Police are working to tackle incidents of anti-social behaviour in Blyth, following a rise in the number of incidents reported this year.
Neighbourhood officers have been working with town-centre retailers affected by ASB and carrying out high visibility patrols to reassure residents and local businesses, as well as to deter offenders.
So far during the operation officers have stopped and checked 29 people and made three arrests for offences including assault, breach of bail and for being drunk and disorderly.
One 18-year-old has been charged with common assault and breach of bail and police have reported two male youths for public order offences. Ten direction to leave notices for anti-social behaviour have been handed to individuals which bans them from the area for up to 48 hours, and if they return within that period, they face arrest.
Police have also taken a number of youths they found on the town centre streets back to their homes and advised their parents of their child’s behaviour. In persistent cases, officers can also use acceptable behaviour agreements and can involve partners in housing to look at whether such behaviour puts tenancies at risk.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Nick Smith said: “We’re aware of issues with anti-social behaviour in and around Blyth town centre and are working to address these. We know the affect anti-social behaviour has on our communities and we know it can make some people feel more fearful which is why it is an issue we won’t tolerate.
“We have met with the local authority to look at how we can best work together to tackle this issue, this includes looking at the youth activities available to young people to prevent them from hanging around the streets.
“We have also spent time with the businesses who have been affected by ASB and given them advice on how they can help to prevent such issues occurring.”
Council staff will be looking to deal with and take action against offences such as littering and graffiti. They are targeting those responsible and will be gathering evidence of offences being committed to use in prosecutions in court.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “I’m pleased to see that this operation to tackle anti-social behaviour in Blyth is well underway and I very much welcome collaborative efforts to address the concerns of local people. I will continue to challenge the Chief Constable to ensure Northumbria Police continues to be one of the top forces in tackling anti-social behaviour and for tough and effective action to be taken against those who are responsible for unwelcome trouble and disorder. We’re determined to tackle anti- social behaviour wherever it happens. My message to everyone is – if it’s a problem in your community, report it.”
Coun Liz Simpson, chairman of Safer Northumberland, said: “We know the misery anti-social behaviour can cause residents and we are committed to working with our partners to tackle it.
“The initiative has already led to a number of people being arrested and parents of some youngsters spoken to about their behaviour. We are confident that this joint-approach will improve the quality of life for people living in the area.”
Sgt Smith added: “We’re determined to do all we can to stop ASB and we’d ask residents and businesses to support these efforts and report any issues to us so we can continue to take necessary action.”
Anyone with concerns about youth disorder or anti-social behaviour where they live should contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.
You can follow the team at Blyth on Twitter @NPNBlythNPT