POLICE are hunting a knifeman who forced his way into a house and demanded cash from the occupants.

The incident happened at 4.10pm, on Friday, February 28, at an address on Saltwell View, Gateshead.

"The offender forced his way into the property armed with a kitchen knife and demanded money from the occupants. However, when they refused, he made off from the scene empty-handed," a spokesman for Northumbria Police said.

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"The occupants were shaken but unharmed as a result of the incident."

The offender is described as white, aged around 30, 5ft 10ins to 6ft tall and unshaven. He had a gaunt appearance and is believed to be under the influence of drugs.

He was wearing a blue hooded jumper and dark trousers.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the burglary today and are keen to hear from any witnesses.

Detective Sergeant Jim McErlane, from Northumbria Police's Major Crime Team, said: "Thankfully the occupants were unharmed as a result of this incident, but were clearly left very shaken.

"Our enquiries to trace the person responsible are continuing today and officers are on patrol in the area to offer reassurance to residents.

"I would urge anyone who saw the person described in the area around the time of the burglary to contact us.

"Anyone who recognises the man from his description should also come forward."

People can contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 785 28/02/14, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Anyone with concerns in the neighbourhood should speak to officers on patrol or contact them on 101 or via the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk