38 people to appear in court over 'violent disorder' at protests last year

There was a huge police presence as protesters clashed last year.

A total of 38 people will appear in court on 'violent disorder' charges in connection with violence at protests in Newcastle last summer.

Hundreds gathered by Greys Monument in support of the Black Lives Matter movement - set up following the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in America.

A rival protest group formed directly opposite and both groups clashed.

Missiles were thrown and smoke canisters were let off. Police officers were also targeted, with injuries to three protesters and five officers, as well as police horses and dogs.

The Monument was also graffitied, and the surrounding area was left strewn with litter. 

A number of arrests were made on the day, and detectives launched a major investigation afterwards, which saw many more suspects brought into custody. 

Among those arrested are 34 men, aged between 20 and 64, and two women, aged 46 and 52. 

Two teenagers, one aged 16 and another now 18 but who was 17 at the time, are also due to appear.

Another man, aged 56, has been charged with possession of cocaine and is set to appear before magistrates later this year.

Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison added: “As part of the investigation, we also asked the public to help us identify a number of people we wanted to speak to in connection with the disorder and I would personally like to thank all those who came forward with information – your cooperation has been vital in this case.

“It is important to recognise that the right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy which the police will uphold, however we want to make it very clear we will absolutely not accept people using them as a means to commit crime.”