Northumbria Police chief issues warning statement ahead of Sunderland city centre protest

Police in Peel Street, Hendon.
Police in Peel Street, Hendon.

A senior police officer has released a statement ahead of a planned protest in Sunderland next week.

The statement, made by Chief Superintendent Ged Noble today, has been issued on behalf of Northumbria Police ahead of the scheduled protest on October 14.

It relates to an allegation made by a woman, in which she said she was subjected to a sex attack at an address in Peel Street, Hendon, overnight between Saturday, September 3, and Sunday, September 4, last year.

Six men were arrested as part of an investigation by Northumbria Police, which then put together a file of evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in relation to one suspect for a single allegation of rape and assault.

However, the CPS took the decision there was “insufficient evidence” to proceed with any court case. This decision was reviewed, and last month the CPS announced that there would be no further review.

The complainant in this case was provided with a detailed explanation of this decision in writing and her legal representative also met CPS prosecutors to discuss the outcome.

The Northumbria Police statement made today said: “We are aware there is a planned protest in Sunderland over the weekend of October 14.

“This is despite the conclusion of the victim’s right to review process, following an investigation into allegations of a rape in Peel Street last September.

“The right to review process meant that all the evidence presented to the CPS from the Police was reviewed by an independent prosecutor, who was not previously associated with the case. The complainant’s legal representative has met with the CPS to discuss this outcome and the complainant has had this presented in writing.

“Northumbria Police has completed an extensive investigation, conducted extensive forensic examinations, taken numerous witness statements and reviewed comprehensive CCTV footage.

“The evidence that was presented and considered by the CPS simply does not substantiate claims that have been made. This has been independently reviewed and now all legal avenues of appeal have been exhausted.

“It has been said that prosecutions were not pursued because of political correctness. This could not be further from the truth.

“We have shown through Operation Sanctuary that we will take all necessary measures to protect vulnerable people and will continue to do so.

“These protests cannot change the legal position and are being driven by individuals who are fully aware of this.

“Therefore, the motives of those individuals must now be called into question.”