A taxi driver was assaulted during an attempted robbery.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which happened at 8.44pm on Tuesday, January 3, on Myrtle Grove, Wallsend.
The 50-year-old taxi driver was called to pick up a fare from a house in Myrtle Grove.
When he arrived in the street two men approached his car from a rear alley. One man leant in through the passenger door and punched the taxi driver, while the other man attempted to steal the car keys.
He was unable to get them and the taxi driver managed to drive off, leaving the two offenders behind.
The driver suffered a facial injury and was shaken by the incident.
Both offenders are described as white men in their 20s wearing gloves and black scarfs hiding their faces, the man who threw the punch is described as wearing a grey hoody while the other man was wearing a dark coloured hoody.
Officers have established that the telephone call ordering the cab was made at a telephone kiosk at the top of Lawson Street in Wallsend.
Police are carrying out house to house enquiries in the area.
Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Storey said: “It is clear that this was a planned robbery, the offenders rang the taxi firm to get a cab at the location where they intended to rob the driver.
“Unfortunately for them the driver had the presence of mind to get away in spite of being assaulted.
“We want to hear from anyone who can help us identify those responsible and anyone who may have any information. Also anyone who may have witnessed the robbery or saw this pair at the telephone kiosk on Lawson Street.
“We are also advising taxi drivers to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 1026 of 03/01/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.