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How Safe Is Your Beach?

As stricter EU regulations come into force next year, Tonight investigates the quality of the bathing water on Britain's beaches.

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Police apology over 'inexcusable' Cherry Groce failings

The country's most senior police chief has apologised 'unreservedly' and said it was 'inexcusable' that it had taken until now to say sorry for police failings which contributed to the death of Cherry Groce, whose shooting by an officer triggered the 1985 Brixton riots.

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "I apologise unreservedly for our failings.

"I also apologise for the inexcusable fact that it has taken until now for the Met to make that public apology. Sadly this means that the person that most deserved to hear that apology, those words that we are sorry, is no longer here.

"Mrs Groce bore her suffering with dignity, and her story is a powerful reminder to all our officers of our responsibilities where we use force or plan for its possible use."

Read: 'Police failures' contributed to death of Cherry Groce

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Local authority defends decision to prosecute parents

The decision to prosecute a couple who took their children on holiday to Australia during term time has been defended by the local authority.

Our schools follow the guidance set down by the Department for Education in trying to maintain good levels of attendance.

Schools decide whether to authorise leave based on whether they think there are exceptional circumstances.

Penalty notices are issued by the council at the request of schools for various reasons including where the school has felt there were no exceptional circumstances to justify absence.

– Coventry City Council statement

Read: Criminal record for parents who took children on holiday during term time

Criminal records for term-time holiday couple 'damaging'

A court decision to hand a couple criminal records for taking their children on holiday during term time has "done a lot of damage to the family", an MP has told ITV News.

John Hemming MP, who heads the group Parents Want a Say which campaigns against rules preventing parents from taking their children on holiday during term time, said the parents "may have to end up accepting this unjust decision" because of financial limitations.

John Hemming MP heads the group Parents Want a Say. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

He said: "It is sad that the courts take the view that a parent doing the best they can for their children in difficult circumstances is guilty of a criminal offence even though the parents got a conditional discharge.

"This case has done a lot of damage to that family and the costs of arguing in court have ended up as prohibitive.

"The difficulty for the mother is that she probably cannot take the financial risk of taking this case to judicial review and may have to end up accepting this unjust decision merely because of the financial limitations.

"The secrecy applied to this case does not to me seem to be justified and seems to be driven by a desire to keep the publicity to a minimum. I will be speaking further to the mother in the days to come."

Read: Criminal record for parents who took children on holiday during term time

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Rights Group: Blanket surveillance needs to end

The executive director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock condemned the government's emergency measures to pass new data laws, saying it cannot just re-legislate every time it disagrees with a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

The Government knows that since the ECJ ruling, there is no legal basis for making internet service providers retain our data so it is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse for getting this law passed.

Not only will the proposed legislation infringe our right to privacy, it will also set a dangerous precedent where the Government simply re-legislates every time it disagrees with a decision by the ECJ. The ruling still stands and these new plans may actually increase the amount of our personal data that is retained by ISPs, further infringing on our right to privacy.

Blanket surveillance needs to end. That is what the court has said.

Read: Mobile and computer data evidence 'vital' against crime

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