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Police statement on Devon school investigation

Chelfham Mill School in Barnstable has been closed for six weeks while police investigate claims of physical abuse

Police are investigating claims of current and historic physical abuse at Chelfham Mill School in North Devon. The school caters for children with behavioural and emotional difficulties between 7 and 18 years.

Devon and Cornwall police are currently involved in an investigation into claims of physical abuse at Chelfham Mill School, Barnstaple.

We are working closely with partner organisations including social services as this investigation takes place.

– Devon and Cornwall Police statement

Police investigate abuse claims at North Devon school

Chelfham Mill School in Barnstable has been closed for six weeks while police investigate claims of physical abuse Credit: School website

Police are investigating claims of physical abuse at a school in Barnstaple.

Chelfham Mill School caters for more than 50 children with emotional and behavioural difficulties between the ages of 7 and 18.

It is closed for six weeks while the investigation takes place. The school has issued a brief statement:

Chelfham Mill school is closed for an initial period of six weeks pending an investigation by external agencies. We are committed to supporting the investigation process.

– Katy Roberts, principal


Fire breaks out on board boat in Barnstaple

Fire crews are tackling a fire on board a boat on the River Taw Credit: Chris Smith

Three fire crews are dealing with a fire in a boat on Barnstaple's riverside. Emergency services received multiple calls shortly after 9pm.

The boat is next to North Devon Leisure Centre and can often be seen with smoke coming from its funnel.

It's thought homeless people stay in a number of abandoned and derelict boats on the banks of the River Taw. It's not yet known if anyone has been hurt in the fire.

Beating the heat when you can't eat: Heatwave hits Ramadan

Muslims spend Ramadan fasting and giving more money to charity. Credit: ITV News

The recent hot weather has coincided with Islam's holiest month of Ramadan, and Muslims across the region are spending daylight hours fasting.

People will also spend the month giving extra money to charity and praying more often.

Barnstaple restaurant owner Ashraf Shah invited us to see the end of the day's fasting - and gave us an insight into how to beat the heat when you can't eat.

Man due in court over attempted raid on jewellers

Armed police were called to Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple after an attempted robbery on 28 Credit: ITV News West Country

A man is due before magistrates this morning, charged in connection with an attempted armed raid on a jewellery shop in Barnstaple.

18-year-old Benjamin Barton from Bideford has been charged with attempted armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm in connection with a raid at Coopers Jewellery on 28 May.


Police release image of man in connection with Barnstaple armed robbery

Police want to speak to this man Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they'd like to speak to in connection with an attempted armed robbery in Barnstaple.

Officers investigating the unsuccessful raid on Coopers Jewellery say the man or anyone who knows him should come forward so he can be ruled out of the enquiry.

Nothing was stolen and nobody was injured in the raid after an employee fended the suspect off with a baseball bat.

Dramatic CCTV of attempted robbery at Barnstaple jewellers

Police have released CCTV of an attempted armed robbery at a jewellers in Barnstaple last month.

The suspect, who was wearing a latex mask, fired what is thought to be blanks but made off when he was tackled by staff.

Officers believe he may have injured his shoulder, head and arm.

This video shows the moment the shop owner sent the armed robber packing by grabbing a baseball bat and warning: "You've picked the wrong guy".

71 year old David Bruce was alone behind the counter when the suspect stormed in waving a gun.

But he was bravely seen off by David, a black belt in martial arts, who bashed him with a baseball bat.

Rugby legend and surprise Barnstaple player Jerry Collins dies

Jerry Collins once turned out for Barnstaple. Credit: Reuters

An international rugby superstar who once made a shock appearance for Barnstaple's second team has been killed in a car crash.

Jerry Collins, 34-year-old former captain of New Zealand's All Blacks, died in a crash in southern France between his car and a bus early this morning, along with his wife. Their three-month-old daughter is in a critical condition in hospital.

In 2007 Collins was staying with friends in North Devon. A chance meeting with Barnstaple's director of rugby meant he ended up coaching the team's young players one night and playing for the second team at Newton Abbot the next day - in a game they were winning until it was abandoned due to an injury.

The All Black later wore his red-and-white Barnstaple socks in an invitational against then World Champions, South Africa.

Barnstaple Rugby described Collins as a "wonderful man" with a "heart of gold" in an emotional tribute on Facebook today.

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CCTV shows masked gunman at Barnstaple jewellers

CCTV from the raid at Coopers Jewellers in Barnstaple last Thursday. Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Police have released CCTV images of a masked gunman following an armed raid at a jewellers in Barnstaple last Thursday.

The man, who fled empty-handed after being tackled by staff, could have injuries to his hand and head.

Officers are also looking for the mask, which may have been thrown away nearby. They say they are following up a number of leads but would like to hear from anyone with information.

CCTV of the armed man. Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

The offender is wearing a mask in the photo; it is possible that this may have been discarded by the offender leaving the scene.

If any member of the public comes across the mask we’d ask that they contact the police. Also whilst the coat appears darker in the images, witnesses describe it as a light sandy colour.

The offender may well have received injuries as a result of this incident and it is likely that someone in the community knows who is responsible. I’d encourage them to come forward.

We are actively pursuing a number of enquiries and are keen to hear from any member of the public who may know the identity of the offender and anyone who may have seen them without the mask.

I would also like to reassure the public that we are fortunate that we live in a safe part of the country where incidents of this type are rare.

– Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo, Devon & Cornwall Police
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