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Police hunt prolific petrol thief

The owner of a silver Vauxhall Zafira has filled up at least 29 times without paying Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Police in Devon are hunting a prolific petrol thief who's been driving off without paying for two years - using fake number plates and wigs as a disguise.

The owner of a silver Vauxhall Zafira has filled up at least 29 times without spending a single penny. But thanks to an array of disguises detectives aren't certain if the suspect is a man or a woman.

Police track down criminal via picture posted on Facebook

Scott Kelly spent 7 years in prison for a stabbing in Exeter Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

An attempted murderer who went on the run has been caught after police tracked him down using a picture of a foreign sunset he posted on Facebook.

Scott Kelly spent seven years in prison for stabbing a pub drinker in Exeter but fled last October after he was released on probation.

The 33 year old slipped into Europe before posting pictures of himself enjoying a skiing holiday and relaxing in bars and restaurants with friends.

He was careful to evade detection by making sure there were no landmarks in the background.

But his holiday fun came to a halt after he uploaded a stunning photo of a sunset. Detectives gleaned vital clues from the beach in the foreground.

This was the photo that Scott Kelly posted on his Facebook page Credit: Facebook

After studying the palm-tree lined promenade and distinctive architecture they identified it as Alicante and tipped off authorities in Spain.

Spanish police spotted Kelly driving around the famed Costa Blanca holiday destination last month and arrested him.

He was held on a European Arrest Warrant and extradited back to the UK this week and sent back to prison.

Kelly was jailed in March 2005 for attempted murder after he knifed Stephen Rank in the back during a row in a bar in Exeter.

He served seven years but was released on a five-year licence in April last year and ordered to live in a bail hostel.

In October last year he defied probation authorities by fleeing the hostel and vanishing.

His whereabouts remained a mystery until a joint operation between police, Interpol and the National Crime Agency located the crucial "intelligence".

Detective Inspector Paul Fell of south-west-based organised crime unit Zephyr said it was the first time his unit had brought back a criminal from Spain via a European Arrest Warrant .

He said: "Probation made enquires to try and find him. But it quickly became clear he had breached his licence.

"We were able to point the Spanish police in the right direction. It was then up to them how they wanted to proceed.

"They don't like having British criminals living on the Spanish coast believing they are immune from the authorities so they were more than helpful. Once we had got the warrant they were very keen to detain him.

"I am sure that Scott Kelly went to Spain and was living the high life thinking he was untouchable. Many more may feel the same - but they are not.

"We will find offenders and bring them back to serve out the rest of their sentence."

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman added: "It became clear during the investigation that Kelly had an utter disregard for not only the judicial system but the conditions imposed by the probation service, and felt he was untouchable in Spain.

"The extradition of Kelly demonstrates that the force will work with regional and international law enforcement agencies to ensure that people who feel that they are above the law will be returned to the UK to serve out their sentence."

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Have you seen Katie Alexander?

Katie Alexander has been missing since Sunday evening Credit: ITV News

Police have issued a missing persons alert for Katie Alexander from Brixham.

She was last seen at Petitor Road in Torquay at around 9.40pm on Sunday 5 October.

Katie is white, of slim build, 5”2 tall, short straight red hair and has blue eyes. She was believed to be wearing a white sweater, blue jeans, white and blue trainers with a red flash, and also possibly also carrying a pale grey hoodie.

Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen Katie or knows of her whereabouts to contact them.

Chief Constable for Devon & Cornwall to face Q&A

Devon & Cornwall's PCC Tony Hogg (L) and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer (R) at a press conference Credit: ITV Westcountry

Shaun Sawyer, the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall will face questions from local people in a new look meeting hosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Tony Hogg will use his regular performance and accountability meetings to ask questions on behalf of the public. The meeting takes place at County Hall in Exeter this afternoon and will also be shared on line.

Police Tweetathon highlights toll of alcohol consumption on the emergency services

A total of 43 people are in police custody after a night of alcohol related disorder across Devon and Cornwall.

Officers dealt with a total of 374 incidents between 8pm on Friday and 3am on Saturday.

These included a number of drunk drivers, several drink-related accidents, and six drunk men fighting near Exeter St David's Station.

The aim of the Tweetathon was to help the public understand the variety and quantity of calls received by the emergency services and the resources needed to deal with alcohol-related incidents.

These included a number of drunk drivers, several drink-related accidents, and six drunk men fighting near Exeter St David's Station.

It's estimated around 40% of all calls to police during the night are to report alcohol-related incidents.

Eight charged after investigation into human trafficking in Plymouth

Eight people have been charged following a major police investigation into human trafficking and modern slavery in Plymouth and Cornwall.

The five women and three men are charged with conspiracy to traffick persons into the UK for the purpose of labour exploitation. They will appear before Plymouth Magistrates’ Court this morning (19 September). Those charged are:

  • Lenka Cmejlova, 32, of Union Street, Plymouth.
  • Jiri Sebelik, 37, of Union Street, Plymouth.
  • Martin Tancos, 35, of Saltash Road, Plymouth.
  • Katerina Kuriova, 35, of Saltash Road, Keyham, Plymouth.
  • Nela Dzurkova, 26, of Ford Park Road, Plymouth.
  • Petr Tancos, 35, of Ford Park Road, Plymouth
  • Sandra Tancosova, 25, of Flora Court, Plymouth
  • Ruzena Tancosova, 34, of Union Street, Plymouth

The eight people were arrested on Tuesday by police in a joint operation to tackle slavery and human trafficking.

Eight suspected victims of human trafficking were recovered by police and partner agencies and remain in the care of Plymouth City Council, The Salvation Army and the British Red Cross.

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Police given more time to question 8 over slavery offences

Police have been given another 36 hours to question eight people on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

Eight suspected victims from the Czech republic were found during raids in Plymouth and Bodmin earlier this week. The men have been taken to a reception centre and are being interviewed by specially trained officers. Five women and three men arrested during the raids are being held in Plymouth.

Eight arrested on suspicion of trafficking remain in custody

Eight arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and slavery remain in custody Credit: ITV West Country

Eight people arrested yesterday in connection with an investigation into slavery and human trafficking remain in custody. Police say they've now completed their searches of all of the addresses.

Police arrested eight people, five women and three men, on suspicion of trafficking people into the UK for the purpose of labour exploitation and on suspicion of money laundering.

Eight men, all suspected victims of human trafficking and Czech nationals, were recovered to safety and have been taken to a reception centre. Thirteen children, thought to be linked to the suspects, were found at the addresses by police and social services and have now been taken to a place of safety.

The simultaneous raids were part of Operation Triage, the largest operation of its kind carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police and partner agencies into adult labour exploitation.

100 police involved in dawn raids to rescue victims of modern slavery

Eight suspected victims of slavery have been freed from alleged captivity - following a series of police raids in Plymouth.

More than 100 police officers were involved in this morning's operation. It's taken six months of undercover work and planning to put "Operation Triage" into action, the first major operation against modern slavery in the region. 200 people from twelve different agencies have been involved.

Officers went in just after dawn this morning to rescue eight men they believe have been used as slave labour. They were coerced into working as long as eighteen hours a day for nothing but food and somewhere to live.

The victims are Czech nationals, living and working here quite legally, but threats and intimidation have made them frightened by police and authority figures.

It's thought the gang involved forced them to commit criminal acts so they had an extra hold over them, including shop-lifting and illegally claiming benefits which went straight to the gang.

Quite often the victims will have an inherent distrust of law enforcement agencies, primarily from experiences they have had in their home country. They may well have been involved in a level of criminality under coercion when they came into the country which obviously makes them reluctant to talk to the police because they think they will be prosecuted for that kind of criminality.

– Det Supt Jim Colwell, trafficking and slavery specialist

Police rescue seven men in modern slavery raids

Police rescue seven in dawn raids Credit: ITV West Country

Police raided six properties in Plymouth and Bodmin this morning to rescue seven men thought to be held as modern slaves.

Eight people were arrested in the co-ordinated dawn raids. Twelve agencies were involved in the culmination of six months undercover work. The rescued men, all from the Czech Republic, had been forced to work up to 18 hours a day without pay, and were given poor accommodation and food as their only reward.

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