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Lorry driver arrested in connection with people trafficking

20 men were found in a lorry at a Chippenham service station Credit: SWNS

Wiltshire police have arrested a lorry driver on suspicion of being involved in people trafficking. The man was arrested on Saturday afternoon after more than 20 men were found in a lorry at a truck stop near Chippenham.

The men, all from Afghanistan and Iran, were arrested on suspicion of entering the country illegally. and are now in the care of the Border Agency. The driver, a 26 year old Romanian man, has since been released on bail.

Four magistrates courts to close in months

The Government's announced that it's closing a series of court buildings around the West as part of a modernisation programme aimed at reducing under-used facilities. It comes despite strong local oppositiion which only succeeded in saving one of the threatened courts, in Bath.

Magistrates' courts at Chippenham, Stroud, Gloucester and Yate will be shut over the next few months, as will a tribunal building in Cheltenham. It's not clear how many jobs are affected, but for witnesses and defendants in those areas there will clearly be longer journeys to attend hearings.

The inclusion of Chippenham on the list is perhaps a surprise, since it is only 25 years old and was purpose built to meet high security standards. But it is only used 40% of the time and costs half a million pounds a year to run. We spoke to MP for Chippenham Michelle Donelan.


Taxis replace trains via Trowbridge and Melksham

Taxis are currently replacing trains via Trowbridge and Melksham on Great Western Railway lines, between Westbury and Chippenham due to track circuit failure between Trowbridge and Chippenham.

Lines are currently closed and trains are unable to run on the Westbury branch line in both directions.

Passengers are being advised to travel via Bath Spa instead. Delays are expected until 7pm.

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Police searching for missing man find body

Police searching for a missing man from Chippenham have found a body in woodland in the nearby village of Stanton St Quintin.

One of the team of officers looking for 51-year-old Stephen Clarke spotted his Mitsubishi Shogun parked behind the village hall at just after 2.30pm today (Nov 8).

The discovery of a man's body in nearby woods was made shortly afterwards.

A formal identification is yet to take place, but Mr Clarke's family has been informed.

I would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance in trying to find Mr Clarke.

I would now ask that his family's privacy is respected at this sad time.

– Insp Chris Martin, Wiltshire Police

Three girls arrested following Chippenham fire

Five crews tackled the fire on Hungerdown Lane. Credit: Lewis Waugh

Three girls under 14 have been arrested on suspicion of arson after an empty building in Chippenham caught fire last night.

Two 14 year old girls and a 12 year old girl from Chippenham were arrested today. They are all currently in custody.

The fire in Hungerdown Lane was tackled by five Wiltshire fire crews, and gave off a large plume of smoke that could be seen from several miles away.

Police say they're still appealing for witnesses.

I would like to thank members of the public who have helped in our investigation so far. We are still appealing for witnesses to this fire, if you saw anything suspicious in or around The Middlefield Adult Training Centre, in Hungerdown Lane, between 3pm and 6pm yesterday afternoon please call me on 101, or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

– PC Jamie Ball
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