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Fewer police officers in the Thames Valley

There will be fewer police officers on the streets of towns and villages in the Thames Valley - that was the shock announcement today by the Chief Constable, Francis Habgood.

He outlined his plans to lose 100 officers and 200 staff support colleagues in a move to save millions of pounds.

It comes during a turbulent year for the force which faced criticism over the handling of child sexual exploitation, and referrals to the police watchdog. But Mr Habgood insists the public won't be put at risk. Cary Johnston reports.

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Loss of equipment dashes pole vaulter's hopes

After surgery to his shoulder and a year out, decathlete Ashley Bryant has been training hard at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre in Eton to make sure he can fulfil his lifetime ambition of competing in the Olympics.

But with just two months to go his hopes have been dashed - he failed to qualify following a disappointing pole vault round.

And he says if he doesn't get the call-up it's down to the airline who lost his pole vault poles en-route to the competition. Natalie Boare reports.

Advice to make your Christmas theft-free

Police are warning people not to keep presents under the tree in view of burglars Credit: ITV Meridian

A theft-free Christmas - that's what Thames Valley police want this year. It's revealing handy tips to keep crime at bay and reduce the chances of being affected.

"At this time of year we all want to relax and enjoy time with our family and loved ones. Unfortunately, as we do our Christmas shopping, gather our gifts and leave our homes to visit family and friends, it can provide opportunities for thieves.

"There are simple steps we can all take to reduce the chances of being affected by crime. Burglary and theft can have a devastating effect on victims.

"By taking a moment to protect our property we can better ensure a happy holiday period."

– Det Insp Andy Shearwood, from the Force crime strategy unit

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Farmers protest against falling milk prices

Dairy farmers across the Thames Valley are taking drastic action as falling milk prices threaten to drive them out of business.

They have been carrying out what they call 'Milk Trolley Challenges', where they block distribution centres, and even bring cattle into supermarkets to highlight their plight.

In Asda at Swindon shocked shoppers saw them storm into the supermarket and remove all the cartons of milk and cream from the shelves before dumping them in the soft drink aisle.

The farmers say if they don't get a fair price thousands will go out of business and it could be the end of locally-produced milk . Watch Mel Bloor's report.

Woman found clinging to a life ring rescued from River Thames

A woman found clinging desperately onto a life ring in the River Thames has been rescued.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service say the woman was 'cold and disorientated' when they found her.

They were called to help the woman yesterday morning, who had fallen in near Thames Street in Oxford shortly before.

An ambulance took her to John Radcliffe Hospital for checks, while boats and helicopters continued to search for a man who was also thought to be missing. He was later found safe and well.

The woman was very cold and disorientated when we found her. The life ring had offered her some support until a full rescue could take place.

– Gary Dawson, Watch Manager
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