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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Teenagers to get safety message from widow of man killed by dangerous driver

Roy Toogood MBE Credit: ITV News

The widow of a pensioner killed by a dangerous driver will speak with teenagers on Tyneside about the dangers on the roads.

Dorothy Toogood's husband Roy was knocked down and killed in 2013.

Daniel Brownlee, who was 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Daniel Brownlee Credit: Northumbria Police

Today students at Walbottle Campus, in Newcastle, will hear first hand from Dorothy about the impact the tragedy has had on her family.

Domestic abuse warning ahead of World Cup

Police say incidents of domestic violence increase during high profile sporting events. Ahead of the World Cup tournament in Brazil on June 12, officers are raising awareness of the issue. It will be a time where more alcohol is consumed.

"We are calling this campaign 'Kick Off' and are launching it today and running it for the duration of the World Cup. There will be dedicated cars at each area command responding to domestic violence calls while England matches are played. "High risk domestic violence offenders and those with links to football violence have been identified across the force area and officers will be paying special attention to them." "Domestic and sexual abuse is a priority of my police and crime plan and an issue which people face and the police tackle on a daily basis all year round.

– The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird

Specialist officers from the Protecting Vulnerable People department will be on duty at key times to help victims. Domestic violence helplines will be promoted during the campaign which includes hard-hitting posters.

"The specialist officers on duty are highly trained in all issues surrounding domestic violence from supporting victims through to gathering the best evidence possible to bring perpetrators to justice. "These officers work throughout the year but we want to highlight the help available at a time when more people could be drinking and incidents of domestic violence have the potential to increase. "Tackling domestic abuse in all its forms is a priority for Northumbria Police and we are committed to working closely with our partners to provide all the help and support we can to victims."

– Detective Superintendent Steve Wade

Man dies after 'incident' in Washington

A man who suffered life threatening injuries after an incident in Washington has died.

Police were called to Usworth Hall in the Stephenson estate just before 11am.

The victim was flown to the RVI hospital in Newcastle where he died. His next of kin have been told.

A 36-year-old man, who police believe knew the victim, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

I'd like to reassure people that a man has been arrested and it's believed the two men are known to each other.

An investigation is underway and I'd urge anyone with information to contact police. Extra patrols are taking place in the area to reassure residents and address any concerns they may have.

– Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Gordon Milward

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Sunderland woman robbed at knifepoint

A woman was left shaken but unhurt after being robbed at knifepoint at a cash machine in Sunderland.

Police received a report around 8.45am that a man had approached a woman at a cashpoint in Hylton Road, near to the Post Office, threatened her with a knife and demanded she withdraw cash.

Officers say the offender was wearing a green balaclava, a green fleece jacket and tracksuit bottoms.

Anyone with information should contact police.

Northumbria Police 'pro-active' in stopping theft

Northumbria Police says it's "pro-active" in finding those suspected of being involved of theft.

It comes after two women were charged in connection with the theft of thousands of pounds worth of items from shops.

Superintended Alan Veitch said:

"As part of Operation Soundwave we continue to make proactive enquiries into those suspected of being involved in theft and burglary across the force.

"In this case officers have attended the address to make an arrest and have recovered a large amount of stolen property believed to be linked to shops in the region. Two women have been charged and enquiries are still ongoing."

– Northumbria Police Superintendent Alan Veitch
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