Two teenagers charged with kidnap of three-year-old girl from Newcastle city centre Primark

The girls - aged 13 and 14 - will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Friday

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 15 April 2016 12:36
The pair allegedly took the child from a Primark in Newcastle city centre
The pair allegedly took the child from a Primark in Newcastle city centre

Two teenage girls have been charged with kidnapping a three-year-old child in central Newcastle.

The girl went missing from a Primark store in Northumberland Street in the city centre at around 5pm on Wednesday afternoon.

She was found an hour later around three miles away in Gosforth.

The force said two girls, aged 13 and 14, will appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Friday charged with shoplifting and kidnapping.

The child's disappearance triggered an immediate city-wide search after officers said she allegedly left the store with two girls - leaving her mother "incredibly" distressed.

Officers trawled through CCTV from Newcastle City Council, local shops, Newcastle University, bus companies, the Metro and their own cameras in their search for the child.

Chief Inspector Dave Gould thanked those involved in the response for reuniting the child with her mother.

He said: "This has been an incredibly distressing time for the girl's family and specialist officers are working with and supporting the family.

"We mobilised all available local police resources to make sure the girl was found as quickly as possible and also included assistance from the public, and many of our partner agencies including Newcastle local authority and university as well as staff from retail premises, bus companies, train station and Metro system."

Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, praised the police and the other organisations involved in quickly finding the girl, saying on Twitter that it was "every parent's nightmare".

A spokeswoman for Primark said they are "co-operating with the police on the investigation".

Additional reporting by PA