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Child exploitation 'could have been prevented'

A former police detective says child exploitation in the Thames Valley could have been prevented years before a widespread investigation got underway. Dermot Norridge says he repeatedly raised concerns over the plight of a 13-year-old girl, but was ignored by senior care bosses. Well today, he's been speaking to our reporter Cary Johnston, about his frustration.


SPORT: FA Cup 5th round victory for the Royals

Yakubu came off the bench to score his first goal for Reading and secure an FA Cup fifth round victory at Derby.

Hal Robson-Kanu gave the visitors a 53rd-minute lead after Stephen Warnock had been sent off on his Derby debut.

It took Darren Bent eight minutes to level the scores - with his fifth goal in as many games.

Yakubu - who was only signed last month - held off the chasing defenders to fire in a low-left footed shot.

TRAVEL: 42 vehicle accident on M40

Severe delays on M40 northbound - closed between junction 9 A34/A41 (Wendlebury/Bicester) and junction 10 A43 (Brackley/Cherwell Valley Services). It's due to a serious accident involving 42 vehicles. It happened at 07:50 this morning, just after junction 9. The carriageway is expected to be closed for the rest of the day. Trapped traffic is being turned back to J9. There are solid queues of several miles approaching the closure.

Diversion - the official diversion is along the southbound A34 to Weston-on-the-Green, then the B430 northbound, rejoining at J11. This route is signed by the solid circle symbol

Hundreds arrested in drink drive campaign

Police Forces across the region have been busier than they'd hoped with their drink drive campaigns this year. Since the beginning of December, Surrey Police have made 56 arrests for drink driving. In Hampshire, that number almost doubles to 101. But the highest number is in the Thames Valley, where 117 have been arrested. Drink driving can devastate lives and lead to years in prison and driving bans. The Police are today asking motorists to consider - is it really worth the risk? Juliette Fletcher has the story.


More than 100 people arrested for drink driving in the Thames Valley

More than 100 arrests made this festive season Credit: ITV news

117 people have been arrested for drink-driving in the Thames Valley during the first two weeks of the Christmas anti-drink drug drive campaign. This is down 10-per-cent on the 130 arrests made in the same period last year.

The 'Is it worth the risk?' campaign was launched on Monday 1 December and is aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers over the festive period. It is estimated that over 5500 people have so far been breath tested.

Of those arrested, 93 were men and 24 were female. The oldest was a 79-year-old man arrested in Bicester and the youngest was 19 years old.

In total, 58 of the 117 arrested have been charged, 43 have been released on bail pending further enquiries and 16 people have been released with no further action. The campaign, which runs until 1 January, will see police targeting individuals they suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after a heavy night. Of the arrests, 46 have been made in Berkshire, 44 in Buckinghamshire and 27 in Oxfordshire.

Chief Inspector for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Roads Policing Unit, Henry Parsons said: "It's worrying that some people are still making the wrong choices, deciding to drink and drive when there are alternatives available. I'm grateful for the public support for this campaign that has helped us to be in the right places, at the right times to make these arrests. We'll continue to target drink drivers every single day of the year, not just during campaign periods. It isn't worth the risk."

New appeal to find Michael's killer, 20 years after murder

Michael Meenaghan, who was murdered 20 years ago

Thames Valley Police is re-appealing for information about the historic murder of Michael Meenaghan on the twentieth anniversary of his death today.

Just before 4.30pm on 10 December 1994 a 999 call to police was made from the home of Dr Meenaghan, a 33-year-old research scientist, in Monks Close, Blackbird Leys.

No speech could be heard. However, someone struggling to breathe was heard in the background.

Officers attended the property and found Dr Meenaghan. He had been shot and died from his injuries.

The investigation concluded that a shotgun was fired through a kitchen window at the rear of the house.

Despite extensive enquiries, the murder remains undetected and continues to be investigated by the Major Crime Investigations Review Team.

A £10,000 reward is being offered by Thames Valley Police for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the offender. A reward of up to £10,000 is also being offered by independent charity Crimestoppers, also for information leading to a conviction of the offender.

19-year-old fights for life after being hit by car

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses after a man was hit by a car and seriously injured in Oxfordshire.

At around 1am, a red Hyundai collided with the 19-year-old pedestrian on the A4260 between Twyford and Bodicote.

Police say he sustained life-threatening head injuries and was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, where he remains in a critical condition.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The referral is in relation to police contact with the man before the collision.

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

Underage drink driving: Hampshire Police reaction

Hampshire Constabulary Road Safety Sergeant, Rob Heard said: “These figures show that over a six year period 276 drivers between the ages of 14 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of drink driving in Hampshire. The vast majority of these were males aged 17.

“While this figure is higher than some other Force areas in the UK up to the end of 2013, it reflects the significant efforts that are made across Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight to prevent driving while impaired through drink or drugs.

"Each of these arrests potentially represents a life, or lives, saved on our roads and this research demonstrates that we are detecting these offences effectively.

“Interestingly the figures for 2012 and 2013 are significantly reduced by more than two thirds compared to the figure from 2008.

"This ongoing decline seems to demonstrate that our educational messages to young drivers are being heard clearly.

"One such example is our 'Safe Drive, Stay Alive' series of educational presentations in colleges and community centres across the county.

"These take place every November, with the first of these being held at King's Community Church in Hedge End on Thursday, November 13.

“Many teenagers understand that if you choose to drink or drug drive, we will catch you, you will go to court and you will lose your licence.

"We are determined to reduce casualties on our roads and our success in identifying people who drive while impaired through drink or drugs is just one element of our work to do so”.

"If you have concerns about someone that you suspect of driving while impaired you can report this anonymously to crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also register for 'Safe Drive, Stay Alive' events online at"

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