The Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has enlisted a sniffer dog to go round its hospitals to prevent patients, staff and visitors bringing drugs on to the wards.
'Coco' the cocker spaniel will search the buildings and grounds of the trust.
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Police investigating an attempted dog theft in Dalton near Thirsk have issued an e-fit of one of the suspects.
People are setting their festive spending budgets higher in the NE than anywhere else in the country.
After a wet start to the Christmas week things will slowly improve.