Women and youngsters to lead Sunderland march in call for more safety measures

Women will lead a march through Sunderland city centre as they call for extra measures to make them feel safer.

Friday, 29th June 2018, 7:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 5:19 pm
The march will begin in the grounds of Mowbray Park.

The Justice for the Women of Sunderland group will gather at Mowbray Park tomorrow at noon with plans to then set off on a procession at around 12.30pm.

It will head down Fawcett Street and High Street West and then come to a close in Keel Square.

Organiser Natasha Allan has asked for women and youngsters in support of their campaign to lead the group.

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She said the recent reports of alleged rapes against women in the city had prompted the action.

The 30-year-old, from Hendon, added: “We just want girls to realise what’s going on and to look out for their friends when they’re out in the city, to tell their mams where they’re going and we want more police on patrol, more cameras in the park and more lighting.

“We want to see a massive change. We’ve had a great response so far and we want to add pressure to make it a better place. We’ve also had victims coming through to us to talk and say it’s a good idea as well.”

Inquiries are continuing into reports of two rapes in the park, which were made by two women in their 20s in relation to separate incidents on May 28.

Men aged 19 and 18 were arrested in connection with the incidents and have been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Police are also continuing to investigate two alleged rapes in Roker Avenue.

On Wednesday, May 23, a woman reported she had been raped at an address in the street.

Araz Abdulla, 23, of Roker Avenue, is due to stand trial on November 26 after pleading not guilty of rape earlier this week at a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.

Saheed Rasoolli, 30, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, has also been charged with rape in relation to the same incident.

His case will be in court for a plea hearing on July 9.

Inquiries are also ongoing after a woman reported she was raped at an address in Roker Avenue on Monday, June 4, with a man arrested and released under investigation.

Police say they have a duty to police protests and the force respects the rights of people to hold such events.

It has been working closely with the organisers of tomorrow’s event to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum, with officers to be on patrol.