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BREAKING: Police have dispersed students sledging on Newcastle Town Moor

Police helicopters arrived to break up a group of “about 300”

Northumbria Police have dispersed a crowd of “about 300” who were sledging and socialising on the Town Moor.

The news follows reports from yesterday evening of a large group “partying” on the Moor, as reported by The Chronicle.

At this time, there are no indications that today’s gathering was organised, and onlookers believe the crowd to have been a combination of both children and university students.

One Newcastle student recounted the event to The Newcastle Tab from the scene: “There were about 300 people there. People were drinking and sledging – we weren’t at the top of the hill, but it was mad even down at the bottom.”

Shortly after this student arrived, police officers and helicopters arrived to break up the gathering.

“I would say that there were at least 30 police officers with torches at the scene to disperse the situation, as they rightfully should. It all got dispersed in around 15 minutes.

“It was completely random that we went; as far as I know, it wasn’t organised at all. We just wanted to go to the Moor because it’s the only place with hills to sledge down which is close to Jesmond. It isn’t just students, there are lots of kids here too – I would say half students, half kids.”

Another Newcastle student was present at the top of the hill when the police arrived.

She recalled to The Newcastle Tab: “Hundreds of people were drinking and sledging at the top of the hill. The police showed up, and everyone just started running and hurtling themselves down the hill.

“It was like a festival up there.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “The majority of people during were made up of young families who remained in their households and behaved in a responsible manner.

“However, as we moved into the evening we did become aware of large crowds, primarily consisting of young adults, who were drinking and socialising in similar scenes to Wednesday.

“A large number of officers were deployed to the Moor to disperse these crowds and there were no further issues throughout the evening.

“We do not believe this to have been an organised gathering but this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and undermines the efforts of the majority of people in our region who are making daily sacrifices to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“Our officers will continue to patrol the Town Moor in the coming days and evenings and take appropriate action where necessary.

“We are grateful to all who continue to follow the legislation and guidance in place, including those who have been enjoying the weather and sledging responsibly.”

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