Friday, 21 December 2012

Police crackdown on local drink drivers continues

Over 100 motorists in Lancashire have already been found to have been drink driving this Christmas - 21 in the area covered by the Northern division which is assigned with the policing of Lancastewr, Morecambe, Heysham and the Wyre area.

The figures come just three weeks into the campaign and officers are reminding people of the dangers and consequences of drink driving.

Police have conducted 11,420 roadside breathe tests with 130 people providing a positive specimen and three people actually refusing to provide.

Chief Inspector Debbie Howard from the Roads Policing Unit said, “Over 11,000 tests have been carried out and 133 people have failed or refused. Although this does show that the number of drinking and driving is low, around 1.2 per cent of people tested, over 100 people have been drink driving and that is too many as far as we are concerned.

“With Christmas just around the corner it is important for people to remember the dangers and consequences of drink driving. Our officers will continue to carryout roadside checkpoints and will target those people who drink and drive.

“It is also important to remind people that if they are drinking in the evening then there is a good chance that they could be over the limit in the morning. Motorists need to plan ahead and make sure they leave their vehicles at home.”

If you suspect anyone of drink driving then you should call the police on 101.

The figures are as follows:

Northern Division – 1,121 tests conducted – 21 failed – 1 refused.
Central Division – 1,208 tests conducted – 7 failed – 0 refused.
Eastern Division – 2,939 tests conducted – 25 failed – 0 refused.
Southern Division – 2,421 tests conducted – 14 failed – 0 refused.
Western Division - 1,188 tests conducted – 11 failed – 0 refused.
Pennine Division – 1,294 tests conducted – 19 failed – 2 refused.
H Division (Motorway/RPU) – 1,249 tests conducted – 0 refused.

Getting expensive presents for Christmas? Immobilise thieves!

People receiving expensive presents for Christmas are being advised to take a few simple crime prevention measures to avoid being targeted by thieves.

At this time of year burglars are even more aware of the fact that people will have expensive items in their homes. Valuables left near windows can prove tempting for criminals and unlocked doors and windows make it easier for them to come in and steal your possessions.

PCSO Stephen Connolly, neighbourhood policing, said: “Keeping things out of sight and locking up when you go to bed or leave home can prevent your home being broken in to.

“However, if you are targeted by criminals, listing your new phones, gadgets and other presents, including bikes, on a property register database, such as can greatly increase the chances of getting the items returned to you.

"This is a free service and only takes a few minutes of your time.

“When officers seize suspected stolen property we can use the database to try and reunite it with its original owner. Second hand shops can also use a sister site to check whether an item is stolen when it is offered to them.

"Help us to spoil Christmas for criminals my making sure your property is not an easy target.”

• For more crime prevention advice visit To register property visit

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Duo get set for Golden Lion date

Need something different, perhaps a little more relaxing, between Christmas and New Year?  Yes, I thought so.  Well….

The Duo – from folk to Floyd will be playing at the Golden Lion (Moor Lane, Lancaster) on Saturday 29th December 2012. They’ll start, as usual, shortly after 9.00pm and perform two sets of songs, ending at some little time after 11.00pm.

"This is a first for the Golden Lion as they usually don’t host any live music between Christmas and New Year," says Duo member Tony Cooke. "However Jon, the landlord, has booked us to see if he can tempt people away from the telly! - so it’s a bit of an experiment really. 

"But it is also a splendid example of the Lion’s continuing commitment to a varied programme of live music throughout the year which I think we all appreciate."

 • More about The Duo:

Appeal following Lancaster house fire

Police are appealing for information following a house fire in Lancaster which police believe may have been started deliberately.

On the evening of the 24th November, a fire started behind the front door of a house on Holden Way, which is off Ashton Road - and police are appealing for information to try and establish the circumstances.

It is believed the fire would have started sometime between 7.30 and 11.30pm.

“Fortunately the fire did not spread and was limited to the hallway," said DC Dylan Hrynkow. "Police treat all offences of this nature extremely seriously and I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the area at the time to contact police if they remember seeing anyone acting suspiciously in the area.

“In particular, we would appeal to a man who believe may have been walking his dog along Holden Way around the time, we are also led to believe this man may have been noticeable as he was smoking a pipe. If this was you, please contact police – you could have information that is vital to the investigation.”

• Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting reference number BA1203926. Alternatively, information can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Royal Lancaster Infirmary closes to visitors during Noro outbreak

All visitors have been banned from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary because of an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus.

At least 140 patients and 20 staff have caught the highly contagious norovirus, which causes nausea and diarrhoea.

Every ward will be shut for at least the next two days, but Emergency cases are still being taken in A&E.
Outpatients should still go to appointments - but if they're showing symptoms of the bug they should call ahead.

For maternity, neonatal and paediatric services, only the parents or one guardian of a sick child are asked to attend the wards or neonatal unit.

The Trust understands that there may be extenuating circumstances where members of the public need to visit loved ones, such as if they seriously ill. If this is the case, the public are asked to call ahead to the ward to arrange visiting.

Juliet Walters, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Whilst we understand that this may seem drastic to some people, our usual infection control methods need to be supplemented with the assistance of the public to help control and resolve the outbreak.

“It has been widely reported that the levels of this bug are 83 per cent higher nationally than last year. There is also a huge increase of the bug in the community and we believe that members of the public who are coming into the hospital, carrying the bug or similar bugs – sometimes without knowledge - may be contributing to the problem. By reducing the number of people coming into our hospital, we can reduce the risk of norovirus spreading to further wards. 

“This decision has not been taken lightly as we know it will be frustrating for people who have friends and family in hospital but we have a duty of care to protect the wellbeing and safety of our patients and staff, and this has to be our main priority. Our staff are working extremely hard to deal with this outbreak quickly and this decision will help us return services to normal as soon as possible. To help us achieve this, we would appreciate the co-operation of the public.”

The norovirus illness affects up to a million people in the UK each year and does not last long and people usually recover between 12 and 60 hours without treatment other than rest and lots of fluids. It is found in the community and is easily transmitted. The bug affects schools, workplaces and other areas where groups of people are in close proximity, such as hospitals.

The elderly and young can be more vulnerable to the infection and anyone with concerns should call NHS Direct on 0845-4647.

Lancashire ex-Forces mentors to start work in the New Year

The next phase of Lancashire County Council's £3m project to recruit ex-service personnel as mentors in the county's schools is under way.

The mentors, who will take up their posts on 7th January 2013, will provide support to pupils between the age of 14 and 16 to improve their achievement in class and their attendance at school, and to reduce the number of pupils who are excluded.

The decision to recruit the mentors was taken at a meeting in October by members of Lancashire County Council's cabinet. It has been agreed that the first year of this five-year programme will be run as a pilot project. Pendle and Hyndburn will be the first two districts to benefit from this programme within the initial pilot period. !

In addition to supporting ex-service personnel to retrain and obtain employment, this proposal will also contribute to a reduction in the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training in Lancashire.

The project is being led by a steering group chaired by County Councillor Mark Perks, Cabinet Member for Young People. One Connect Limited's Employment and Support Service is running the programme.

"From the county council's point of view, this initiative fulfils two very important objectives," says County Councillor Perks. "Not only will it provide support to pupils who need some extra help but it also makes use of the mentoring skills that ex-servicemen and women will have acquired while they were serving their country.

"I am very pleased that the first nine of the 50 mentors who will benefit from this scheme have been recruited and will start work in January. The recruits will receive good quality training! and, through the Workstart4Armed Forces model, they will also be help ed to apply for employment opportunities within the county council and its partners.

"We have made a commitment to work more closely with organisations that support ex-service personnel and their families.

"I am very pleased that organisations that support ex-servicemen and women fully support this particular initiative and would like to thank them for their help."

During the pilot period, Skill Force, a specialist training provider, will be commissioned to assess and train the ex-service personnel. Measures such as recruitment and retention of ex-service personnel alongside progress of young people will be assessed and evaluated. The benefits of the lessons learned in the first year will be incorporated into the following four years.

"Working with our partners on this worthwhile initiative has been hugely rewarding," says Anne-Marie Morgan, One Connect Limited's Employment and Support Business Manager. "People who have served their country in the armed forces develop skills that are ideal for this kind of mentoring role.

"The mentors will do their training in county council venues during January and February 2013. They will start working in schools from March onwards.

"We have also recruited an ex-service personnel to the role of Employment Officer to join our team in order to continue to support them once they are there."

The scheme is also receiving backing from County Councillor Mike France, Lancashire's champion for armed forces and veterans:

"This is an excellent project and has my full support," he said. "Ex-service personnel have excellent transferable skills and we at the county council would like to offer as many opportunities as possible for those men and women who have served their country, and this county, so well."

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Report of sexual assault in Lancaster

Detectives are appealing for information following a report of a sexual assault outside The Lounge bar on Penny Street, Lancaster – but the person attack left the scene during the investigation and police are anxious to find them.

Around 5.30am on Sunday 16th December 2012, a woman was sat on the floor at the side of the pub when a man sat beside her and attempted to touch her inappropriately.

The woman told the man to stop and alerted door staff and police were called.

Officers arrived, but whilst they were in the process of speaking with witnesses the woman left the scene.

Detective Constable Ian Wright said: “Officers were able to speak to the woman briefly at the scene, however she left before they could get any further details from her.

"We would urge her to come forward, as well as anyone who may have any information which could help with this inquiry.”

• Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Penny Street assault prompts police witness appeal

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in Lancaster last week.

Around 9.45pm on Tuesday 11th December 2012, two men approached a 42-year-old man on Penny Street outside Lush.

One of the men punched the 42 year old several times in the face before spitting on him, before the second man also punched him in the face causing a slight injury to his chin.

PC Martin Wilcock said: “This was a nasty, unprovoked attack and I would appeal to anybody who was in the area at the time and witnessed this assault to come forward.

“Even if you didn’t witness the assault, but perhaps believe you have information which could assist with our investigation then please contact us.”

Two men, aged 21 and 26, both from Lancaster, have been arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault and have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at PennNo personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.


Car owners warned after catalytic converter thefts on the Vale and White Lund

Car owners are being asked to store vehicles away at night where possible following a series of catalytic converter thefts in Lancaster and Morecambe.

A number of vehicles parked on the Vale estate and the White Lund Industrial Estate have been targeted for the metallic items, with thieves cutting them out from underneath vehicles.

Motorists are now being advised to keep vehicles locked in garages overnight and to consider using other crime prevention devices, such as security lights on their driveways, as added protection against thieves.

Sergeant Simon Balderstone, of Lancaster and Morecambe’s serious acquisitive crime team, said: “Scrap metal continues to fetch a good price so anything metallic is tempting to thieves.

"A missing catalytic converter may not be instantly noticeable when you approach you car – but the cost of replacing it will certainly be noticeable, so we’d ask motorists to remain vigilant and take some simple crime prevention measures to keep their vehicles safe.”

• Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact police on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

Lancaster pensioner dies after Barton Road accident

We're sorry to report that 68-year-old Peter Kellett sadly died on Friday afternoon (14th Dec) at Royal Preston Hospital following a serious accident on Barton Road in Scoforth, Lancaster on 4th December.

As we previously reported, Mr Kellett was hit by a white Mercedes Vito Van as he was crossing Barton Road near to the junction with Wakefield Drive shortly before 5.00pm. He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he was receiving treatment for head, spine and leg injuries.

The driver of the van was uninjured.

Officers from the Road Policing Unit are appealing for any witnesses who had not yet contacted police to come forward.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police by calling 101 quoting log number LC-20121204-0922.