Police appeal for help to tackle ASB in Gosforth

19 Oct 2016 12:30 PM

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Police in Gosforth are appealing for parents' help to try and tackle an anti-social behaviour problem in the area.

In recent weeks officers have received a growing number of calls from local residents complaining about extremely large groups of youths gathering in areas of Gosforth and causing problems.

The groups, which have been as many as up to 50 at a time, are hanging around areas like Christon Road, Bramwell Court, Farne Avenue and Wansbeck Road and Regent Centre Metro Stations and are becoming an increasing concern for local people and businesses.

Officers have received reports of noise complaints linked to the groups and also incidents of criminal damage and abusive behaviour.

Keen to address the issue, officers from the Newcastle North Neighbourhood Team have been carrying out patrols in Gosforth at key times, speaking to the youngsters and encouraging them to be considerate to other people in the area. Police are also taking action where people are behaving in an anti-social manner.

They are now appealing for parents' help to try and solve the problem before any criminal action is needed.

Inspector Karen Murray said: "The main issues that we are getting from local residents is around the sheer size of the groups that are gathering in and around some of the busiest areas of Gosforth on evenings.

"When faced with groups of up to 50 teenagers people are naturally concerned and older or vulnerable people, in particular, can become frightened or intimidated. When some of these groups contain one or two individuals who are damaging property or being abusive then it does become a real issue and something that we have to address and crack down on.

"The key for us lies with the parents of these kids. We know from speaking to a number of them that their parents drop them off in Gosforth, to be with their friends on a night, and then pick them up later but they have no knowledge of what their children are doing while there and the problems they are causing.

"We want parents to encourage their children to think about their behaviour a little more. To get them to think about meeting in smaller groups in places that are well lit and to think about the amount of noise that they are making. The use of wifi speakers to listen to music should be avoided as this drives up the noise level of the group and causes real problems for local residents.

"Encouraging children to meet closer to their home rather than gathering in the centre of Gosforth would also help. If they still want to go to Gosforth, we would ask they avoid walking between Christon Road and Central Park via the terracesĀ  and walk along the main Road and Great North Road, which is better lit and less likely to cause a nuisance to local residents.

"If using public transport do so in smaller groups rather than en masse. Large numbers of youths all turning up at the metro station can result in lots of noise and it only takes one person to act irresponsibly for the public perception to be of large scale disorder.

"We will continue to carry out patrols in the areas during the evening and address the groups that are causing disorder and will identify any trouble makers and take appropriate action against them. We really want to resolve this issue without the need for us to take any criminal action against the young people involved, and that will be through the help of the parents.

"We are working with local youth groups and schools to try and provide alternative activities for young people in the area, even if this is just a safer place to meet and congregate. The darker nights are now upon us and we want to make sure that not only are all residents safe from anti-social behaviour but also that young people are safe when they are out and about."

To report any issues of anti-social behaviour where you live ring your local neighbourhood policing team on 101.

View the full news release