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Concern for missing elderly woman

Olga Duncan was last seen this morning Credit: Dorset Police

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for a woman who has gone missing in Bournemouth town centre.

Olga Duncan, who is 84, is thought to have left her home in Wimborne today, Saturday 20 December 2014, and caught the number 13 Wilts and Dorset bus from the town to Bournemouth town centre, arriving at around 10.35am.

She is described as white and is wearing a full length grey coat with black markings, black shoes, a skirt and tights. She is carrying a black handbag and walks slightly bent forward. She has dark greying hair which is slightly curly and cut to the neckline.

“Olga is easily confused and we are becoming increasingly concerned for her welfare. We know she caught the bus from Wimborne and arrived in Bournemouth Square at 10.35am. The town centre is very busy today and we are urging shoppers to please contact Dorset Police immediately if they see someone matching Olga’s description in the area. For Olga’s own safety we need to find her urgently. I urge anyone with any information, no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant, to contact the police on 101.”

– Chief Inspector Guy Shimmons, of Dorset Police

Hart district in Hampshire named best place to live

The leafy Hampshire district of Hart has kept its crown as the most desirable place to live in the UK for the third year in a row, according to the 2013 Halifax Quality of Life Survey.

However, there were several big climbers in the top 10, with Winchester up from 34th to ninth. The main reason behind these changes was the inclusion of a new ONS survey into people's personal wellbeing.

The annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey takes a wide range of factors into account, including residents' health and life expectancy, crime rate, weather, employment, school results, broadband access, and personal wellbeing.

Hart residents typically healthy, wealthy and happy Hart has managed to retain its position at the top of the Quality of Life Survey by scoring consistently highly across almost all categories:

  • Hart residents are the healthiest in the UK, with 97.4% reporting being in good or fairly good health.
  • They also live the longest in the UK, with an average male life expectancy of 82.9 years compared to the national average of 79 years.
  • The 80% employment rate is significantly higher than the national average (71%), while gross average weekly earnings of £843 are £226 (or 37%) higher than the UK average of £616.
  • New ONS figures indicate the adult population is among the most happy, satisfied and content in the UK.

"The old adage of ‘Health, Wealth and Happiness’ is the traditional measure of a good quality of life. For the third year running Hart has delivered against a range of indicators to demonstrate its residents have the best quality of life in the UK. The Hampshire district scores highly on most of the measures used, including health, life expectancy, employment, average earnings, low crime, and relatively good weather. These factors are reflected in the fact that adults in Hart rate themselves among the happiest and least anxious in the country and believe what they do in life is worthwhile."

– Martin Ellis, economist at Halifax

Reserves leave Brize Norton to help Ebola victims

UK Reserves prepare to leave for Sierra Lione Credit: MOD

This morning saw the first UK reserves and 100 of their regular counterparts depart for Sierra Leone where they will help to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

UK Reserves prepare to leave for Sierra Lione Credit: MOD

The regular and reserve personnel from across the three Services departed from RAF Brize Norton alongside members of the Canadian military.

UK Reserves prepare to leave for Sierra Lione Credit: MOD

Once in country, personnel will take over from clinicians attached to 22 Field Hospital, who have been deployed since October, manning the 12 bed facility reserved to treat healthcare workers with Ebola.

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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.

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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.

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.

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