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
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker