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.
The murder trial of a man who has admitted killing a schoolboy in Sunderland in 1990 will be delayed, a judge has said.
42-year-old Steven Grieveson admitted unlawfully killing 14-year-old Simon Martin, but pleaded not guilty to murder at a hearing last month.
The boy's semi-naked body was found in a derelict house in Roker, Sunderland.
Simon, from Amy Street, had suffered head injuries.
Grieveson appeared briefly before Newcastle Crown Court via videolink to hear that his defence team has requested more time to carry out psychiatric investigations.
Judge James Goss, the Recorder of Newcastle, told him the trial will now not take place in the summer and will start on October 14 instead.
He was remanded in custody.
Police are appealing for witnesses after a man attempted to rob a woman in the street in Hartlepool.
A 22-year-old woman was walking along Lowthian Road at around 9pm on Monday 4 March when she was approached from behind by a man who put his hands in her pockets.
The man is:
- 5 feet 6 inches tall
- Aged in his early thirties
- Of skinny build
- Short stubble over his face
- Wearing a dark coloured tracksuit top which had a lighter coloured hood with two white stripes across the front and light blue denim jeans.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who has any information about the attempted robbery, is being asked to contact DC Christopher Bryan of Hartlepool CID on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police are appealing for information after a school bus in Sunderland had all of its wheels stolen.
The bus, a Ford Transit, had all four wheels stolen at some point between 5.30pm on Wednesday 6 March and six o'clock this morning after thieves broke into the car park through the fencing.
The Highfield Community School bus had been parked overnight in the rear car park at the Sunderland Echo building on the Pennywell Industrial Estate.
The stolen wheels are thought to be worth £2000.
– PC Neil Wilson
"We're carrying out enquiries to trace those responsible and would urge anyone with information to contact us.
"This bus belongs to a school and is a vital vehicle for them. This is a thoughtless and costly theft which has left the school extremely upset.
"Anyone who saw suspicious activity in and around the car park overnight on Wednesday into Thursday, or who knows the whereabouts of the stolen wheels should get in touch as soon as possible."
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police on 101.
Police are appealing for information after copper pipes were stolen from a training centre in Morpeth.
Thieves broke into Fulbeck Grange Training Centre and sawed through a door to get into a boiler room, where they then removed the copper piping.
The theft is thought to have happened at some point between Thursday 6 December and Wednesday 6 March.
– Morpeth Inspector Dave Simpson
"The thieves sawed through a wooden door to get access to the pipes so we are asking people to ask themselves whether they saw or heard anything suspicious in the area.
"We would also like to hear from anyone who has been offered copper pipe for sale."
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police on 101 or to ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police have released a photo of a man they want to speak to after a man was attacked with a hammer in Ashington.
A man was approached on Third Avenue on the afternoon of Friday 1 March and was hit over the head with a hammer. His attacker then fled the scene.
The man was left with a cut to his head, but managed to get a photo of the man who police want to speak to in connection with the assault.
His attacker is also believed to have been in the company of a number of men on motorbikes.
Anyone who recognises the man in the photograph, or who may have witnessed the incident, is being asked to contact police on 101.
Police have identified a man found dead in a flat in Jesmond as David Kochs from Gateshead.
The 43-year-old's body was found at the Jesmond flat on Saturday 2 March.
Police believe that he died from injuries sustained during an assault.
Two men, aged 45 and 39, were arrested in connection with his death and have since been bailed.
Enquiries are ongoing.
Police have uprooted a cannabis farm in Sunderland after 200 plants were found at a house on Rosslyn Terrace on Monday 4 March.
No arrests have currently been made, but police are trying to trace the house's tenants who they believe may have important information about the cannabis farm.
Chief Inspector Richard Jackson said:
"The destruction of this cannabis farm once again demonstrates our ongoing commitment to tackling drug crime in Sunderland.
"It shows our commitment to removing drugs from the hands of criminals and has stopped an amount of cannabis from being distributed in our communities.
"We would encourage people to contact us if they suspect a property is being used to produce drugs.
"Tell tale signs include people arriving at unusual hours, a pungent aroma in the area, blacked out windows or bright lights coming from a number of windows throughout the night.
"I'd also like to remind landlords just how important it is for them to look for signs regarding cannabis farms. We know from previous experience that those setting up farms often pay a large amount of rent up front in cash to keep landlords away.
"It's vital landlords check on their property regularly as the damage caused to homes by the setting up a farm is often more costly in the long run.
"By working together, we can put a stop to drug offences in Sunderland."
Officers are encouraging anyone with information about drug use, or the growing of drugs in their community, to contact police on 101.
A teenager has been arrested after a 29-year-old man was assaulted inside a house in Gateshead.
The 29-year-old reported that he had been attacked inside a house at Eastwood Gardens in Felling on the evening of Sunday 3 March, when he suffered minor facial injuries.
He received hospital treatment and has since been discharged.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of assault and is currently in police custody.
Police believe that this was a domestic incident and that all those involved were known to each other.
Police are also appealing for anyone who saw people arriving or leaving the address, or anyone with any information, to contact them on 101 or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A company in County Durham that helps people with learning and physical disabilities has been burgled.
Woodcraft for Landscapes, in Wheatley Hill, uses horticultural therapies such as gardening to help people in the community.
The premises were broken into over the weekend and thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused. Heavy equipment was also stolen.
Keith O'Brien spoke to ITV News about what had happened.
Two men have been arrested after an assault in Newcastle city centre where a man was hit over the head with a glass bottle.
Police were called to the Bigg Market in the early hours of Sunday 3 March where a 25-year-old man was assaulted at City Vaults.
He suffered a cut to his head and was treated in hospital before being discharged.
An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and has been bailed.
A 32-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of assault and remains in police custody.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.