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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."

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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.

Police: We are "addressing" under-reporting problems

The Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Tim Madgwick, has said that he is "addressing" under-reporting problems.

He was reacting to a report claiming that many serious incidents, including sexual offences, are not being recorded as crimes by the police.

The North Yorkshire force was among 13 inspected across the country. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary says their findings suggest that around a fifth of all crimes are not being recorded.

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North Yorkshire Police say issues highlighted in report have been addressed

North Yorkshire Police say issues raised in a new HMIC report have been dealt with.

North Yorkshire Police say issues highlighted in report have been addressed

In a statement the force said: "We are awaiting the detailed report that is specific to North Yorkshire Police. However, we have already acted upon the initial feedback to ensure we continue to improve on the services we provide.

"It is important to note that victims of crime have independently demonstrated, via The British Crime Survey, that North Yorkshire Police provide one of the highest standards of service in the country.

"The most recent report in 2014 has identified issues that have already been addressed and are subject to a National Crime Recording Standards Quality and Improvement Board chaired by the Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason.

"This board meets regularly to continually review current procedures and identify ways in which to improve standards.

"North Yorkshire Police operates a robust and ethical system of crime recording, which is subject to a high level of scrutiny to ensure it meets the standards set out by the Home Office."

Police appeal to find missing journalist

Police are increasingly concerned for the safety of a Northern Echo journalist who has gone missing.

43-year-old Neil Hunter from Hartlepool was last seen at around 5pm on Wednesday in Seaton Carew.

Mr Hunter is well known as a court reporter, and previously worked for the Hartlepool Mail.

He is described as: 5ft 10 inches tall, slim build, with dark cropped hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing dark baggy trousers and a dark T-shirt.

Cleveland Police say he may have been carrying a rucksack, wearing a puffa style jacket and possibly wearing glasses.

It is understood to be out of character for Mr Hunter to go missing.

Anyone who knows of his whereabouts should call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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