Summer campaign to tackle ASB on Roker and Seaburn seafront

15 Jul 2016 09:00 AM

Operation Harpoon [View Full Size]

Police are launching a summer campaign to target anti-social behaviour on the beaches of Sunderland. 

Traditionally, police see a rise in the amount of anti-social behaviour - often caused by underage drinking - on the beaches in Roker and Seaburn.

To tackle the issue Sunderland North Neighbourhood Policing Team in partnership with Sunderland City Council has launched its annual summer campaign 'Operation Harpoon'.

Now in its third year Operation Harpoon sees police carry out regular patrols in and around the beaches specifically on the look out for underage youngsters drinking alcohol.

Anyone underage found drinking alcohol will have it confiscated and anyone found to be a ringleader in anti-social behaviour will be warned by police, those who are persistently involved in anti-social behaviour will be visited at home and spoken to in front of their parents or an appropriate adult.

The operation also involves the usage of 4G camera’s and the deployment of detached youth workers in the area. 

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “This activity demonstrates that our officers are listening to the concerns of local people and are working closely with partners to protect the vulnerable and tackle anti-social behaviour head on.

The effects under-age drinking can have on individuals and local communities can be very damaging and I give my full support to this campaign to bring about positive change to the residents of Sunderland’s coastline.”

Local Neighbourhood Inspector Don Wade said: "We're very lucky in Sunderland to be by the sea and have a fantastic coastline and golden beaches, they're a great attraction and a great place for everyone to enjoy and we want to make sure they remain that way.

"People love to spend time at the beach and we don't want to have their time ruined by groups of teenagers causing anti-social behaviour and creating a nuisance because they have been drinking alcohol when they shouldn't.

"In previous years Operation Harpoon has proved successful in helping us to reduce anti-social behaviour and we're hoping that once again our proactive response to tackling anti-social behaviour will have a positive effect and our communities will see a difference.

"I would also like to ask parents and people with parental responsibility to work with us and make sure they know where their children are when they go out and what they are doing, I'm sure most parents would not want us turning up on their doorstep with their child in tow because they have been causing nuisance - or worse are under the influence of alcohol and putting themselves in danger as a result of being intoxicated."

Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Harry Trueman said: “Our beautiful beaches are there for us all to enjoy. We don’t want the anti-social behaviour or a tiny minority  to spoil that, which is why we have this annual campaign  to remind everyone of their responsibilities.

"Increased patrols are a visible reminder that such behaviour won’t be tolerated , and visits to the parental  homes of those young people involved  also acts as a personal reminder  to their families  that underage drinking is a criminal offence.

"If we all work together we can identify any problems early, and then take the appropriate action to safeguard our young people and prevent any problems from escalating .”

 For more information about what police are doing in the city follow @npsunderland and visit the Northumbria Police Southern Area Command Sunderland facebook pages.

- Photograph, courtesy of Sunderland Echo, shows Cllr Harry Truman Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partneship with PC Gary Mee and PC Anne Pearson from the Sunderland North Neighbourhood Policing Team. 

View the full news release