NORTHUMBRIA's Police and Crime Commissioner has criticised the Government for not publicising regional data on coronavirus tests done in the community.

Up until last week, the Government's regional figures, including those for Northumberland, only counted positive tests done in hospitals, as opposed to those done in the community.

Analysis by the Financial Times found the gaps in the reporting of infection data for subnational regions was hampering the ability of local leaders to manage new outbreaks.

Public Health England began including the figures for community testing last week, which resulted a huge jump in the number of cases in Northumberland.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases available to the public rose from 1,067 to 1,565. an increase of 496.

Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said she didn't understand why the Government had withheld the information.

Speaking to the Hexham Courant, she said: "We need people to be able to know the risks. Lockdown has been relaxed now and that information should have been available to the public and to local authorities.

"This is still a very dangerous virus. I think the Government needs to take responsibility for its response to this pandemic for people to feel safe and confident, and to me, not to publish those figures was unfathomable."

Read more in next week's Hexham Courant.