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Royal Navy crew to march through Morpeth today

HMS Northumberland. Credit: Ministry of Defence

More than 160 service men and women from the county's adopted warship, HMS Northumberland, will march through the streets of Morpeth today to re-affirm its Right of Freedom of the County of Northumberland.

Musicians from the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland dressed in scarlet tunics, bearskins and kilts will lead an armed guard, colour party and the ship's company through the town.

The parade will start in Coopies Lane at 1.30pm, marching down to Mafeking roundabout and following the A197 down over the Bridge, turning left on to Bridge Street.

The parade will halt outside Morpeth Town Hall for a short ceremony where the scroll awarding the honour of freedom to HMS Northumberland, will be presented to the Commanding Officer, Commander Trish Kohn, Royal Navy.

Temporary road closures will be in place in the immediate area of the parade. The closures will be rolling and once the parade has passed the road will immediately reopen. Spectators are asked to get into the town early to avoid any congestion.

HMS Northumberland, built in Wallsend by Swan Hunter, was first granted its Freedom of Northumberland in 2004.

It is an immensely exciting time for both the Ship's company and I to bring HMS Northumberland back home. Launched on the Tyne, 23 years ago, the Type 23 Frigate has been the backbone of the Naval Service for some 21 years deploying across the world in response to any given tasking, and HMS Northumberland continues to protect us and our country to this day. I know I speak on behalf of the Ship's Company when I say we are very much looking forward to our visit and the program of events across the weekend".

– Commander Trish Kohn, HMS Northumberland

HMS Northumberland is currently berthed at Northumbria Quay, North Shields, and will be open to the public on Saturday 27th June between 11am and 4pm.


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.

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

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.

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