Nuclear bunker raid finds 1m cannabis farm – BBC News

Image copyright Wiltshire Police

Image caption Several thousand cannabis plants with an estimated street value of 1m were seized in a midnight raid on RGHQ Chilmark

A large-scale cannabis factory has been found in an underground former nuclear bunker, Wiltshire police have said.

Several thousand cannabis plants with an estimated street value of 1m were seized in a raid on RGHQ Chilmark.

Five men and a teenager were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production after the midnight raid on Wednesday.

There are 20 rooms in the building with almost every one converted for the wholesale production of cannabis plants, police said.

The former Ministry of Defence bunker was built in the 1980s to protect local dignitaries and government officials in the event of a nuclear attack.

Image copyright Wiltshire Police

Image caption Det Insp Paul Franklin said he was convinced it was “one of the largest crops ever discovered” in the county.

Described as “almost completely impenetrable”, Wiltshire Police had to wait for the suspects to leave the bunker before they could gain access.

Det Insp Paul Franklin, said it was only after getting through the nuclear blast doors, that the “enormous set up” was discovered.

“There are approximately 20 rooms in the building, split over two floors, each 200ft long and 70ft wide,” he said.

‘Largest crops’

“Almost every single room had been converted for the wholesale production of cannabis plants, and there was a large amount of evidence of previous crops.”

He added that he was convinced it was “one of the largest crops ever discovered” in the county.

A teenager and two men, aged 15, 19, and 37, all of no fixed abode, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production.

A further three men, aged 27, 30 and 45, all from Somerset, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and human trafficking offences.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-39064526

Nuclear bunker raid finds 1m cannabis farm – BBC News

Image copyright Wiltshire Police

Image caption Several thousand cannabis plants with an estimated street value of 1m were seized in a midnight raid on RGHQ Chilmark

A large-scale cannabis factory has been found in an underground former nuclear bunker, Wiltshire police have said.

Several thousand cannabis plants with an estimated street value of 1m were seized in a raid on RGHQ Chilmark.

Five men and a teenager were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production after the midnight raid on Wednesday.

There are 20 rooms in the building with almost every one converted for the wholesale production of cannabis plants, police said.

The former Ministry of Defence bunker was built in the 1980s to protect local dignitaries and government officials in the event of a nuclear attack.

Image copyright Wiltshire Police

Image caption Det Insp Paul Franklin said he was convinced it was “one of the largest crops ever discovered” in the county.

Described as “almost completely impenetrable”, Wiltshire Police had to wait for the suspects to leave the bunker before they could gain access.

Det Insp Paul Franklin, said it was only after getting through the nuclear blast doors, that the “enormous set up” was discovered.

“There are approximately 20 rooms in the building, split over two floors, each 200ft long and 70ft wide,” he said.

‘Largest crops’

“Almost every single room had been converted for the wholesale production of cannabis plants, and there was a large amount of evidence of previous crops.”

He added that he was convinced it was “one of the largest crops ever discovered” in the county.

A teenager and two men, aged 15, 19, and 37, all of no fixed abode, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production.

A further three men, aged 27, 30 and 45, all from Somerset, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and human trafficking offences.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-39064526

Faulty tumble dryers: More than 40,000 sign recall petition – BBC News

Media captionEmma McGrath and her family are living in a two-bedroom flat after their tumble dryer caught fire.

More than 40,000 people have signed a parliamentary petition to force Whirlpool to recall three million potentially dangerous tumble dryers.

The manufacturer has advised millions of owners to unplug their machines, but has refused to issue a safety recall.

The dryers, sold under the Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit brands, have been blamed for a number of fires, including one in a London tower block.

The government must respond to petitions that get 10,000 signatures.

If the total reaches 100,000, there has to be a debate in parliament.

Truth, fires and tumble dryers; are our home appliances safe?

Whirlpool has insisted that its offer to repair all the affected machines is the most effective way to solve the problem.

Image copyright Thinkstock

Image caption Excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element on faulty machines

The dryers subject to the Whirlpool repair programme were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 under the Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline brands.

But consumer group Which? is demanding that all the machines are recalled, with customers being given a refund.

It has started legal action against Trading Standards in Peterborough, which has backed Whirlpool’s position.

In addition, 75,000 people have signed Which’s own petition asking Whirlpool to do more.


Is your dryer affected?

Image copyright Thinkstock

Hotpoint – Online checker

Indesit – Online checker

Swan – Online checker

Whirlpool freephone helplines: 0800 151 0905 for the UK, or 1800 804320 for the Irish Republic


In the meantime, owners have been left wondering what to do about the machines they can no longer use.

Many are in the queue to receive a free repair, but waiting lists are said to be up to a year.

Ben Ebdon, who bought a dryer in John Lewis, said he could not get his repaired because the serial number is not being recognised.

“I think our dryer may be very dangerous – but Whirlpool say they don’t recognise it, so can’t repair it,” he told the BBC.

“Scary! We are totally in limbo.”

Don Kiddle, from Bidford on Avon, said Whirlpool had refused to replace his Indesit dryer until he wrote to his MP.

“I contacted my local MP, Nadhim Zawalhi. He in turn wrote to the chief executive and surprisingly enough we were contacted by the company who delivered a brand new tumble dryer and took the old one away. The item was at zero cost too.”

Media captionCould your dryer catch fire?

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 48 Fire Brigades in England and Wales, said Whirlpool should begin a “mass publicity” campaign to warn people not to use their dryers.

Whirlpool has written to 3.8 million owners of the affected dryers, offering repairs, but as many as 2.4 million have not responded.

The LGA repeated warnings that faulty tumble dryers are causing three fires a day, although not all of these are Whirlpool machines.

“For needless months, consumers have been playing ‘Russian roulette’ with at-risk tumble dryers prone to bursting into flames and destroying homes, and with firefighters attending three fires a day caused by the appliances,” said Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board.

The London Fire Brigade alone said it was attending a tumble dryer fire once a day on average.

Which? said that dryers were the second biggest cause of house fires, causing 12% of them.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39063180

Net migration to UK falls by 49,000 – BBC News

Image copyright PA

Net migration to the UK has dropped to 273,000 in the year to September, down 49,000 from the previous year.

The Office for National Statistics said it was the first time in two years the balance of people arriving and leaving the UK had dipped below 300,000.

But it is short of the government’s aim of an annual figure below 100,000.

Immigration was estimated to be 596,000 – comprising 268,000 EU citizens, 257,000 non-EU citizens and 71,000 British citizens.

This included the highest level ever recorded of Romanians and Bulgarians – 74,000.

Some 323,000 people are thought to have left the UK in the year to September, up by 26,000 on the 12 months to September 2015.

Of these, 128,000 were British citizens, along with 103,000 EU citizens and 93,000 non-EU citizens.


Analysis

By Dominic Casciani, home affairs correspondent

Net migration is down. But while the net decrease looks substantial, nobody can say for sure what’s triggered the change because these quarterly figures could have been influenced by a string of short-term factors.

For a start, there appears to have been a rise in emigration – and when that goes up, net migration can come down.

Secondly, some of the change could be down to seasonal fluctuations in student numbers.

Thirdly, although there were significant departures by people from some parts of Eastern Europe, the number coming from poorer Romania and Bulgaria went up.

The upshot is the overall number of people arriving for a job is broadly the same. What does it all amount to? Immigration statistics are an inexact science – and at the moment it’s very difficult to know for sure what’s going on.


The figures are the first to include migration estimates following the EU referendum in June.

Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said it was “too early” to say what effect the referendum has had on long-term migration.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd accepted the government was still far from reaching its net migration target, but said the figures demonstrated “we can reduce immigration where we can control it”.

She denied a rise in people going back to countries such as Poland reflected an uncertainty among EU citizens living in the UK over their futures.

Ms Rudd said: “At the moment we have open immigration with the EU members, freedom of movement, so they can come and go as they want.

“I don’t see any particularly significant change within EU migration. The real change will be when we leave the EU, and then we will be able to make the choices ourselves what level of immigration we want to have.”

And she said that Britain remained open to EU citizens already living here and contributing to the economy, saying: “Let’s not be in any doubt that the UK will always be a welcoming place for people who want to come here, work here and contribute to our economy.”

Sunder Katwala, director of the think-tank British Future, said the figures showed the immigration debate will “have to move on” in the light of Brexit.

He said: “A one-size-fits-all approach to immigration can’t help us make the post-Brexit choices that the government and the public now face.”

Citizenship levels

Meanwhile, separate figures from the Home Office show that a near-record number of EU nationals were granted British citizenship last year.

Citizenship was given to 16,754 people from EU countries, the second highest since records were first compiled, behind the 17,645 in 2013.

Some 6,498 members of the EU 14 countries – older member states such as France, Spain and Germany – were granted UK citizenship in 2016, up 50% on the previous 12 months and the highest ever for a single year.

A further 6,813 people from the EU 8 countries, which include Poland, gained British citizenship, a rise of 18%, surpassed only by figures for 2013.

Citizenship was given to 3,215 Romanians and Bulgarians, up 20% on 2015 and again only topped by 2013 figures.

Other points within the ONS statistics were:

  • A fall of 10,000 in people coming to the UK from eight Eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004, to 58,000
  • Emigration from the UK of people from these countries was up by 12,000 from September 2015 to 39,000, the highest level in five years
  • The number of non-EU citizens from Africa, the Americas and Oceania leaving the UK increased by 11,000, to 39,000
  • The 134,000 people coming to the UK to study was a marked decreased, down by 41,000 from September 2015. The majority of these were non-EU citizens – 87,000, down by 31,000
  • About 294,000 people came to the UK to work in the year to September 2016, including 180,000 EU citizens. Of these, 190,000 had a definite job to go to, the highest estimate recorded, compared with 169,000 the previous year
  • About 104,000 people came to the UK looking for work, down from the 120,000 the previous year
  • There were 38,517 applications for asylum in 2016, down by 1,451 in 2015. This was the first annual fall since 2010

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39062436