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6 February 2015, 11:28
Two teenage girls have claimed they were subjected to violent threats as they left an Army Reserve centre in Gateshead.
Two men in a Vauxhall Zafira were thought to have asked "Are you in the Army?'' and then shouted a reference to beheading as they drove past the cadets, who were not in uniform, after the pair left the centre in Alexandra Road.
Northumbria Police have stepped up patrols in the Gateshead area and warned other Army Reserve centres since the incident at 9.15pm on Wednesday January 21.
Police have traced the car and are trying to establish the identity of the driver.
Gateshead Superintendent Richie Jackson said:
"The men made no attempt to make any physical contact with the girls or get out of the car, and shouted the comments while driving away from the scene.
Inquiries are ongoing to establish the exact nature of what was said during the incident and we have spoken to the two teenage girls, viewed CCTV footage from the area and have identified the vehicle and inquiries are ongoing to trace the driver.
As a precaution we have notified staff at other Army Reserve centres in the area and have had extra officers on patrol in Alexandra Road to reassure residents.
Although this is concerning, it is an isolated incident and if anyone has any information that could help us with the investigation I'd ask that they contact us on 101.''
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said:
"We are aware of an incident allegedly involving members of the Army Cadet Force - this is a matter for the police and we cannot comment further. Any witnesses are urged to contact the police.
We understand the girls were not in uniform at the time of the incident and that the suspects asked them 'Are you in the Army?' before issuing the threats.''