A police-trained sniffer dog is being sent into some of the region's hospitals to try to prevent illegal drugs being brought in.
Coco will be used in six psychiatric hospitals across the North East to prevent dealers preying on vulnerable people.
Gary O'Hare, Security Director at St Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle, told ITV News about the new initiative.
More top news
A Whitley Bay man has flown from Prague to the UK on the wrong passport after accidentally taking his friend's and leaving him stranded.
The incident happened at around 9.30pm on Sunday 17 February. Detectives are carrying out a number of lines of inquiry.
Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has been honoured as the North East Personality of the Year at an annual awards dinner.