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Statement from Northumbria University

Northumbria University have released a statement with regard to the news that hundreds of members of its staff will be offered voluntary redundancy in an effort to make itself "moreefficient and effective" in the future.

“Higher education is undergoing massive change at the moment.

We are now operating in an increasingly challenging environment.

To ensure our continued success, we are looking at ways of better supporting the University’s business to put us in a strong position to meet our students’ needs.

While some roles may be reshaped, new opportunities will also become available to others.

Support staff will continue to provide roles which are critical to our success and we are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies.

A discretionary voluntary severance scheme is available to staff in some areas.”

– Spokesperson for Northumbria University

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Hundreds of staff offered voluntary redundancy

Northumbria University has offered 700 members of its staff the chance to apply for voluntary redundancy in an effort to make itself "more efficient and effective" in the future.

A spokesperson told ITV News that it was not expecting all 700 to take redundancy, but is offering the option to many people whose job has changed.

Academic support, communication, admin and IT staff are all part of the consultation.

Fraud gang "targeted" Northumbria auctioneers

A court heard how a gang was so successful at committing frauds against an auction house in Northumbria that it turned its attention to a New York sale held by the auction house.

Auctioneers across the country were targeted by fraudsters using false identities to register as telephone bidders.

Stolen credit card details were also used to obtain watches and expensive jewellery.

In October 2010, the jury heard, Railton's Auction House, in Alnwick, Northumbria, was contacted by an Alistair Goldsmith - one false name used - where a successful bid was made for jewellery worth £20,000.

When he said he wanted to have the items collected the following day, the company became suspicious.

Suspicions were further raised after a passport and a driving licence details were supplied by "Mr Goldsmith", Mr Shellard said and, fortunately, the auction house did not fall victim to the fraud.

Northumbria Police officer charged with running a brothel

A Northumbria police officer has been charged with keeping a brothel, misconduct in a public office and a drugs offence, his employers have said.

Northumbria Police Constable Philip Tate, 37, faces nine charges and has appeared before Newcastle Crown Court after being charged on May 28.

He faces five counts of misconduct in a public office, one of supplying a class C drug, one of money laundering, one of keeping a brothel and one offence under the Consumer Credit Act, a spokesman for the force said.

At a preliminary hearing held previously, Tate and two co-accused were granted bail.

The PC, currently suspended, will appear before the same court in October for a plea and case management hearing

"As the case is currently going through the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

– Northumbria Police spokesman

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Police passport warning to teenagers

Teenagers have been tampering with their own passports in a desperate bid to get served alcohol in clubs and bars.

Northumbria Police have said they have now seized a number of passports and driving licences as they crackdown on the trend in Tyne and Wear.

Officers have warned that anyone found with forged documents faces arrest and prosecution.

Using ID with false information is a serious offence. Anyone caught could find themselves arrested and even end up with a criminal record, which could affect their future before they have even finished school or college.

– Insp Mick Hall, Northumbria Police

Bar, club and shop owners say they have been shown documents in recent months that have had dates of birth obviously changed. All altered documents and passports seized by police will now be cut up and sent to the Passport Office or relevant agencies to be destroyed.

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