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Panic Saturday: Shops 'expected to double takings'

A Centre for Retail Research report for Vouchercodes.co.uk found that delayed online orders, poor weather in some areas and earlier sales were expected to drive 60.9 million shoppers to the high street between today and Christmas Eve - up 14% on last year.

Department stores expected to double takings. Credit: PA

Britain's department stores can expect to double their takings this weekend, with outlets in the north of England set to benefit the most from Panic Saturday, according to data from payment processing company Worldpay.

It said the number of card payments processed by department stores in some parts of the UK just prior to Christmas rose by as much.

  1. National

High Street shops offer up to 60% 'panic Saturday' discounts

High street hops have cut prices for what is expected to one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

High Street shops offer 60% 'panic Saturday' discounts Credit: )PA

Among the retailers offering discounts, Debenhams is selling some Christmas gifts at half-price, Boots is offering a 60% discount of selected fragrances, while Marks & Spencer has knocked 50% off the price of some beauty products.

The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) has predicted in-store sales will reach £4.74 billion over the five days before Christmas - a 21% increase on last year.

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Woman threatened with blade during robbery

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after an aggravated burglary in West Parley.

Between 7pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 December 2014, two masked men entered an address on Christchurch Road, near to the Parley Cross traffic lights.

The offenders threatened the female occupant with a bladed weapon while she was downstairs and demanded money. They ordered the victim upstairs before tying her up by her wrists and ankles.

An unknown quantity of cash and two dark coloured briefcases containing sentimental items were stolen.

One of the briefcases is described as an old fashioned-type with opening clips. The second case has silver markings at the top, rounded corners and a code dial to unlock.

Offenders also stole a quantity of jewellery, including a distinctive ‘jacket’ ring, which is a wishbone-shaped ring with diamonds on each wishbone and a diamond ring set inside.

Both men wore masks and are described as being between five feet four inches and six feet tall and of medium build.

The first man wore all dark clothing and a hood over his head and face.

The second offender wore blue tracksuit trousers with a white stripe down the side and a dark coloured hooded top with the hood up.

“This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who was home alone at the time. Thankfully she was uninjured. I would like to reassure members of public that crimes such as this are rare in Dorset. I am appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time of this incident and noticed anyone acting suspiciously or saw anything out of the ordinary to come forward. If you have been offered for sale any of the unusual items described, I urge you to call Dorset Police on 101. All calls will be dealt with in strict confidence.”

– Detective Constable Jo Shewbridge, of Bournemouth CID

Arrests made after three men stabbed in Canterbury

Police cordon off the area following the disturbance Credit: @XOHMYGLOBX

Three men have been taken to hospital with stab wounds after a disturbance in Canterbury last night.

The incident which involved a group of people happened just before 11pm between the High Street and Canterbury West station.

Two people have been arrested and are currently in police custody.

Divers search river as fears grow for missing Patrick

Patrick Lamb has been missing for a week Credit: Kent Police

Police searching for 28 year old Patrick Lamb who disappeared in Maidstone a week ago have sent divers in to search part of the River Medway.

It comes as friends of Patrick launch a huge awareness campaign to help track him down.

He was last seen at Bar Chocolate on Friday night LAST week.

Friends are desperate to find the 26 year old Credit: Kent Police

Police have today been using sonar to search part of the river, and this afternoon a tent was erected on the river bank. But an officer told ITV Meridian tonight that there was still no sign of the missing man.

Friends of Mr Lamb, who grew up in Whitstable and went to Canterbury High School, say it is extremely out of character for him not to have made contact and have set up a Facebook appeal for information.

The Facebook page created by Patrick's friends Credit: Facebook

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