The Northumbria police and crime commissioner, Vera Baird, has promised to take 'necessary action' after a man died in police custody.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation after a 43-year-old man died whilst in custody at Washington police station.
"First and foremost my thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who died at Washington police station as with those of Mr Leck who died earlier in the week at South Shields.
The IPCC is the statutory body which must investigate each case and rightly they were called in by Northumbria Police quickly. The families of the two men will get support from specialist liaison officers"
The man is the second to die in a Northumbria Police cell this week, after the death of a 34-year-old at South Shields station.
"As Police and Crime Commissioner I have a statutory duty to scrutinise and hold the police to account on behalf of the public. This is the second death in custody this week in Northumbria and while it should not be forgotten that Northumbria Police successfully manage the safety and welfare of thousands of prisoners each year, the public are likely to be concerned about the safety and reliability of custody handling procedures.
Local residents can be assured that if action needs to be taken, I will do so".
More top news
It's a difficult operation transporting a tiny baby, whose life is already hanging in the balance. But, sometimes there's no other choice.
Crime and disorder will not be tolerated - police and partners have warned youths and parents in the run up to the school holidays.
A look ahead at a calmer week for the Tyne Tees region.