Armed police officers have been called in to join a search for a man following a claim of an assault.
Durham Constabulary has confirmed the team is part of an operation to try and trace a man following an alleged attack in Peterlee earlier today.
The search began close to the Dene Community School before moving on to the Matterdale Road area.
A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “We were called to the Peterlee area shortly before 10am this morning to respond to an incident of domestic assault and criminal damage.
“A number of officers are involved in an operation to look for a local man in connection with this incident and a search of the wooded area at the top of Matterdale Road has taken place.
“The investigation remains at an early stage and inquiries are continuing."
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.