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Nine jailed after North East's 'biggest-ever' drugs bust

Nine men are beginning prison terms after what has been called the biggest ever drugs bust in the North East of England. Heroin and amphetamines worth £55m were seized along with almost half a million pounds in cash.

The man at the very top even pretended to run a charity as a cover for the money he made.

Man arrested in Willington murder investigation

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a man was found in a field in Willington, near Crook.

The body of a 42-year-old man was discovered by police in a field behind Willington High Street at 1am on September 12. They were responding to a report.

A 22-year-old man from Murton is in custody.

Cumberland Terrace, Willington Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

“I can confirm we have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of a man’s body in the early hours of this morning. We do believe this is an isolated incident and we currently have a suspect in custody. Over the coming hours there will be much police activity in Willington, I would ask for the patience of residents in that area while the scene preservation remains in place”

– Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir

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Police say they are 'delighted' missing Sunderland boys are found safe and well

"We are delighted that the three boys have been found safe and well. We are planning to reunite them with their foster parents as soon as we can.

"We will need to speak to the boys over the next few days to piece together the full circumstances of what has happened, but of course we are just so pleased for them and their foster parents that this has been brought to a safe conclusion and that we have got the boys back."

– Superintendent Alan Veitch, from Sunderland Area Command

"We are delighted to hear the children have been found safe and well. We’d like to express our gratitude to Northumbria Police for all their work over the past few days in finding the boys."

– Daljit Lally, executive director, wellbeing and community health services, Northumberland County Council

North Yorks new police HQ scrapped to save money

The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan, has called a halt to plans for a new police headquarters building, in a move which could save millions of pounds.

The North Yorkshire force had planned to leave its base in Northallerton and move operations to a new facility at South Kilvington, near Thirsk.

This now won't happen, and it's claimed the U-turn will save tax payers £10 million.

Police officers accused of killing deer with crowbar

Two Durham police firearms officers have been put on other duties after being accused of killing a deer with a crowbar.

The alleged incident happened in early June and Durham Police today said enquiries are being conducted by the force's professional standards department.

The force has warned they could face criminal charges as well as misconduct charges if official procedures have not been followed.

Durham's Deputy Chief Constable, Michael Banks, and Ben Williamson from the animal rights charity, PETA, had this to say:

Police crackdown on drink and drugs

Cleveland and Durham police have been cracking down on drink and drug driving. Credit: PA Wire

59 people put their lives and the lives of innocent road users at risk during the recent summer drink and drug drive campaign.

Despite repeated warnings, 6% of 980 people breathalysed across the Cleveland and Durham force areas were positive, refused or failed to provide during June.

This year’s campaign coincided with the World Cup tournament, when some fixtures were being shown late at night due to the time difference.

Officers placed an extra focus on those drivers out in their cars the morning after a number of matches. Of 344 people breathalysed between 6am and 11am, five of these were positive, refused of failed to provide, equating to 1.5%.

“When compared to last year’s summer campaign, we have seen the number of people getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol increase.

"It is unacceptable that 59 people selfishly decided to risk their own lives, as well as the lives of their passengers and other innocent road users.

"We continuously repeat our warnings throughout the whole year and it is disappointing to see the numbers increase.

"Those that are found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs will be dealt with robustly and can fully expect to be put before the courts.

"We will continue with these operations in order to make our roads as safe as we possibly can.”

– Chief Inspector Alison Jackson, Head of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit

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Shop robbed at knifepoint

Police are appealing for information after a robbery at a store in Blyth, Northumberland.

The incident happened just before 7.35pm on Saturday, July 26, when a man went into a Premier News at Waterloo Road, threatened staff with what is believed to be a knife and demanded money and cigarettes.

The man then left the store and is believed to have driven away in a black Vauxhall Astra.

No one was injured in the incident.

The man was wearing light blue jeans, a grey hooded sweatshirt with a white motif and a black balaclava.

Copper given knockout opportunity to judge boxing competition

PC Danny McFarlane Credit: Northumbria Police

A Northumbria Police officer has been given a knock-out opportunity to be a boxing referee at the Commonwealth Games.

PC Danny McFarlane is swapping his day job as a public order instructor to be a boxing official for Team England at the Games in Glasgow.

He is one of around 38 people from around the world who will referee and judge bouts following the Games' opening ceremony on July 23 after being chosen by Amateur International Boxing Association based in Switzerland.

PC McFarlane, who is from Sunderland, has been involved in the sport for the last 32-years. He started boxing for Silksworth ABC, has boxed for the Royal Marines and was the World Police and Fire Boxing Class gold medalist in 1993.

He retired from active boxing aged 34 when he was ranked number 5 in England at 86kg.

His decision to become an international referee and judge came in 2006. Since then, PC McFarlane has refereed in all continents throughout the world as well as at the 2012 Olympic qualifying events.

PC McFarlane said: "I feel most honoured and proud to be part of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"Every athlete or official in any sport strive to reach such goals. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity.

"I would like to thank my mentor, Mr Ray Scott, the secretary for the Tyne Tees Boxing Association and Northumbria Police for their valued support."

Baby locked in car rescued by police

Police smashed the window of a car to rescue a baby who was locked inside.

Cleveland police were called to Portrack Lane in Stockton, where the 18-month-old was accidentally locked inside a BMW car parked there

Officers had to break the car's rear quarter light window to free the baby - who was safe and well.

The incident happened on Sunday at around 1350.

A spokesman for the police said that the baby had the keys in his hand when the car was locked.

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