uncovered a number of suspicious purchases of materials by individuals which can be used to make explosives. We have identified contact with Abedi that occurred close to the attack time and in some cases the presence of people of interest to the inquiry in Manchester City Centre on the evening of the attack. Although this is not the case for every person, it is factors such as these that have led us to make arrests.

Some of those arrested and now released have offered accounts which explain innocent contact with Abedi and we are, at this time, satisfied with these explanations. However, this has taken a considerable amount of time to work through to ensure we are satisfied and that the risk to the public has been considered. As more information comes in it will be acted upon immediately.

It appears that in the final days Abedi sought to transfer money out of the country and this has taken some time to understand in the context of the contacts he made in the hours running up to the attack.

What is clear so far is that Abedi left the UK on 15 April. He travelled to Libya and returned back into the UK on the 18 May. It seems that he was intent on committing the attack within days as CCTV has shown him purchasing more items for the bomb soon after he arrived back. We have tracked him buying nuts from a DIY store that were used for shrapnel as well as the tin which we believe the explosive was placed in. He has also been tracked going to and from the Banff Road area of Rusholme.

It is in Rusholme where the White Micra was found and in it considerable evidence. The Micra contained materials for bomb making and Abedi is forensically linked to the car. We know the vehicle was purchased on the 13 April and it was only in his possession for a short period time because he flew out on the 15 April. Because of this we believe items were stored in it during that time, either materials to make a bomb or a pre-made charge. The actual assembly of all the parts appears to have been in the days immediately before the attack.

We are still working on the detail of this and continue to appeal to the public for help if they have seen this R registration Micra being used and if they have seen anyone going to and from the Micra at Devall Court after 13 April.

We are especially interested in movements on 14 April as we believe this was a crucial date in the car being parked with bomb components in it.

The search at the landfill site for the blue suitcase is also continuing and we expect it to go on for some time. We believe the blue suitcase contains items Abedi discarded after having assembled the device and it could contain crucial evidence.

Our enquiries show that the assembly of the device is likely to have been by Abedi himself. What is less clear is whether he acted alone in obtaining the materials for the device before he left the country on 15 April and whether others knew or were complicit in the storage of materials knowing what was being planned. Understanding this is crucial to our work in the coming weeks and months.

We continue to appeal for the help of the public in tracking Abedi’s movements and have released more images of him and the car to try and jog people’s memories of sightings.

We are also releasing images of barrels stored in the car. Did you see anyone carrying these; did you see anyone putting these in the white Micra?

This is very much a live criminal investigation moving at considerable speed. It is a terrorism investigation relating to 22 murders and multiple attempted murders. It will continue at its current pace as we work to understand the full extent of the involvement of anyone else. We will be speaking with more people. Work around CCTV, financial transactions and telephone contacts will continue as we piece together the movements of Abedi in fine grain detail.

Hashem Abedi, the brother of Salman Abedi, left the country at the same time as the attacker on 15 April. Hashem Abedi is currently detained in Libya, there is much media reporting about what he has said in Libya and we wish to interview him in relation to this attack.

This was a premeditated, calculated and vicious attack. It was planned carefully and has caused devastation and heartbreak to so many. We have a massive team still working flat out on it and there are critical lines of enquiry at home and abroad which we will relentlessly pursue.

– Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, Head of North West Counter Terrorism Policing
Police have released CCTV images of Bomber Salman Abedi as he made his way around Manchester Credit: GMP
Police hope the images will encourage witnesses to come forward Credit: GMP

DCS Jackson and his NW CT team supported by CT policing colleagues from across the country have done an exceptional job on this difficult case where critical lines of enquiry in the UK and overseas continue. The pace has been incredible and will continue in the coming weeks and months

– Quote from AC Mark Rowley, GMP

Children released after questioning about gun in Merseyside

The teenagers were arrested at Beech Rise Credit: GTV

Two 13 year old boys who were arrested after armed police raided a flat in Merseyside have been released.​

They were detained along with a 17 year old yesterday at Beech Rise in Kirkby. All three have been released while investigations into those allegations continue, but the 17 year old has been charged with burglary and remanded for that.

Former EDL leader holds march in Manchester

Lines of police cordon off demonstrators Credit: GTV

Hundreds of marches and counter marchers have gathered in Manchester amidst a heavy police presence after the former leader of the English Defence League organised a rally.

Tommy Robinson's new organisation Unite Against Hate is meeting in Piccadilly Gardens.

Hundreds of counter demonstrators have also gathered.

Demonstrators gather in Piccadilly Gardens Credit: GTV
Marchers on the move Credit: GTV

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Blackpool lifeboat save 2 in 90 minutes

Blackpool Lifeboat and Coastguard Credit: RNLI

Blackpool lifeboat crews have carried out two rescues in the space of 90 minutes.

They were called to Central Pier just before six o'clock last night to reports of someone in difficulties in the sea. They carried out the rescue and gave first aid before paramedics arrived.

At seven thirty they were called to South Pier where lifeboats were launched to locate a swimmer who had got into difficulties. They were later found safe and well.

When the weather is nice lots of people head to the beach but it’s important to remember that the sea is still very cold even when the sun is out. People swimming in the sea can experience cold water shock, a potential killer that causes them to gasp for breath, swim hard and thrash around. We would urge anyone who gets into difficulties in the sea to follow the advice of the RNLI Respect the Water campaign and ‘float to live.’ Floatingf or 60 – 90 seconds will let you regain control of your breathing and your survival chances will greatly increase. If you see someone else in difficulty in the sea dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

– Keith Horrocks MBE, RNLI

Police appeal for witnesses after shots fired in Liverpool

Officers are investigating shots fired in Croxteth Credit: PA

Detectives are appealing for witnesses following a firearms discharge in the Croxteth area yesterday/

Officers were called to the junction of Armill Road and Sovereign Road at 2.30 yesterday afternoon after reports that a shotgun had been fired.

Forensic examinations are being carried out at the scene, together with house-to-house inquiries.

I can confirm that we are investigating a shotgun discharge in the Armill Road/Sovereign Road area of Croxteth, which we believe occurred around 2.30pm yesterday afternoon (Friday, 9 June). At this stage we have no reports of any injuries, and no reports of any damage to surrounding properties.

However, if someone has been brazen enough to fire a shotgun in the middle of the afternoon on a residential street we need to find them urgently.

We do not want our communities living in fear. Individuals who are prepared to fire these weapons on our streets, with complete and utter disregard for the safety of local residents, need to be arrested and put before the courts so they can be taken out of the communities where they are causing untold harm.

There will be people in the community who know who was involved in this, or may even know where these offenders are storing the gun that was used, I would appeal to them to search their conscience and ask themselves what could happen if they don’t let us have the information which could lead to the arrest of this dangerous individual.

We are committed to tackling gun crime and will do everything we can to make our streets safer, but we need the community to help us. I recognise members of the community may be worried about coming forward, but if you don’t feel comfortable coming to the police direct you can still get that information to us anonymously through Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.

If you know something we would urge you to come forward, we need to find this individual and the firearm, so please do the right thing and get the information to us, either directly or through the independent Crimestoppers line.

– Detective Inspector Nick Suffield, Merseyside Police

Police investigate after reports that shots were fired in Liverpool

Officers were called to Croxteth yesterday afternoon Credit: PA

Police are investigating reports that shots have been fired in the Croxteth area of Liverpool.

Officers were called to the junction of Armill Road and Sovereign Road at 2.30 yesterday afternoon after reports that a shotgun had been fired.

Forensic examinations are being carried out at the scene, together with house-to-house inquiries.

Armed police guard Elton John concert in Blackburn

Armed police at the Elton John concert in Blackburn Credit: GTV

There is increased security ahead of Elton John's concert in Lancashire this evening.

Armed police were on duty at the concert at Ewood Park football ground in Blackburn.

There were also increased checks at he gates, and large bags and containers weren't allowed.

15 thousand people are due to attend the concert

Lancashire Police have a high visibility presence at the concert Credit: GTV
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