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Roadside drugs testing comes to the North East

Police in the centre of Newcastle have been demonstrating how they would be able to test drivers who they believe had taken drugs before getting behind the wheel.

A new law came into force today to allow officers to use roadside drug detection kits.

At the moment they will detect certain recreational and class A drugs, but could soon be used to check for some prescription medicines as well.

Chief Inspector John Heckels from Northumbria Police explains how the tests will be carried out:

Student to be reunited with 'human chain' river rescuers

A student who fell into the River Wear in Durham in January is to be reunited with his rescuers.

He will meet the police officers and members of the fire and rescue service who came to his aid after he went into the water near Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

The man was discovered at 1.45am on January 30 by a passer-by who raised the alarm.

Police officers and members of Durham Fire and Rescue Service formed a human chain and were able to get him out of the river.

He received treatment at the University Hospital of North Durham for hypothermia.

The man has agreed to take part in a 'restorative approach resolution', which means he will meet his rescuers to discuss the incident and its impact on both sides.

He has also been issued with a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and incapable and referred to a scheme to learn about the effects of alcohol.

The scene of the rescue in Durgham Credit: ITV News

A Durham Police spokesman said: “Following the incident we have reviewed the circumstances and hope that by giving the man the opportunity to discuss the incident with his rescuers and attend a diversionary course he will receive the support he needs and will have no further issues.”

Durham County Council and Durham University have taken action to increase student safety following the drownings of three students during nights out in less than two years.

Sope Peters drowned in October 2013, Luke Pearce in May 2014, and Euan Coulthard died in January this year - just days before the un-named student was rescued.

Weather: Winter's clinging on

Credit: Met Office

Further heavy, wintry showers are expected overnight Monday and into Tuesday.

Snow will fall to low levels in places in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with localised accumulations of 1 to 3 cm, while snow-cover will be more widespread over hills here, with around 4-8 cm possible above around 200m, especially in the west.

Wales and northern areas of England will see snow chiefly over higher ground, with more than 5 cm in places but with some accumulations possible at low levels too.

Ice will be an additional hazard across much of northern Britain.

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Spring around the corner as venues begin new season

It may still feel very much like winter, but for the National Trust, the 'summer' season is just beginning.

It may be still grey outside but blue skies are just around the corner Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Some of the region's favourite tourist attractions open their doors to visitors again after closing for the winter.

The venues include Souter Lighthouse in Whitburn; Wallington, near Morpeth; and Cragside near Rothbury. Between them, they welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from March to November.

Durham Prison in 'top ten most overcrowded jails'

Durham Prison has been named as one of the UK's most overcrowded jails.

Durham Prison is overcrowded, said the Howard League for Penal Reform

The Howard League for Penal Reform analysed figures from the Ministry of Justice. It said the building was designed to hold fewer than 600 inmates but actually has more than 900.

Tyne Tees Weather - Monday

Snowdrops in Howick, and snow in the forecast Credit: IAN DAVISON

A cold and windy day after early frost and ice, with bright or sunny intervals and scattered wintry showers - giving further accumulations over the Cheviots and Pennines.

Winds will remain cold and strong, adding a significant windchill to struggling temperatures, highs around 5C.

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