North-East born journalist will return to his roots to take part in popular
Radio 4 show Any Questions next week.
editor and political columnist on the Mirror, Kevin Maguire, will be among the
panel for the BBC discussion programme which will be hosted by the University of Sunderland on Friday28 February.
career-spanning more than 30 years, Kevin has become one of the country’s most
Shields-born pundit has already forged strong links with the university as a visiting professor of journalism, while in 2018 he was made an honorary Doctor
Officer sniffs out '£2m cannabis farm'
A cannabis farm the size of a
football pitch has been uncovered thanks to the nose of community support officer.
The drugs factory, which police said has a street value of £2m, was uncovered by officers on Team Valley in Gateshead,
More than 3,000 plants were discovered in a warehouse by CSO Martin Jobling who was on patrol at the Valentine’s
Funfair on Team Valley and noticed a strong smell of cannabis.
Northumbria Police said three foreign nationals were arrested on suspicion of producing a Class B drug with intent to supply.
A spokesman for the force said: “This is a sophisticated
drug supply operation that may have seen millions of pounds worth of cannabis
supplied to dealers across our region.
“This seizure will have put a huge
dent in the pockets of the organised crime group responsible."
PCC's widow calls for assisted dying law change
The widow of former Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has told BBC Breakfast she now supports assisted dying and is calling for a change in the law.
A teenager was seriously injured when she was hit by a vehicle on a busy Sunderland road yesterday afternoon.
She was flown to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary by the air ambulance after the crash near the Sainsbury's on Wessington Way just after 16:30.
Northumbria Police has appealed for witnesses to get in touch.
Cash boost for groups supporting victims
Victim services across the Northumbria Police area are set to receive more than £1m from the force's Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Supporting Victims Fund has awarded the cash to a range of organisations helping those considered to be the most vulnerable - domestic abuse and sexual violence victims, young people, victims of hate crime, and those with mental health needs.
It is the first round of victims funds to be announced this year, with more
funding to be allocated to specialist services and charitable organisations
over the coming weeks.
The latest beneficiaries include Sunderland Counselling Services, The Angelou Centre in Newcastle, Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, and Streetwise Young People’s Project.
Northumbria PCC, Kim McGuinness, said: “My top two priorities are to help our force prevent crime and ensure that when a crime does happen, the victim is central to all we do.
“With access to the right help at the right time, people can feel better, even stronger, but it can take time.
"Through coping strategies, therapies and opening up conversation, we can help people to recover and successfully move forward with their lives."
Motorist guilty of string of driving offences
Uninsured driver Lewis Nesbitt was arrested and charged with a string of motoring offences, after a high speed persuit near Houghton-le-Spring.
The 25 year old reached speeds of 70mph in residential streets and drove the wrong way around a roundabout, after refusing to pull over his Vauxhall Corsa last September.
A scheme by Durham Police which gives people the chance to go into rehab for drink and drug problems while avoiding a criminal record appears to be cutting re-offending rates.
More than 2,600 offenders have taken part in the project, which began two years ago, with only six percent going on to re-offend.
The force's experiment called Checkpoint, lets people responsible for offences like thefts and burglars avoid a criminal record, so long as they get treatment for problems like drug and alcohol addiction.
It'll be discussed later this month at the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
A North East teenager says his life has been transformed after a heart transplant.
Jack Brotton, from Darlington, was on the urgent transplant list at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital before a donor was finally found.
The 13-year-old is telling his story in a CBBC documentary called My Life: My New Heart, which will be broadcast later.
"It's really amazing," he said. "I was very scared, I never knew what would happen. I thought I might not make it."
Jack's mum, Sarah, added: "It's been a rollercoaster. Life was very challenging. He's had the ultimate gift of life."
Northumbria Police holds rural recruitment drive
People interested in a career with Northumbria Police have been invited to talk to officers about what it involves, especially in rural areas.
As part of its ongoing recruitment the force is hosting a number of events to give
potential candidates a chance to speak to those already in the role.
One will be held on tomorrow at Coquetvale Hotel in Rothbury and another at the Twice Brewed Inn in Bardon Mill on Thursday.
All who join Northumbria Police are able to develop a wide range of skills. We are passionate about supporting both the professional and personal progression of our colleagues and offer flexible working options to cater for people’s work-life balance."
A man has been arrested in connection with a crowdfunding attempt which sought to raise £10,000 to have campaigner Gina Miller killed.
The Sunday Mirror reported in October that the page, which described the businesswoman who twice won Supreme Court cases challenging the government on Brexit, as a "traitor of democracy", had been up for six months.
It had not raised any money, and when alerted GoFundMe took it down and apologised for any distress to Ms Miller, who called the page "horrifying".
Northumbria Police has now confirmed that a 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of making malicious
He was later released while investigations continue.
BBC Radio Cumbria's Joe goes under the knife and puts it on air
The veteran BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Joe Costin was so impressed by his own heart bypass operation that he went back into the theatre to watch his surgeon perform the same procedure on another patient.
Joe, 73, was diagnosed with heart problems after a routine check-up with his GP, and had his operation done by Prof Stephen Clark, the consultant cardiac surgeon at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.
BBC Radio Cumbria will be featuring Joe's story on programmes throughout the day next week, and Prof Clark will be on the Caroline Robertson show from 09:00 to 12:00 on Tuesday.
After the operation, I went to see Professor Clark and was so fascinated by the information he was giving me, and the number of people he told me were affected by heart disease, that I knew it would make a brilliant piece for the radio.
He invited me along to watch an operation and I said yes without thinking, but I thought the issue was so important that I had to see it through."
Police crackdown on county lines drug crimes continues
Thirty-one people have now been arrested in a crackdown on county lines drug crimes.
Operation Sentinel and has seen a number of dawn raids carried out across Northumberland, Scotland and Merseyside in the past four weeks.
It's recovered a number of drug seizures including 1kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than £40,000.
We will not bring this operation to a close until we are satisfied that we have done all we can to ensure this particular county line is stamped out and stays that way."
County lines is where criminal networks expand their operations from urban areas to more rural locations and smaller towns.
Police say it often involves the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children and those with mental health or addiction problems.
High cost of fly tipping in North East
Organised criminal gangs are being blamed for the continued rise of large fly-tipping across the UK.
Since 2012 it's cost our councils almost £60m in clean-up costs.
In the BBC Newcastle area alone there have been nearly 13,000 major fly-tipping incidents in the last nine years.
Sunderland City Council meanwhile, has seized another vehicle after it
was allegedly seen in a fly-tipping incident in the Washington area.
It follows a similar incident in
October when a vehicle was taken from outside an address in Hetton.
Councils have powers to confiscate any vehicle they suspect has
been involved in environmental crime or fly tipping.
Owners can try to claim their
vehicle back and if the council decides rules against, it could crushed or sold.
Councillor Denny Wilson said: "Fly-tipping is a major issue in our city,
which we are taking a more proactive approach to tackling."
Fly-tipping is an arrestable offence
and carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and up to five years imprisonment.
Brick thrown by child from a bridge hits car windscreen
Police say a schoolboy was lucky not to kill someone when he threw a brick off a footbridge, sending it smashing into a car windscreen.
The boy, aged seven, hurled the brick on to the A182 Washington Highway on 4 February.
It shattered the windscreen of a car that was passing underneath, which had a child sitting in the back seat.
The impact caused the vehicle to swerve but no other vehicles were in the area and the driver was able to stop safely.
Police traced the boy and found that he had thrown the brick off the bridge to entertain his friends.
They have spoken to him and his parents and went to local schools to get the safety message across to other children.
Insp Nick Gjorven said: "Frankly, it is sheer luck that nobody was killed. The driver involved had just picked up his son from school and was driving at 60mph on a busy road when his windscreen shattered, causing him to swerve. It quite easily could have come through the windscreen and caused catastrophic injuries to all inside the car."
The age of criminality in the UK is 10 years old so police could not prosecute the boy.
A university spokesperson said there would be a dedicated health event for any student who has arrived from China in the last month, "ensuring they register with a doctor."
Other universities in the UK have warned students returning home from Chinese New Year celebrations will be quarantined.
Sunderland University closes its history faculty
The University of Sunderland has closed its history faculty after just 14 students wanted to study the subject this year.
Its modern languages department will also close after no-one enrolled for its courses.
A combined history and politics degree will also no longer be an option after just 15 students signed up.
But students already on the course and part way through degree studies are meeting university bosses today.
Keith Bays, who is chairman of the Sunderland Students Union Council and is studying politics, says students are meeting to present a case to keep the faculty.
John Mowbray, chairman of the university's board of governors, said: "While recognising the value of the subjects the university is withdrawing from, the board of governors agreed that they do not fit with the curriculum principles of being career-focused and professions-facing.
"Nor are they of a size and scale to be educationally viable in the medium to long term, given the competition from other institutions."
About 34 academic staff will reportedly be affected by the changes.
The number of universities offering modern foreign languages has dropped by 40% in the past 15 years.
The decline reflects a trend also seen in A-levels.
Since 2014, there has been an 8% decrease in the number of A-level entries for modern languages and more than a 25% decline in English.
But entries in science, technology, engineering and maths have increased by 15,500, a rise of 6%.
The university said work is under way to develop courses "that provide clear routes into employment".
County lines police in Berwick raids
Dawn raids have been carried out in Berwick in what Northumbria Police call a "major offensive" against suspected drug dealing through county lines.
That's where criminal networks try to expand their operations from urban areas to rural towns and villages.
Eight men and three women were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
The suspects are all believed to have links to Merseyside.