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Prison officers cut by a third in the region

Prison officer numbers have been cut by more than a third in the North East in less than four years, according to the Howard League for Penal Reform.

That amounts to more than 600 prison officer posts in the region.

The worst hit prison is HMP Durham, where prison officer numbers have almost halved.

Here is a breakdown:

Deerbolt -33% Durham -49% Frankland -30% Holme House -40% Kirklevington -22% Low Newton -29%

"The prison system is in crisis, and these figures reveal why. While the prison population has grown, officer numbers have been cut without any thought for the consequences. A shortage of governors makes matters even worse, because officers are being taken off the wings and asked to 'act up' to fill vacancies. Having made prison officers redundant, the Ministry of Justice is now apparently struggling to recruit. These are desperate times, and ministers are resorting to desperate measures."

– Frances Crook, Howard League for Penal Reform

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One dead, one injured, in Northumberland crash.

A crash on a rural Northumberland road has left one person dead and another seriously hurt.

Two cars were involved in a collision on the A697 south of Wooler.

One driver was pronounced dead at the scene and a second driver was taken to hospital for treatment.

Enquiries are being carried out to establish the cause of the collision and Northumbria Police is urging any witnesses to contact them.

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