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Further arrests following Horden shooting

BBC Tees

A 40-year-old man remains in hospital with serious injuries following a shooting in Horden.

A man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and a woman has also been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Durham Constabulary are examining a number of locations across Peterlee and Horden as part of the investigation into the incident, which happened in Moutter Close in Horden, at about 01.45 on Sunday.

Horden Household Waste Recycling Centre has also been closed to the public while inquiries continue.

Three other people arrested in connection with the shooting have been released.

Hordon
BBC

Big fall in number of children arrested in our region

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

There has been a big fall in the number of children arrested by the five police forces in our region since the start of the decade.

According to figures released by the Howard League for Penal Reform today, the biggest fall was in the Northumbria police area, where there was a drop of 9,000 child arrests over a seven-year period.

The League says each contact a child has with the criminal justice system drags them deeper into it, leading to more crime.

Image of police vehicles
BBC Look North

Horden shooting: Three arrests after man seriously injured

A man has been seriously injured in a shooting in County Durham.

Police said they were called to Moutter Close, Horden, near Peterlee, at about 01:45 GMT yesterday morning.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and two women are in custody on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, Durham Police said.

Det Ch Insp Stephen Thubron appealed for anyone with information about the shooting to contact the force.

Peterlee
BBC

Patient care work wins Emma national recognition

Sunderland campaigner Emma Boxer has been helping to change people’s perceptions of dementia and helping to improve care for patients with the condition.

Now the University of Sunderland pharmacy graduate has been named a Dementia Friends Champion of the Year finalist and runner-up in the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards 2019.

The awards reward achievements in creating dementia-friendly communities and improving the lives of everybody affected by dementia.

The Dementia Friends programme is an initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia.

Emma carried out research at the university and found that targeting healthcare students before they enter professional practice could help high-quality care and understanding.

Emma Boxer
University of Sunderland

General Election 2019: Young people's debate starts

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC Newcastle

As we start our debate with six first-time voters asking five local candidates the questions they want answering ahead of next week’s general election, here are the two groups.

You can listen live to the debate from Sunderland University, which is being broadcast live on BBC Newcastle and on Spark, between 09:00 and 10:00.

The candidates represent the five main parties Labour-Liz Twist; Conservative-Emily Payne; Lib Dem-Thom Chapman; Green Party-Rachel Featherstone; Brexit Party-Kevin Yuill.

Sunderland candidates
BBC

The first-time voters are expected to raise issues such as the environment, NHS and housing.

First-time voters
BBC

General election 2019: First-time voters have their say

BBC Newcastle

With six days to go until the general election, we'll be hearing the views of first-time voters in the North East.

Alfie Joey and Anna Foster will be hosting a live debate along with the Spark radio station between 09:00 and 10:00 at Sunderland University with young people putting their questions to candidates from the five main parties.

They'll be discussing issues like housing and the environment.

You can listen live to the debate here.

BBC Newcastle election debate
BBC

Police officer sets up beach-clean group

A police officer has started a new enterprise in his spare time to help keep the beaches of South Shields clear of plastic.

PCSO Steve Lorrison has set up a beach-cleaning group which he hopes will help protect the area for future generations.

Dozens of volunteers helped out last week in what he hopes will be the first of many events.

PCSO Lorrison was accompanied by mini police volunteers from Hadrian Primary School, Laygate Community School and Marine Park Primary School, along with representatives from South Shields Football Club and dozens of residents for the first clean-up.

PCSO Steve Lorrison and volunteers
Northumbria Police

'Urban village' plans scaled back

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for a £250m "urban village" next in Newcastle are being scaled back.

Developers Newby had wanted to regenerate the old leadworks site next to the Utilita Arena, which has lain vacant since 2002, with 1,500 new homes and a hotel with 224 bedrooms.

However, documents submitted to the city council now show plans for a smaller hotel, a reduction of 300 homes and 19-storey buildings reduced to 12 floors.

The changes have come after significant concerns were raised by city planners over the visual impact of the development.

Artist's impression of development
BBC

The planning application said: “Visible from both road and rail, the redevelopment of this gateway site will provide an attractive new destination in the city and the region.

"Its regeneration will [also] act as a catalyst to prime the adjacent sites for future development, and bring this derelict part of the city back into use.”

Camera trapping speeders at A1 accident blackspot

A speed camera van is set to be deployed at one of the busiest stretches of the A1 after police reduced speeding by 20% at a notorious accident blackspot.

Northumbria Police deployed their mobile speed camera in Northumberland earlier this year after a number of accidents on the 70mph road near the village of Felton.

In the first day of enforcement 66 motorists were recorded exceeding the speed limit, including three vehicles travelling at more than 100mph.

After months of deploying the speed camera van in the area, the force revealed it had reduced the number of speeding drivers by 20%.

PC Peter Burke, of Northumbria’s camera enforcement unit, said there had been more than 100 accidents on the stretch of road over the last three years.

He said the camera van would next be deployed on other areas of the A1 – starting with the 50mph stretch of road between Birtley and the Metro Centre in Gateshead.

Speed van
Northumbria Police

Raids uncover thousands of pounds worth of drugs

Class A drugs with a street value of more than £65,000 has been seized following two separate raids in Newcastle.

During a search of two flats on Grainger Street, officers discovered £25,000 worth of drugs and two 20-year-old men were arrested.

In another raid officers discovered £40,000 of suspected illegal substances during a search of a car in the city centre.

The 24-year-old driver of the car was arrested, Northumbria Police said.

drugs
Northumbria Police
Drugs
BBC

Hospitals improve standards to 'good'

Two hospitals in county Durham have shown improvements in standards, according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.

The University Hospital North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital have both improved to a rating of "good".

The Trust which runs them has also improved, from a rating of "requires improvement" to "good".

University Hospital of North Durham
BBC

University honours Jarrow golden boy Josef

Paralympian gold medallist Josef Craig made a real splash when he graduated from the University of Sunderland today.

The Jarrow athlete swapped the swimming pool for the Stadium of Light when he received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland during its winter academic awards.

Josef, who became Team GB’s youngest gold medal winner at the London 2012 games, was made an honorary fellow.

Josef, who won gold in the 400m freestyle, was later jointly awarded the North East Sports Personality of the Year award then made Young Sports Personality of the year for 2012 at the BBC's main annual award.

But the 22-year-old later revealed how he spiralled into depression in the years that followed.

Since then, he has spoken about mental health issues and promotes wellness, particularly among men.

Josef said: "I feel extremely lucky to receive this honorary degree, it means the world to me that people still recognise my achievements. I'm so very grateful.

"I feel it's very important for me to do this as it will help spread my message of mental health awareness. It’s so important to speak about these things."

Poolside again for Josef
University of Sunderland

Charity goals scored at Durham

Sir Stanley Matthew’s great-grandson has helped raise more than £4,500 for the football legend’s coaching foundation by taking part in a 24-hour charity match at Durham University.

Cameron Gough, a third year Maths student at the university, was among 275 students, staff and local residents who took part in the marathon challenge, organised by Collingwood College AFC.

Cameron, 20, admits he is not blessed with the talent that led many to label his great-grandfather the greatest player of all time.

He plays full-back for Collingwood College AFC’s G team.

But, he was more than happy to pull on his boots in aid of The Sir Stanley Matthews Coaching Foundation, which provides young people with the opportunity to achieve through sport.

Other players were students from various Durham University Colleges, plus an all stars team of university staff.

Rolling substitutes were used and the final result was a remarkably close one: Red Team 368 – 362 Black Team.

Players in action
Durham University

Crimes related to domestic abuse in Northumbria Police's area rise

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ben O'Connell

The number of crimes related to domestic abuse in the Northumbria Police area increased by 30% last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures covering 2018-19 show there were 26,567 domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by Northumbria Police during that 12-month period, up from 20,419 the previous year.

It means that 17% of all recorded crimes in the force area in 2018-19 were domestic abuse-related, compared to an average of 14% across England and Wales.

The figures also show an ongoing upward trend with 14,773 offences in 2016-17 and 10,209 offences in 2015-16; the rise over the last four years is 160%.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “The rise suggests an increased willingness of victims to come forward and certainly indicates increased awareness around coercive control, both of which are encouraging.

“However, these figures demonstrate the true scale of the growing problem and, sadly, most domestic abuse cases don’t even come to the attention of the police. It’s vital that we listen to victims and ensure the whole criminal justice system is effective and fully meets their needs."

The Northumbria force area covers a number of local authorities – Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Clean Air Zone plans to go to ministers

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

It has been confirmed final plans to charge some vehicles using roads around Newcastle should be submitted to ministers within weeks.

It comes after the last round of public consultation closed earlier this week, with fewer than 3,000 responses.

That is compared to 19,000 to the earlier round, where drivers were faced with tolls on the Tyne Bridge or a charge which would affect all vehicles.

A council spokesman said: “The first consultation showed that there is widespread awareness of the harmful impact pollution has on people’s health and more than 60% of respondents agreed that action should be taken to address it.

Proposed clean air zone in Newcastle
Newcastle City Council

"Once the latest consultation findings have been analysed the final plans will be put before cabinet members at the three councils before they are submitted for government approval."

Cabinet meetings will take place during the week commencing 16 December.

Councils are required to implement measures in 2021.

The final package of pollution-cutting measures includes grants of up to £16,000 to help people affected by the tolls upgrade their vehicles, new delivery hubs for goods vehicles outside of the city, and changes on the Central Motorway to prevent traffic from merging on and off the slip road between the New Bridge Street and Swan House junctions.

The councils say they will also seek major funding to invest in improved walking, cycling and public transport routes.

Second pedestrian dies following Newcastle hit-and-run crash

A second pedestrian has died following a hit-and-run crash in Newcastle.

A 75-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene after she was knocked down on Jesmond Road, near the Punch Bowl pub, shortly after 19:20 on Saturday.

Police have now confirmed that her 79-year-old husband, who was alongside her and was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, has died.

Officers arrested a 22-year-old-man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has since been released while investigations continue.

A 24-year-old male was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. He was also released while inquiries continue.

Sgt Matt Sykes said: "This is a truly upsetting case which has resulted in the tragic death of two people and my thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at this time."

Punch Bowl pub
Google

Two in hospital after A19 crash near Houghton-le-Spring

Lucy Moody

Journalist

Two people have been taken to hospital following a crash between a coach and a car.

The accident happened on the A19 southbound at Houghton-le-Spring near the A690 turn-off just after 05:10.

The A19 was initially closed southbound while emergency services attended but was reopened around 08:30.

Scientist donates royalties from cancer drug to establish charity fund

A scientist who was awarded £865,000 for her work in creating a cancer drug has given it all away to establish a charitable fund.

Nicola Curtin, a professor at Newcastle University, was involved in the development of Rubraca, a new ovarian drug that has been approved for use on the NHS.

Instead of keeping the proceeds for herself Professor Curtin donated it to the Curtin PARP (Passionate About Realising your Potential) Fund at the Community Foundation.

The fund aims to help disadvantaged people get back into work.

Professor Nicola Curtin
BBC

Professor Curtin said she donated the money because she is "not driven by getting lots of money".

"I'm driven by the science and wanting to improve people's lives," she added.

The fund will support a range of activities to help people to develop the skills, talents and confidence to overcome barriers to employment or education.

Priority will be given to carers, black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, homeless people and people who are experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from realising their potential.

Consultation on air quality proposals closed

A six-week consultation on plans for a clean air toll on Tyneside has ended, with more than 2,700 people giving their feedback.

The proposals, developed by Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils, include a city centre Clean Air Zone affecting buses, taxis, HGVs and vans that do not meet emissions standards, along with financial support for vehicle upgrades, exemptions and grace periods to help those affected.

They were developed in response to a legal order which demanded action from local authorities to bring pollution levels at certain locations to within legal limits in the shortest possible time, and reflect feedback from an earlier consultation in which 19,000 people responded.

Once the latest findings have been analysed the final plans will be considered by the three council's cabinet members before they are submitted for government approval.

Sunderland University to honour Josef Craig

Former Paralympian Josef Craig is to be honoured by Sunderland University.

The Jarrow athlete won gold in the 400m freestyle at the London games in 2012.

He will receive an honorary degree as part of the university's graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light on Thursday.

He said: "I feel extremely lucky to receive this honorary degree, it means the world to me that people still recognise my achievements. I'm so very grateful.

"I feel it's very important for me to do this as it will help spread my message of mental health awareness. It’s so important to speak about these things."

Gold medalist Josef Craig
Getty Images

Durham and Newcastle University staff strike over pensions and pay

Staff at two North East universities, Durham and Newcastle, are starting eight days of strike action from today.

It is part of a national dispute over pay, working conditions and pensions.

Staff taking action are members of the University and College Union.

The universities say strikes are not the way forward and promise to do all they can to minimise the impact of industrial action on students.

University student
Getty images

New chancellor for Newcastle University

Poet, artist and video film-maker Imtiaz Dharker is the new chancellor of Newcastle University.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she takes up the role from January 1 next year.

Imtiaz was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014.

Born in Lahore and raised in Glasgow, themes of social justice run throughout her work.

She said: “I am proud to take on this role, especially when I think that this was the only University in the United Kingdom to give Dr Martin Luther King an honorary degree during his lifetime, and that he came and stood in this place to receive it.

“I was here last summer, and thought it would be a great place to be a student again. In a way I will be, because coming to it now I hope to learn from and be inspired by the people I meet, by the vitality of its academic staff and students. I thank them for their faith in me, and look forward with great pleasure to being Chancellor of this exceptional University."

Imtiaz is also an artist of note. She has had more than 10 solo exhibitions of drawings in Delhi, Bangalore, London, New York and Hong Kong.

Poet and artist Imtiaz Dharker
Ayesha Dharker

Jury finds serious errors before man's death in police cell

Tom Barton

BBC Look North

A jury has found that there were “serious errors” by a custody nurse in the care of a man who died in police custody in Newcastle.

Mark Needham, 52, died in a cell at Forth Banks Police Station in 2015.

In the hours between his admission to custody, after being arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly on the morning of 23 July and his death, Mr Needham suffered four “unobserved” seizures as a result of head injuries sustained during the days before his death.

After a two-and-a-half week inquest, the jury unanimously ruled that errors by the custody nurse and one of the custody sergeants contributed to Mr Needham’s death.

Custody nurse Lynne Hetherington admitted earlier in the inquest that she spent "a matter of seconds" assessing his condition and that she decided to "give him an hour or so to calm down a little bit" before checking on him.

Today the jury ruled that that amounted to “serious errors and admissions to provide appropriate healthcare assessment”.

Mark Needham
Family photo

The jury also ruled that there were “errors and omissions” by a custody sergeant and that they “inappropriately completed a risk assessment” that was “not suitable” given Mr Needham’s medical history.

There were, the jury said, further errors in how welfare checks were carried out.

Senior coroner Karen Dilks warned Northumbria Police she would issue a Regulation 28 report to prevent future deaths, which will set out her concerns and request that action should be taken.

She said the report was likely to raise concerns about the police relying on answers to questions by people who are drunk when they produce risk assessments in custody.

The coroner warned Nurse Hetherington that evidence from the inquest would be passed on to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ministers urged to agree £337m North East transport boost

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

A "monumental" overhaul of the North East’s public transport has moved one step closer.

A final bid for £377m of government cash to fund major upgrades to the region’s public transport network will be submitted to the government in the coming days.

The money could help fund the re-opening of a disused rail line between Newcastle and Northumberland, more frequent Metro trains, station revamps, and cycle route improvements.

Leaders from the area’s seven local councils and North of Tyne mayor have agreed to approve the final bid for submission.

Bus
Go North East

Great North Road speed cuts delayed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

Speed limit cuts on Newcastle's Great North Road have been pushed back to 2020.

Long-awaited plans to reduce speeds along the entire length of the main road in and out of the city were revealed in February.

But it now appears that the new safety measures could take about a year to come into effect since they were first unveiled

The changes include:

  • the limit between Claremont Road to the Blue House Roundabout cut to 40mph,
  • that will be followed by a 30mph section from Blue House to the junction with The Grove - all of which is currently 50mph
  • there will then be a 20mph stretch on the retail section of Gosforth High Street between The Grove and Salters Road, back to 30mph from Salters Road past the Broadway roundabout and up to Brunton Lane, and then 40mph from Brunton Lane to the A1

Transport bosses say that delays are due to more time being needed to respond to 15 objections to the plans.

According to a council report, complaints about the speed reductions ranged from concerns that it “will not make Great North Road any safer” to there being “no evidence” that current speeds are causing accidents.

Speed camera on the Great North Road
BBC

Arrests in human trafficking raids

BBC News

Addresses in the Northumbria Police force area were among several across England that have been raided as part of an international human trafficking investigation.

In total 10 people were arrested in the operation, led by South Yorkshire Police.

A total of eight women aged 18 to 30 were rescued during the operation, which was supported by officers from Romania.

Properties in Staffordshire, Norfolk and London were also raided.

The suspects, who are aged between 19 and 38, were held on suspicion of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and money laundering.

Planned 'sleep out' cancelled due to poor attendance

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

An organised "sleep out" planned for Newcastle to raise money to help end rough sleeping has been cancelled.

Newcastle City Council said the plug was pulled on the World's Big Sleepout due to the lack of people attending.

But the authority has said it is committed to ending rough sleeping, and has announced Newcastle band the Lighthouse Family will perform in the New Year with all proceeds from the concert set to go to homelessness charities in Newcastle.