Operation Cloak: 41 interventions made in one weekend by police patrolling Newcastle nightlife

The operation sees both uniformed and non-uniformed police officers patrolling Newcastle’s nighttime economy

A staggering 41 interventions in one weekend were made by Northumbria Police officers working on Operation Cloak earlier this month.

Operation Cloak sees both uniformed and non-uniformed officers patrol the streets of Newcastle at night to keep those out late safe.

Officers look to spot signs of vulnerability and those who may be looking to commit offences.

On the first weekend of March, the Operation Cloak team recorded a total of 41 interventions in Newcastle.

Those included helping stranded people find a safe way home, lone females escorted to a 'Safe Haven' van, as well as a number of arrests for drink-driving and drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Northumbria Police has recently funnelled more funding into the Operation after a successful bid from Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness.

Funding is being spent on a range of initiatives to help make women and vulnerable people feel safer at night.

PCC Kim McGuinness speaking at today’s event
PCC Kim McGuinness speaking at today’s event
PCC Kim McGuinness speaking at today’s event

Inspector Karen Madge, Op Cloak’s lead, has praised the continued work of officers and encouraged anyone who finds themselves stranded or potentially vulnerable to speak with an officer.

Insp Madge said: “We know that Newcastle is a fantastic city with a thriving nightlife and people from all over come to the region to enjoy it.

"But sometimes that party spirit can turn sour when people get separated from their friends, find themselves lost or struggle to find a way home.

“Vulnerability can present itself in many forms in a busy city, and that’s where our officers come in.

"It can often take a trained eye to spot something that’s not quite right and the Neighbourhood Policing Teams are experts at reading situations and asking the right questions in circumstances which might appear completely normal or have the potential to escalate.

“While a lot of the time we will identify no cause for concern and officers will be satisfied people are not at risk, there will be situations we come across where real vulnerability is clear and those involved are more than happy for our intervention.”

NPCC Kim McGuinness said: “Newcastle is a fantastic night out and it’s important that we do everything we can to ensure it’s a safe one too.

"Operation Cloak is crucial to this, and that is why my office secured funding to enhance this area of work throughout the Force.

“We want to be doing everything we can to look after people on a night out but keeping women and vulnerable people safe is about so much more than policing.

"That’s why we have so much happening across the region - from reporting apps to campaigns around changing male behaviours and highlighting the support for victims.

"There’s lots happening and plenty more to do - and I am committed to doing all I can.”