Northumbria Police are set to double the number of area commands from three to six, helping to ensure 'an outstanding service'.

This new structure means that Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Northumberland and North Tyneside will each have dedicated teams headed by a chief superintendent.

Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Alastair Simpson explained that while they are all one force, they recognise the unique identities and needs of each community.

Teams will include response officers who attend emergency call-outs, neighbourhood officers embedded in the communities, and dedicated investigative teams.

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ACC Simpson said: “We are very much one force, all working together to keep people safe and to fight crime.

“However, we recognise that our communities have their own identities and issues which matter most to them.

“Moving to this structure will help us best respond to these needs and further ensure that we are there when people need us.

“It will also strengthen our existing partnerships, as we aim to not only bring offenders to justice but also put measures in place to help prevent incidents from happening in the first place.

“Ultimately, these changes are focused on providing an outstanding service to the communities we serve, especially victims of crime.”

The new structure is set to officially come into place on March 4.