South Shields man charged with possessing explosives after raid on house
A man will go before court tomorrow morning to face charges in connection with explosives found at a house in South Shields.
Northumbria Police has confirmed it has charged the 51-year-old with possessing an explosive substance and possessing a regulated substance, after officers found suspicious items inside a house in South Shields.
The discovery led to the British Army Explosive Ordnance team and firefighters being called in to support the force as it carried out searches in Hathersage Gardens on the Harton Moor Estate.
Inquiries were launched in connection with a report made on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, when people heard a loud bang in the area of Temple Memorial Park at around 10.30pm.
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.
The items were later safely removed and officers took precautionary measures to ensure the safety of those living nearby.
A cordon was thrown around the area, with residents nearby moved out of their homes and a section of the car park at South Tyneside District Hospital also taped off to keep people back from the house.
This evening, the force said the 51-year-old was arrested in connection with the investigation has now been charged with possessing an explosive substance and possessing a regulated substance.
He is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court tomorrow, Saturday, January 11 – it sits as a magistrates court for hearings held on Saturdays.
Police are now appealing for anyone who witnessed the Temple Memorial Park explosion, or has any information about similar suspicious incidents of this kind in the area, to come forward.
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.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 229 060120 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.