North East Police boss’s vow to improve safety for women after ‘sickening’ rape in Newcastle Park

A North East police chief has vowed to do everything in his power to improve safety for women following a reported rape in a Newcastle city center park.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said the safety of women is a top priority for police and ensured action was being taken to address concerns raised by women. Her post follows a “sickening” report of a woman being raped by a stranger in Leazes Park.

The attack is believed to have taken place in broad daylight near the basketball/tennis courts near the entrance to Leazes Crescent on Friday April 1 at around 6:30 p.m. Northumbria Police have launched an investigation to identify the person responsible and are calling on anyone with information to come forward.

READ MORE: Police launch manhunt after woman raped in Newcastle’s Leazes Park in broad daylight

The victim has been offered the help of specially trained officers and additional police patrols in the area are underway.

The attack is the latest in a string of reported rapes in Newcastle in recent months. On Monday, March 28, a woman reported attacking in Rising Sun Country Park, Benton at around 4:10 p.m. near the Pit Heap area.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

Another woman was allegedly raped behind Beech Hill Primary School near Linhope Road in West Denton at around 12.30pm on 10 October.

Following the latest attack, Ms McGuinness said: “Like any decent person, I am heartbroken by the recent reports and my thoughts are with the brave survivors.

“Such horrific ordeals, while extremely rare, only underscore the importance of doing all we can to make women safer everywhere. Women have the right to feel safe no matter what they do, whether on the dance floor or strolling through the park.

“And as a woman, I know and understand the fears and concerns that we all have – and we shouldn’t have them. It was only recently that I set up the Safer Parks Northumbria project to make it a top priority.

“We asked and listened to women’s concerns and began putting plans in place to address them – from improved lighting to social action events. The more we do to create safer and more inclusive environments and changing very bad attitudes and behavior the better, and I will keep this fight going.”

Anyone with information about the incident at Leazes Park is asked to contact police via the Tell Us Something pages on the Northumbria Police website or contact 101 quoting reference NP-20220401-1038 or contact anonymously Crimestoppers, an independent charity, on 0800 555 111.

For the latest local news in your area straight to your inbox every day, go here to sign up for our free newsletter

Mara R. Wilmoth