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Police dog sniffs out illicit cigarette stash

Anthony Day

BBC Newcastle

Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been found in a shop in Newcastle thanks to the keen nose of sniffer dog called Scamp.

He uncovered 6,000 of them in a hidden compartment in a toilet at a shop in Byker.

Council bosses say criminals are going to alarming lengths to conceal their illegal products but they're no match for the dogs used by the police and trading standards.


Sunderland continue manager search

Sunderland's search for a new manager goes on, with several names in the frame including Gareth Ainsworth, Phil Parkinson and former Middlesbrough captain and Carlisle manager, Nigel Pearson.

But when a successor to Jack Ross is finally announced, you won't read it on the club owner's Twitter account.

Stewart Donald has used social media to keep in touch with the Black Cats' supporters, but in the face of criticism over the managerial situation, he has closed his twitter account.

I have always tried to communicate on social media and help fans, but I think the negatives now outweigh the positives. I temporarily took a break but I will now do so permanently. I will just communicate via the club channels, which I think is what most want."

Stewart DonaldSunderland AFC owner

Cannabis and nitrous oxide canisters found at student party house

Legal notices have been served on a student house in Newcastle after police were called to a house party.

Earlier this month officers had to force entry to the party in Jesmond after reports up to 100 students had barricaded themselves inside.

Once inside police found smoke detectors had been covered up and windows and doors had been blocked off, presenting a potential fire risk.

When officers from Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Police revisited the address to issue legal notices on the occupants, they discovered cannabis and approximately 240 nitrous oxide cannisters inside the house.

A digital campaign #SaferPartying is being relaunched to encourage the city’s student population to be aware of the risks of large house parties

We don’t want to be a council which says students can’t have fun. Newcastle is a city of destination for students due to our excellent universities, but we really do expect people to show common sense and respect."

Councillor Nick KempNewcastle City Council cabinet member for Environment and Regulatory Services

Plastic collected in North East is sent overseas for recycling

Picture of rubbish

Plastic from the North East collected for recycling is being sent as far afield as Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia, according to figures seen by the BBC.

Sunderland City Council says more than 150 tonnes of plastic, that's 30% of the total, was sent to Turkey in the first three months of this year.

Environmental campaigners are concerned about Turkey's handling of plastic waste, but the council says exporting plastic is a legal practice.

You can see more on this story on Sunday Politics in the North East and Cumbria on Sunday 13 October at 10:00 on BBC One.

Road remains closed after suspected shooting

Investigations are continuing into a suspected shooting in Washington yesterday afternoon.

A 28-year-old man was found with what have been described as potentially life threatening injuries on Blue House Lane in Washington at 14:00.

Police said the victim was believed to have been in an altercation outside the One Stop store when the shooting happened.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

A Northumbria force spokesman said that as a result Blue House Lane remained closed between Albany Way and the roundabout at Havannah Road.

Drivers have been urged to avoid the area and find an alternative route.

Nissan Europe 'not sustainable in no-deal Brexit' says boss
A no-deal Brexit could mean Nissan's business model in Europe will not be sustainable, says Nissan Europe boss Gianluca de Ficchy.

MP calls for 'People's Vote' after Nissan's Brexit warning

Press Association

A Wearside MP has it's time to "end the chaos" and have a "People's Vote" following Nissan's warning about the uncertainty caused by No-Deal Brexit.

Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, said the announcement showed Nissan was not convinced by Boris Johnson's assurances about the future.

Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson
Getty Images

She said: "(Boris) Johnson said No Deal won't be 'anything like as bad as you say' in reference to Nissan, the company disagrees.

"This isn't getting Brexit done. It is getting done over by Brexit.

"We must end the chaos not end carmaking. Get rid of uncertainty not manufacturing jobs."

Parents face eviction as children 'terrorise' community

More than a dozen parents have been warned they could face eviction if their children continue to terrorise the local community.

Police visited 13 addresses in West Denton in Newcastle on Wednesday over reports of anti-social behaviour in an area known as the "D Roads", where teenagers have been drinking and smoking drugs.

The young people intimidated members of the public, left litter and caused a significant amount of criminal damage, Northumbria Police said.

The majority of those responsible are teenagers, but there has been a report about a nine-year-old boy as well.

Police visit West Denton properties over reports of anti-social behaviour by teenagers
Getty Images

Neighbourhood Sgt Ashley Palmer said the behaviour "left the area looking like an eye sore".

She said: “If these children don’t start to change their ways then we will be left with no option but to move them out of the area to prevent further disorder from taking place."

The ‘D Roads’ focuses on a number of streets in West Denton including Dayshield, Dunstan Walk, Darden Lough, Downham and Deerbush.

Man in critical condition after Washington shooting

A 28-year-old man is in a critical condition after a suspected shooting in Washington.

It happened at about 14:00 today.

It is believed the man had an argument with someone outside the One Stop on Blue House Lane when he was shot.

No arrests have been made, Northumbria Police said.

Brexit deal tariffs put Nissan business model 'in jeopardy'

Press Association

A Brexit deal involving 10% tariffs on cars exported to Europe would put Nissan's current business model "in jeopardy", the firm's European chairman said.

Speaking at the Sunderland plant where the new model of the Juke goes into production today, Gianluca de Ficchy said the Japanese car giant had worked through business scenarios associated with Brexit.

But he said Nissan could not manage the uncertainty which they face when trying to plan for the future.

Two thirds of the components for the new model come from the EU and 70% of production was aimed at the Continent.

Mr de Ficchy said: "If we are in a situation in which tomorrow we have to apply 10% export duties to 70% of our sales, the entire business model for Nissan Europe will be in jeopardy."

Mr de Ficchy said he had no specific message for the Prime Minister, but said business currently had no clear understanding of the "future evolution of the Brexit decision".

Nissan chair: End of night shifts not related to Brexit

David Rhodes

BBC Yorkshire

The decision to end the night shifts at Nissan's Sunderland plant is not related to Brexit uncertainty, the firm's Europe chairman has said.

The move was in order to boost the manufacturing process of the new Juke, Gianluca de Ficchy explained.

It means it will get more people to work on the new model, alongside the Qashqai.

Mr Ficchy says the company's base scenario is that the Qashqai and the new Juke model will be built at the Wearside plant.

Seventy per cent of the new Juke model is earmarked to be exported to the EU.

But Mr Ficchy says any longer term decisions cannot be made until Brexit is resolved

The Nissan plant in Sunderland
Getty Images

Production of new Nissan Juke starts at Sunderland plant

Production of the new Nissan Juke

The new Nissan Juke is going into production at the car firm's Sunderland plant today as plans to end night shifts at the factory were announced.

About £100m was invested in the plant for the manufacturing of the new car, which is developed specifically for European markets.

Sunderland will be the only location where the new Juke is produced.

Extra manufacturing staff will be needed on the plant’s production line two to support the production of the new vehicle.

In a restructuring of the production schedule, these staff will transfer from production line one, with both lines operating on a two shift pattern.

Overall headcount at the plant will remain the same, Nissan said.

This comes as Nissan announced last night that it plans to end night shifts at the Sunderland plant.

MP 'extremely concerned' as Nissan ends night shifts

Getty Images

Washington and Sunderland West Labour MP Sharon Hodgson has said she is "extremely concerned" over plans to end night shifts at Nissan - although no jobs will be lost.

Mrs Hodgson said: ''I am extremely concerned by yesterday’s announcement that Nissan is to end night shifts at the plant in my constituency.

‘’Although I am pleased that there are to be no job losses as a result of this change, it will mean that some workers lose out due to the night shift premium no longer applying.

"Ahead of the Christmas period, this will undoubtedly have an impact on those families.

Sharon Hodgson MP
Getty Images

‘’At a time of growing uncertainty for the automotive industry, this will add to existing worries about the impact of a No-Deal Brexit.

"I will be closely monitoring the situation and continuing to liaise with Nissan today and in the coming days.''

About 3,000 of the plant's 7,000 workers are employed on the night shift.

Unite the union said it believed no jobs would be lost, as people would move on to day shifts, although workers would lose a shift allowance.

Police trace vulnerable Cleveland teenager

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

Cleveland Police is urgently trying to trace a teenager who it describes as vulnerable

Jacob Higgins, 16, from Cleveland was last seen in Sunderland last night at about 20:20.

He's white with short ginger hair, is 6ft tall and of medium build.

He was wearing a navy hooded top, black jogging bottoms and black trainers with white detail.

Jacob Higgins
Cleveland Police

Former Thomas Cook staff encouraged to apply for jobs

Former Thomas Cook employees are being urged to apply for jobs after it emerged all 555 of its shops are to be bought by rival Hays Travel.

Sunderland-based Hays said it planned to reopen the shops under its own brand with immediate effect.

Hays has already offered jobs to 600 Thomas Cook staff and it plans to hire more as part of its rapid expansion.

John Hays and his wife Irene (pictured) own the business.

The company is telling would-be recruits that as a result of the deal "we can begin to re-open Thomas Cook stores, in their new Hays livery, from today."

"We aim to open as many as we logistically can as soon as possible," it said.

John and Irene Hays

More than 100 new jobs at Hays' Sunderland HQ

All 555 Thomas Cook shops are to be bought by rival Hays Travel in a move that could save up to 2,500 jobs.

The independent travel agent is buying the shops from the Official Receiver which was appointed when Thomas Cook collapsed last month.

Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and the deal is expected to save thousands more jobs.

Hays said it planned to reopen all the shops with immediate effect.

John and Irene Hays, managing director and group chair of Hays, said: "Thomas Cook is a much-loved brand, employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them."

More than 100 new jobs will be based at the company's Sunderland headquarters, with the rest in shops across the UK.

Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook's 555 stores to be bought by rival

All 555 Thomas Cook stores are to be bought by rival Hays Travel in a move that could save up to 2,500 jobs.

The Sunderland-based independent travel agent is buying the stores from the Official Receiver which was called in when Thomas Cook collapsed last month.

Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and the deal is expected to save thousands more jobs.

The move is a significant boost for Hays, which currently has 190 shops around the UK.

The Official Receiver described the sale as an "important step" of the 178-year-old chain's future.

BreakingSunderland-based travel agent buys all Thomas Cook stores

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

Sunderland-based travel agent Hays Travel has said it will buy 555 stores from Thomas Cook after the holiday company collapsed late last month.

Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and has offered employment to more of the airline's personnel.

Thomas Cook plan
Getty Images

Sunderland begin search for Ross replacement

BBC Newcastle

The search for a replacement for sacked Sunderland manager Jack Ross (pictured) begins in earnest today.

The club announced yesterday afternoon that it had parted company with the Scotsman 'with a heavy heart' after a series of disappointing performances.

The Black Cats' owner, Stewart Donald said he wished Ross well for the future, but that his dismissal was right for the club.

Jack Ross
Getty Images

Prior to the former Alloa and St Mirren manager's arrival in May 2018 - a month after he was named PFA Scotland Manager of the Year- Sunderland had suffered successive relegations from the Premier League to League One.

Assistant manager James Fowler took charge for Sunderland's 3-2 win over Grimsby Town in the Trophy last night and dedicated the victory to Ross.

Mr Donald has also denied newspaper reports that a takeover of the club is off.

Sunderland youngsters hide happiness bags around city
Youngsters from a Sunderland youth club have created bags which they are hiding around the city to spread a bit of joy.

Jack Ross sacking: Decision made 'with heavy heart'

Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald said the decision to sack Jack Ross as manager had been made "with a heavy heart".

In a statement he said: "When we arrived at the club 18 months ago, we appointed Jack because we felt that he was the right man to take Sunderland forward over a number of years.

"Jack has worked extremely hard, and has helped us achieve stability at the club, and I sincerely thank him for his efforts. I hope and believe that he will go on to have a successful career in management."

Assistant manager James Fowler has been placed in temporary charge of first team affairs and will oversee tonight's home game against Grimsby Town.

The club said the process to appoint a new manager would start tomorrow.

Jack Ross
Getty Images

Man dies in multi-vehicle collision

A man died in a collision in Darlington this morning.

The crash involved a number of vehicles, including a bus, and happened on the A167 at Beamount Hill at about 06:45.

The man was confirmed dead at the scene and a woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Durham Police is advising people to avoid the area as the road is likely to be closed for a number of hours while an investigation is carried out.

It is appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to get in touch, particularly any passengers on the bus and anyone with dashcam footage.

Figures show number of children self-harming

BBC Newcastle

Martin Lindsay

More than 12 children are admitted to hospitals across the North East every week because they have self-harmed, figures obtained by BBC Newcastle show.

Five health trusts in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, County Durham and Teesside said they had dealt with 1,723 incidents involving under-18s between 2016 and 2018. The youngest was a 12-year-old girl.

The figure up to July this year already stands at 367.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust recorded the largest number of admission at 736 between 2016 and the end of June this year.

Young girl
Getty Images

Emily Duke from the charity Children North East, which provides counselling for children who self-harm, said: "It's down to things like abuse or relationship breakdown. They are unable to deal with those feelings and self-harm is often a release."

One 15-year-old girl from Gateshead, who the BBC has agreed not to name, said she self-harmed after suffering abuse by a family member.

She said: "I started doing it in my bedroom. I was just hiding away."

She said she eventually found help and is now improving.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are determined to improve mental health support for children and we are transforming services through the NHS Long Term Plan.

"This is backed by an extra £2.3bn a year so that 345,000 more children and young people have access to mental health support by 2023/24.

"Early intervention is vital and we are training a new dedicated mental health workforce for schools and colleges across the country."

There's more on this story on BBC Newcastle.