12 arrested as May Day protesters descend on Newcastle

Crowds are marching through Newcastle city centre as part of the May Day protests that are taking place across the country. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

12 people have been arrested after people gathered in Newcastle city centre for 'Kill the Bill' and climate change protests.

They were arrested for a range of offences, including obstructing a highway and assaulting a police officer.

Police say the behaviour of a small number of people was "completely unacceptable".

Crowds arrived at Grey's Monument at around 1pm and marched to the Civic Centre.

Groups such as Stand Up to Racism North East and Extinction Rebellion have joined the protest. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Currently, police have to show a protest may result in “serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community” before they are able to put restrictions on it.

They also need to prove protesters know they have been told to move on.

The new bill would mean permission for protests needs to be granted in advance and protesters could be fined £2,500 if they go ahead with a protest without permission.

The Home Office says the new measures will prevent large scale disruption.

People are also protesting against government inaction on climate change two years since an environmental emergency was declared.

Four roadblock protesters, two in Newcastle and one in Jesmond and Durham have been arrested.

Extinction Rebellion protesters set up roadblocks in Newcastle city Centre, Jesmond and Durham. Credit: Extinction Rebellion North East and Cumbria

Similar events took place in Centre Square in Middlesbrough and across the country.

People also gathered in Middlesbrough's Centre Square.