Rape trials to be monitored

Panels of volunteers are being recruited to sit in court during rape trials to see how the legal system treats victims.

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Police investigate stabbing in Gateshead

Police are appealing for information after a couple were attacked at a house in Gateshead.

Two men got into the house, on Rawlings Road, during the afternoon of Friday 18th July.

The man who was inside suffered stab wounds and needed hospital treatment.

The woman suffered minor injuries

Extra officers have been on patrol in the area, carrying out house-to-house inquiries and reassuring local people.

Police search for 'answers' after Northumberland death

Police are appealing for information after the death of a man who was found unconscious in Northumberland.

Mathew O'Donovan, 22, died in hospital after being found on a disused mineral line in Ellington on July 5.

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail.

Northumbria Police Motor Patrols Sergeant, Mick Soulsby, said:

"A motorbike was located nearby and one possibility is that he has fallen off a bike, although there may be another reason.

"His family are devastated at his death and we want to be able to give them the answers they need to help them come to terms with such a tragic loss at this difficult time."

– Sergeant Mick Soulsby, Northumbria Police

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Appeal after man's death in Northumberland

Police are appealing for information after the death of a man who was found unconscious in Northumberland.

Mathew O'Donovan, 22, from Lynemouth, was found unconscious by two passersby at a disused mineral line Ellington in the early hours of July 5. He was taken to hospital and died on July 10.

Officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who heard motorbikes in the area between 11pm on July 4 and 1am on July 5. Anyone with information is urged to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191.

Northumbria domestic abuse figures during World Cup

During England's three World Cup matches, Northumbria Police officers attended a total of 164 domestic abuse reports across the force area.Between 6pm, on Saturday, June 14 and 6am, on Sunday, June 15, the night of the England v Italy match, there were 86 domestic abuse incidents reported.

Over the same time period on the previous three Saturday and Sundays, the force received an average of 66 reports.

However, for the next two England matches, the number of abuse cases reported were below average.

When England played Uruguay there were 44 domestic abuse incidents reported, compared with an average of 45 for a Thursday night/Friday morning.

There were 34 reports of domestic abuse on the night of the Costa Rica match, compared with an average of 39 for a Tuesday night.

"Using this high profile event, we've been able to raise the issue of domestic violence which is a priority in my police and crime plan, and to make people aware this crime continues to happen. "Through our Kick Off campaign activity, we have been able to highlight the specialist support and advice available for victims. I hope they feel reassured there is people they can talk to who are on hand to help them.

– Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

£300k funding to support victims of violence

£300,000 has been secured by Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird to support victims of violence and abuse.

Victims Minister, Damian Green, announced the money is being taken from a £12.5m innovation for communities across England and Wales.

The money will support Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault teams which will include a police officer and a support worker covering Sunderland and Newcastle. These teams will work together to improve access to support at the scene using new technology, with the aim of increasing prosecutions.

“The best way to protect victims and prosecute perpetrators is for these agencies and organisations to work closely together. Whatever support people need or want, short or long term, this will offer them a first introduction to the right people to help them to move on.”

"This will enhance the links between the police and specialist services providing a service to children who are at the greatest risk of harm. It is about helping these young people stay safe.”

– Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird

The support worker for missing children will identify the most vulnerable individuals, focussing on those who run away frequently and are more likely to become a victim of physical abuse and sexual exploitation.

Police: tent fire 'could have had tragic consequences'

Extra police are on patrol in East Denton in Newcastle, after a tent was set on fire with three teenagers inside.

The young people were camping overnight in a front garden on Lindisfarne Close. Initially they noticed that a substance had been poured on the tent.

A short time later, it was set on fire. All three teenagers managed to escape unhurt.

Det Insp Paul Woods believes the incident, early on Saturday morning, is isolated.

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Appeals to trace missing Tyneside woman

Fiona Hudson may have been missing from home for a fortnight Credit: Northumbria Police

Police are appealing for help to find a woman who is thought to have been missing from home for two weeks.

Fiona Hudson is 52 years old and from Scrogg Road in Newcastle.

She was officially reported missing on Thursday June 26th. Officers are growing increasingly concerned from for her safety.

Miss Hudson is known to visit shops and bars in and around Wallsend High Street and Shields Road in Byker.

Operation Sanctuary: 105 arrests in total

Operation Sanctuary is Northumbria Police's long-running investigation into claims of sexual abuse on Tyneside. Credit: Northumbria Police

A total of 105 people have now been arrested in connection with Operation Sanctuary, Northumbria Police's long-running investigation into claims of sexual abuse on Tyneside.

15 people have been charged as part of Operation Sanctuary.

Police raise awareness of forced marriage

Northumbria Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner are raising awareness of forced marriage which becomes a criminal offence in England and Wales today (June 16).

The maximum penalty for those convicted is seven years imprisonment.

A forced marriage is a marriage without consent of one or both parties. This can include emotional pressure as well as criminal actions such as assault or abduction. It is also a crime to trick someone into going on a trip if the real purpose is to get them somewhere to force them into marriage.

This is different from an arranged marriage where families may arrange the marriage but the choice remains with the individual.

"We understand the difficulties people have in making reports to police, particularly when they are subjected to family and cultural pressures, and if additionally they are afraid that if they do so their family will be taken to court.

"There are orders that can be made that simply tell those who are planning a forced marriage to stop and which don't result in any penalty, so long as the order is obeyed.

"We want victims to know they will be listened to, their concerns taken seriously and that their views on what they want to happen will be followed."

– Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird

"The force recognises the danger, risks and personal sacrifices associated with forced marriage.

"Now this is a crime, our officers are able to take further action against those responsible for it, as well as dealing with any serious criminal offences associated with it such as rape or false imprisonment.

"The safety of the victims is paramount and we are committed to protecting the vulnerable and ensuring people in our communities are safe from harm."

– Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, from Northumbria Police
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