News Most forces reported a decline in crime, although the City of London had a one per cent

Official statistics reveal 10% reduction in criminal offences

The Laughter Police go to the Fringe

Alfie Moore, the Scunthorpe policeman's with another career

Police forces at record strength

Police officer numbers hit a record high in England and Wales last year, figures revealed today.

Pair jailed for race-hate crimes

Two men were jailed today for inciting racial hatred online.

Police swoop on Yorkshire in Bloom 'thief' (but was it a plant...?)

Villages taking part in horticultural contest targeted in £10,000 crime spree

Hull set to open Owen talks

Hull manager Phil Brown has revealed the club intends to speak to Michael Owen's representatives "within the week".

Owen set to leave Newcastle

Michael Owen has confirmed he will leave Newcastle when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Swine flu patient dies in hospital

A patient suffering from swine flu has died in hospital, the Scottish Government said tonight.

Saints lose talisman Long to Hull

Sean Long, St Helens' most talismanic player of the Super League era, is leaving to take up a two-year contract at Hull. Saints were prepared to offer the 32-year-old scrum-half only a one-year deal and he has opted to move on, after 12 hugely successful years at Knowsley Road, when his contract runs out at the end of this season. "We fully respect Sean's decision," said Saints' chairman, Eamonn McManus. "We wish him well."

Michael McCarthy: The truth about Elliot Morley - the man I knew

Sometimes sheer longevity gives you a right to pass judgements. In the course of reporting on the environment for The Independent, I have observed every single Labour environment minister since the party came into office in 1997, and I have no doubt at all that the one who has done the most to protect the natural world is Elliot Morley.

Page Turner: How the toffs and the cons wrote a book

There are glamorous and not so glamorous places to be a writer in residence. Ian McMillan has tried most of them, as poet in residence for Humberside Police, Barnsley FC and Northern Spirit Rail Network. Fay Weldon checked into the Savoy in 2002, where the beds were reportedly so comfy that she hardly got any work done. Shoreditch House's literary salonista Damian Barr has the enviable role of reader in residence at the Andaz Hotel. He qualifies owing to his dulcet tones and his stripy pyjamas. But none of these has yet been brave enough to go to jail for their writing.

Police chief warns over forces' cuts

Many police forces will be weakened by a funding squeeze at a time when crime could increase because of the recession, one of Britain's top policemen warned today.

Helicopter crashes in Lincolnshire field

A helicopter crashed in a field today, emergency services said.

Reptile escape fear in blaze drama

A fire at a reptile emporium housing poisonous snakes and scorpions led concerned neighbours to seek shelter at a football stadium last night.

Children free to learn about life outside

Children around Britain were given the day off, with many heading straight out into the snow to play.

Hull to bill Millwall for damage to stand

Hull City 2 Millwall 0

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'

Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Career Services

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London