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  1. Image copyright Norfolk Constabulary Image caption Clive Eglen, of Woodwark Avenue, King's Lynn, admitted using a vehicle fitted with a siren A 58-year-old man who drove a Ford Mondeo with emergency-style blue lights fixed on the front has been fined. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-46876778 Clive Eglen, of King's Lynn, was ordered to pay a total of £430 after he admitted using a vehicle fitted with a siren. He was stopped by Norfolk Police in the town last April, with photos showing lights on the car grille and chequered black-and-white transfers on the sides. Magistrates fined Eglen £300, plus £130 in costs and a victim surcharge. King's Lynn Magistrates' Court heard Eglen, of Woodwark Avenue, had initially denied a charge of impersonating a police constable, which was withdrawn. '17-year-old police car' The motorist had fixed the flashing blue lights to his girlfriend's car, the Eastern Daily Press reported. According to the paper, Eglen's solicitor Hugh Cauthery said in mitigation: "I don't think any sensible person would think it a police car. "I have never seen a 17-year-old police car in Norfolk. "They're usually brand new BMWs, or not far off." In police photos, security stickers can be seen attached to the front and rear windows of the car; while a peaked cap and high-visibility garment, along with some scatter cushions can be seen on the vehicle's back parcel shelf. Image copyright Norfolk Constabulary Image caption A black peaked-cap, high-visibility jacket and some scatter cushions could be seen in the back of the car Imahttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-46876778ge copyright Norfolk Constabulary Image caption The Ford Mondeo also had black-and-white chequered transfers stuck on its bodywork
  2. Image copyright Reuters If UK motorists plan to drive abroad after 29 March, they need to act soon or risk breaking the law. That's because a no-deal Brexit would leave drivers needing to have proof of insurance known as a Green Card. EU regulations will hit businesses and individuals. They will also apply to anyone driving across the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border. You need to order the card a month before you plan to travel, warned the Association of British Insurers. Although European insurance authorities agreed to waive the need for Green Cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit in May 2018, it has not been confirmed by the European Commission. UK drivers living in the EU urged to get new licence How will Brexit affect my holidays to Europe? It means Green Cards would be required under EU regulations as proof of insurance if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal deal. The documents are supplied by insurers and anyone who drives without one may be breaking the law. Meanwhile the government is still pressing for the European Commission to give the Green Card-waiver a green light. A spokesperson from the Department for Transport said: "The UK meets all requirements to remain a part of the Green Card-free circulation zone when we leave the EU, and we urge the Commission to issue a decision which would ensure UK motorists can drive in the EU without a Green Card." Who will be affected? Among those affected will be: People who drive across the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border. Anyone planning to take their vehicle to Europe, such as a family planning a holiday to France in the Easter holidays. Any freight company planning to transport goods into the EU after 29 March. Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said: "As it looks increasingly possible that a no-deal Brexit may happen, we want all insurance customers to know the facts about what this means for them." When it comes to travel insurance, Mr Evans said that cover would continue to work in the normal way, even in the event that there is no replacement for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) system that allows people some free healthcare in the EU. However, he added: "Customers should always double-check their travel insurance policy meets their full needs." If there is no deal with the EU, drivers may also need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive abroad. RAC spokesperson Nicholas Lyes said: "There will be two different types of IDP that apply in EU states, so it is important that motorists heading abroad in the event of a no-deal Brexit check which is required. In cases where someone is driving to Spain via France, they would need both types of IDP." From 1 February, the government will begin providing IDPs at 2,500 Post Offices across the UK. How many people drive from the UK to Europe? The NI Department for the Economy suggests that there are approximately 110 million crossings between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland each year. This includes cars, HGVs and buses/coaches. Eurotunnel Shuttle Services carried 1.6 million trucks and 2.6 million cars in 2017 (total number; both directions). According to official statistics, in 2017 there were 2.4 million HGVs travelling from Great Britain to Europe (excluding NI) and 370,000 HGVs travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46891186
  3. Image copyright Google Image caption The A41 was shut both in both directions between the A416 for Berkhamsted and the Tring/Northchurch turn-off An off-duty police officer was killed when his motorbike crashed into a stationary vehicle on the A41. PC Kevin Flint, a Thames Valley Police officer based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, died on his way home from work on Tuesday, the force said. The crash happened on the northbound carriageway near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, just after 16:00 GMT. Ch Supt Steve Williams said he was confirming the death "with great sadness". "PC Flint's next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with them, as well as his friends and colleagues at this extremely difficult time," he said. The crash is being investigated by the Joint Protective Services of the Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Constabularies and Bedfordshire Police. On Boxing Day, Thames Valley PC Daniel Clayton-Drabble, who was based at Milton Keynes, was killed in a single vehicle car crash at Whittlebury, Northamptonshire. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-46889132
  4. Image caption A team set up in 2018 to tackle county lines has made 220 arrests Violence linked to "county lines" drugs gangs operating in North Yorkshire has hit unprecedented levels in the past 18 months, police chiefs have said. Tackling heroin and crack cocaine in rural towns was North Yorkshire Police's "number one priority", said Det Ch Insp Graeme Wright. "The drug supply and market in many of our isolated and rural towns is booming," he said. A team set up nine months ago to tackle county lines has made 220 arrests. County lines refers to urban drug dealers expanding their activities into smaller towns and rural areas, often via phone networks, to supply crack cocaine and heroin to addicts in those locations. North Yorkshire Police has also seen a "significant escalation" in cuckooing - a practice in which vulnerable people's homes are taken over by gangs. The force said it knew of 70 people affected by cuckooing so far, a mixture of people who had been cuckooed and people vulnerable to it. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Police know of four lines coming into Harrogate from Bradford, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham Det Ch Insp Wright said: "We're getting support from wider law enforcement colleagues across the region and nationally but this is taking a serious toll on our resourcing and we're having to invest significantly. "We're seeing significant numbers of people being embroiled in the use of drugs and high levels of drug-related deaths that I couldn't all attribute to county lines, but it's a factor. "Typically where drug users reside, the violence has been unprecedented." Latest news and updates from Yorkshire Boy used as 'foot soldier' by drugs gang 'I regret grooming young drug dealers' A police officer, speaking anonymously after finding a vulnerable addict who was a victim of cuckooing, said the man was "so scared of any consequence and repercussions from this gang that have been using his address and using him" that he had barricaded himself inside his home. The victim still had a debt to the gang, the officer said. "He's basically barricaded himself in his bedsit. He's got a pump action squirt gun - if someone comes through the door he's got to use it, it's boiling hot water. "He's a nervous wreck," the officer added. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-46894272
  5. Four people, including two firefighters, have been killed after an explosion caused a huge fire at a bakery in the French capital, Paris, officials say. Cars were wrecked and other buildings were damaged by the blast on Rue de Trévise in the 9th Arrondissement. A gas leak is said to have caused the explosion around 09:00 (08:00 GMT). Paris and other cities have been bracing themselves for new anti-government protests. Some 80,000 police officers due to be on duty on Saturday as "yellow vest" demonstrators keep up their pressure protest, even though the Paris explosion is not thought to be connected with the demonstrations. What happened? The Hubert bakery at No 6 Rue de Trévise was not due to be open at the time of the blast, Le Parisien newspaper reports. A gas leak had been reported in the building and firefighters had been on their way to deal with it when the explosion occurred. Image copyright AFP Image caption Firefighters were reportedly hurt in the blast Helicopters landed on the nearby Place de l'Opéra to evacuate the injured, Reuters news agency reports. A passing journalist, Emily Molli, described the force of the blast and vast extent of the damage. Skip Twitter post by @MomesMolli End of Twitter post by @MomesMolli Skip Twitter post 2 End of Twitter post 2 by @MomesMolli A resident named Killian was asleep when the explosion blew in his windows. Everybody in the building came downstairs, he said, and he could hear screaming. The blast also destroyed a theatre, he told French news channel BFMTV. "I was sleeping and woke up by the blast wave," Claire Sallavuard told AFP news agency. "All the windows in the apartment exploded, doors were blown off their hinges, I had to walk on the door to leave the room, all the kids were panicking, they couldn't get out of their room." Image copyright EPA Image caption At least 20 people were hurt Paula Nagui, a receptionist at the nearby Diva Hotel, said there had been an "enormous blast" that shattered all the windows. Anxious guests had received assurances that it was not a terror attack, she told Le Parisien. Why such heavy security for the protests? For the ninth Saturday in a row, demonstrators are turning out to criticise the government's policies in a mass phenomenon which began with a protest over tax on vehicle fuel on 17 November. Called the "yellow vests" because of the colour of the high-visibility vests they wear symbolically, they have disrupted traffic on roads and in towns across France, and their marches have descended into some of the worst rioting France has seen in decades. Who are the 'gilets jaunes'? Les gilets jaunes: The full story Yellow vests could be seen gathering outside the finance ministry in Paris on Saturday. Image copyright AFP Image caption Protesters have gathered outside the French finance ministry Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently announced plans to punish people who hold unsanctioned protests. Ten deaths have been linked to the unrest, all but one in traffic accidents, the tenth being an elderly woman hit in the face by a tear gas grenade in her flat in Marseille. More than 1,500 people among the demonstrators have been injured, 53 of them seriously. Nearly 1,100 members of the security forces were also hurt, French TV reported on 5 January. As of 6 January, 5,339 people had been taken into custody and 152 had been sent to prison, the justice ministry told L'Express newspaper. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46849633
  6. Mayor of London With three months to go until the launch of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the central London Congestion Charge Zone, the Mayor of London is urging London’s drivers and business owners who drive in the zone to check whether their vehicles comply with new emissions standards designed to tackle the capital’s toxic air. The ULEZ will come into effect in the current central London Congestion Charge Zone on 8 April and will replace the current Toxicity Charge. Vehicles will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge (£12.50 for cars, vans and motorcycles, £100 for buses, coaches and lorries) to travel within the zone.

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