YOUNGSTERS in South Tyneside are being warned of the dangers of playing around derelict buildings.
Police are issuing the reminder after reports of youths hanging around the old office building of the former Hawthorn Leslie shipyard in Ellison Street, Hebburn.
Officers have stepped up patrols in the area to move the groups on, but they have continued to return and use the site for shelter, despite warnings from police on the potential dangers of the building.
Ian King, Neighbourhood Inspector for Hebburn and Jarrow, said: “I can’t stress enough how dangerous this site, or any other derelict site, can be.
“Youngsters gathering in the building face injuring themselves. We know some young people have been using the site to drink alcohol, which further increases the risk of an accident. I would urge people to steer clear of this site as there could be serious consequences. I’d also ask parents to be aware of where their children are and to help us by reinforcing the message about the dangers of playing on sites like these.” Coun Richard Porthouse, who represents Hebburn North and is leader of the Hebburn Community Area Forum (Caf), hopes the town’s multi- million pound community hub, which is in the pipeline, will help ease the problem.
He said: “There are problems with children making a nuisance of themselves all over the town. I hope that the community hub will help, but it needs to be done properly.
“If we get it right then it will give young people a place to go instead of hanging around our streets and building sites.”
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To discuss any concerns you have in your neighbourhood, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101, extension 69191 or via the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk