POLICE have arrested a man in Newcastle city centre after he reportedly attacked a rough sleeper with a bike in an unprovoked attack.   

Shortly before 9.45am on Wednesday (May 18), police officers received a report that a man had walked past a rough sleeper, who was sitting near Greggs on Blackett Street, and verbally abused him before hitting him over the head with a pedal bike.

Within minutes of the report coming in, officers from Northumbria Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) were on the scene and had located a suspect, who was detained and searched – and found in possession of a lock knife, while reportedly threatening to bite officers.

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The man, aged 28, was arrested, and taken into custody where several hours later he was charged with a string of offences, including possession of a knife, and assaulting an officer.

Speaking after the incident, Inspector Karen Madge, from Northumbria Police, said: “This is a fantastic example of neighbourhood policing at its best– it took just two minutes for officers to attend the scene after the initial report came in, and a situation which could have escalated brought to a safe and swift conclusion.

“That great work was continued with the help and support of our criminal justice partners as a total of five charges were brought in a matter of hours.”

Insp Madge added: “This is a particularly prevalent find as we continue to show our support for Operation Sceptre this week – a national initiative to raise awareness of the harm and devastation knives can cause.”

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