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HMS Mersey to leave Portsmouth for seven-month deployment

HMS Mersey will leave Portsmouth for a seven month deployment Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Mersey will leave her home in Portsmouth today to set off on a seven month deployment to the North Atlantic.

Crew on-board the ship will provide security to overseas territories in the Caribbean, as well as be on standby for disaster relief operations.

HMS Mersey will leave Portsmouth for a seven month deployment Credit: Royal Navy

"This will be a busy and exciting deployment for Mersey and her ship's company. Over the past few months we've worked hard to train and prepare the ship and we are ready for the wide variety of tasks that may be required of us."

– The ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richie Hewitt

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Warning to walkers after cracks appear in sea defences

The cracks appeared during wet and windy weather Credit: Donna Jones

Walkers have been told to stay clear of sea defences at Southsea in Hampshire because of major cracks. The leader of Portsmouth Council, Donna Jones, says that the damage appeared during wet and windy conditions over Christmas. Contractors have put up barriers while inspections are carried out.

Portsmouth cycle circuit to reopen

Upgrade work on the cycle circuit at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth has begun ahead of a planned reopening in January. The work has been agreed and funded by Portsmouth City Council, Parkwood Community Leisure and British Cycling, supported by Sport England.

"I'm very pleased that a local sporting facility will be open again. We'll continue to work together, with local cycling clubs, to develop a new programme of activities and events."

– Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council

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Appeal after £12,000 worth of damages to vehicles

Hampshire Police are appealing for information after three minibuses and a Renault Laguna were damaged on Monday, December 21, between 8-9pm in a secured area outside Harbour School in the Tipner area of Portsmouth.

More than £12,000 of damage is thought to have been caused. Three teenagers were seen acting suspiciously in the area at the time. Two girls and a boy who are all described as white and wearing dark tops with hoods.

If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the areas please call PC Helen Dowling on 101 quoting 44150451971 or via the website. You can also call the charity Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.

HMS Atherstone home in time for Christmas

HMS Atherstone will arrive home in Portsmouth later Credit: Royal Navy

Christmas will begin today for the crew of HMS Atherstone - arriving back home in Portsmouth later.

The minehunter has been based in Bahrain for three years - her current crew took over in July.

Atherstone's role included conducting route surveys, sea-bed clearance and mine clearance operations throughout the Gulf region to protect busy shipping lanes.

She also provided a visible Naval presence in an area which supplies much of the UK's oil and gas.

Sailor pleads guilty to two sex offences

HMS Montrose Credit: Royal Navy

A Royal Navy sailor has admitted two offences of sexual assault and exposure.

Leading Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) Mark Schofield, 34, pleaded guilty to the charges at a court martial hearing at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The sailor, from the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, was ordered by Judge Advocate Robert Hill to sign on the sex offenders register.

Schofield will be sentenced on February 10.

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