Newbury Weekly News

Thursday April 19, 2018, £1

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Four-day rail closure will disrupt travel next week FUNERAL PLANNING 32-pagesupplementinside ANESENTIAL GUIDETO

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Gross misconduct rap over drugs investigation A POLICE officer tipped off a suspect in a Thatcham drugs investigation that his property was going to be raided. Dealer was tipped off by police officer Report by JOHN HERRING email john.herring@newburynews.co.uk twitter johnh_nwn

A RAIL ‘blockade’ will hit West Berk- shire again next week from Monday morning to Thursday night as work to upgrade the line continues. Network Rail is electrifying the route between Reading and Newbury, which will allow Great Western Railways to run new Electrostar trains direct between Newbury and station stops to London. The extension of new, bi-mode Inter- city Express Trains (IET) on electric power beyond Reading to Newbury, before continuing to Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall on diesel power, is also included. In order to do this, however, commuters will have to suffer “short- term pain for long-term gain” and buses will replace train services between Pewsey and Theale next week. Trains will still operate from Theale to Reading. Network Rail said that four-day closures were required as alternatives would have been more disruptive and taken longer, with the company not being able to ensure that the work would be completed on time. The overhead lines powering the new trains carry 25,000 volts and were deemed as a safer option than installing an electrified third rail. Network Rail is working to an end-of- summer construction timeline, with testing of the equipment set to last until the end of the year. The next closure is scheduled for Monday, May 14, to Thursday, May 17. Further closures are planned for Monday, June 4 to 7; July 9-12; July 16 to August 5; August 28-30; October 8-11; and November 19-22. GWR said that season ticket-holders with tickets valid for one month or longer from Pewsey, Bedwyn, Hunger- ford, Kintbury, or Newbury may use South Western Railway services from Salisbury, Grateley, Andover, Whitchurch, Basingstoke or Overton for travel towards Reading and London

The officer, who can only be referred to as Officer B, resigned from the force before a misconduct hearing found them guilty of gross misconduct. The officer inappropriately shared information in October and November last year that led to a suspect learning that a search warrant would be executed at his property in Thatcham. Officer B also failed to challenge a colleague about background checks on individuals carried out for a non-polic- ing purpose. A public misconduct hearing held this week found that Officer B had breached the standards of professional behaviour concerning honesty and integrity, discreditable conduct and challenging and reporting improper conduct. The hearing concluded that Officer B would have been dismissed from the force without notice if they had remained in service. Deputy chief constable John Camp- bell said: “Officer B’s conduct fell below the standards expected of a police offi-

cer, and resulted in a suspect in a drugs investigation being informed that a warrant was going to be executed at his property. “It is vital that the public have confi- dence in police officers, and that those officers uphold the professional stan- dards expected of them. Officer B has failed to uphold these standards.” The hearing, heard at Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, was chaired by legally qualified Emma Nott. Mrs Nott ruled that the officer must not be named and should be referred to as Officer B and that nothing should be published identifying the officer, their department or role. Officer B’s gender can also not be disclosed. The Newbury Weekly News asked Thames Valley Police how Officer B informed the suspect, whether they had been arrested or charged with any offences and whether they would retain their pension. The force did not respond by the time the NWN went to press.

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Royal County of Bark-shire Show

Several stalls were also on hand to offer doggy snacks and provide photog- raphy, pet care and pooch holiday care. Colin’s Dog Agility Club gave a mini show and Woodhaydown Gundog Club was also present. Society chairman Ian Wilson said: “It was wonderful to see so many soci- ety members come together to cele- brate the show going dog friendly. “It’s huge news for the society this year and we are really looking forward to seeing so many of our furry friends in September.”

NEWBURY Showground unleashed a Great Big Dog Walk yesterday to celebrate the Royal County of Berk- shire Show’s new canine-friendly status. Society members and local dog clubs led the way and set tails wagging around the greenfield site ahead of September’s show. This year’s event is set to serve up a variety of new treats, but one of the main additions will see the Newbury and District Agricultural Society allow dogs into the showground.

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