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Ambulance crews sent to South Bank incident

The North East Ambulance Service said it had sent six resources including a specialist hazard team to the former SSI plant in South Bank.

Fire crews are also on the scene.

An ambulance spokeswoman said there were no details about any casualties.

We will bring you more details when we have them.

Two more men charged over Medomsley abuse

Two more men will appear in court over allegations of abuse of young men at the former Medomsley Detention Centre.

The men, who are both former members of staff, are due to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on 24 October.

Ian Nicholson, 74, is charged with misconduct in a public office, three counts of serious sexual assault and four counts of actual bodily harm.

Alexander Flavell, 86, is also charged with misconduct in a public office, indecent assault, one serious sexual assault and four charges of actual bodily harm.

Earlier this year, five former prison officers were jailed for a total of more than 18 years for abusing former inmates at the centre following three separate crown court trails. Three are pictured below. All five have since appealed against their convictions. These are ongoing.

John McGee left, Christopher Onslow centre, and Kevin Blakely right have been jailed
PA Media

Since Operation Seabrook was launched by Durham Constabulary in August 2013, 1,884 men have come forward to report allegations of abuse while detained at the centre.

Police 'did not have a vendetta' against Sunderland man William Charlton

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

A jury has been told police did not have a “vendetta” against a man charged with stirring up racial hatred.

William Charlton, known as Billy, faces five charges of stirring up racial hatred in a series of speeches in Sunderland in 2016 and 2017.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court has heard Mr Charlton was highly critical of Northumbria Police’s response to alleged crimes committed by immigrants and asylum seekers, saying in a speech in April 2017 “our children deserve better protection".

The court heard Mr Charlton specifically criticised Supt Paul Milner, who was in charge of policing part of Sunderland at the time, saying “that man is in denial.”

William Charlton
BBC

Giving evidence, Supt Milner said a police investigation into Mr Charlton’s speeches was launched in May 2017.

Asked by prosecution barrister Sharon Beattie whether Mr Charlton’s criticisms of the police would “cause you to have some sort of vendetta against Mr Charlton” Supt Milner replied “absolutely not”.

Billy Charlton, 55, of Byland Court Washington, denies all five charges and his trial at Newcastle Crown Court continues.

Police warn of 'devastating' consequences of carrying weapons

Police have urged people to think about the "devastating" consequences of carrying a weapon after a 17-year-old admitted murdering a lawyer with a screwdriver.

Peter Duncan, 52, was attacked outside a branch of Greggs in Newcastle city centre's Eldon Square shopping centre on 14 August.

Det Ch Insp Jane Fairlamb, of Northumbria Police, said: "This was a shocking incident, in which a much-loved family man was murdered in an unprovoked attack after a chance encounter.

"I want to make it crystal clear it can never be acceptable for anyone to carry a weapon on our streets – as this case highlights the consequences can be truly devastating.

"I would urge anyone who thinks otherwise to think again. Not only could you destroy someone else’s life and those of their loved ones but also think of the impact on your life and that of your family and friends."

She also thanked people in Newcastle for their support saying the force was committed to making sure the streets are safe.

Universities 'in dark' over student mental health needs

Northumbria is one of the universities praised for taking their responsibilities seriously about students' mental health needs.

Information gathered by ex-health minister Sir Norman Lamb's office reveals a "complex and fragmented" picture of mental-health provision across UK universities.

Many of the 110 universities which responded said they did not record all relevant key statistics, such as their budgets or waiting times.

Universities said they could not deal with the issue of mental health alone.

Sir Norman praised some universities, including Cambridge and Northumbria, for taking their responsibilities seriously, but said many others were not doing enough to measure the scale of the problem.

Knife surrender to target blade-carrying criminals

Northumbria Police have announced a week of coordinated action against knife crime.

The public will be invited to deposit unwanted knives in surrender bins. Any suspected of being involved in crime could still be examined.

Officers say they will also target people known to carry blades.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan said officers would make more use of stop-and-search powers.

Knife bin
BBC
Score it like Beckham: Whickham FC's Dale Burrell scores from inside own half
Watch Whickham FC's Dale Burrell score a stunning goal from inside his own half against Bishop Auckland.

Police force recruits its first female horse

Northumbria police has brought ''diversity to the stables'' after recruiting its first ever female horse in 160 years.

Police horse Penelope (stable name Bella) is set to hit the streets for the first time as part of the force’s mounted section.

Sgt Stuart Coates said: “Penelope is the first recruit to the team in a while and she has already made a great impression.

“Incredibly, she is believed to be the first mare to ever be recruited by Northumbria Police so she brings a bit of diversity to the stables."

Police horse Bella
Northumbria Police
Bella
Northumbria Police

“She is full of character and is fitting in well with the boys," he added.

“We are expecting big things from her and if you see her policing the streets we would encourage you to come and say ‘hello’.”

Penelope will carry out patrols and will also police protests, football matches and large events.

Missing Newbiggin Hall man found

A missing man from Newbiggin Hall has been found, police have confirmed.

Northumbria Police have thanked the public for their support in its appeal to find 53-year-old Ian Wearns.

Growing concern for missing Newbiggin Hall man

Lucy Moody

Journalist

Concern is growing for a missing man from Newbiggin Hall, who hasn't been seen or heard from since yesterday lunchtime.

53-year-old Ian Wearns' last known location was his home on Shirlaw Close.

Northumbria Police have described him as 5ft 11in with short hair and hearing aids.

Ian Wearns
Northumbria Police

Gateshead fire: Four rescued from flat blaze

Firefighters have rescued four adults from a fire in a block of flats in Gateshead.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said a team of 12 firefighters tackled the blaze, which broke out in the Bensham area last night.

A crew from Byker in Newcastle also helped with the rescue.

Fire engine
BBC

Cadets praised after helping Great North Run spectator

Cadets gave a woman first aid after she collapsed while watching the Great North Run on Sunday.

The pensioner collapsed near the Hilton hotel on the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge.

The police cadets moved the crowds to give her space and gave her first aid until an ambulance crew arrived. She received treatment from medics but did not need to go to hospital.

Ch Insp David Pickett of Northumbria Police said: "The cadets that were positioned with a community support officer near the Tyne Bridge reacted quickly and stayed calm under pressure, offering the woman a much-needed helping hand and managing the crowd of spectators nearby."

He said the credits were "a credit to the force."

Northumbria Police cadets
NORTHUMBRIA POLICE

Cancer experts focus on genes for cure

Experts trying to prevent and cure cancer in children are gathering in Newcastle.

A three-day conference will look at targeted treatments and analysis of affected DNA.

The focus of the event is genomic medicine -- using information about the genes that cause leukemia.

Prof Anthony Moorman is from Newcastle University's Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre.

He said a cure for cancer was "coming" and great advances had been made in genome medicine where treatment is tailored to individual patients based on their genetics.

Major police operation for Great North Run weekend

People are being warned the streets around Tyneside will be busy this weekend with the Great North Run.

Thousands of children will be taking part in the Mini and Junior Great North Runs on the Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides on Saturday, along with the competitors in the Great North 5k.

And then, on Sunday, tens of thousands of competitors will be taking part in the half marathon from Newcastle, through Gateshead, to South Shields.

Northumbria Police said the force would have armed and unarmed officers on duty.

Ch Insp Dave Pickett said: "Public safety is of utmost importance and we have been working closely with the organisers and partners to ensure appropriate measures are in place."

People are being advised to use public transport to get around and more details can be found here and you can find information about the Great North Run weekend here.

Northumbria Police with Paula Radcliffe
NORTHUMBRIA POLICE

Amphetamine worth £200,000 seized from van

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

Amphetamine worth an estimated £200,000 was seized from a van in Gateshead, police said.

The van was stopped in Birtley yesterday afternoon after Northumbria Police received intelligence about a suspicious vehicle travelling from Manchester.

Police said they believed the van, which was stopped on the A194 yesterday afternoon, was linked to organised crime.

The 36-year-old driver was arrested and remains in custody.

Amphetamine seized from van
NORTUMBRIA POLICE

'I feel lucky to have been given this life I love so very much'

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A woman who had her life saved three times thanks to transplant surgery is urging others to add their names to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Linzi Saunders
Sunderland University

Linzi Saunders, 22, has received a bone marrow, heart and kidney transplants.

When she was born, she was diagnosed with two different types of leukemia and received a bone-marrow transplant from her brother James. The new treatment caused her to develop cardiomyopathy by the age of eight which meant she would need her second transplant, a heart.

Her third transplant, kidneys, saved her life again when Linzi developed the norovirus. The organs were donated by the mum-in-law of one of Linzi’s sisters.

Photograph of Linzi following her heart transplant alongside a piece of artwork she created replicating the picture
Sunderland University

Linzi, who will study her MA in Fine Art at Sunderland University, said: "I feel so lucky to have had them as each one has helped to continue the life I love so very much.

"Because of everything I have been through I now find my ambition in life is to promote organ donation whenever I can and however I can."

John Reid Road speeding clampdown

James Harrison

Local Democracy Reporter

Mobile speed cameras could soon patrol a busy South Tyneside road where a fifth of drivers break the 40 mile an hour limit.

Some 22,000 motorists use John Reid Road in South Shields every day, according to a council report.

Northumbria Police has recommended upgrading the road to a "level 1 community enforcement site" which could see it visited by a mobile speed camera every two weeks.

South Tyneside councillor Rob Dix said: "The speeds are unacceptable and I’m surprised no one has been killed over the last five years – it’s an accident waiting to happen."

John Reid Road
GOOGLE

Decision due on shipping crate business park plan

Plans for a £20m shipping container business park in North Tyneside will go before councillors today.

Billed as the first of its kind in the north east, Crate Park, next to Cobalt Business Park, would aim to be a springboard for new enterprises wanting to launch their businesses on the high street.

There are some concerns though that it will take business away from local shopping centres.

Artist's impression of the crate park
Crate Park

Family's tribute to 'much-loved man'

The family of a man who died when he was hit by a car near Durham has paid tribute to him.

Jake Paul Miller was struck on the A690 westbound carriageway in the early hours of Saturday and pronounced dead at the scene.

The family of the 24-year-old said: "He was a much loved son, brother, boyfriend, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend to all and will be sadly missed."

They thanked everyone for their support at "this impossibly difficult time".

The driver of the white Toyota Avensis was not hurt .

Durham Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time or has dashcam footage to contact them.

Jake Paul Miller
FAMILY PHOTO

Three in court after suspected Tyne Tunnel credit card scam

Three men have appeared in court after a suspected £36,000 credit card scam at the Tyne Tunnel.

Tunnel staff became suspicious on Thursday night when the occupants of a black BMW asked to pay the toll by card

Northumbria Police believe "a refund card" had been used and the transaction was cancelled.

Two men, aged 25, were each charged with three counts of fraud by false representation while a third 25-year-old was charged with a single count of the same charge.

They were remanded in custody and will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 27 September.

Police were called when the BMW was stopped by barrier staff
Northumbria Police

Mental health incidents being dealt with by north east forces increases

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of mental health incidents being dealt with by our region's police forces.

Figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 Live show Durham Police saw an increase of almost 250% between 2014 and 2018 - to more than 21,000.

There was a 63% increase for the Cleveland force, with the number staying roughly the same for Northumbria Police.

Police officers
PA

Cash to help university develop 'flying taxis'

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Durham University has been given access to a £300m pot of cash to help develop new, cleaner technologies - including flying taxis and freight-carrying drones.

The government will provide £125m, which will be supported by industry funding of up to £175m under the scheme.

Leeds Cardiff and Brimingham universities are also among the group receiving extra funding.

Surgeons using 3D printers to aid spinal operations

Steph Cleasby

BBC Look North

Surgeons at a Newcastle hospital are using the latest 3D printing technology to create models of patients' spines before they go in for surgery.

The RVI has become the first hospital in the North East to get an in-house 3D printing lab and has already used it to help 20 patients with conditions such as spina bifida and scoliosis.

RVI
BBC

The models are printed from CT scan images and cost about £1,000 each to produce.

They help surgeons study the exact shape of abnormalities in the spine before they get the patient on the operating table.

That has helped make operations shorter and less risky, according to doctors at the RVI.

The 3D printing lab is currently on trial but if it's successful it could be rolled out to other areas like heart, ankle and hip surgery.

Who's a good boy?

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A police dog has been praised after a busy night on duty where he found a vulnerable missing person and a driver who abandoned his car after a crash.

PD Zeeke and his handler PC Vicky Lott had their first success in the search for a missing 16-year-old who had left home and threatened to self-harm. Concerns grew when it was believed he was in possession of a knife.

Zeeke quickly located the teenager who was hiding up a tree, and who was then helped down by officers and referred to the appropriate services.

The pair were then deployed to South Shields where the driver of a car involved in a two-vehicle collision at the Tyne Dock roundabout had abandoned his vehicle and fled the scene.

Zeeke tracked through dense undergrowth before finding the suspect with a broken leg sustained as he tried to climb a metal fence. Paramedics took the man to hospital and he will be interviewed by officers as part of an investigation into the incident.

PC Lott says that her four-legged partner is “a great companion and a fantastic police dog”.

Zeeke and Vicky
Northumbria Police

Freeview change for some North East viewers

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

If you live in Tyne and Wear or County Durham, you may need to retune your TV to continue watching BBC programmes.

On 12 September, some Freeview channels are moving to new airwaves so new mobile broadband services can be developed.

Around 660,000 homes which are served by the Pontop Pike transmitter will be affected. Some TV equipment will retune automatically, older aerials may need to be replaced to continue receiving all channels including BBC One and BBC Two.

Further changes that may require another retune will take place on 13 November.

Woman killed in A69 Haydon Bridge crash named

Lucy Moody

Journalist

A woman who was killed in a two-car crash in Northumberland has been named.

Denis-Alexandra Radvan, 29, from Buzau in Romania, was a passenger in a Ford Focus which crashed with a Hyundai I30 on the A69 near HaydonBridge on 21 August. She died at the scene.

Northumbria Police said it was liaising with the Romanian Embassy.

The driver of the Ford, Viorel Grancea, 31, of Darnley Street, Glasgow, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He was also faces two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing a death by driving whilst disqualified, driving with no insurance and no licence.

He is due before Newcastle Crown Court on 19 September.

Like A Bat Out Of Cell...

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

Officers at Stanley had an unusual visitor this morning!

View more on twitter

Five people, including children, injured in tractor crash

Two adults and three children were seriously injured when a car collided with a tractor and a hay bale trailer in Northumberland.

The crash happened on the A1 southbound carriageway at Shilbottle, near Alnwick, on Monday.

Five occupants of the car, aged 64, 57, eight, nine and two, were taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A stretch of the road was closed for about six hours, causing long traffic tailbacks.

Northumbria Police has appealed for witnesses to the collision at about 14:50 BST.

Traffic tailbacks on A1
BBC

Suspicious package found at Haltwhistle

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Trains between Carlisle and Newcastle were cancelled for a while last night after reports of a suspicious package found at Haltwhistle.

It is under understood the item was in a business near to the town's railway station.

Police and bomb disposal officers were called to the scene, but no homes were evacuated and experts disposed of the item as a precaution.

The line has now reopened and Northumbria police says inquiries are ongoing to see if any criminal offences have been committed.