A man who was arrested in the Whitley Bay area last night has died in a police cell.
The 45-year-old was arrested at around 8pm yesterday (Saturday, August 13) and taken to Middle Engine Lane police station, where he became unwell.
Northumbria Police confirmed this morning that 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."