A MAN is due in court this morning charged with possessing an explosive substance and possessing a regulated substance, after police found suspicious items inside a house on Tyneside.

Shortly after 10.30pm on December 31, police received a report of a loud bang in the area of Temple Memorial Park, in South Shields.

Northumbria Police said officers attended and found a hole in the ground which had been caused by a small explosion. Nobody was injured and no further reports were made to police.

An investigation was launched into the incident, and on Tuesday, police carried out a search at an address on Hathersage Gardens.

Inside the property, officers found a quantity of suspicious items including chemicals. The items were safely removed and officers took precautionary measures to ensure the safety of those living nearby.

A 51-year-old was arrested in connection with the investigation and has now been charged with possessing an explosive substance and possessing a regulated substance.

He is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on Saturday, January 11.

Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the Temple Memorial Park explosion, or has any information about similar suspicious incidents of this kind in the area, to call Northumbria Police 101 quoting reference 229 060120 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan, of Northumbria Police, said: “Investigation of this nature can inevitably cause some concern in the local area but I would like to reiterate that there is no immediate threat to the public.

“We carried out a number of measures earlier this week as a precaution and I would like to thank the local community for their patience and cooperation throughout.

“I am now appealing to the public who witnessed the explosion on New Year’s Eve, or who is aware of any similar incidents in the local area, to come forward and speak to police.”