At the end of February, Northumbria Police arrested a 35-year-old man after a number of women had reported being sprayed with an unknown substance in Newcastle. Nine reports were made between the 10th and the 15th February, with the women claiming that a man on a bicycle had sprayed an unknown substance at them.
The man was arrested on suspicion of common assault, and is currently in custody, assisting officers with the investigation.
The attacks took place within a mile radius, happening on Argyle Street, Stepney Lane, Market Street, Newgate Street and College Street in Newcastle City Centre.
The arrest comes after Northumbria police posted a CCTV video of the man they wished to speak to about the allegations.
Nobody has been injured, with reports variously describing the liquid as a white fluid, shower gel, hand soap, shampoo or fabric softener. However, some victims reported it had bleached their clothes. Tests are being carried out to establish what the substance was.
Steve Wykes, Chief Inspector of the Northumbria Police said: “It is understandable that reports of this nature can cause concern among members of the public, and I’d like to reassure the community that a full investigation is under way to determine the circumstances surrounding the incidents. Early reports suggest the liquid in question may be liquid soap, rather than any kind of noxious substance.
“We are taking these reports very seriously and a man has been arrested in connection with the investigation. Our inquiries will continue throughout the day.”
He also added “although some of the attacks took place near to the university, we do not think students have been targeted.”
Anyone with any information or concerns about the incident can contact the police on 101.
Last modified: 1st March 2019