Three blasts in one night in Harrogate, Sheffield and Wetherby left 77 people injured and 38 vehicles torched. North Yorkshire Police confirmed that all suspects were still at large. There was also trouble in Scotland, as Scottish Travellers set alight a number of properties including a cinema.
One woman died after she was hit by a vehicle on the M4 motorway, while two women were killed in a number of separate road incidents in Lancashire.
The most serious incident on Christmas Day left two dead after a car, van and lorry collided on the M5 near Taunton, Somerset. There were no survivors.
Clive Hindmarsh, former editor of The Northern Echo, donated more than 30 years of experience to the FT/WTW Christmas appeal – and he has been giving his time again ever since.
Britain’s Citizens is a charity which supports people suffering from alcohol misuse and mental health problems. It is a national network of at least 220 volunteers on 33 councils. They will be on the roads in the run-up to Christmas.
Foodbank is a national charity that brings donated food and other goods to areas where there is a need for food, clothing or housing.
Love Your Wheels and Bloodwise are two specialist charities for children with cancer. They support families across Britain.
The Federation of Police Watchdogs warned that the increased visibility of armed police would help ensure the public’s safety.
Sue Mallinson, chief executive of the National Association of Police Watchdogs, said: “Armed officers only have their weapons drawn for very short periods of time – so if there is a bad incident that requires the public to be kept safe in a short space of time they would normally be able to do that without an armed response.”
While police chiefs said armed officers are only being used when the public has a genuine need for help.
SHOOTINGS AND ARMED ROBBERIES
London police told Metro they were working with OBDOC (Oxford Street Business Improvement District) to develop an app to allow the public to report incidents of armed robbery and give direct feedback on policing.
Trains were delayed across the country after a flash mob of rowdy group of 20 youths went on a rampage on Northern Rail. In one incident, a passenger had their hair pulled and was punched in the face. Police were called and the youths ran off.
There were 29 suspected stolen firearms seized by Met Police over the past two weeks. The weapons were allegedly found stashed in bushes, backpacks and bags. Ten weapons have been seized in London so far this year.
David Benham, director of black crime partnership, told BBC that so far in 2019, 2.32 firearms were seized in London, compared to 2.75 in the whole of 2018.
Four men were charged after Avon and Somerset Police defused an IED – improvised explosive device – left in a suspicious-looking cardboard box. The device had no charge and no destructive action was used.
A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said it was “aware of reports of gun crime at Christmas”, and that officers have “seen many incidents of firearm use and disruption over the festive period”.
There were more than 43 gun incidents in Scotland in January-December, the highest number of gun incidents in Scotland in a year.
Earlier in the year, four people were killed in shootings in Scotland, but no one was prosecuted. Firearms are illegal in Scotland.
In the south of England, 14 firearms were confiscated over the summer months. A record 598 firearms were seized in England and Wales over the past two years.
In Manchester, police were investigating the murder of a man and his brother. A 27-year-old has been charged with murder.
Serves the needs of the armed forces and veterans living in North Yorkshire.
Foodbank sees rise in visits in the build-up to Christmas, which is when it distributes its emergency food supplies.