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45,000 families in the North East 'hit by problem debt'

Tens of thousands of children in the North East have been hit by a family debt crisis, according to figures released today.

Tens of thousands of children in the North East are hit by a family debt crisis, the charities claim. Credit: PA Wire

The Children's Society and the StepChange Debt Charity found 45,000 families in the region - 14% of the total - are failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments.

This would mean an estimated 75,000 children in the North East are growing up in families troubled by problem debt.

Teesside couple "shocked and stunned" to win lottery

A couple from Stockton say they're 'shocked and stunned' after winning more than £100,000 playing the National Lottery.

Emma Coulson and her partner Robert Silcox, were presented with their cheque after placing the bet whilst on holiday.

They won just days after an 80-year-old woman from Middlesbrough won £500,000, meaning there have been two winners from Teesside in the space of a week. Jonny Blair reports.

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£111,000 lottery win for Teesside hairdresser and builder

Cheers! The lottery winners celebrate Credit: ITV News

A couple from Teesside are celebrating after scooping more than £100,000 playing the National Lottery. Emma Coulson and her partner Robert Silcox bought the winning ticket during a holiday in Cumbria. They didn't realise they'd won until four days after the draw was made.

We both let out an enormous scream and burst into tears of joy... We just didn't know what to do with ourselves at first, apart from sit there in a state of shock.

– Emma Coulson

Emma, who's a hairdresser, and Robert, who's a self-employed builder, plan to spend some of the money improving their home.

Rural crime: "Devastating for families"

Rural crime effects victims emotionally as well as financially Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"The cost of claims is increasing as a result of more high-value items being stolen. That's why it's important to stay vigilant and fight rural crime. Our experience with people who live and work in rural areas of the North East clearly shows that theft is more than just a setback - it can be devastating for businesses and families.

"One of the rural community's best assets is its people who can work together to safeguard the local neighbourhood. "

– Cath Reed, NFU Mutual Agent, Hexham

Top 10 targets for rural crime

Rural crime in Northumberland and County Durham rose by 12 per cent last year and cost the regional economy £840,000. Among the items stolen were quad bikes, metal and horse equipment.

The figures are from NFU Mutual's annual Rural Crime Survey. Nationally the cost of rural crime totalled an estimated £44.5 million in 2013, a rise of 5.2% on the previous year.

Despite the increase in crime the theft of tractors fell by 32% nationally Credit: PA

These are the top 10 items targeted by thieves last year.

  • Tools
  • Quad bikes
  • Oil/Diesel
  • Machinery
  • Garden equipment
  • Livestock
  • Vehicles
  • Metal
  • Tractors
  • Trailers
Quad bikes are the second most targeted item by thieves Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The NFU says many farmers are repeatedly targeted. Although high-value thefts may be highly planned the number of garden tools and ornaments being stolen indicates opportunist thieves continue to target gardens and outbuildings.

Nationally there was a slight rise in livestock theft Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
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