Hundreds of fugitives on the run

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SUSPECTED murderers, rapists, kidnappers and drugs lords are among hundreds of North East fugitives who have given police the slip.

New figures have revealed that at the end of last year, there were 302 offenders on the run from Northumbria and Durham police forces.

Information shows Northumbria Police has the largest amount of offenders on the run, with 210.

Second was Durham, which had 92 fugitives, including one drug dealer, three sex pests and one gun dealer wanted for firearms offences.

Both forces have stressed that the number of people skipping bail could have changed since the figures were released.

The most recent data available was for November 1 last year and does not take account of operational developments since that date.

The figures also reflect the size of each force, with Durham Constabulary covering a smaller, more rural area than Northumbria Police.

However, officers have appealed for information from the public to trace the fugitives still wanted by the police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact their force immediately or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.