Police step up patrols to tackle disorder

A police van.
A police van.
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AN increase in complaints from residents about youth disorder has resulted in police stepping up patrols in Seaton Delaval.

The neighbourhood policing team has seen a rise in reports of under-age drinking and damage to trees in Astley Park.

Officers from the police and Northumberland County Council’s community safety unit are now working with teachers and staff at Astley High School to get the message across to pupils and their parents about the effect anti-social behaviour can have on the community.

Cramlington Acting Inspector Mick Aspey said: “With pupils returning to school after the summer break we have seen an increase in calls from concerned residents complaining about young people in the Astley Park area.

“While we understand the majority just meeting to socialise, a small group are drinking alcohol, and spoiling it for others.

“We will continue to take action where necessary by issuing direction to leave orders as well as seizing alcohol.”

If they refuse the order or return to the area within 48 hours they can be arrested.

Coun Anita Romer, executive member responsible for health and public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: “As part of the Safer Northumberland Partnership’s ‘Respect’ programme we are aiming to educate young people on the consequences of negative behaviour.

“We are working with the schools in the area and speaking to young people about the effect their behaviour can have on their community and on their future opportunities.”

Last weekend officers seized a quantity of alcohol from local young people who had been drinking and returned several youngsters home to their parents, with suitable advice.

This activity also forms part of the Safer Northumberland Partnership’s priority to reduce anti-social behaviour.

It supports the Northumbria Police campaign ‘Put yourself in their shoes’, tackling all forms of anti-social behaviour and urging people to think about how their actions affect others.

Acting Insp Aspey added: “By stepping up patrols in the area it shows how seriously we’re treating the issue.

“While youths drinking are causing issues for local residents they are also putting themselves at risk by drinking alcohol.

“We would also like to remind adults who buy alcohol for those under-age that they could face an on-the-spot fine, and could be charged with a criminal offence.

“We won’t stand for this type of behaviour and working with our partners and residents we’ll continue to tackle it.”

Anyone who has concerns about either crime and disorder can also contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101 ext 69191.