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BGT auditions in Byker

From singers to magicians and dancers, a wealth of talent turned out in Newcastle today to audition for ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent. Producers were talent spotting in Byker, looking for the next big thing.

Those who make it through go on to the next round of auditions and perform live in front of judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.

Man assaulted in Byker

Police are appealing for information after man was assaulted in Byker in Newcastle.

It happened just after midnight on Boxing Day on a path outside a house in Shields Road.

A 25-year-old man was struck with a glass and suffered facial injuries.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and later released after treatment.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

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Three arrested after vulnerable targeted in Byker thefts

Three people have been arrested following two incidents in the Byker area where vulnerable people were targeted by thieves.

In the first incident, 38-year-old Louise Wood entered an elderly man's home in Byker wall who is reliant on help from neighbours to get money from his account to pay his bills.

She then distracted him and stole his bank card before going to a cash machine nearby and withdrawing £250 with an accomplice.

Louise Wood was charged with theft and her co-accused, a 29-year-old man, was charged with handling stolen goods and theft.

In a second incident in April of this year, another vulnerable man in the Byker Wall had his Playstation console stolen from him by a 36-year-old man who was subsequently identified and charged with theft.

"It's disgusting to target the elderly or vulnerable in our neighbourhoods, who often rely on others for help in their daily lives. In these cases the victims were specifically targeted with offenders taking advantage of the trust placed in them.

"It will not be tolerated by ourselves or our partner agencies and anyone suspected of being involved in such crimes will be arrested and put before the courts to be dealt with."

– Dave Whelan, Byker Acting Neighbourhood Sergeant

"We will continue to work closely together with partners to put measures in place to protect the elderly and most vulnerable people and will take tough action against anyone committing crimes against them."

– Dave Whelan, Byker Acting Neighbourhood Sergeant

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Byker Wall homes in community ownership

by Julie Harrison

People living in the Byker Wall estate are celebrating after the ownership of their homes was transferred to their community. Around two thousand houses have been handed over from Newcastle City Council following a multi million pound funding deal.

Last year £23m of council debt was wiped out by the Government enabling the Byker Community Trust to take over the running of iconic development. The tenants feel that now their future is in their own hands

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