Raids have taken place across the region today in what police say is one of their biggest crackdowns in 20 years on organised crime gangs.
A former North Yorkshire Police officer has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for possessing indecent images of children.
A man charged with the murders of a Teesside pensioner and a woman from North Yorkshire has appeared in court.
One of John Leslie Duncan's victims has waived his anonymity to speak to ITV News Tyne Tees. Julian Foster was abused at Shotley Park children's home in County Durham. He was at the home from the ages of 10 to 12.
His abuser, a former social worker from Gateshead, was sentenced to 15 years in prison today. At a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, another former social worker, Kevin Brown, received a six year sentence. The pair were convicted for abusing 13 children over nearly 20 years.
Julian Foster told Tyne Tees: "It blighted my life... And all these years I blamed myself."
Two former social workers have been sentenced for grooming and abusing 13 children in their care, over a period of nearly 20 years.
John Leslie Duncan from Gateshead and Kevin Brown, originally from Newcastle, attacked boys in Feversham school and Shotley Park children's home in County Durham.
In a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, John Leslie Duncan was sentenced to 15 years. Kevin Brown is already in prison for other sexual offences and he was sentenced to an additional six years.
Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, from Northumbria Police, said: “These man preyed on vulnerable young boys, abusing their positions as people in authority and trust and I'm pleased they will now spend a considerable amount of time behind bars.”
Crime in County Durham and Darlington has gone up by 10% in the last year. The figures, released by the Police and Crime Commissioner for the area, show that drug offences, theft, violent crime and sexual crime have increased. The Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, says there are good reasons for it.
Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, insists the area is still one of the safest in the country, despite a 10% increase in recorded crime during the last year.
A man attempted to rob Halifax bank on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough at around 1:10pm today.
The man pushed a note against the glass at the cashier’s desk. It said he wanted money and he had a gun in his bag. The man left the bank empty-handed, shortly after staff raised the alarm.
No one was injured during the incident and no weapon was seen. The police are conducting local area searches for the individual as part of their investigations.
Witnesses can contact Cleveland Police by calling 101.
A North East group of charities has made it through to the next stage in a bid to manage thousands of the region's offenders.
The Northern Inclusion Consortium says that it can offer offenders a tailored service that runs from prison right through to settlement in the community.
The Government hopes that outsourcing the management of offenders may help cut reoffending rates.
But critics say that charities and companies may end up 'diluting' the service.
A prison campaigner argues that outsourcing the management of offenders to charities and businesses could mean that prison services 'are diluted'.
Andrew Neilson, from the Howard League for Penal Reform, says that the Probation Service is doing a good job with the offenders it does manage.
Steve Ellis spent years of his life in a cycle of heroin addiction and crime.
He explains how easy it is to fall into that trap.
He is now a fine art student at Leeds College of Art, partly due to the help offered to him by the Northern Inclusion Consortium.
Five North East charities have teamed up to try win a contract to manage thousands of the region's offenders.
Groundwork North East & Cumbria, DISC, Mental Health Concern, Changing Lives and Spectrum Community Health say they can turn around the lives of offenders.
A woman has been jailed for two years for ripping off customers in an iPad scam worth £450,000.
Businesswoman Kirsty Cox, from Newton Aycliffe, conned dozens of people into believing she could provide cut-price tablets in time for Christmas but many didn't appear. Claire Montgomery reports from Teesside Crown Court.