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River safety checks carried out at Chester-le-Street

River safety checks are being carried out at Chester-le-Street by Durham County Council to see if improvements can be made.

River Wear in Chester-le-Street Credit: PA

The checks come after advice and guidance from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the council is undertaking assessments of rivers, lakes and other bodies of water to see if what can be done to prevent accidents.

Kevin Lough, Durham County Council occupational health and safety manager said:

Following specialist training from ROSPA assessments of open water sites are now being undertaken where the council has responsibility. This includes the Riverside Complex and surrounding areas.

The assessments, using RoSPA methodology, will identify where further improvements are required. One of the important aspects of water safety is to educate and improve awareness within known at risk groups such as young people. We have been working with schools within the Chester-le-Street area.

– Kevin Lough, Durham County Council

As a result of the assessments, improvements will be made to safety measures in and around the Wear and footbridges at the Riverside Complex. Public rescue equipment will also be improved and new safety signs will be put up which highlight hazards associated with the river.

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Appeal after fatal road collision in Chester-le-Street

Durham Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic collision.

A driver was heading towards the junction with the motorway at Picktree Lane, Chester-Le-Street, prior to the junction with the A1(M) interchange J63, on February 3. He drifted off the main carriageway and collided with a lamppost and a parked car. He died in hospital.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101.

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Man arrested after Chester-le-Street attempted armed robbery

A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of an attempted armed robbery at Sainsbury's, in The Avenue, Chester-le-Street. It happened at about 7.30am, January 15. No-one was injured in the incident. If anyone witnessed any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the shop at around that time, police are asking witnesses to call 101. they are asked to contact Durham police on 101.

Work on demolition of civic centre set to start

Work is set to begin next week on the demolition of the former civic centre in Chester-le-Street.

The centre closed at the end of 2013 when Durham County Council services were transferred to other buildings, including a new town centre customer access point co-located with Cestria Housing in Front Street. After an application to have the building listed was rejected by English Heritage, the demolition will begin with workers starting on-site from Monday (3rd November).

The land has been allocated for housing following the clearance of the site.

Following confirmation that English Heritage does not feel that the building merits listing and considering the significant ongoing maintenance costs of a building that is no longer fit for purpose, work on the demolition of the civic centre will begin on Monday.

– Stuart Timmiss, head of planning and assets

County Durham businessman jailed as part of Operation Sanctuary

Gurhan Sayan. Credit: Northumbria Police

A businessman from Chester-le-Street has become the first to be sent to prison as a result of Operation Sanctuary, a major Northumbria Police investigation into allegations of a series of sexual offences.

Gurhan Sayan targeted his victim in Newcastle city centre when she stumbled and lost her shoe. The 28-year-old woman, who had been drinking, could not remember how she got into his car, but woke to find she had been driven some distance from the city centre.

She was then attacked inside the vehicle. At Newcastle Crown Court today Guhan Sayan was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. He was also given a 10-year Prohibition Order, banning him from transporting females he does not know in his car. He'd pleaded guilty to an sex assault charge at at earlier hearing.

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