Tyne & Wear

Newcastle police hunt cyclist 'liquid soap' sprayer

Map showing locations of people being sprayed with an unknown liquid
Image caption Six attacks took place throughout Tuesday afternoon and one on Wednesday morning

Eight women have been sprayed with an unknown substance by a man on a bicycle in Newcastle city centre.

The liquid appeared to be hand soap or shampoo, not a "noxious substance", Northumbria Police said. However, there are reports of it bleaching clothes.

Tests are being carried out to establish what it was.

No-one was hurt but Ch Insp Steve Wykes said: "Incidents of this nature do cause us concern and these reports are being taken very seriously by police."

He added: "These seven incidents have taken place in different locations and, although some of the attacks took place near to the university, we do not think students have been targeted."

Newcastle bar Nancy's Bordello, which is on one of the streets where an attack took place and near another, warned customers via its Twitter account.

The seven attacks on eight women happened between 13:30 GMT and 23:10 on Tuesday and at 11:45 on Wednesday on Argyle Street, Stepney Lane, Market Street, Newgate Street and College Street, which are within a mile of each other.

The liquid has been variously described as a white fluid, shower gel, liquid soap, shampoo or fabric softener.

Witnesses who saw "anyone on a bicycle acting suspiciously" are asked to contact police.

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