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Police helicopter helped locate suspected thieves

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Credit: Northumbria Police

Thanks to police’s eyes in the sky, officers tracked a stolen car as police helicopter helped locate suspected thieves.

At about 3pm on Tuesday (8 February) officers were alerted that a car had been stolen in the Church Road area of Gosforth.

An investigation was launched, and within a few hours, police spotted the vehicle in question travelling in the Sunderland area.

Motor patrol officers pursued the black Nissan and instructed the occupants to stop. However, instead the driver hit the accelerator in a bid to evade arrest.

With the support of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, officers were able to track the car’s movements which was found abandoned in the Barnes Park area of the city.

But within minutes, police had scoured the area – aided by their eyes above – and located two men and a women nearby. They were subsequently arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking and taken into custody.

Chief Inspector Ian Cutty, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a fantastic team effort between a number of officers – from those who carried out the initial burglary enquiries to those who spotted and pursued the vehicle through the streets of Sunderland.

“Some outstanding determination and teamwork meant we were able to track the car as its occupants tried to evade arrest. Within minutes, we had detained three suspects who were located close to where the car had been abandoned.

“This incident once again showcases the fantastic supportive role that NPAS play which helps us to detect and disrupt criminality, and I’d like to thank them for all their work. Without doubt, they helped bring a potentially dangerous and fast-moving situation to a swift and positive conclusion.

“We will continue to do all we can to ensure the North East remains as safe as it possibly can be, and ensure perpetrators who commit crime and who prey on others are rightly brought to justice.”

Two men, aged 36 and 29, and a 25-year-old woman who were arrested remain under investigation. Enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20220308-0567.

 

 

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Michael Gove proposes House of Lords sit in Sunderland during Parliament refurbishment

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Sunderland has been suggested as one of several locations for the House of Lords to relocate to while Parliament undergoes refurbishment.

York had been previously been proposed but the Government vetoed the plans.

Michael Gove, who is Levelling Up Secretary, is said to have written to Lord McFall of Alcluith suggesting locations including Stoke-on-Trent, Burnley and Sunderland.

In the letter, Mr Gove said he knows “cities and towns across the United Kingdom would be pleased to extend their hospitality to peers”.

He is quoted as saying that having “carefully reviewed the proposed arrangements”, he “will not support the use of the QEII Centre as an alternative location”.

The Queen Elizabeth II Centre conference and exhibition space is just a few minutes’ walk from the Palace of Westminster in London.

In the letter, which the Sunday Times said was also sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Mr Gove suggested a move elsewhere in England, Scotland or Wales.

He is reported to have written: “As the minister responsible for levelling up, it is clear to me that the House of Lords moving elsewhere, even for a temporary period, would be widely welcomed.

“I have carefully reviewed the proposed arrangements and…I will not support the use of the QEII Centre as an alternative location.

“I propose to establish dedicated liaison points for you in my department to support you in identifying a suitable location for the House of Lords in the North, Midlands, South West, Scotland or Wales. I would, of course, be happy to meet you to discuss this.”

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Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration

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Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.

The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.

According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.

“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.

“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”

The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”

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Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022

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Sunderland’s beaches have been named among the best in the country for the 11th year running.

Seaburn and Roker were both named as winners of the Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The pair were once again handed Blue Flags, marking them out for their for their excellent water quality, cleanliness and attempts to constantly improve visitor amenities.

The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.

Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It is fantastic to see Sunderland’s beautiful beaches once again awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Award.

“Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront has excellent quality bathing water and first-class facilities.

“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, and this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in keeping our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”

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