Durham Constabulary

  1. Witness appeal after fatal A689 collision

    Officers have appealed for information following a fatal crash in County Durham.

    A 60-year-old man, who was driving a white Ford Transit van died at the scene on the A689 between Sedgefield and Wynyard, last night.

    His name has not yet been released, but his family has been informed, police said.

    The driver of a yellow BMW, a man in his 20s, suffered minor injuries and was treated in hospital.

    Anyone who witnessed the incident at the junction of Butterwick Road at 17:00 GMT is asked to contact Durham Police.

  2. Officers honoured for saving stab victim's life

    Two Durham Police officers have been awarded top lifesaving honours for saving the life of a man who had been stabbed in the throat.

    PCs Callan and Oliphant were called to reports of a fight in Forster Street, in Darlington, in January.

    When they arrived, they found a man whose carotid artery had been virtually severed, leading to significant blood loss.

    The pair applied pressure to stem the flow until paramedics arrived and he was taken to hospital, where he later made a full recovery.

    They have now been awarded certificates from the Royal Humane Society for their efforts.

    View more on twitter

    Chief Inspector Chris Knox, from Darlington Police, paid tribute to their professionalism and prompt action, without which the man "would have undoubtedly died".

    He added: “I would like to say a big thank you to these two officers – what they did was truly remarkable and their awards are thoroughly well deserved.”

  3. Cleveland has highest proportion of unpaid Covid-19 fines

    The Cleveland Police force area has the highest proportion of unpaid coronavirus fines in England, figures show.

    According to data obtained by the PA news agency under freedom of information legislation, nine forces saw 60% or more of the penalties go unpaid within 28 days between 27 March and 21 September.

    In the Cleveland area, 72% of fines for the period, 215 out of 298, went unpaid according to data from the criminal records office ACRO which administers the fines.

    In Northumbria the proportion was 68%, with 188 out of 278 fines not paid while in the Durham force area it was 65% with 115 out of 178 unpaid.

    The figures provide a snapshot of data gathered by forces as of 21 September and, as a result of the way the figures are recorded, may contain some overlap between the number of unpaid fines, those rescinded and formally contested.

    Lawyer Raj Chada, head of the criminal defence department at Hodge Jones & Allen, described Covid regulations as a "mess" and said criminal law needed to be clear and consistent otherwise it becomes "arbitrary and unfair".

    Kirsty Brimelow QC, a human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, told PA it was "predictable" people would stop paying fines, with some not being able to afford to pay them, or not feeling they did break any laws, while others "may just be resentful that those in power acted as if the laws did not apply to them".

  4. Cannabis, caravan and shotguns found in farm raid

    A cannabis farm was discovered during a raid in Darlington, along with a stolen caravan.

    Officers also found shotguns, and cash during the operation on Wednesday.

    A man was arrested at the scene and later released while police enquiries continue.

    View more on twitter
  5. Durham Police reveal DurhamGate custody suite plan

    A police force is planning to close four custody suites at stations and build a new central 48-cell facility.

    Durham Police is preparing to submit a planning application for the new £21m custody suite at DurhamGate near Spennymoor.

    Durham City police station

    The force would close existing custody facilities in Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Durham City and Peterlee.

    A spokeswoman said the move would save £400,000 a year and be more efficient than upgrading existing suites.

  6. Police arrange pizza delivery for hungry family

    Police in Darlington teamed up with a local Italian restaurant to feed a hungry family after concerns were raised about their welfare.

    Durham Police said officers found the family's cupboards were bare after a member of the public called the force to say they were worried about how the family was coping.

    View more on facebook

    PCSO Ashleighe Charlton and PC Dan Lake contacted Al Forno who provided pizza and chips for the whole family free of charge.

    PCSO Charlton also bought some milk, bread and cereal for breakfast the following morning.

    The pair are now organising for the family to receive help from a local food bank, and have offered their support to the family whenever they are struggling.

    PCSO Charlton said: “We have been incredibly lucky that throughout this pandemic we have been able to continue working and receive a steady income, so it was heart-breaking to see a family struggling so much that they couldn’t put food on the table."

  7. Coronavirus: Durham University round-the-clock patrols to 'stop parties'

    A team of Covid patrol officers has been drafted in to stop Durham University students having parties.

    The university has spent £30,000 on the community response team (CRT) to help support Durham Police.

    The team will be patrolling the campus explaining local and national Covid-19 restrictions.

    Two members of the team will also be available from 20:30 to 04:30, seven nights a week to help students and the police to deal with large gatherings and to stop house parties.

    They are also encouraging students to report any worries via the police's website live chat function or by calling the 101 non-emergency number.

    Jeremy Cook, pro-vice-chancellor at Durham University, said: “The vast majority of our students have responded to the local and national Covid-19 restrictions as responsible citizens and we are proud of them for doing so.

    "However, when a student’s behaviour falls below the standards we would expect, we will take swift and decisive action to protect our students, staff and local community.”

    Last week, Durham University confirmed 219 cases in students.

  8. Playful pooches bring the WWE to Durham...

    Durham police dog handler Chris Green shared this adorable video of new recruits Harper and Ratana letting off a bit of steam:

    View more on twitter
  9. Two arrested as cocaine seized

    Two people have been arrested after cocaine with a street value of about £40,000 was seized from a property in Darlington.

    Officers also recovered an amount of cash during the raid at a house on Roseberry Street on Wednesday morning.

    A hydraulic press, believed to be used in the processing of cocaine, as well as a knuckleduster and a baseball bat were also found.

    A man and a woman were arrested at the scene on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and were later released while further inquiries are carried out.

    View more on twitter
  10. Arrests in "county lines" drug operation

    Eighteen people have been arrested during a multi-force crackdown aimed at disrupting a suspected organised criminal group, believed to be running a County Line shipping Class A drugs into the north of England.

    As part of Operation Girona, warrants were executed at 15 addresses in Gateshead, Newcastle, Stanley, Pelton Fell, Peterlee and Seaham and in Widnes, Crewe, the Wirral, and Liverpool.

    It resulted in the seizure of £16,000 in cash, 175g of heroin, more than 12,000 suspected illegal cigarettes, and 32 mobile phones.

    The 13 men, aged between 18 and 57, and five women, aged between 31 and 59, were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and later released under investigation.

    Operation Girona raid

    Det Ch InspJamie Pitt, from Northumbria Police, praised the results of the partnership activity and desribed county lines drug dealing as an "appalling practice".

    He said: "Whilst this hasn’t taken hold in our area like it has in some other parts of the country, we are not going to be complacent and will continue to take robust action, and embrace the valuable lessons learned in other parts of the country.”

  11. Durham Police chief warns rule-breakers will be punished

    Jill Archbold

    BBC Look North

    Durham Police's Chief Constable says her officers will clamp down on people persistently breaking the new coronavirus restrictions.

    Jo Farrell said the force has initially tried to inform people about the rules, but will take action if they're repeatedly flouted.

    "If we go to a location and... my officers know we're there for a second or third time... the latitude we'd allow at that point will be minimum," she said.

    Her warning comes after the government announced 4,926 new coronavirus cases in the UK on Tuesday.

    The North East became subject to extra measures last week and Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended them here and across England yesterday.

    Durham Police chief constable Jo Farrell
  12. Motorbike rider killed in crash with car

    A motorbike rider has died in a collision with a car.

    Donald Young, known as Duck, was the rider of a Yamaha that was involved in a collision with a Nissan Juke on the A689 near Wolsingham on Saturday, a Durham Police spokesman said.

    His son (pictured with his father) has joined other family members in paying tribute to the 65-year-old.

    Donald Young and son

    In a statement, the family said: "He was a much loved father, grandfather, father in law, brother and uncle and will be sadly missed."

    The collision took place at about 10.45am outside of Bradley Burn Cottage.

    Mr Young was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and passengers in the Nissan received minor injuries.

    Officers are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision, or anyone who may have been travelling along the road at the time of the incident with dash cam footage.

  13. Assaults on police 'increased during lockdown'

    Assaults on police officers and staff in County Durham and Darlington increased during the lockdown period, a force has claimed.

    Durham Constabulary said it recorded 228 assaults on officers and staff between March and July this year – an increase of 26% when compared with the same period last year, in which 168 assaults were recorded.

    A number of these assaults included suspects spitting or coughing in officers’ faces and claiming they had coronavirus. Officers were also punched, kicked, head-butted, scratched, bitten or had glass bottles thrown at them.

    Jo Farrell

    Chief Constable Jo Farrell (pictured) said: “Attacks on police officers and staff are unacceptable at any time, but they are especially appalling when these officers have worked tirelessly on the frontline to keep people safe during the Coronavirus pandemic"