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Durham police to give 'festive warning' to thieves

The cards will be delivered to known offenders in the area Credit: Durham Police

Shoplifters operating in Bishop Auckland will receive festive greetings and a seasonal warning from their local beat team, as officers are planning to deliver Christmas cards to known offenders in the area.

The idea is designed to try and drive down crime on the run up to Christmas.

As the shops become busier over the coming weeks we want to remind regular offenders that we are watching them.

They’ll be receiving a Christmas card from Durham Constabulary, along with a little note reminding them that they are banned from the shopping centres in an and around Bishop Auckland. We’ll be running extra patrols, both uniformed and plain clothed, in the Tindale and St Helens Retail Park and the town centre. The stores have also been issued with photographs of known offenders and will be using the Shop Watch scheme to keep them out of stores.

– PC Kimberley Marshall

Police experiencing 101 number problems

Police forces across the region have announced they are currently experiencing problems with the 101 non-emergency telephone system.

While this number is not available people are asked to use the following contact details for non-urgent calls to the police:

  • Cleveland Police - 01642 326 326
  • Durham Police - 0345 6060 365
  • Northumbria Police - 01661 872 555
  • North Yorkshire Police - email

The emergency 999 number is not affected.


Police will carry out undercover patrols in Durham over Christmas

Police in Durham are warning that shoplifters can expect to spend the festive season ‘inside’ if they commit crimes in Durham.

Officers will be carrying out undercover patrols to specifically target shoplifters during the busy shopping periods.

Tactics that the team will use to deter prospective offenders will include arrest, stop and search and direction to leave. They will also be posting photographs of shoplifters on the neighbourhood team’s Facebook and Twitter pages to identify offenders on the run-up to Christmas.

“Tackling the ongoing problem of crime in city centre shops and those in the surrounding villages is a major priority for us. We know that it is a cause for concern for local people and so we have plans in place to address those concerns.

“While the team has only been in place for a few weeks, it has already had some quick successes with a number of arrests and successful court convictions already. We’ve also managed to recover several stolen items and return them to their rightful owners.

“Our message is very clear. If you come to Durham to shoplift not only will we catch you, but you can look forward to spending Christmas in prison.”

– Sergeant Mark Garfoot

RSPCA brand police deer allegations 'terrible'

The RSPCA has described the alleged killing of a deer with a crowbar by Durham Police firearms as "terrible".

In a statement, the animal rights group said: "This sounds like a terrible incident and we await the conclusion of the police investigation."

This sounds like a terrible incident and we await the conclusion of the police investigation. As we have no further details about what happened we feel it would be inappropriate to comment further."


Durham Police firearms officers suspended after allegedly killing a deer with a crowbar

Two Durham Police firearms have been suspended from their usual duties after allegations emerged that they had killed a deer with a crowbar.

In a statement, the force said: "It has been brought to our attention that the deer was apparently not destroyed in the approved, humane manner."

The incident happened in early June on a road in Tanfield Lea, County Durham.

It is not unusual for firearms officers to be deployed on occasions when a deer, or other large animal is clearly suffering as the result of being struck by a vehicle and the best action would be for the animal to be humanely destroyed.

We can confirm enquiries are being made to establish the circumstances surrounding the destruction of an injured deer on a road in Tanfield Lea in early June. It has been brought to our attention that the deer was apparently not destroyed in the approved, humane manner.

Two authorised firearms officers have been moved to other duties while the facts are being established and they are not currently involved in a firearms capacity. Enquiries are being conducted by the force's professional standards department."

– Durham Police


Driver arrested after father killed in police chase

The driver of a car that crashed while being chased by police, leading to the death of a North East dad, has been arrested in hospital.

The driver, 32, is to be questioned on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

In the early hours of Tuesday 24 June, Adam Wilkinson, 49, from Consett, County Durham, died after being a passenger in a VW Bora that hit a telegraph pole on Ebchester Bank, near Consett.

The car was being followed by police.

"The 32-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in hospital under constant guard.

"His injuries are not classed as serious but the medical staff have some concerns about his condition and want to keep him in until at least the weekend.

"We would class him as 'stable' and when we have the medical clearance we will then carry out a formal interview."

– Durham constabulary spokesman

The Bora was being followed by a patrol car after police were alerted to suspicious behaviour in the car park at Tesco on Genesis Way by CCTV camera operators.

Tributes paid to father killed during police car chase

The daughter of a man who was killed during a police car chase in County Durham has described him as her "hero".

Adam Wilkinson, 49, was a passenger in a car, which crashed into a lamppost as it was being pursued by Durham Police, on the outskirts of Consett, late on Monday.

Adam Wilkinson died when the car he was in hit a lamppost

Adam's daughter Rebecca said: "My dad was and always will be the main man in my life. I will always be daddy's girl and I will live my life to make him proud."

His family said: "Adam was a big personality, known and loved locally. He was a local business man who employed local people within the community. He was a generous, thoughtful man who would help anyone at anytime.

"Adam had the ability to make you laugh and make you cry. He was a loving and dedicated family man, described by his eldest daughter Rebecca, as her hero. Adam will be sorely missed and is a big hole in the families lives that cannot be filled."

The force has referred itself to the police watchdog, the IPCC, which will decide in due course whether to investigate what happened.

Passenger dies after police chase ends with crash

Durham Police has referred itself to the police watchdog after a car it was chasing failed to negotiate this road bend in County Durham, crashing into the lamppost with such force that a tyre flew off and bounced over a nearby wall.

The car crashed into this lamppost during the chase along Ebchester Bank on the outskirts of Consett

Adam Parker Wilkinson, 49, from Consett, was a passenger in the car when it crashed. He died at the scene. The driver, a man in his thirties, was taken to hospital.

Police had begun pursuing the vehicle after receiving a report of two men behaving suspiciously in a Tesco supermarket, who jumped into a car and drive away.

Tyre flew off car after it crashed during police chase

The force with which a car crashed into a lamppost during a police chase meant its tyre flew off and bounced over a wall into a nearby garden, according to a witness.

Adam Wilkinson, 49, from Consett in County Durham, was a passenger in the car. He died at the scene. The driver, in his thirties, was taken to hospital.

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