Car and house windows smashed in series of Christmas Day ‘retaliatory attacks’ by rival gangs

Police were alerted to similar incidents at five separate addresses between 8.30pm and 10.30pm on Saturday, December 25 – with officers believing the offenses to be retaliatory attacks committed by two rival groups who are known to each other.

The incidents took place on Leyburn Grove, Harwood Drive, Brinkburn Crescent and Beech Avenue in Houghton and Ross Lea in Shiney Row.

At around 8.35pm, a group of males got out of what is believed to be a black VW Passat and smashed the front windows of an address on Ross Lea.

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Anyone who witnessed any of the incidents on Christmas Day is being urged to get in touch with the police.

Four minutes later, the windows of a car and a house were smashed on Harwood Grove, before a similar incident unfolded on Brinkburn Crescent at 10.15pm.

At 10.21pm, three men attended a home on Beech Avenue and caused damage to the windows of the address before making off.

Detective Sergeant Alan Whittle, of Northumbria Police, said: “The level of violence seen as part of this retaliatory dispute was totally unacceptable.

“On each occasion, offenders were seen smashing the windows of cars and homes in full view of innocent families who were celebrating Christmas Day and enjoying the festivities.

“Anyone found to have been involved can expect to be dealt with swiftly and robustly, and we will use every tactic at our disposal in order to bring effective justice.

“We believe all parties involved are known to each other and there is no wider threat to the public. However, we have increased patrols across the area and are following various lines of inquiry to prevent this from escalating any further.

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“If anyone has any information about the respective incidents, including CCTV footage of vehicles or people acting suspiciously between those times, please come forward and report it.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something‘ page of the Northumbria Police website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20211225-0595.

Alternatively, you can pass on information via independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by ringing 0800 555 111.

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