Tyne & Wear

Gateshead girls 'violently threatened' leaving TA centre

Alexandra Road in Gateshead Image copyright Google
Image caption The threats were made near the Gateshead Territorial Army Centre in Alexandra Road

Two female cadets were allegedly violently threatened after leaving a Territorial Army centre on Tyneside.

The threats are understood to have been "graphic and nasty" and included a comment about beheading.

The girls were threatened by men in a car in Alexandra Road, close to the Gateshead TA Centre.

Northumbria Police said inquiries were continuing to establish exactly what was said to the girls and extra patrols were being carried out in the area.

A statement, issued on behalf of Gateshead Superintendent Richie Jackson, said: "The men made no attempt to make any physical contact with the girls or get out of the car, and shouted the comments while driving away from the scene.

"Inquiries are ongoing to establish the exact nature of what was said during the incident and we have spoken to the two teenage girls, viewed CCTV footage from the area and have identified the vehicle and inquiries are ongoing to trace the driver."

'Issuing threats'

The two men are believed to have been driving a silver Vauxhall Zafira at about 21:15 GMT on 21 January.

The driver was described as black or Asian, in his 40s, of plump or muscular build, with a black bushy beard and dark clothes.

His passenger was described as black or Asian, in his 30s, with short black hair and stubble.

BBC Newcastle contacted local cadet leaders who said they were unable to comment on the incident themselves.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said the safeguarding and protection of young people was taken "very seriously".

An MoD statement said: "We are aware of an incident allegedly involving members of the Army Cadet Force - this is a matter for the police and we cannot comment further. Any witnesses are urged to contact the police."

It is understood the girls were not in uniform at the time of the incident and that the suspects asked them "Are you in the Army?" before issuing the threats.

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