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Police investigate claims of 'drunk' prison officer

A police investigation is underway and a prison officer has been suspended after allegedly being found drunk at work on Christmas Day, the private firm which runs the jail said.

Sodexo Justice Services, which runs HMP Northumberland near Morpeth, only gave brief details about the "incident", as police were making inquiries.

It was believed the investigation would look at any possible breach of legislation surrounding the management of offenders and alleged use of alcohol.

"An employee at HMP Northumberland has been suspended following an incident on Christmas Day.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is under way."

– A Sodexo Justice Services spokesperson

"We are aware of the incident and we will be working with staff at HMP Northumberland to carry out inquiries."

– Northumbria Police

Sodexo took over the prison in December 2013 and union officials criticised job cuts when disorder among inmates broke out at the Category C prison in March.

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Teenage girl assaulted in Morpeth

Police have released CCTV pictures after a teenage girl was assaulted in Morpeth.

Between 11.05pm and 11.45pm on Saturday, November 1, a 17-year-old girl was assaulted while waiting in Lumsden Lane, near to Boulevards take-away.

Around the same time a car parked in Lumsden Lane was also damaged.

Police investigating have released CCTV images of a woman who they believe may be able to help with their enquiries into the incident.

Have you seen these two people? Credit: Northumbria Police
Do you know this woman? Credit: Northumbria Police
Police believe this woman may be able to help them. Credit: Northumbria Police

Equipment worth thousands stolen from hospital gounds

Police are appealing for information after £8,400 worth of equipment was taken from hospital grounds in Morpeth.

It happened between November 18 and 19, when someone broke into a locked workshop at Northgate Hospital. They stole items including Husqvarna chainsaws, Stihl and Lawnflite strimmers and Efco and Stihl leaf blowers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

River search called off in Morpeth

The Marine Unit has spent the day searching the River Wansbeck in Morpeth. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Emergency services have stopped searches for a man who they believed may have entered the river in Morpeth.

Officers on patrol near Whorral Bank saw the man, who's in his 40's, on the riverbank, just after 2am this morning.

But when they went to check on him, he'd disappeared.

Searches on the River Wansbeck close to where he was last seen have found no trace of him or any signs he went into the water.

PICTURES: Rescue teams search river for missing man

Police fear man may have gone into river in Morpeth

Search continues for missing man in Morpeth. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Emergency services are searching a section of the River Wansbeck at Whorral Bank, Morpeth for a man feared to have gone into the water.

Emergency services were alerted by officers on patrol at 2:20am this morning. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Officers saw a man in his 40s next to the riverbank at around 2am this morning but when they went to look for him, they found no sign of him.

Police are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

The Marine Unit is searching a section of the River Wansbeck at Whorral Bank. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

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Morpeth river search for missing man

Emergency services search a section of the river at Whorral Bank, Morpeth. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Police are searching for a man in his 40s who was last seen near the river in Morpeth in the early hours of this morning.

Officers on patrol at Whorral Bank saw a man standing next to the water just after 2am.

When they went to check on him, they found no sign of him.

Police say an immediate search was carried out of the area nearby but they were unable to locate him.

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

Morpeth hosts emergency flood response exercise

An emergency exercise has been held in Morpeth to test the town's response to any threat of flooding in the future.

The town hall was turned into a command centre for the council staff, emergency workers and volunteers who would co-ordinate any rescue operation.

The test included closing the town's new flood defence gates, part of a £25m scheme to prevent flooding.

Some local residents were evacuated as part of the exercise.

Alan Bell, Lead Community Resilience Volunteer, has spoken of the key aims behind the emergency exercise.

Travellers set up camp outside Northumberland council

A group of travellers have set up camp on land outside Northumberland County Council's headquarters in Morpeth.

Staff at County Hall arrived at work on Thursday, 28th August to find three caravans parked metres from their offices.

The council said they are working with police to resolve the issue. The Gypsy Council, which represents travellers, say that local authorities do not do enough to provide sites for travellers.

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