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Parking ticket for Plymouth Santa

Father Christmas was nabbed by Plymouth's community policing team when his 'sleigh' was found without an MoT. Santa was also given a parking ticket by officers as part of Op SMART, a policing scheme to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Devonport and the west of the city.

During a fortnight this month 22 houses were searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act, resulting in four arrests for possession with intent to supply, six warnings/fines for drug misuse and further investigations into burglaries and handling stolen goods. A further six people were also arrested for other related offences.

The police team also worked in partnership with Trading Standards to seize over 300 potentially counterfeit items from a single car boot sale, as well as working to tackle bad driving and parking offences.

"We would like to send a clear message that drug use is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our communities - anyone involved in drug use at any level should be looking over their shoulder in anticipation of a visit from us.

"The work we have been doing has proved to act as something of a deterrent to criminals, which has been really welcomed by the local residents, and we hope this continues to build on this."

– Sgt Dave Eames, Neighbourhood Team Leader
  1. West Country (E)

Christmas Night weather forecast - cold and frosty

Widespread frost is expected in the days to come Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/

It will quickly turn cold this evening, with frost developing under largely clear skies, especially in eastern parts, according to the Met Office. However, it will begin to cloud over from the west through the early hours with rain arriving across the far south west by dawn. Minimum temperature -2 deg C.

On Boxing Day, rain in the west will spread eastwards through the morning, turning heavy at times. Winds will strengthen, with a risk of gales in exposure. Maximum temperature 10 deg C.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday: a cloudy start for some Saturday, soon brighter although a few showers are possible, perhaps wintry on hills. Thereafter, largely fine, but cold by day, very cold and frosty by night.

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  1. West Country (E)

Advice on keeping your presents safe

Police have issued advice on keeping safe your prized Christmas gifts Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Avon & Somerset Police have issued some timely advice about how to keep your prized presents safe.

"If Santa's brought you a new tablet, laptop, MP3 player, television, games console or any other gift with a serial number (which is most consumer electrical goods), say thank you by registering it onImmobilise.com. You can also register your mobile phone by entering the IMEI number, which you find by pressing *#06# on the handset.**

"Or, if you're lucky enough to have got a new bike, enter the frame number and a brief description on BikeRegister to reduce the chances of it being stolen and increase the chances of getting it back if it is. It would also be a very good use of any Christmas money to invest in a decent lock and bike marking kit: more on that here.

"We don't want to sound all doom and gloom at Christmas, but if you tot up the value of all the new presents in your house, chances are it's enough to make a burglar's eyes light up."

– Avon & Somerset Police

Samson the lion has a new home in Devon for Christmas

Samson has a new home at Dartmoor Zoo Credit: Newquay Zoo

Samson the lion is spending his first Christmas in Devon after being moved from his previous home at Newquay Zoo. The seven year-old male is now staying at Dartmoor Zoological Park near Plymouth.

Samson was moved after failing to get on with a young lioness brought in from Longleat after his previous companion Connie died at the age of 18 in the summer.

His new enclosure is alongside that of Dartmoor Zoological Park’s lioness Josie so the two lions are able to interact through the fencing. If they bond well, the zoo will be able to keep them together in the same enclosure.

Devon chimney fire warms Santa's toes

Father Christmas: no comment on Devon chimney fire Credit: John Phillips/EMPICS Entertainment

Emergency crews were called to a chimney fire at a house near Plymouth early this morning. Two fire engines rushed to the home in Yealm Park, Yealmpton to find a well-established blaze involving a wood burner.

The lintel of the chimney breast was badly damaged. Fire crews used ladders and specialist chimney gear together with thermal imaging cameras to make sure the blaze was extinguished. Nobody was reported hurt.

Father Christmas was not available for comment.

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Christmas snow in Plymouth!

A Christmas treat for children in Drake Circus Shopping Centre Credit: Onshore Media

Festive snow fell in Plymouth - despite temperatures being well above freezing. Last-minute shoppers at Drake Circus saw the white stuff falling yesterday - thanks to special snow-makers. The machines brought in by the shopping centre were the same ones used at the Winter Olympics in Russia early this year.

Winter wonderland - with a hat to match Credit: Onshore Media
Happy Christmas Plymouth! Credit: Onshore Media

What does Christmas mean to you?

You have told us that Christmas means more than presents Credit: PA

Many of you have been getting in touch to share what Christmas means to you.

For some the religious significance is the important thing, while for others it's the food, the family or the day off work. Many of you are reflecting on what's important to you.

Here is a selection of your thoughts.

This year is about me thanking a special person for donating their liver, and to their family who must miss her very much, I'm so grateful.

– Tracy Naughton, Yeovil

Christmas to me means a lot, it celebrates the birth of Lord Jesus. Christmas is also the time of year to spend time with friends and family. Christmas is superb.

– Stephen Snell, Padstow, Cornwall

To me it doesn't mean presents or breaking the bank. To me it means spending time with your family, watching Christmassy things on the telly, playing board games, eating food and drinking wine.

There are so many people that say "Christmas is expensive". It's only expensive if you make it expensive.

– Cherri-Rose Elliott, Penzance, Cornwall

I'm not religious and to me it's just another extra Sunday roast.

Spending this Xmas on my own in Budapest as my partner is working in England for a year, but I still have my friends for company.

Happy Xmas.

– Marcus Miller, former Bath resident

A long overdue rest.

– Graham Gravy Burt, Falmouth, Cornwall
For many of you, Christmas is all about family Credit: PA

Frost is forecast for Christmas Day

The weather will be colder and brighter over Christmas but then unsettled into the weekend Credit: ITV News

The Met Office has issued the following forecast for this evening into Christmas Day:

It will be dry with clear spells through the evening and night. Winds will ease, which with clear skies will allow a patchy frost to form. Minimum temperature 3C (37F).

There will be a chilly to start on Christmas Day, but staying fine, dry and cold. There will be plenty of sunshine throughout, and clear spells during the evening will lead to a widespread frost. Maximum temperature 9C (48F).

It will be cold and dry at first on Boxing Day, then turning cloudy, wet and windy later.

Heavy rain and gales are possible possible overnight and through Saturday. On Sunday it will be drier and colder.

  1. West Country (E)

Gifts flood in for Santa Paws appeal in Somerset

Everything seems brighter when you have your own ball Credit: Sedgemoor District Council

Sedgemoor District Council says its first Santa Paws appeal has been a great success.

We have been bowled over by the generosity of the public and the number of donations received for the appeal. Hundreds of individual items such as toys, blankets, chews, bowls and leads, as well as filled shoeboxes, have been received. I can’t wait to deliver all the items to the many stray and rescue dogs awaiting adoption.

– Fiona Dickson, Dog Warden, Sedgemoor District Council
Some of the pet toys donated to the Santa Paws appeal Credit: Sedgemoor District Council

The dogs who have received their goodies already have certainly had an extra wag of their tail.

We have some really lovely dogs that are in desperate need of a loving home and we would urge people fully committed to dog ownership to come and have a look after Christmas.

– Fiona Dickson, Dog Warden, Sedgemoor District Council
A homeless hound unwraps his doggy gifts Credit: Sedgemoor District Council
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