Police from Cleveland and Durham travel to Jarrow to watch Northumbria’s Marine officers in action

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The diving skills of Northumbria Police’s marine officers were put on display at a demonstration held at a dedicated centre in Jarrow.

Police officers from Cleveland and Durham were invited to watch the divers in action as they showed off their search techniques in a specially-built seven-metre diving tank.

The event held at the International Diving and Marine School at Viking Park revealed the work they do on the region’s waterways - from Berwick to Ryhope.

The training scenario saw a diver thrust into action after a car had plummeted into water with someone trapped inside.

Demonstrations were also given into how search and rescue dogs work to recover bodies, sonar search capabilities, gathering intelligence and forensic evidence searches.

The teams regularly offer aid and support to other forces across the country and agencies including the coastguard, border force and the fisheries.

“Ultimately we do what we can to protect the public and carry out investigations using our specialist knowledge and skills - whether that’s intercepting drugs being imported from abroad or recovering bodies in murder investigations - we do it all and we’re proud to do it.”

Pc Tony Bennett

Marine constable, Tony Bennett, said: “Today was all about demonstrating our capability and coming together with our neighbouring forces to develop and learn how we can best work in partnership.

“Nine out of ten times we are working blind in very murky waters and often looking for small but crucial objects such as mobile phones, sim cards, weapons and even bags of drugs.

“We use a range of tactics including underwater search patters and specialist equipment and training which we regularly update to keep our skillset and methods relevant and refined.

“Ultimately we do what we can to protect the public and carry out investigations using our specialist knowledge and skills - whether that’s intercepting drugs being imported from abroad or recovering bodies in murder investigations - we do it all and we’re proud to do it.”

Northumbria Police have a wide range of facilities at their disposal including a decompression chamber to train diver’s bodies for deep water, three RHIBS, a pioneer boat and a range of diving equipment.

Marine officers don’t just carry out dives as part of their searches they also utilise the dog unit, perform wade searches as well as confined space and drain searches.

Pc Paul Hails, from Durham Constabulary said: “Neighbouring forces regularly come together to work out best practice and share knowledge and tactics and this is just another great example of that.

“Sharing assets and resources is a prime example of multi-force policing and through days like this we can keep adding to those.”