A dog walker was attacked by a gang of up to 10 after she challenged them over dropping litter.
The 44-year-old woman was in Beatice Terrace, between Penshaw and Fatfield in Washington, when she spotted someone drop litter out of a car window.
The victim picked up the rubbish and asked those in the car to take it away with them.
Four cars were parked up at the time and the occupants of all of the vehicles got out and challenged the woman resulting in her being assaulted.
She suffered what police have said were "moderate injuries" as a result of the assault.
It's believed around eight to 10 youths were involved in the attack.
Officers are appealing for information as they investigated her ordeal, which happened at 8.50pm on Tuesday.
Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Pescod said: "This was a senseless assault on a woman walking her dog who was trying to ensure the local area is not littered with rubbish and those who are responsible should be ashamed of themselves.
"Inquiries to identify those responsible are ongoing and I would ask anyone who has information about this group of youths to get in contact with us."
Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 977 120116 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.