Teenager arrested after alleged petrol bomb attack on firefighters in Newcastle

  • Video report by Jonny Blair

A teenager has been arrested after suspected petrol bombs were thrown at firefighters.

The attack on fire fighters and police officers in Newcastle have been condemned by police and politicians across the North East and was branded as "sickening" by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

She said: "Emergency workers work hard doing their jobs to make our region safer – they’re there to help and look after our communities.

"They all need to be given the credit and respect they deserve, not subjected to abuse and serious harm.

"To have a very small minority of the communities you are dedicated to serving act like this is appalling and I know Northumbria Police will be doing everything they can to ensure those responsible for these vile actions are brought to justice. This will not be tolerated."

In the attack, which happened on Saturday 14 January 2022 at around 6:40pm, a police officer was injured and emergency service vehicles were damaged.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service contacted Northumbria Police requesting assistance while dealing with a rubbish fire on West Denton Way.

While the crew were in attendance, they reported that a group of about five people had gathered around them and began throwing glass bottles and rubble, with an appliance damaged.

Officers immediately attended the scene and began making enquiries but soon the group of young people returned and began throwing said items at the officers and their vehicles, with two police cars damaged.

Police also became aware of people throwing items from the footbridge on West Denton Way.

As they approached and attempted to detain them, an officer was assaulted by a number of individuals before the group fled the scene. 

She received treatment for a head injury and is now recovering at home.

MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North Catherine McKinnell told ITV Tyne Tees: "These are people that are working to keep the public safe, and now we have to protect them.

"I think the most important thing is that people give any information they have to police, so that we can bring the people that have perpetrated this senseless violence to justice."

She also said we must "protect the protectors". 

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident and has since been released on bail.

Chief Supt Helena Barron, Northumbria Police Area Commander for Newcastle and Gateshead, said: "This is absolutely abhorrent behaviour which will not be tolerated – acts of violence against emergency service workers are completely unacceptable and utterly senseless.

"We wish the officer who was injured a full and speedy recovery.

"We have launched an investigation and have been busy carrying out door-to-door and CCTV enquiries, as well as deploying extra officers in the area to carry out patrols.

"Anyone found to have been involved will be brought to justice."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, quoting reference NP-20220114-0811.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...