Teenager seriously injured after targeted rocket attack on Bonfire Night

A group of 10 males fired multiple rocket fireworks at two teenagers and two police officers, causing serious injury and shattering car windows.

A 14-year-old has been seriously injured after teenagers fired a rocket at him in the Southwick area on Bonfire Night.

Northumbria Police officers were in the area at around 10:25 pm on Saturday night when they stopped two males, aged 14 and 17, on Carlisle Terrace. Whilst speaking to the pair, a group of around 10 other males appeared on nearby Davison Terrace and began firing rocket fireworks towards the teenagers and officers.

One of the rockets hit the 14-year-old and injured his upper arm before ricocheting into one of the offices, exploding on his side and causing serious burns to his arm and torso. Both the officer and the boy have hearing loss and possibly perforated eardrums as a result.

The other boy had a firework explode near his face but was thankfully not seriously injured. During the incident, the officers and the two youths managed to take cover behind a police vehicle which had its windows smashed.

Further rockets were launched toward them despite it being obvious that one officer and one of the boys had been struck and injured. As further police units arrived on the scene the offenders fled.

An investigation was immediately launched in a bid to identify and arrest those responsible. Chief Superintendent Neil Hutchison said: “This is absolutely disgraceful behaviour and we will not tolerate it. Bonfire Night is not an excuse to carry out dangerous acts of violence. An extensive investigation is now underway to ensure those responsible face the consequences.

“This senseless attack has left one young person with a serious and potentially life-changing injury to his ear, while our officer has serious burns and also potential hearing damage. Thankfully the other young person and the other officers present were not seriously injured. I wish to offer all those hurt my best wishes for a full recovery.

“Officers are in the area conducting enquiries including reviewing CCTV footage and door-to-door enquiries. Today (Monday) we are asking for anyone who thinks they have information about what happened to get in touch. Any detail, no matter how small, could really help.

Damage to the police car as a result of the attack (Image: Northumbria Police)

“We believe the group involved have also been responsible for other pockets of disorder carried out that night around the Southwick area. We’re asking for anyone with information to get in touch and are especially keen to hear from anyone with dashcam footage from the area, between the times of 6 pm and 10:40 pm, as this could really aid our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, or using the Tell us Something page on their website, quoting reference NP-20221105-1297