Schoolboy charged with possessing knife after large disturbance in South Shields street

Ede Avenue, South Shields
Ede Avenue, South Shields

A gang attack has led to a South Tyneside schoolboy being charged with possessing a knife.

Up to 24 children, many wearing school uniforms and some throwing missiles, are believed to have targeted a house in Ede Avenue at around 6pm last Thursday.

Northumbria Police said a knife was recovered and that two people had been assaulted.

They have confirmed a 14-year-old boy will appear in court charged with common assault, possession of a pointed article and a public order offence.

A 15-year-old girl was arrested but not charged.

The attack has brought a united response from the headteachers of Mortimer Community College and Harton Academy, the South Shields senior schools whose pupils were allegedly involved.

Mortimer head Simon Hignett said: "We are working closely with the police, local residents and neighbouring schools concerning a very serious incident that occurred at approximately 5.30pm in a local street, in order that we can establish the involvement of any Mortimer students.

"We take great pride in all of our students and how they conduct themselves in the community and will act accordingly if any of our students have fallen below the standards we expect at our school as they are not negotiable. Our thoughts are with the local residents involved."

And Sir Ken Gibson, Executive Head at Harton, added: "This incident happened at 5.30pm, nevertheless we take our responsibility to the community very seriously.

"I have been liaising with the police, the neighbouring school and residents, and any student found to have been involved will be dealt with by the school and the police."

Neighbourhood Inspector Denise Easdon, of Northumbria Police. said a knife had been seized and two members of the public assaulted.

She added: "This was an incident that has been taken very seriously by police and we will not tolerate the type of behaviour reported.

"One teenager will now appear in court charged with a string of offences.

"A dispersal notice was put in place in the area following this report and we have not seen any repeat of these issues since.

"Disorder of the nature reported is totally unacceptable and anyone who acts in this way should expect to be arrested and put before the courts."

The disturbance comes amid a surge in knife crime nationally in which there have been 39 fatalities since January, including several teenage victims.

Witnesses say up to seven adults intervened in the Ede Avenue incident before police arrived, with one man suffering the brunt of the attack.

The boy will appear before a Youth Court sitting at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on Thursday, April 11.