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Argyle and Grecians suffer defeats

No wins for our teams today.

Plymouth Argyle have been beaten at home by Oxford United this afternoon. Lewis Alessandra had given the Pilgrims a first half lead, but after Aaron Bentley was sent off, the visitors scored twice in the second half.

Exeter City suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at Wimbledon. Liam Sercombe scored a consolation for the Grecians in injury time.

And in the Conference, Torquay United drew 0-0 at Welling.

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  1. West Country (E)

Health Service is on the verge on 'major incident'

The South Western Ambulance Service on the verge of 'major incident' Credit: ITV News

The South Western Ambulance Service which covers Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall says that it is on the verge of declaring a internal 'major incident'.

The average number of calls 999 takes from this area is 2,500 a day. Yesterday they took 3,500 calls.

Steve White, says the 111 service is overwhelmed and that the police force are being used to provide health care cover.

Please only call 999 and 111 for life-threatening emergencies and urgent medical help. All NHS services, including 999 and NHS111, are experiencing extremely high demand today. If you are suffering a life-threatening emergency or need urgent medical help then please call. However, if not, please think about the other healthcare options available, such as self-care or visiting a pharmacy, or please consider whether your problem could wait until your own GP surgery reopens on Monday.

– South Western Ambulance Service

First customers queued at 1:08am Boxing Day for Plymouth sales

First customers queued at 1:08am Boxing Day for Plymouth sales Credit: ITV News

People started waiting outside Drake Circus 01:08am on Boxing Day. By 6am when the shops started to open, there were 6-hundred people waiting and by ten o clock 10,000 people had passed through the doors - all eager for a bargain.

All the predictions are that the post Christmas sales will be a major boom for the retailers. There were reports of a quieter than usual period leading up to Christmas Eve. But it appears that online sales are now working well with high street retailers.

So far the main shops are reporting that the average spend of their shoppers is up in these Boxing Day sales - which has to spell good news for high streets across the west country.

  1. West Country (E)

Somerset horse trainer celebrates 9th win in King George VI race

Silviniaco Conti won the prestigious race for the second successive year Credit: ITV News

There are celebrations at Somerset trainer Paul Nicholls' yard today after his record ninth win in the King George VI chase at Kempton Park. The horse he trained, Silviniaco Conti, won the prestigious race for the second successive year.

He made his win at the King George VI Chase look easy as he drew four and a half lengths away of the rest of the field for his 2nd successive victory in the race. And that made a record ninth win in the race for a delighted Paul Nicholls waiting at the finish.

He jumped and galloped them into the ground it was a brilliant performance."

– Clifford Baker, Head Lad

And the horse appears to have enjoyed his victory- according to his posting on twitter he had a brilliant day and was quite emotional!

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Barnstaple police station evacuated after flood

Barnstaple police station evacuated after flood Credit: PA

Barnstaple police station has had to be evacuated after a boiler broke and flooded the custody suite.

Five people were in custody at the time three were released on bail or dealt with, two were moved to other custody suites.

  1. West Country (E)

Drunks at A&E wards 'should be arrested'

A&E staff are 'fed up' with dealing with drunk patients, a leading health doctor has said Credit: PA

Drunks who become abusive and disorderly in hospital A&Es should be arrested as fines do not work, the head of the College of Emergency Medicine has said.

Dr Cliff Mann, a consultant at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton claimed people would be less inclined to get drunk and end up in emergency departments if they knew they may be arrested and potentially prosecuted.

He told the Observer newspaper that current methods of dealing with drunks are not a deterrent, as many people end up simply repeating their behaviour.

(Police) tend to try to get people home or to hospital, and then they do it again the next week, because we aren't really using carrots and sticks to change their behaviour.

There are no sanctions on people for being a nuisance and for taking up vital A&E resources as a result of their own alcohol excess. Fines have clearly not worked.

– Dr Cliff Mann

Dr Mann, who said his aim is to "diminish the harm from drunkenness" and backed calls for minimum pricing, said weekend binge drinking should not be accepted or considered normal.

He described argumentative and obnoxious patients, and their acquaintances, who can end up being physically abusive towards staff, and said workers are fed up having to deal with such people.

But a number of organisations, including the Police Federation, disagreed with Dr Mann's proposal, saying the issue is too complex to deal with by "a crackdown on troublesome drunks", adding that jailing people is not always the answer.

Katherine Brown, director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies think tank, and Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at charity Alcohol Concern, told the Observer the problem needs to be tackled at the source, by looking at the easy availability of cheap alcohol.

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