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Police and partners tackle ASB in Leam Lane

18 Oct 2016 16:00 PM

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Officers are stepping up patrols and taking action against groups of youths who are causing problems for residents in the Leam Lane area of Gateshead.

Police have been receiving growing numbers of calls about large groups of up to 50 youths gathering in the Fewster Square and Oliver Henderson Park area of Leam Lane causing damage and problems for local people.

The youths, that are thought to be aged between ten and in their late teens, are setting fires and damaging street furniture, drinking, riding bikes dangerously in the shopping precinct area and being threatening and abusive to members of the public.

To combat this, officers from the Gateshead East Neighbourhood Policing Team have put an operation in place aimed at identifying those responsible and putting a stop to them.

Police are carrying out high visibility patrols in the areas at key times - speaking to youths, moving them on from the areas, confiscating alcohol and taking further action where needed.

They are working with the local council, The Gateshead Housing Company, Fire and Rescue Service and other partners and are looking at ways to improve the areas where the problems are occurring - such as CCTV and increasing youth activity opportunities.

The officers are also gathering details of the children involved in the trouble and are carrying out visits to their parents and asking them to take steps to stop their children from becoming involved in criminality.

Police believe that parents could be the key to solving the issue and are making a direct appeal to them to know where their children are on an evening and what they are up to.

Acting Inspector for the area, Paul Cook, said: "These groups of youths are causing a lot of problems for local people and this behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"We are working with the local authority and other partners to address the issue and have already have an operation in place involving extra police patrols to hopefully put a stop to the disorder.

"We've already began identifying those involved and have visited a number of parents, the majority of who did not know where their children were or where they had been at the time. They were all surprised to learn they were involved in causing disorder in the area and promised to take steps to put a stop to it.

"Parents need to be aware of where their children are on a night and what they are doing. Children involved in the problems in the Leam Lane area are facing being arrested, being put before the courts and getting criminal records. Their behaviour can also have an impact on the whole family as The Gateshead Housing Company and some private landlords will take enforcement action against those parents who fail to take parental responsibility and  manage their children's behaviour.

"This issue is having such a detrimental impact on the local area, local people and local businesses that we are committed to doing all we can to get the issues resolved as soon as possible."

Vera Baird QC, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s, said: "I’m pleased to see that this operation to tackle anti-social behaviour in Gateshead is underway and collaborative efforts are in place to address the concerns of local people.

"The effects anti-social behaviour can have on individuals and local communities can be very damaging. I will continue to challenge the Chief Constable to ensure Northumbria Police continues to deliver tough and effective action against those who are responsible for unwelcome trouble and disorder."

Vera Baird QC, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s, said: "I’m pleased to see that this operation to tackle anti-social behaviour in Gateshead is underway and collaborative efforts are in place to address the concerns of local people.

"Anti-social behaviour can cause disruption for individuals and local communities. I will continue to challenge the Chief Constable to ensure Northumbria Police continues to deliver tough and effective action against those who are responsible for unwelcome trouble and disorder."

Councillor Linda Green, Gateshead Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Volunteering, which includes Community Safety, said: "We fully support the police in what they are planning to do to combat anti-social behaviour in this part of Gateshead and across the borough. It is important we all work together to ensure the Leam Lane area – and the whole of Gateshead -  are safe and peaceful places for residents, including the vulnerable and the elderly.

"Parents must also take responsibility for knowing where there children are and what they are doing. Some youths seem to think it is acceptable to spoil the area for everyone else and this will not be tolerated by the Council, the police and our other partners, working to keep the borough safe"

To speak to your Neighbourhood Policing Team or report any issues or concerns ring 101.




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