Women's march on Sunderland's streets draws in hundreds

The march took place in Sunderland city centre earlier today.
The march took place in Sunderland city centre earlier today.

The organiser of a protest which called for extra safety measures to make women feel safer in Sunderland has thanked all those who joined in the event.

The Justice for the Women of Sunderland group led a procession from Mowbray Park, down Fawcett Street and along High Street West before the parade came to a close in Keel Square.

The walk, led by women and children, was prompted by recent reports of rapes against women in the city.

The protest was organised by Natasha Allan, 30, from Hendon, with an estimated 300 people joining in.

She has said women want to see more police officers on patrol, additional CCTV coverage in the city, better lighting and for women to look out for each other and let their loved ones know where they are going.

Natasha said: "It went really well.

"It was very peaceful and organised, we hope it makes a difference.

"I want to thank everyone who took part."

Chief Inspector Stephen Readdie, of Northumbria Police, said: "We have a duty to police protests and we respect the rights of people to hold such events.

"Ensuring the safety of the public is our utmost priority and we are pleased that the demonstration passed without incident. We would like to thank the public for their cooperation.

"Extra officers will remain on patrol to offer reassurance to members of the public. Anyone with any concerns should speak to an officer or call 101. In an emergency, call 999."