Police arrest eight after trouble on North East beaches

Police chiefs and politicians condemned the behaviour of a minority who drank and fought in the heat on Thursday.

Rubbish collected from beaches
Rubbish collected from beaches

Police arrested eight people after drunk revellers fought on the beaches of the North East and others dumped bottles and cans in the sand.

Northumbria Police responded to reports of fighting and disorder in Tynemouth and Cullercoats on Thursday, and a local councillor said he had never seen the beaches so busy.

Police arrested eight men and youths aged between 15 and 28, most on suspicion of drunk and disorderly or breach of the peace offences.

Superintendent Craig Metcalfe praised officers and warned that anyone causing trouble will face arrest.

He said: “The onset of hot weather, along with the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions, has resulted in an increase of visitors to our coastal areas.

“However, a small minority have disrupted the fun for others by excessively drinking and fighting with one another.

“The response by officers was fantastic, they acted quickly and their swift inquiries led to the arrest of eight suspects.”

Tynemouth beach
An abandoned barbecue on Tynemouth beach (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “The majority of people seeing the scenes from Tynemouth yesterday have, like me, been left feeling angry and let down.

“A small, senseless minority have abused the easing of some restrictions, descended on our beaches in large groups and caused unwelcome trouble that spoils things for everyone else.”

North Tyneside’s elected mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “I was extremely disappointed to hear about the behaviour of some at our coast yesterday.

“Our staff are working harder than ever before to keep our award-winning coastline clean and tidy and a safe place to visit. It simply isn’t acceptable.”

A video shared on social media showed men fighting on the sand, close to where family groups were enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

Another video taken later in the day showed men in handcuffs being taken away by officers, with a number of police vehicles parked up at the scene.

On Friday morning a clean-up was under way after piles of rubbish were dumped and debris from fires left for other people to remove.

Carl Johnson, North Tyneside’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We’ve never seen the coast as busy as it has been over the last few days.

“I would urge people to continue social distancing and help us to keep our beautiful beaches clean by using the many bins provided.”

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