Mental health nurses are to be posted in police stations and courts in Middlesbrough and Sunderland in a bid to reduce reoffending by mentally ill criminals.
The government is putting £25m into the scheme, which will be piloted in ten areas.
We want to help them get the right support and treatment as early as possible.
Diverting the individual away from offending and helping to reduce the risk of more victims suffering due to further offences benefits everyone.
More top news
Our cool but calm weather is set to continue. But for how long?
The team have responded to three incidents in the last fortnight alone.
The officer was blasted twice by gunman Raoul Moat who had declared war on police minutes before.