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Dorset Police makes cutbacks to save £18m

They used to be at the front line of policing - but now, Dorset Police is to close more of its front desks to help save £18m over four years.

The Divisional Police HQ at Ferndown - which only opened 14 years ago - is to close - along with counter services at Shaftesbury, Christchurch, Winton, Dorchester and Wareham. That will leave nine in all - but only Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Bridport stations will be open full-time.

The force says the closures will save £700,000 a year. But what's the real cost to local policing in our community? Martin Dowse has been investigating.

Record numbers at Maidstone Mela

Maidstone Mela has been hailed a success by organsiers who say a record number of people attended the festival this year.

The event was held in Mote Park and is in its 12th year. It celebrates the different cultures that live in the town through music, food and dance and is one of the biggest of its kind in the South East.

Gurvinder Sandher from Kent Equality Cohesion and Richard Thick, Mayor of Maidstone, explain what the event is all about.


Are you putting money aside for Christmas?

The sun is still out, the skies are still blue and any mention of Christmas at this time of year is normally guaranteed to produce a groan.

But with exactly a hundred days to go - a debt charity is urging people to think ahead and start putting money aside for the festive season.

Sarah Saunders has been speaking with a man who fought his way out of debt - and now runs courses to help others keep their financial house in order.

Help for Heroes fundraiser used money for his own business

A man who gathered £300,000 in donations for Help For Heroes in Sussex and Oxfordshire, and kept the money for himself, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Christopher Copeland, 52, from mid-Devon admitted fraud and money laundering at Exeter Crown Court.

He had a team of staff, who believed they were raising money for charity legitimately. They took old military vehicles, branded with the Help for Heroes logo, to supermarkets and shopping centres all over the country.

The money raised never reached the charity but was instead used to subsidise Mr Copeland's own business which was in financial difficulty and has since gone into liquidation.

Christopher Copeland Credit: ITV West Country

Millionaire lifestyle for Ramsgate retirees

It's the stuff that dreams are made of - a lottery win to change your life just as you're heading into retirement. Well that's exactly what's happened for a couple in Ramsgate who today picked up their cheque for one point five million pounds!

Sally Wells and Jerry Gregory didn't realise they'd won until appeals by the National Lottery to find out who had the winning ticket for the draw last month. David Johns has been to meet them.

Arts' big names for sale at boot fair

Her work is usually sold in galleries fetching thousands, if not millions, of pounds. But today Margate's Tracey Emim was among many high-profile artists selling their work at a car boot sale as part of the Triennial in Folkestone.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to artists Jim Moir, Gavin Turk, Julia Riddiough and organiser of the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, Karen Ashton.


Test Valley tops the charts of best places to live

Test Valley has been named the overall best place to live in England and Wales, according to a recent report by the Daily Telegraph.

Over 7,000 areas across England and Wales with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 were ranked on variables including average household income, crime rates, health, home ownership and economic activity.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “This is a great result for Test Valley and naturally we are pleased that our area has been recognised for some of the important factors that enhance quality of life. We are very proud of the borough and we will continue our work at Test Valley Borough Council to ensure that the area remains attractive in as many social, environmental and economic ways as possible.”

The report considered areas with between 2,000 and 6,000 households and was based on official data predominantly from the 2011 census. Judges were also impressed by other regions in the south including Berkshire, Oxfordshire and other parts of Hampshire.

Man claiming to be policeman tricks couple from Kent

Kent Police is appealing for information after an elderly couple were tricked into handing over a large quantity of cash.The couple, from Ditton near Aylesford, withdrew funds from their bank account after a man claiming to be a police officer telephoned to inform them they had been targeted by money launderers.He asked them to provide a large quantity of cash as evidence, with a courier visiting their home to collect it at about 3pm on Tuesday, 12 August.The victims have helped officers to produce a computer generated image of the man. The courier is described as being of mixed race, about 5ft 9in, with short dark hair. He was wearing black trousers, a black top and a yellow fluorescent jacket.

Pensioners targeted by fraudsters in Dorset

Workmen tried to persuade pensioners to withdraw cash for unnecessary work Credit: Press Association Images

Detectives in Poole are appealing for witnesses to come forward after pensioners were targeted by fraudsters. Both victims were persuaded by workmen to withdraw thousands of pounds to pay for unnecessary work, but were stopped by alert bank staff.

A woman in her eighties went to her local bank and attempted to draw out £5000 in cash to pay workmen at her home. She advised the cashier that men had come round to cut her lawn in Kennart Road but told her she needed to pay them cash to have it paved instead. The bank did not allow the transaction and notified the police.

The second incident happened at an address on Emerson Road. A woman in her seventies informed a family member that a man had attended her home address and told her she needed to pay him £4000 cash to repair her roof. She attended her local bank to get the money, however, staff persuaded her not to make the withdrawal.

Neither victims had arranged for work to be carried out on their properties nor had any work been carried out.

Detective Constable Lee Emery, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said: 'It was fortunate that the staff at both banks were alert and the women did not lose any money.

'We do not have any descriptions or any more information, therefore, I am appealing to anyone who may have been a victim of a similar crime or has any concerns about suspicious activity in their area to come forward.'

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident number 2:213. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.

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