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Baby was abandoned in street confirm police

Police have confirmed a baby was abandoned this morning but cannot confirm further details at this point. It is believed that a baby was left in the street next to a medical centre in Horden, Peterlee.

Driving by the scene was taxi driver Councillor Mary Cartwright who gave ITV News Tyne Tees this statement:

"I was coming back from a job at the airport and I called by a friend's house. It was 04.30am so no-one was around. As I came round the bend the whole of Horden was deserted apart from a police car and I saw a policeman stood holding a baby in his arms. It was about 04.50am so no-one else was around. You could just see the baby's head protruding from the blankets.

"Suddenly, an ambulance pulled up and I thought it was odd that no one got out. The policeman ran straight to the ambulance and passed the baby to the person in the passenger's seat and they were off, straight away. The police and the ambulance service did such a grand job. The policeman waved and asked me to turn around. "I'm a mother myself and have three girls, so I went straight on Facebook and put a plea out for the mother to contact me. She must be very distressed - I hope she gets in touch. She'll be needing help."

– Cllr Mary Cartwright


Car crashes into wall in Peterlee

Cleveland & Durham Specialist Operations Unit tweeted this picture of a car driving over a fence and crashing into a wall in the early hours of this morning, March 25.

The team in Durham say no serious injuries were reported.

Stone thrown at train

The window of a passenger train has been smashed by stones thrown from a viaduct.

The Nunthorpe to Carlisle service was travelling across Horden Viaduct in Peterlee on September 1. At around 5.30 pm stones were thrown at the train from the viaduct, one smashing the outer glass of a window.

British Transport Police are appealing for information

"Fortunately no-one was injured and the train managed to continue to Newcastle where it was taken out of service to be fixed .The passengers on board were transferred to another service to complete their journeys to Carlisle."

"This was an extremely foolish and dangerous act, which put the driver and passengers on the train in danger. It inconvenienced passengers on board whose journeys were delayed following this incident, and cost the train operator time and money to fix the smashed window."

– PC Steve Maddison, British Transport Police


13 tonnes of crisps on fire in County Durham

Fire crews have put out a fire in a crisp shed on a farm at Castle Eden, near Peterlee. County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said 13,000 tonnes of crisps were alight. They have now left the scene.

Police watchdog told: "Start caring more about families of people who die in custody"

The sister-in-law of a man who died in police custody has challenged the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the IPCC, to start caring more about families when they investigate deaths.

Her comments follow a review of the IPCC, which found more needs to be done to stop it from failing families who have lost a loved one.

Gregg Easteal's report begins with distressing images of Leonard McCourt's last minutes, slumped in a police van outside Peterlee police station in County Durham.

"The IPCC lacked empathy and treated us like we were in the wrong"

The sister-in-law of a man who died in police custody has said her family felt like they were the criminals, during the investigation into his death.

Tracy McCourt's brother-in-law Leonard died at Peterlee police station in 2010. She said her family "lost faith" in the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), because of the way they were treated:

Police watchdog admits failing families of those who die in custody

The head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has admitted that her organisation needs to change how it treats the relatives of people who have died in custody, after a critical review.

Anne Owers mentioned the family of Leonard McCourt, from County Durham, who died in police custody in 2010, after his sister-in-law said they were "treated like criminals":

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