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'Challenging' time for by-election

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

The voting turnout in the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner election was just 15%.

People across Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead and North and South Tyneside were eligible to vote.

Out of an electorate of more than one million, just short of 156,000 people voted.

The new PCC Kim McGuinness admits its a challenging time to hold a by-election but insists the role is key to good policing for communities across Northumbria

PCC 'will put victims at the centre' of her agenda

Northunbria's new Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness says she will "put victims at the centre" of the policing agenda.

The Labour candidate beat the Independent candidate Georgina Hill after it went to a second round of counting between the two.

Here she is, in the centre wearing a red dress, with her supporters.

Kim McGuinness with her supporters
BBC

Labour candidate elected PCC

Labour's Kim McGuinness becomes the new Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.

She polled 67,332, ahead of Independent Georgina Hill who got 61,633 after counting second preferences.

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BreakingKim McGuiness is new Northumbria Police and Crime Commisioner

Labour's Kim McGuinness is Northumbria's new police and crime commisioner.

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Police investigation after woman raped

An investigation has begun after a woman was raped in Seaton Delaval.

The 37-year-old victim told police she was walking from Dorchester Court towards Bristol Street on Tuesday evening when she was approached by a man she did not know, who then attacked her.

He fled the area and the woman was found by a passer-by who contacted police.

Det Ch Insp Eric Myers of Northumbria Police said: “The woman has not suffered any injuries but she is very distressed and is being offered specialist support during the investigation.

"The suspect is described as about 5ft 10in and a slim but muscular build with brown eyes. He was wearing black jeans and a black jumper.

"Anyone who may have seen this man, or who lives in the area and has CCTV, is encouraged to call police immediately."

Second preferences counted in PCC election

The counting in Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner election goes to the second round after none of the four candidates gained more than 50% of the vote.

Second preferences are now being totted up.

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PCC ballot box returned empty

As votes are being counted in the election for the new Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, it has emerged that one ballot box was returned empty.

People across Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and North and South Tyneside went to the polls yesterday, and the average turn-out was 15%.

However Newcastle City Council has confirmed that in one area of Newcastle - Spital Tongues - no votes were cast.

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Votes being counted in Northumbria PCC election

Counting is under way in the election for the new Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Four candidates are hoping to step into the post vacated by Vera Baird.

They are Georgina Hill (Independent), Kim McGuinness (Labour), Robbie Moore (Conservative), and Jonathan Wallace (Lib Dem).

The results are due from 12:00.

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Low turnout in PCC election

Counting is starting following yesterday's voting for Northumbria's new police and crime commissioner.

The result is expected about lunchtime and it looks as if turnout is pretty low.

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New Northumbria PCC due to be announced

Counting is due to get under way after yesterday's poll to elect the next Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Four candidates are vying to occupy the post made vacant when Vera Baird (who had held it since its inception in 2012) stepped down to become the new victims' commissioner.

PCCs are responsible for holding police forces to account and have the authority to hire and fire chief constables and set budgets.

The result is expected to be announced about 12:00.

Clockwise from top left; Georgina Hill, Kim McGuinness, Robbie Moore, Jonathan Wallace
BBC

The candidates are: Georgina Hill, Independent; Kim McGuinness, Labour; Robbie Moore, Conservative; Jonathan Wallace, Liberal Democrat.

Three arrests after missing teenager found

A teenager whose disappearance sparked a large-scale police investigation has been found safe and well.

The 13-year-old was reported missing after leaving an address in the West End of Newcastle on Saturday evening.

Police initially carried out house-to-house enquiries and on Thursday - her 13th birthday - the case was "elevated to high risk missing person".

Following a public appeal she was found at an address in Hebburn, and two men and a woman are being questioned in connection with her disappearance.

Supt Paul Bent, of Northumbria Police, said: "This has been a large-scale investigation and dozens of officers have been working hard to find her so we are glad there has been a positive conclusion."

Polls open for Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner election

Polls have opened for voters to decide between four hopefuls vying to become the next Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Dame Vera Baird, who has held the post since its inception in 2012, is stepping down after being appointed as the new victims' commissioner.

PCCs are responsible for holding police forces to account, and also have the authority to hire and fire chief constables and set budgets.

People in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, and north and south Tyneside have until 22:00 to cast their vote and the result will be announced tomorrow.

The candidates are: Georgina Hill, Independent; Kim McGuinness, Labour; Robbie Moore, Conservative; Jonathan Wallace, Liberal Democrat.

Clockwise from top left; Georgina Hill, Kim McGuinness, Robbie Moore, Jonathan Wallace
BBC

Domestic abuse report exposes hidden side of rural life

BBC Tees

A research project by police forces has found domestic abuse victims in the countryside suffer for longer and struggle to get support.

The study, which involved Durham and six forces around England, also says some communities protect the perpetrators of crimes.

The group National Rural Crime Network is now calling for action to be taken by the government, the police, and by society too.

A Home Office spokesman said it was committed to tackling the horrendous crime of domestic abuse and the government's set out new plans to tackle the issue.

Prize for first-class student

A recent graduate from the University of Sunderland has been awarded the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) best student prize.

Abbiegaye Hendricks
Sunderland University

Abbiegaye Hendricks, 26, received the award for outstanding performance across the programme.

Abbiegaye, who grew up in Spanish Town, Jamaica, says her grandparents, who she lived with, were her inspiration to become a pharmacist.

Abbiegaye Hendricks' granddad
Family photo

She helped her grandfather to manage his Type 2 diabetic and hypertensive medications from the age of 12.

This led to Abbiegaye graduating this month with a first-class honours pharmacy degree from the University of Sunderland and receiving the RPS best student prize.

Receiving a first-class honours degree and being awarded the RPS prize means so much to me. It is proof that you can achieve anything you put your heart and mind to. I want other young people from my community to see that and believe that."

Abbiegaye Hendricks

Brigades in bid to prevent deliberate fires

Nisha Joshi

BBC broadcast journalist

Three of the region's fire services have joined together to launch a campaign to prevent deliberate fires throughout the North East, where call-outs are more than double the national average.

The Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear brigades have launched their Fire Stoppers service, which aims to prevent serious fires which, they say, are placing additional stress on the emergency services.

An anonymous hotline has been set up, together with an online form for reporting arson. The fire authorities say any reports will be treated confidentially.

Coastal festival 'a resounding success'

The North of the Tyne Festival has been hailed as a resounding successs.

Now in its 15th year, the event over the weekend attracted thousands of people to Tynemouth.

It featured street performers, entertainment and music, including sell-out performances by Jack Savoretti, Rick Astley, The Proclaimers, and hometown favourite Sam Fender.

Performers at Mouth of the Tyne Festival
BBC
Performers at the Mouth of the Tyne Festival
BBC
Mouth of the Tyne Festival
BBC

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn said the event had "exceeded expectations".

She said:“More than 100,000 people attended the festival, which brings an estimated £1m boost for our local economy.

“I’ve really enjoyed going out and about to meet and talk to some of them and it was great to see how much people were clearly enjoying themselves."

England's World Cup win a proud day for Durham - Killeen

England's astonishing World Cup win has been the talk of the whole country all day of course, even those who previously didn't like cricket.

But it went down particularly well in County Durham, where two of their local boys Ben Stokes and Mark Wood played such big roles.

And especially in the Durham dressing room, where the players watched following the end of their day's play in the home County Championship game with Worcestershire.

"Ben’s innings was phenomenal," Durham bowling coach Neil Killeen told BBC Radio Newcastle. "After going through what we went through in the T20 World Cup, that will mean everything to Ben. That’s the type of bloke he is.

Ben Stokes had the support of his Durham team-mate Mark Wood for that last dramatic ball at Lord's
Getty Images
Ben Stokes had the support of his Durham team-mate Mark Wood for that last dramatic ball at Lord's

"He’s a true professional. And he thoroughly deserved it. And obviously Mark Wood did well with the ball early on. Both lads are Durham through and through. To see them stand up and be presented with the trophy was a proud day for the club and the whole of the North East.

"The last half an hour was so exciting, especially with our head coach James Franklin being from New Zealand. The lads have been giving him some stick.

“I’m sure this will all have a huge knock-on effect. Kids are going to want to bowl like Jofra Archer and Mark Wood and bat like Ben Stokes.”

Australia trial game call for Bancroft

Durham 88-6 v Worcestershire

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Durham skipper Cameron Bancroft has been called up by Australia ahead of them naming their squad to play England in this summer's Ashes series

Australia are to stage a match in Southampton in 10 days' time featuring their Test side and their A team, who are also currently over here in England on tour.

They will use that match to decide who should be in the team for the first Test at Edgbaston, starting on 1 August.

Cameron Bancroft
Getty Images

Bancroft has not played for Australia since being given his nine-month ban for ball tampering during the ill-tempered third Test match in South Africa in March 2018.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for a year, but returned to play for Australia in this summer's Cricket World Cup.

Bancroft had scored 477 in his previous six Championship innings going into the Durham Worcestershire game, which started here today in Chester-le-Street.

He made just eight, but that took him past 6,000 first-class runs in the process.

Gas leak prompts warning

People are being advised to avoid the Walker Riverside area of Newcastle because of a gas leak.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the leak is affecting the area around Neptune Road leading to Oil Mill Road and Fisher Street.

It is advising people to avoid the area for the next few hours.

Driver dies when car runs off A1

A driver died when his car ran off the A1 in Northumberland this morning.

The 25-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene near Denwick, north of Alnwick, at about 03:20.

Northumbria Police said his family was being supported by specialist officers.

It is investigating what happened and officers hope to speak to drivers who were in the area at the time.

Emeli Sande presents Sunderland University degrees to her parents
Her parents Joel and Diane were unable to attend their graduation ceremony in 1987 because of the singer's birth.

Child's grave damaged in County Durham

A child's grave was damaged in a County Durham cemetery, police said.

It is believed to have happened sometime in the last two weeks at West Auckland Road cemetery in Shildon.

Considerable damage was caused to the grave and ornament engraved ‘Special son’.

Smashed Grave
Durham Constabulary

Sunderland University welcomes new Chancellor Emeli Sande.

Damian O'Neil

BBC Look North

Emeli Sande has officially become Sunderland university's new Chancellor.

The 32-year-old was installed at a ceremony in the Stadium of Light today.

Emeli Sande at special ceremony.
BBC

Six arrests in dawn raids targeting prison drug dealing

Six people have been arrested in the North East as part of a joint operation by three police forces to combat prison drug dealing.

Officers targeted addresses in Skelton, Grangetown and Hardwick in the Cleveland force area, and Easington Lane, Ashington and Blakelaw in the Northumbria force area.

The operation also involved Greater Manchester Police and nine people in total have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and money laundering as part of Operation Exmouth. They all remain in police custody.

Emeli Sande to become new Chancellor of Sunderland University

Pop star Emeli Sande is officially becoming the new Chancellor of Sunderland University today.

Emeli Sande
BBC

Talking about her new post she says she "wants to fight for social justice".

The star was born in the city in 1987 with her parents missing their graduation ceremonies at what was then Sunderland polytechnic because of her birth.

She told the BBC it was a "great honour" to be asked to take on the role,

"I was really blown away by what the University of Sunderland is doing, for me education has really changed my parents lives, they were the first people in their family to leave home and go get a degree and it changed their lives profoundly.

"When I heard what the University of Sunderland was doing I thought this is such an incredible thing to become a part of."

Woman seriously injured after being hit by van

A woman remains in hospital with serious injuries after being hit by a van in Wingate on Monday morning.

She was struck by a Citroen Dispatch as it turned left onto the alleyway on North Road West between numbers 35 and 36.

Ambulance crews helped the police remove the woman from under the vehicle just after midnight on Monday.

North Road West
Google

Video reveals last moments of Himalayan climbers

Indian authorities have released a video showing the final moments of a team of climbers whose bodies were recovered in the Himalayas.

The clip shows four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian slowly making their way up an unnamed peak in sunny weather, officials said.

The group was attempting to climb India's second-highest peak Nanda Devi when contact was lost on 26 May.

Seven bodies have been recovered, but Tyneside-born Martin Moran's remains have not yet been found.

Martin Moran
Facebook

Police visit children's home more than 200 times

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A single North East children's home called police out more than 200 times in a year according to new figures.

The Howard League for Penal Reform claims children in residential care are in danger of being criminalised.

Northumbria Police visited the same unidentified home 207 times in 2018 according to figures obtained by the charity.

This news comes after BBC Newcastle revealed there are nearly 100 cases a year where a looked-after child goes missing.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Last year we launched a new National Protocol to bring together agencies across the system to work together to reduce the number of these children who get involved in crime and have contact with police."

Study urges businesses to give staff more freedom

BBC Newcastle

North East businesses need to change the way they manage staff, according to new research from Newcastle University.

A report looking at the treatment of employees has suggested they be given more freedom by managers.

The study focussed on people working for charities and in the public sector - which employs one-in-five people in our region.

Image of a happy office worker
Getty Images

VIP abuse accuser Carl Beech 'lied about having child abuse images'

A man accused of inventing a VIP paedophile ring has said he lied about possessing indecent images of children.

Carl Beech, 51, is on trial over claims he was a victim of an alleged paedophile network made up of high-profile figures from politics, the military and intelligence agencies.

Mr Beech, from Gloucester, claims the group sexually abused and murdered three boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

He denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.

Mr Beech's allegations led to a £2m Scotland Yard inquiry that ended without any arrests or charges.

Among the people he accused were former prime minister Sir Edward Heath and former home secretary Lord Brittan.

Carl Beech
PA Media

When Northumbria Police raided Mr Beech's home, they found images of serious child sexual abuse on his computers, and that he had videoed a child urinating.

He was charged with five counts of making indecent images of children and one of voyeurism, and was due to appear in court last July.

During his trial at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday, Mr Beech was asked why he initially denied the separate charges involving child abuse images, only to admit the offences when he was about to face an earlier trial.

He replied: "Because I was totally ashamed of what I had done. I couldn't admit it to myself. I was in denial."

The trial continues.

Wallsend abuse hate crime probed

Northumbria Police want to speak to this man after an incident of racial abuse in a Tyneside shop.

A man was verbally abused in Costcutter in Station Road, Wallsend, on Sunday 26 May at 18:00.

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime and say that this man who was in the shop at the time may be able to help their inquiries.

The man or anyone who knows him should ring 101 quoting reference number 067430Y/19.

CCTV image
Northumbria Police

Man in a critical condition following Sunderland collision

BBC Newcastle

Police are investigating two crashes on the same road in Sunderland - one of which has left a man seriously injured.

The 27-year-old was hit by a car on Premier Road at the junction of Silksworth Lane shortly before 09:00 on Sunday.

He is in a critical condition in hospital.

Northumbria Police say they're investigating whether the collision is linked to an earlier incident when a car matching the description of the one involved hit another car but failed to stop.

Ashington street brawl

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Two men have been injured following a street brawl in Ashington, Northumberland.

It happened just before 14:00 yesterday on Milburn Road.

It is reported both men had knives and have been treated in hospital.

Two men have been arrested.

Drug-driver banned after high-speed police pursuit in Newcastle

A drug-driver has been banned after leading police on a high-speed pursuit through the streets of Newcastle.

Robert Allan, 22, has been given a two-year driving ban and a suspended sentence following the pursuit in February.

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He drove the wrong way around roundabouts, sped through red lights and reached speeds of 80mph on 30mph roads through Byker and Heaton.

After nearly losing control of his silver Audi A4, he brought it to a stop and was pounced upon by police and placed under arrest.

Police discovered he had recently bought the vehicle, had no insurance and was also driving above the legal limit for drugs.

He was charged with dangerous driving, driving without insurance, failing to stop and driving while above the legal drug limit.

He pleaded guilty and was handed a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a two-year driving ban, and was also ordered to carry out 210 hours of unpaid work.