THREE men have been arrested after their vehicle was found to contain stolen property and an offensive weapon.

The men were arrested near Whitfield in the early hours of Thursday morning.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “At 00.30am on Thursday, we received a report of a suspicious vehicle on the A686 near Whitfield.

“Inquiries were carried out with the help of some of our Rural Crime Volunteers and the vehicle was stopped and searched.

“The search revealed suspected stolen property and a knuckle duster.

“Three men were arrested on suspicion of burglary and currently remain in police custody.”