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Concern for missing teenager

Mason Gagen was last seen on Thursday morning Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a missing teenager from the Isle of Wight.

Mason Gagen, aged 15, was last seen at around 7.30am on Thursday, April 30, 2015, having left his home address in Wroxall.

He is described as:

  • White
  • 5ft 5ins to 5ft 7ins tall
  • Slim build
  • Black hair with ginger undertones, styled in a quiff

“We're becoming increasingly concerned for Mason's welfare. It's believed he may be attempting to travel to, or be in the Yorkshire area. If you have seen him or know where he is, please contact officers at Newport police station. Equally I would appeal to Mason directly to contact police to let us know he’s ok.”

– Investigating officer PC Kirsty Dunn

Officers investigated over sexual offences will not face action

Three police officers arrested as part of an investigation into serious sexual offences on a holiday island will face no action, it emerged today.

All 13 men, including the three serving offices, were released from police bail and will face no charges after detectives received independent advice from the Crown Prosecution Service and a specialist barrister.

The men were arrested after a female member of the public made allegations about incidents reported to have taken place on the Isle of Wight during 2014.

Six men, including the three officers, were arrested in December 2014, at which point the officers were suspended from duty. Another seven arrests were made in February after further investigation took place.

None of the officers will face disciplinary proceedings and will return to work with Hampshire Police later this year.

We have full confidence in the honesty and integrity of the three officers, all of whom have been exonerated. They have been supported throughout the investigation by dedicated welfare officers and representatives from the Police Federation.

– Superintendent Julie Fry

The woman who made the allegations was informed of the decision before it was made public.

Police said there were no further lines of inquiry at this time and the allegations were not being linked to any other known cases or crimes.

Investigating any allegation fully, irrespective of those involved, is essential to maintaining public trust and confidence in policing. Lines of inquiry during Operation Annaside have been conducted with meticulous care and precision due to the exceptionally sensitive nature of these allegations - and the impact on the lives, families and welfare of everyone affected.

We have made every effort to handle this investigation with fairness, transparency and impartial scrutiny.

– Superintendent Julie Fry


Shanklin Cliff lift to remain closed for immediate future

Credit: ITV Meridian

The Shanklin Cliff Lift will remain closed for the foreseeable future due to safety concerns after the public footbridge structure was found to have significantly and unexpectedly deteriorated.

The normal pre-season inspection undertaken last week has revealed the condition of the supporting steelworks of the footbridge at the top of the lift have significantly worsened since the last inspection and the lift cannot be opened until remedial works are carried out.

The council is urgently investigating whether anything other than a full replacement of the bridge can be done to ensure the lift can be used for at least part of the summer season.

One of the challenges for the council is that the operating plant is nearing the end of its serviceable life so an investment into replacing the bridge without also committing to the replacement of the plant would not be the best use of the council's limited financial resources. The combined value of these works is estimated at nearly £750,000.

"The council's normal programme of works to ready the lift for opening at Easter was well in hand and whilst some further deterioration of the bridge was expected it is fair to say that we are completely shocked at the results of the inspection. Public safety has to be our prime concern and although we will look at all options to get the lift open for the seasons I am not optimistic about its chances. It is ironic the scale of deterioration has been discovered only a few weeks before council was due to consider a report to release funds to replace the bridge and the lift plant at the end of the 2015 operation period."

– Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for tourism

A bus service operates on Shanklin Esplanade every half an hour between 9.58am and 5.28pm during the day (apart from between 1pm and 2pm) between 20 June and 31 August which members of the public can use to travel into the town centre, the railway station or the bus station.

Summer of Love at this year's Bestival

The glitter ball and finale fireworks at last year's Bestival Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

Bestival will have a Summer of Love theme for this year's festival on the Isle of Wight.

The three-day festival in September will be taking its 50,000 revellers back to the 1960s.

Tickets for Bestival's Summer of Love go on sale at 10am on Thursday February 12, when they'll be announcing the first wave of acts, including two headliners.

The main stage crowd at last year's Bestival Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment


Britain's oldest person celebrates 112th birthday

Britain's oldest person Gladys Hooper celebrates her 112th birthday today Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Image

Britain's oldest person, Gladys Hooper, is celebrating her 112th birthday on the Isle of Wight today, just three days after taking the title.

She became the country's oldest on Thursday following the death of Ethel Lang, who was 114.

Members of her family have travelled from Brighton, Derby and even British Colombia to be with Mrs Hooper for her big day.

Mrs Hooper, who has a son, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, said her special treat for the day would be to have 'a nice birthday cake'.

The great-grandmother, who was born the same year the Wright brothers invented the first successful aeroplane, puts the secret of her success down to keeping active and 'living a straight life'.

And she said she does not feel a day over 70.

The theme of aviation has run through her long life - she was good friends at college with Amy Johnson who became a famous aviatrix; her husband Leslie, whom she married in 1922, was a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps in the two World Wars; and her son, Derek Hermiston, is a retired pilot.

Mrs Hooper is the oldest of the country's supercentenarians, according to a list maintained by the Gerontology Research Group.

On finding out the news, Mrs Hooper, who lives in an apartment in her 84-year-old son's house in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, said: 'I am very surprised, I thought I was just the oldest person on the island.'

She added: 'The secret of my success? I have always been busy, I prefer being busy than being idle, that's what I don't like about now is I can't get about like I used to.

'I have always lived a straight life, never done stupid things, I have never gone beyond the limit, always been active, I think always being active keeps you young.

'I have done what I wanted to do and helped others as much as I could. I do not feel anything like the age I am, I do not feel any different to when I was 70.'

Britain's oldest person Gladys Hooper surrounded by three generations of her family, son Derek (top left), granddaughter Christine (top right) and great-grandsons Matthew (front left) and David (front right).

Mrs Hooper was widowed in 1977 and moved to the island in 1979 to be nearer her family.

She said: 'I do not actually live with them, I have an apartment in their house. I just had one son and he's marvellous.

'It is nice to have family nearby, it's nice to know you can ask them for anything if you need to.'

Mrs Hooper said she did not feel that the world had changed dramatically in her life time.

She said: 'I think I have lived with the years as they have gone by. Things haven't got any better, there's so much trouble in the world.'

Mr Hermiston said: 'I am very proud of her, she does very well since she was 100. She is very compos mentis, no dementia at all. She is a really nice person who has done a lot of good things for others during her war service.'

Born Gladys Nash on January 18 1903, she was born in Dulwich, south east London, and brought up in Rottingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, and went on to study at college

She became a concert pianist in London and played with famous band leaders of the time such as Jack Payne, Debroy Somers and Maurice Winnick. In the early 1920s she also started what is thought to be one of the first car hire companies called Autodrive and was asked by the founder of Hertz if she would be his managing director.

She later ran Kingscliff House School, which is now Brighton College, as well as nursing her husband for 13 years.

Mrs Hermiston said: 'She has done an awful lot, she is a very strong lady, a very amazing person.'

New base for businesses on the Isle of Wight

Seven small businesses are based at the Ventnor Enterprise Centre Credit: Ventnor Town Council

Seven small businesses have found a new home on the Isle of Wight at a new business centre.

Ventnor Town Council, the police and a health visitor team are also based at the Ventnor Enterprise Centre which has been officially opened today.

The building on Dudley Road was previously 'underused', the town council said.

Town clerk David Bartlett said: 'It has been a long project, a long journey, but it is now a wonderful facility for the town.'

Residents are invited to attend the opening until 2pm today.

Salvage team on its way to ship stranded off IoW

The Hoegh Osaka container ship remains on its side on the Bramble Bank in the Solent Credit: Dave Russell

The car transporter ship the ‘Hoegh Osaka’ remains grounded on the Bramble Bank in the Solent after running aground last night.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has said there is no reported pollution from the vessel which is listing at an angle of 45 degrees. The MCA's Counter Pollution Team will continue to monitor the vessel, which is currently assessed as being stable.

The Hoegh Osaka's owners have appointed the salvage company Svitzer to deal with the incident. A salvage team is on its way to make an initial assessment.

The salvage plans will be developed by Svitzer and then reviewed by the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage & Intervention.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says there is no impact on vessels travelling along the Solent because the vessel is not within a shipping channel.

Hopes grounded transporter will right itself at high tide

Car transporter on its side off the Isle of Wight Credit: Robin Britton, ITV News Meridian

A car transporter that ran aground off the Isle of Wight last night is still listing badly on its side. There is hope that the vessel may right itself at high tide, expected at 10.30am. Meanwhile crowds of spectators have gathered on the beach.

Crowds gather to see grounded transporter Credit: Robin Britton, ITV News Meridian
Other vessels in the water near the Hoegh Osaka Credit: Robin Britton, ITV News Meridian
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