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Warnings over scams at bank cash machines

Devices were placed inside the machines Credit: ITV

Police are reminding people to take extra care when using cash machines to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

Police in Dartford received a report that two suspicious devices had been placed inside ATMs in Hythe Street on 29 December.

The devices are commonly known as ‘Lebanese loops’, which are strips of metal or plastic that block the card slot and give a victim the impression that their card has been swallowed by the machine.

Once they have left, the fraudster can return to remove the device and steal the card.

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Rail fare rises on way - but Southern passengers to get a refund

Rail commuters in the south face fare rises of nearly 2% from next week, costing them, on average around £100 extra a year.

However, commuters who have experienced months of delays will get refunds. Southern Rail passengers will get a refund of a month's fare to compensate for the chaos caused by strike action.

And Great Western Railway season ticket holders will get a 5% discount because of late trains.

Passenger watchdogs say all they want are trains to run on time. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports:

Passengers face 'bitter' rail fare hikes in the new year

The Chief Executive of the official rail watchdog, Transport Focus, has told ITV News Meridian that passengers will find the new year rail fare rise "bitter because performance has been so patchy."

Anthony Smith also says solving the Southern dispute must be the number one priority for the new year, saying passengers "have had enough."The latest strikes by RMT guards will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Drivers will stage a week long strike in the second week of January.

Rail fares will go up from 2nd January by a national average of 2.3%. But commuter tickets in the south east cannot go up more than 1.9% because they are controlled by the government. The national rise is more because rail companies can increase tickets off-peak by more than commuter fares.

South West Trains say the average increase for them is 1.5%.

Great Western Railway passengers in the Thames Valley will get a 5% discount because services have not met punctuality targets. 87% of trains should run on time but the current figure is 85%.

Southern passengers who buy weekly or longer season tickets will get a one month refund because of the recent disruption and many fares will be frozen. The company have also just started giving compensation for delays of over 15 minutes.

Southeastern fares will go up 1.8%.

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus:

Dan Panes, Great Western Railway:

Historic silk mill secures lottery funding

It's one of only four working silk mills in the country

A historic silk mill in Hampshire has secured £1.7 million lottery funding to carry out urgent repairs.

The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will see Whitchurch Silk Mill's bell tower, roof and wheelhouse restored.

The Grade II listed Georgian building is the only working silk mill in Britain which is open to the public, and only one of four working silk mills in the country.

Essential conservation to the winding, warping and weaving machinery will also be carried out so the mill can continue to produce silk.

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'Wife's headache stopped me filling in tax return'

There are many bizarre excuses for not filling in tax returns Credit: ITV

The reasons below were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late returns. There are nearly two million people, registered for self assessment in the South East.

  • . My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
  • 2. A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  • 3. My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  • 4. My dog ate my tax return...and all of the reminders.
  • 5. I couldn't complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.
  • 6. My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn't able to send it back.
  • 7. I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
  • 8. My husband told me the deadline was the 31st March.
  • 9. My internet connection failed.
  • 10. The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

Christmas shopping habits under the microscope

Are shopping habits over the festive season changing? Credit: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

A survey carried out this month for the Drama television channel has found that around 76% of people under 40 admit to being unprepared for Christmas Day - and have to do some last minute shopping.

However 64% of the over 60s say they have already wrapped all their Christmas shopping. Three quarters of the age group say they start their Christmas shopping before December and even buy their Christmas gifts in the January sales - 11 months early.

The survey involved 3,000 people. ITV asked some shoppers about their Christmas shopping habits, and whether they would be shopping in person or online.

People using food banks should be treated with "dignity and respect," says Bishop

In the run up to Christmas, the Bishop of Oxford has been touring emergency food banks in the Thames Valley.

There are now more than twenty food banks in the region, including in Newbury, Reading, Bracknell, Banbury, and Aylesbury - with three centres in Oxford.

Our reporter Cary Johnston speaks to the Rt. Revd Steven Croft and discovers people don't have to be homeless to be in need of a food bank:

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