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Suspicious package found at Haltwhistle

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Trains between Carlisle and Newcastle were cancelled for a while last night after reports of a suspicious package found at Haltwhistle.

It is under understood the item was in a business near to the town's railway station.

Police and bomb disposal officers were called to the scene, but no homes were evacuated and experts disposed of the item as a precaution.

The line has now reopened and Northumbria police says inquiries are ongoing to see if any criminal offences have been committed.

BreakingMan arrested on suspicion of murder in Blyth death inquiry

BBC Newcastle

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder by police investigating the death of a man at a house in Blyth.

Scott Patterson, 30, suffered serious injuries in an assault at the property on Hallside Road in the early hours of Monday

Northumbria Police said seven addresses in the area were searched last night and four people were arrested.

A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder. A woman, aged 48, and two men, aged 50 and 56, were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Northumbria Police Supt Helen Anderson, the senior investigating officer on the case, said: “I would like to reiterate that this incident has taken place in a private address following an altercation between people who had been socialising together throughout the evening.

“We believe those involved are all known to each other but we are still carrying out a number of inquiries to establish a clear picture of what happened."

Scott Patterson

Newcastle city centre stabbing victim named

Peter Duncan
Family Handout

A man who was stabbed to death in Newcastle city centre has been named as Peter Duncan.

The 52-year-old was assaulted inside the door of the Eldon Square shopping centre off Old Eldon Square on Wednesday evening.

Northumbria Police said it believes he was attacked with a screwdriver in a "chance encounter".

His family said: "Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others.

"He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him. His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he’ll be deeply missed by us all.

"Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him. He had so much of his life left to live and he’ll be in our hearts and thoughts every day."

Seven teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

County Durham has the most top grades in A-Level Media Studies

Students receive their A-level results
Getty Images

Students in County Durham have scored the highest pass rate of A and A* in Media Studies in England, with 17.5 % of pupils achieving the top grades, Ofgual figures show.

In Maths, which was the most popular subject this year, County Durham students gained most A and A* regionally, as 43.8% of students reached the highest grade.

This is slightly ahead of Northumberland (43.6%) and Tyne and Wear (39.2%).

Revamp plan for art deco theatre

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

An art deco theatre in Gateshead is set to get a revamp if council bosses give the plans the green light.

The Little Theatre, on Saltwell View, is the only one to have been built in Britain during World War Two and survived bombing raids and later flooding to become a mainstay of the amateur dramatics circuit.

Now, the venue has applied for planning permission to extend its top floor.

A design and access statement submitted to Gateshead Council said: “It is proposed to construct a new rehearsal room over the existing auditorium to create additional much needed internal space, designed in a way which sits comfortably with the existing building form."

A decision on the application is due to be made by late September.

Little Theatre

Seven teenagers arrested over fatal stabbing in Newcastle

Seven teenagers have now been arrested after a man was stabbed to death in Newcastle city centre.

A 52-year-old man was assaulted inside the door of the shopping centre at Old Eldon Square on Wednesday evening. He was taken to hospital where he died.

Northumbria Police believe he was stabbed in the chest with a screwdriver.

Seven males - a 14-year-old, two 15-year-olds and four 17-year-olds - have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Ch Supt Ged Noble, said: “This is a tragic and shocking incident where a man has sadly lost his life.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim and they are being supported by specialist officers at this extremely difficult time.

“Our investigation is ongoing but we have very quickly arrested seven teenagers in connection with the incident, one of which we believe to be the main suspect."

The area remains under patrol.

Six arrests over 'stab victim's' death

A murder investigation is under way after a man was stabbed to death in Newcastle city centre.

The 52-year-old, whose name has not yet been released, died in hospital following an assault outside a Greggs bakery near Old Eldon Square at about 18:20 on Wednesday in which he suffered injuries "consistent with a stabbing".

Six men have been arrested on suspicion of murder and Northumbria Police have appealed for information.

Cordon around Eldon Square
Police can near Eldon Square

Bikes stolen from German tourists returned by Northumbria Police

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

Two German tourists who had their motorcycles stolen in Newcastle have thanked the team of detectives who tracked them down in time for their journey home.

The couple called Northumbria Police after seeing their bikes, one worth £15,000, being stolen from their Newcastle hotel car park.

The victims were due to catch a ferry at that afternoon and ride their bikes home to Germany.

Detectives on Northumbria Police's Operation Benelli taskforce searched the area, spoke to witnesses and trawled through CCTV before finding one of the stolen motorcycles just yards from the victims' hotel. Detectives found the second vehicle at an address on Westmorland Road.

The victims were reunited with the bikes in time to make their ferry back to Amsterdam.

officer with a found bike
Northumbria Police

Pair quizzed after car 'driven into Tyne'

Two people have been questioned by police after a car was reportedly driven into the River Tyne near Blaydon.

Emergency services were called at about 17:00 on Monday after receiving reports a black Renault Clio was in the water near Scotswood Bridge.

Northumbria Police said the 18-year-old driver and his 17-year-old passenger were located and later released pending further inquiries.

The pair were not injured and no-one else was in the vehicle, a spokesman added.

More than 2,000 houses in Gateshead empty for six months

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

More than 2,000 houses in Gateshead have been empty for more than six months, as the borough spends thousands of pounds on temporary accommodation.

Council data, disclosed after a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that as of May there was 2,149 long term vacant properties in the area.

In the last financial year Gateshead Council spent a total of £174,584 on temporary accommodation.

Councillor Jonathan Wallace, leader of the opposition, said: “There are circumstances where the authority can take control of houses that have been empty for a long time, there is an opportunity to explore that further rather then put people straight into B&Bs.”

Colin Huntington, acting strategic director for communities and environment, said that the authority had dealt with hundreds of empty houses.

He said: “In the last five years, more than 600 empty homes in Gateshead have been brought back into use or demolished, as a result of advice, support, financial assistance, enforcement activity, and area renewal by the council.

“We are working with owners of private empty properties to encourage them to bring homes back into use."

Mr Hutington added that there is no connection between empty properties and the amount spent on temporary accommodation.

Image of housing in Gateshead

Ten arrests so far in Newcastle shooting investigation

Ten arrests have been made after a teenager was shot in the leg in Newcastle.

It happened on Bentick Road in Elswick on Wednesday.

It was not initially reported and officers only found out when a 19-year-old was taken to hospital with injuries to his leg.

A 37-year-old remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Nine other people have been released under investigation.

People rescued in Hamsterley Forest thanks to online location finder

A rescue team found three people lost in Hamsterley Forest by using an online location finder called "what3words".

An algorithm developed by the start-up company divides the world into 57 trillion nine-sq-m (97-sq-ft) areas and gives each a unique three-word address.

The technology has been adopted by a number of emergency services in the UK.

The Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team were able to locate the people and get them back to their vehicle.

View more on twitter

Houses raided in Newcastle shooting investigation

BBC Newcastle

Two homes in Newcastle's West End have been raided after a teenager was shot in the leg last week, police said.

The shooting on Bentick Road in Elswick on Wednesday was not initially reported and officers only found out when a 19-year-old was taken to hospital with injures to his leg.

Northumbria Police said it is an isolated incident and there's no risk to the wider public.

Arrests after online 'Copper Cabana' campaign

An online campaign has contributed to three arrests in 48 hours, police have said.

Copper Cabana is a themed social media campaign set up by Northumbria Police.

It features photos of suspects and invites them to come and enjoy a summer holiday in the cells.

View more on twitter

While hundreds of Facebook and Twitter users say they've loved the campaign, a few have complained it's not taking crime seriously enough and questioned whether the suspects featured should be innocent until proven guilty.

Northumbria Police says the campaign has reached a million people in just a few days and that using humour has been the key to that success.

Deadline for plans to tackle air pollution

BBC Newcastle

Today is the deadline for three of the region's councils to tell the Government what they're going to do to combat air pollution.

Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils' suggestions of a London-style congestion charge or tolls on road bridges were both roundly rejected in a public consultation.

Measures to reduce pollution need to be in place by the end of 2020 or the councils could face legal action.

Their final plans have to be formally submitted in November.


Man arrested after car driven into tanning shop

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a car mounted a kerb and smashed into the front of a tanning shop.

The car mounted the kerb and hit Tan Solo, in Ryhope Road, at 09.15 on Tuesday.

No-one was hurt but a 14-year-old boy who was in the shop was taken to hospital as a precaution. There was significant damage to the shop, police said.

Northumbria Police said the driver left the scene and the vehicle they believe was involved was found abandoned in the Villette Path area of the city.

Damage to Tan Solo

Speeding crackdown to be launched across Cleveland and Durham

A policeman monitoring traffic

Officers across Cleveland and Durham are taking part in a national campaign aimed at tackling speeding drivers.

The campaign will begin on Monday 12 August and run until the Sunday.

The last speeding campaign, held in January, caught 1,864 drivers speeding in Cleveland and Durham - 133 a day.

Cleveland Police says inappropriate speed contributes to 11% of all injury collisions; 15% of all crashes resulting in serious injury and 24% of all fatal collisions nationally.

Insp Jon Curtis, of Cleveland Police, said: “There have been too many cases of families losing loved ones due to speeding drivers.

"The devastation left behind cannot be put into words and it can be so easily avoided.”

Man charged with drink driving after woman killed in A1 crash

A man has been charged with drink driving after a woman was killed in a crash.

The crash - involving a silver Toyota Auris and Ford Transit van - happened on Friday evening on the southbound side of the A1(M) near the Newton Aycliffe junction.

The woman, a passenger in the Auris, was taken to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital where she later died.

Two other male passengers in the Auris were also taken to hospital.

One is seriously injured while the other is described as stable.

The 34-year-old driver of the Transit van is due before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court later charged with drink driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He is also charged aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

Durham Police

Tip-off leads to £250,000 South Shields cannabis farm discovery

Cannabis plants
Northumbria Police

Police have thanked the public after a tip-off led to the discovery of a £250,000 cannabis farm.

On Thursday afternoon last week, police on patrol near Chichester Metro station were approached by a member of the public who reported suspected suspicious activity at an address on Derwentwater Terrace, South Shields.

Police then discovered a sophisticated cannabis operation involving approximately 350 plants growing inside the house.

The plants were thought to have a street value of up to £250,000 and have since been destroyed.

Inquiries are ongoing to trace the property owner.

Police car crashes responding to emergency call

A police officer escaped serious injury after his patrol car crashed on an emergency call in Newcastle.

It happened in Kenton Lane last night at around 19:25 BST when it hit another vehicle, before colliding with a parked car.

The officer driving was taken to hospital and no one else is reported to have been injured.

North East weather: Cloudy start but sun and showers to follow

It will be a largely dry and cloudy morning, but as the afternoon progresses there will be more in the way of sunny spells and the growing chance of scattered showers.

Any lingering showers should clear away through this evening.

After midnight it should essentially remain dry under mostly cloudy skies.

North East weather forecast, Thursday 1 August 2019

Man jailed after one-punch death

A man has been jailed for six years for manslaughter after killing another man, described as his friend, with one punch at a pub in Newcastle.

Anthony Richardson, 46, was assaulted by 45-year-old Thomas Brand outside the Chesterfield Pub in February this year. He was taken to hospital but never regained consciousness.

Before the argument, the men had been drinking together in Newcastle city centre. They got to know each other while both staying at a hostel in Elswick.

Sentencing Brand, Mr Justice Morris said he hit Mr Richardson with "a single blow of considerable force with terrible and tragic, if unintended, consequences".

Thomas Brand
Northumbria Police

Nathan Aldus, 29, was also sentenced to 27 weeks in custody for assaulting Mr Richardson before he began to argue with Brand. The court heard there is no evidence the first assault contributed to the death.

Mr Richardson’s family say they have been left devastated by his death, their lives becoming like ‘bad dreams’ since he died. They say they have taken some comfort from the fact Mr Richardson’s organs were donated to help others.

Anthony Richardson
Northumbria Police

Food bank 'sickened' by alleged money theft

Staff at a Hebburn food bank say they are "sickened" and "heartbroken" after a woman allegedly stole £25 from a money tin earlier today.

CCTV footage, shared on social media, appears to show the woman, who is wearing a lanyard, reach into the tin before putting her hand in her pocket.

Angie Comerford, team leader at Hebburn Helps community food bank, says volunteers are "in tears" and "very shaken up".

Northumbria Police says it is investigating after it received a report of theft of money.

CCTV footage from Hebburn Helps
Hebburn Helps

Man to be sentenced over pub death

A man who killed another man outside a Newcastle pub will be sentenced later.

Anthony Richardson, 46, died after being punched in a row outside the Chesterfield pub in Elswick in February.

Thomas Brand, 45, of Dunholme Road, Fenham, had denied manslaughter but was convicted following a trial. He will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

Chesterfield pub