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All the latest crime news from across the North East. Read the latest crime stories, features, comment and police appeals Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham.

Police cell

Mixed reaction from inspectors into state of Northumbria's police cells

Northumbria Police praised for treatment of those in police custody but warned to improve recording systems

Police officer demonstrating the use of a Taser

Warning to North East police forces over increased use of Tasers

Police in the North East have been warned to avoid using Tasers unless they have no other choice

Police outside Newcastle University

Police cope well with massive funding cuts - but will struggle to do more, say inspectors

North East police forces have been praised in reports from the official police inspectors

Lisa Scott (inset) appeared at Newcastle Crown Court

Hexham woman faked father's will after he left everything to his grandchildren

Lisa Scott was furious when dad Ernest Moy left her nothing when he died so she faked his will and set about plundering his estate

Andrew Wright, from Consett, was jailed for five years for using an imitation gun to cause fear of violence

Thug threatened man and cat with fake gun

Wright and two other men produced arsenal of weapons to threaten man at his home in Consett, County Durham

HMP Northumberland

New figures show prison officer numbers fall across North East jails

Unions fear the Prison Service is at breaking point as officer levels are cut by 30% in three years

Colin Luke has been jailed for the abduction and sexual assault of a girl at a park in Bowburn, County Durham

Bowburn pervert Colin Luke jailed for abduction and sexual assault of schoolgirl

The 60-year-old was jailed for four and a half years at Durham Crown Court after abducting the girl at a park in Bowburn

Home Secretary Theresa May

Criminal checks needed to make sure MPs are safe to work with children, Commons told

A North East MP has called for checks to ensure MPs are safe to work with children and vulnerable adults

Launch of Domestic Violence Protection Orders initiativeLaunch of Domestic Violence Protection Orders initiative. Pictured Vera Baird

Police commissioner welcomes new domestic violence powers

Vera Baird says Northumbria Police now has power to issue Domestic Violence Prevention Order

Anne Lakey leaving Durham Crown Court

Teacher "groomed and had sex with underage boy," court told

Respected County Durham teacher Anne Lakey groomed and had sex with an underage boy, a trial jury was told

The Government is proposing to change laws governing taxis

Taxi regulations war heads to parliament as North MP raises concern over plans

North East MP Grahame Morris warns of the impact of removing taxi regulations, believing they will put the public at risk

Streets and roads blocked off by police at Newcastle University after a suspicious package was found

Russian student in court over Newcastle University explosives

A Russian student has appeared in court charged in connection with two bomb scares at a North university

Elizabeth Todd

Janet Brown murder trial: Case halted after accused taken to hospital

A gran on trial accused of helping to defraud a wealthy heiress was taken to hospital by ambulance as she was about to go back in the witness box

Robert Black, being taken from Lisburn Magistrates' Court after being formally charged with the August 1981 murder of Jennifer Cardy

Killer of Northumberland schoolgirl Susan Maxwell could face investigation over 1978 murder

The man who murdered Northumberland schoolgirl Susan Maxwell could be investigated over the murder of Genette Tate in 1978

Erwin James, ex-lifer who is now a writer and campaigner for prison reform

Writer and ex-lifer Erwin James calls for prison reform

Erwin James, who served 20 years for murder, talked at the Crime Story festival in Newcastle

Holy items stolen from Holy Cross Church in Fenham

Vicar, Reverend Gavin Wort, spoke of his sadness at hearing his church had been targeted by thieves

A police Taser device

Police use of Tasers on children falls dramatically in the North East

The number of times police in the North have used Tasers when dealing with children has fallen dramatically in recent years

Canoe fraudster John Darwin leaving Teesside Crown Court

Canoe man John Darwin who faked his own death ordered to pay £40,000 to authorities

John Darwin, who faked his own death in Seaton Carew, has been ordered to pay £40,000 lump sum at Teesside Crown Court

Aiden Campbell (pictured centre in light grey suit) leaving Newcastle Crown Court

Spurned lover acquitted of harassment and criminal damage - but no verdict on burglary and poisoning

Newcastle Crown Court jury acquits Aidan Campbell on two of four charges, and CPS must now decide whether to pursue a retrial

Aiden Campbell (pictured centre in light grey suit) leaving Newcastle Crown Court

Spurned lover "filled ex's hair conditioner bottle with poison" court told

Aidan Campbell, 36, denies a campaign of harassment against his former partner, including burglary, criminal damage and administering a poison


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