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Christmas tree vandalised in Weymouth

Officers in Weymouth are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a Christmas tree in the town was vandalised.

At just after midnight on Saturday 6 December 2014, following a party in the village hall along Halstock Close, three men threw empty beer bottles at houses and cars before leaving toward Chalbury.

Police Constable Adam Bayliss, of Weymouth police, said:

“I believe the same offenders then moved on to Preston Road where they severely damaged a Christmas tree at Chalbury Corner."

We have been putting on a Christmas Event at Chalbury Corner for the past eight years called Christmas On The Green. This year it is in aid of the Weldmar charity and the event is held on Thursday 18 December 2014.

The illuminated tree is the centrepiece to the carol singing, Father Christmas and other festivities. It has been donated by Goadsby, Chalbury Wine Stores and Trinity Street Christmas and costs the businesses approximately £300 including decorations.

The behaviour of the offenders is mindless and ignorant and affects the wider community. In doing this the offenders not only put themselves at risk but also passers-by. We hope the behaviour of a few individuals will not affect the enjoyment of this event by the wider community.

– The director of Goadsby, Karen Smith

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Help for people sleeping rough this Christmas

The Borough of Poole is urging anyone concerned about people sleeping rough to contact the national initiative Streetlink.

The council says: "Please call Streetlink on 0300 5000 914. This ensures that the council can offer services to people who might need them.

"As well as the Streetlink hotline number, people can also download the smartphone app or use the ‘Report It’ function on boroughofpoole.com to report their concerns for a rough sleeper.

"Anyone can become homeless, and sleeping rough can be dangerous and damaging to health. The longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the risk that they will become trapped on the streets and vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, developing drug or alcohol problems, or experiencing problems with their health."

Christmas decorations being installed at Windsor Castle

We've been at Windsor Castle today looking at how the staff are preparing for Christmas. Watch ITV News Meridian over the coming days to find out more!

Christmas preparations at Windsor Castle Credit: ITV Meridian
Christmas preparations at Windsor Castle Credit: ITV Meridian
Christmas preparations at Windsor Castle Credit: ITV Meridian

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Online warning over classic Christmas scams

Online shoppers in Kent are being warned to be extra vigilant in the run up to Christmas.

With just a month left until the big day, a new guide's been released to help bargain hunters avoid being conned.

The Rough Guide to Online Safety gives tips and helpful advice on classic internet scams.

Common tricks on popular shopping and auction sites involve sellers not sending items once they've been paid for.

Other sites pretend to offer goods, but instead collect credit card details for fraudsters.

You can access the free guide here.

The Nutcracker themed Christmas comes to Mottisfont

The Nutcracker themed Christmas comes to Mottisfont a week today.

Opening from 10am on November 29, winter sites and festive scenes around the house and grounds will tell the story of The Nutcracker.

Credit: NaionalTrust

Visits begin with a Christmas party, before entering the mechanical world of The Nutcracker and watching the exciting battle between the Mouse King and the toy soldiers.

Hidden spots in the garden are set to be inspired by the Nutcracker’s Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets.

The highlight of the family trail will be in the form of a 14ft glittering decorated tree in the Whistler Room of the house.

Retailers expected to struggle this Christmas

Retailers this Christmas will find it a tough challenge to match last year's festive spending figure of ninety one billion pounds, according to research.

Academics from the University of Oxford say that changing shopping habits, continued economic uncertainty and low wage rates will have a significant impact on shopping this year.

Shoppers get their hands on some bargains. Credit: PA

We have found that overdoing the Christmas cheer with flashing bright lights and piping fast-paced music such as Jingle Bells into stores puts shoppers under greater pressure. Less harsh lighting, pleasant smells and gentler seasonal music such as The Nutcracker are far more likely to put us in the mood for spending.

– Nancy Puccinelli, Associate Professor in Marketing, Saïd Business School

The research also showed that poor selling techniques, extravagant Christmas promotions, and sharp rises in online shopping all contribute to the fall in sales.

Christmas gets underway in Winchester

Crowds gather in Winchester city centre Credit: Winchester Cathedral

Christmas well and truly gets underway in Winchester later.

The city is hosting its annual lantern parade with the ice rink opening for businesses. Hundreds of people are expected to join the celebration.

Skaters enjoy the city's open air ice rink Credit: Winchester Cathedral
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