An investigation is today underway after a man died while being held in the custody of Northumbria Police.
The 45-year was arrested by officers at about 8pm yesterday in the Whitley Bay area.
He was taken to Middle Engine Lane police station, Walsall, where he became unwell.
During his time in custody, he received immediate medical attention within the cell and an ambulance was called to the station.
Following further treatment by paramedics, the man was pronounced dead at just after 10pm.
The death has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as matter of course.
Superintendent Nicola Musgrove said: "This death within our custody is a tragic incident.
"We immediately referred the death to the IPCC, as we would with any death in police custody, and we are assisting them fully.
"Northumbria Police takes its commitment to the welfare of prisoners extremely seriously.
"We will give the IPCC our full cooperation while they investigate all factors."
IPCC investigators have been sent to the police station to attend post-incident procedures and have begun to gather evidence as part of the independent investigation.
IPCC Commissioner Carl Gumsley said: “Firstly, my thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who has died.
“We are at the very early stages of our investigation, which will look closely at the circumstances leading to the man’s death and the actions of Northumbria Police officers during this time.”