A COUPLE will appear in court after police officers were assaulted and spat at when they responded to reports of shoplifting.

Last Thursday afternoon, police received three separate calls about shoplifting offences on Durham Road in Low Fell, Gateshead.

Officers were dispatched to the scene and detained two suspects, a man and a woman, on suspicion of shoplifting. But as they made the arrests, two police officers and two community support officers were allegedly assaulted and spat at. None were badly injured and all continued the rest of their shift.

The two suspected arrested are due to appear in court charged with a string of offences linked to the thefts and subsequent assault.

Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Robson, of the Gateshead Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Those officers and staff who attended these reports did a fantastic job and stayed calm in difficult circumstances.

“They have been able to safely detain the suspects and prevent any harm to either themselves of innocent members of the public. A number of witnesses were in the area at the time and would have been shocked by what they saw. I hope our quick response, and the fact that this couple are set to appear in court, will provide them with some reassurance.”

The 30-year-old man and 35-year-old woman will appear at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in February.