A fake police letter calling a person a 'pedophile' has been sent to over 20 addresses in Easington.
Claiming to be from Durham Constabulary, the letters use the force badge and a police-related photo.
Police in Easington are stressing these letters have definitely not been sent by anyone in this force.
The letters contain allegations about a named person which are completely false, and are causing them distress. They allege the person is a member of a far-right party and is a 'pedophile'.
Acting Insp Paul Footes said;
"If you receive one of these through the post there is no need to hand it in, feel free to destroy it. We are making enquiries to trace whoever is sending these as they may face criminal charges.
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Six hundred people applied to become police officers with Durham Constabulary in just two weeks, after a recent recruitment campaign.
The force announced on 9th October it was seeking a further 50 new police constables, and application forms went online the same day on the force website.
As with previous campaigns, the process closed once a certain number of forms had been successfully completed and delivered to headquarters, either in the post or by hand.
The total for this intake was 600, which was reached on 23rd October, a fortnight after the announcement was made.
Two men have died after a car left a road and hit a stone wall in County Durham.
It happened shortly before 6pm on Friday, October 24, near Burnigill Farm on Browney Lane, between Meadowfield and Croxdale.
Durham Police said the men were in their mid-20s and from the North Shields area. The men had been working in Durham and were travelling home when the car they were in crashed into the stone wall.
Police have asked for anyone who witnessed the crash or saw anything suspicious to contact them.
Post-mortems will be carried out on the two men early next week.
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Mountain rescue teams are continuing their search for a missing man from County Durham.
Darren Lawler, 31, has been missing from his home in Ferryhill since June 11. He is described as white, of medium build with short dark brown hair. Darren was wearing dark trousers, white trainers and a grey top when he went missing.
Twenty-five volunteers from both Teessdale & Weardale and Cleveland Mountain Rescue Teams spend much of Saturday searching Ferryhill Carrs Nature Rescue.
Steve Owers, Teessdale & Weardale Deputy Team Leader, said:
It was one of the more challenging areas we have searched for some time.
The open water was covered by our Canoe group but the reedbeds had to be searched on foot. With vegetation above head height, the ground was so soft that at times we were sinking knee deep and with it being a warm day it was extremely difficult for our searchers.
Sadly we have found no sign of Darren.
Police say a search of the River Wear is taking place for a missing person.
The operation is centred on Paradise Park in the Witton Park area, west of Bishop Auckland.
Three people have been rescued from the river but it is understood that a fourth, who is believed to be male, is missing.
Police, fire, air ambulance personnel and fell rescuers are at the scene.
Durham Police say officers are supporting the families of those involved.