Summer Childsafe initiative underway

16 Jun 2016 14:40 PM

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A summer initiative to keep young people safe while tackling youth disorder is underway in North Tyneside.

Police aim to safeguard children in situations when they are vulnerable while addressing specific issues of youth disorder that can impact significantly upon quality of life issues for the wider community.

Neighbourhood officers from both North Shields and Whitley Bay are carrying out Operation Childsafe, with patrols dedicated to parks, and other areas commonly frequented by groups of young people and teenagers.

Officers will be on patrol to identify vulnerable people or situations and to assess the risks that our children face. They will take action to safeguard them to prevent future problems or offences. An element of this revolves around youths drinking alcohol but also includes the use of psychoactive substances (formerly called legal highs), other controlled drugs and inappropriate associations or other circumstances.

Anyone under 18 caught drinking alcohol in a public place can expect it to be seized and the use of psychoactive substances is now controlled under new legislation. Children may be returned home as part of the Childsafe scheme and parents will also be informed of the circumstances under which their child was found. Officers can also issue Dispersal Notices to individuals in certain situationa that bans them from the area for up to 48-hours.  If they return they face arrest. In persistent cases officers can use Acceptable Behaviour Agreements and can involve partners at Safer Estates.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: "Police activity such as this, demonstrates that our officers are taking action to tackle the small minority involved in causing anti-social behaviour in order to reduce the impact it has on the neighbourhood and ensure vulnerable children and young people are kept safe from harm."

Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Armsworth said: "I want the children in North Shields and Whitley Bay to have a fun filled summer but in a way that does not place them under undue risk and which doesn’t have a negative impact upon the rest of the community. Officers are carrying out these patrols to keep our children safe and to make sure anti-social behaviour is targeted. I want the community to be reassured by a dedicated and regular uniform response to this.  We want to make sure our parks are places people can enjoy spending time in. "

Anyone with concerns about safeguarding, youth disorder or anti-social behaviour where they live should contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.


View the full news release