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CCTV released after Newcastle sexual assault

CCTV images of the potential witnesses police want to trace.
CCTV images of the potential witnesses police want to trace. Credit: Northumbria Police

CCTV images of potential witnesses have been released after a 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in Newcastle.

In the early hours of March 16, she got into a car in Newcastle City Centre believing it was a taxi and was sexually assaulted before being dropped off at the junction of Elswick Road and Bentinck Road.

Officers believe the woman spoke to two men when she got out of the car after the attack at around 5am, and are now keen to trace them to help with the investigation.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 ex 69191.


50 businesses now supporting anti-shoplifting scheme

A scheme in Morpeth that sees retailers and police working together to prevent crime has welcomed its 50th member.

Heighley Garden Centre, in Hebron, has joined the Morpeth Shopwatch scheme, which supports Northumbria Police’s campaign Operation Soundwave. It aims to identify suspected shoplifters. The garden centre is the largest in the North East.

"The initiative helps us to identify those responsible for committing this sort of crime and not only curb their behaviour but also make sure action is taken to ensure they face the consequences.

"If a shoplifter isn't arrested instantly, we will meticulously view CCTV to identify those responsible and not hesitate in asking for the public's help to identify individuals."

– Karen Murray, Morpeth Neighbourhood Inspector

Four in every five shoplifters are caught in Northumbria Police areas.

Cyclists urged to lock up and avoid thieves

Cyclists in South Tyneside are being urged to keep their bikes secure to avoid thieves, in a new police campaign.

It comes after 26 bike thefts in the Riverside and West Shields area alone since the start of the year. The majority of these thefts have been a result of bikes being left unlocked.

The campaign, named Operation Soundwave by Northumbria Police, targets thieves and burglars and hopes to promote crime prevention by giving advice to the public. Police are urging cyclists to invest in locks and make sure their bikes are secure.

“We would urge people to make sure their bikes are secured at all times. Bikes left insecure in the garden or in the street present a perfect opportunity for thieves who can make off on them in seconds.

“When not in use, bikes should also be stored in a house, or secured sheds, garages or outbuildings.”

– Nick Gjorven, Acting Neighbourhood Inspector

Police release crash pictures in dangerous driving crackdown campaign

Police have released these crash scene pictures as they launch Operation Dragoon - a crackdown on dangerous driving.

Police want to make roads safer
Emergency services at a crash scene
Police attending a road collision
A smashed car following a crash
Police hope these pictures will encourage safer driving
An interior view of a car after a crash

Dangerous driving crackdown: People are 'needlessly killed'

As part of Operation Dragoon, 15 drivers have been spoken to and ten vehicles have been seized by police as they crack down on suspected dangerous driving.

Eight people have been charged with a range of offences including racing on the highway, dangerous driving and making false statements to obtain insurance.

"People are being needlessly killed on our roads by dangerous drivers and we will not stand by and let it happen. We are determined to take decisive action to deal with this issue. "To lose a life needlessly because of the reckless and irresponsible driving of others is something we must stop. "Officers will be checking social media sites and looking to identify individuals who drive dangerously and post footage and images online."

– Motor Patrols Acting Chief Inspector John Heckels


Police campaign targets dangerous drivers

Northumbria Police is targeting dangerous drivers with the message that 'dangerous drivers put innocent drivers' lives at risk'. In 2013 there were 384 serious injuries and 28 people died. Three of these fatalities were as a result of dangerous driving.

Operation Dragoon targets those who are known to police as dangerous drivers, seizing their cars and taking them off the roads.

"The public are our eyes and ears out on the roads and we need them to help us by telling us who these dangerous drivers are. "Dangerous drivers run the risk of killing innocent people and it could be you, or one of your family, on the other side of a blind bend as they approach it at dangerous speeds. "Anyone reported to police as a dangerous driver will be investigated and if officers have reasonable concerns they will be visited and spoken to. Their vehicles and insurance details will be checked and appropriate action will be taken."

– Acting Chief Inspector Heckels

To pass on information about dangerous drivers contact Motor Patrols officers on 101.

Girlfriend of Laos death man found dead

The girlfriend of a man who was swept to his death in Laos has been found dead.

Kate Downey, from Middlesbrough, was the partner of John Paul Conley, who died after swimming in a river in Laos. The news comes just days before a charity evening in John Paul's memory. This has been cancelled.

“At 12.25pm on Saturday (March 14), police were informed of concern for a woman in a hotel room in the Premier Inn in Ponteland Road in Woolsington.

“Police and paramedics attended and a woman in her 30s was pronounced dead at the scene. There is believed to be no third-party involvement and a report will be prepared for the coroner.”

– Northumbria Police

Cyclists warned 'don't be taken for a ride'

South Tyneside cyclists are being urged to keep their bikes secure and avoid 'being taken for a ride' by thieves. 26 bike thefts have taken place in the Riverside and West Shields areas this year.

"We would urge people to make sure their bikes are secured at all times. Bikes left insecure in the garden or in the street present a perfect opportunity for thieves who can make off on them in seconds.

"The lock should also be good quality. A poor quality wire or small chain lock can be too easily cut through by thieves, and often in broad daylight.

"By working together, we can make life difficult for thieves operating in the area."

– Nick Gjorven, Acting Neighbourhood Inspector

Police can be contacted on 101 or for crime prevention tips, click here.

Man charged in relation to Operation Sanctuary

A man is due in court after being charged in relation to an investigation into sex crimes which has so far seen 59 people arrested.

Muhammad Imran Malik has been charged with kidnap and assault as part of Operation Sanctuary. Malik, 30, of Beaconfield Street, Newcastle, is due to appear at Newcastle Magistrates Court.

Operation Sanctuary was launched on January 27 and is investigating alleged sex crimes on up to 80 vulnerable women and girls in the Newcastle area.

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