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Northumbria retirement village wins Bloom Gold Award

The zero carbon bungalow Waterside development which features a wild meadow, wetland and pond

A North East retirement village has won a Northumbria in Bloom Gold Award for the fourth year running.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village, near Darlington, won a gold medal in the Best Kept Grounds of a Care Facility in the competition, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Middleton Hall was also named overall winner of the category.

David Richardson, the retirement village’s operations manager, has said: “People enjoy living here because they like the gardens and space that Middleton Hall offers. It’s a fantastic honour to get the Northumbria In Bloom Gold Award for the fourth year running. It recognises the hard work of both the gardening team as well as the residents who want to get involved in creating a beautiful place to live.”

Middleton Hall’s gardeners James Stark, Alan Langburn and head gardener Dean Lazenby

Six arrested in early morning drugs raid

Five men and one woman, aged between 26 and 53, have been arrested for suspected drugs and money laundering offences after an early morning operation led by Durham Police.

Over 40 police officers were involved in ‘Operation Bream’, which took place at 6am today (Wednesday, 27th August). The arrests were made at two addresses in Witton Gilbert on the outskirts of Durham; one in Langley Park and one in Stanley. At the same time arrests were also made at properties in Hetton-le-Hole and Houghton-le-Spring in the Northumbria area.

Those arrested have been detained on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

A Landrover car, suspected to have been bought with the crime money, was also seized by police from one of the Witton Gilbert properties.

All are currently in custody and will be interviewed later today.

The operation was carried out under Durham Constabulary’s ongoing ‘Sledgehammer’ campaign to target organised crime.


Missing man may have travelled to North East region

Kevin Paul Bailey, 51, was last seen on Tuesday, 12th August. Credit: Police Scotland

Police Scotland officers in Midlothian are today issuing a fresh appeal for information to help trace a man who has now been missing for over a week.

Police Scotland believe he may have travelled to Teesside, County Durham or Tyneside.

Kevin Paul Bailey, 51, was last seen on Tenth Street in Newtongrange, south of Edinburgh, at 12.45pm on Tuesday, 12th August.

Police Scotland believe Kevin Paul Bailey may have travelled to Cleveland, County Durham or Northumbria.

Kevin, who has an English accent, is described as white, 5ft 6in, of slim build, with blue eyes and dark brown/grey hair that is balding.

On Monday 18th August, a witness reported seeing a man fitting Kevin’s description walking southbound on the A7 between Hardengreen Roundabout, near Dalkeith, at around 3pm.

Police Scotland is keen to speak to anyone else who thinks they may have seen Kevin in and around that area that day.

Police Scotland are keen to speak to anyone who has any information about his whereabouts.

Officers have also issued a fresh image of the missing man. The image was captured at the Melville Inn in Lasswade on Monday, 11th August and it is believed Kevin may still be wearing the same large red rain jacket, which has a black stripe and thin white piping down the full length of each sleeve.

Police Scotland are keen to speak to anyone who has any information about his whereabouts.

Operation Checkpoint targets travelling criminals

Police officers from Northumbria, Cleveland, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Scotland have been involved in Operation Checkpoint - targeting travelling criminals operating across counties in the North of England and Scotland.

Police targeted known criminals and their vehicles, along with other vehicles seen in suspicious circumstances, stopping and searching them to prevent criminal activity and gather intelligence. It was the second operation of its kind to take place.

“By working alongside other forces and pooling our resources, we can target travelling criminals and send out a clear message that wherever they go across the north of England we will be waiting for them.”

– Det Insp Mick Bird, Durham Constabulary

Motorists urged to remove valuables from cars

Police are urging drivers to motorists all valuables after two thefts from cars.

At 12.45 on Tuesday June 4, a handbag was stolen from the rear seat of a Peugeot parked in Wingrove Road, Newcastle.

And at around 3pm the same day a VW Sharan was broken into on the same street and a watch stolen.

"Both of these crimes were opportunist in nature and thieves are looking for bags left on seats and valuables left out on show inside cars.

"It takes seconds to open an unlocked door or smash a car window and make off with anything left inside. Help us stop this type of crime by locking your car and removing anything valuable when leaving your car unattended."

– Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Farrimond, Northumbria Police

There are extra officers on patrol in Wingrove Road speaking to motorists and residents and give crime prevention advice.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191.


"We won't give up" say volunteers repeatedly targeted by vandals

Ann Higgins is the Chairman of Eston Residents' Association, which maintains the town's flower displays. Their work has been the subject of vandalism five times in five weeks.

The most recent came just two weeks before the judging of Northumbria in Bloom, which the group have previously won.

"I don't know why it's happening. I don't know what pleasure they get out of it, or whether it is just society today. But we won't give up.

"We will keep on doing it, because first of all we do it for the people and the community. The competition is the icing on the cake."

– Ann Higgins, Chairman of Eston Residents' Association

Flowers ripped up at Northumbria in Bloom town two weeks before judging day

The hard work of volunteers in Eston, on Teesside, has been disrupted not once, but five times in the last five weeks.

The Residents' Association maintains plant pots and flower displays all over the town, which cost thousands of pounds a year.

They have previously won five golds at Northumbria in Bloom. This year, flowers on Old Row have been ripped up twice - the latest just two weeks before judging day.

Police back European Safer Internet Day

Officers at Northumbria say they are backing European Safer Internet Day, which aims to promote safer use of technology.

The day takes place on February 5 and aims to promote a safer way of using technology.

"The internet has become an invaluable resource for people of all ages.

"However, it is open to abuse because sometimes there is little accountability and regulation. Therefore, it is important that we are aware of the potential dangers so we can all use the internet safely and responsibly.

"Events such as Safer Internet Day provide education about the internet for parents and grandparents and, at the same time, help them to ensure their children use it safely."

– Detective Chief Inspector Mark Black, Northumbria Police

A website with hints and tips about using new technology safely has also been set up for the internet safety day.

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