Graffiti patrols to help tackle vandalism in Hebburn - police warn those caught with spray cans and markers may face arrest
“A lot of patrols” are being carried out to tackle concerns around graffiti in parts of South Tyneside, according to police.
It comes after residents at the latest Hebburn Community Area Forum questioned if there was any progress in tackling the “increasing amount of graffiti around the town”.
Northumbria Police representatives at the meeting on January 9 said they have PCSOs whose job is to carry out “on foot high visibility patrols in the area” to try and tackle the issue.
PC Jason Sweeney said: “What we’re doing, we’re doing a lot of patrols with our PCSOs trying to get them more visible in the town centre as much as possible.
“Anybody with permanent markers, spray cans, anything like that, if we suspect that they’ve been up to no good they can be arrested and the crime be investigated.
“I encourage everyone to ring up if they suspect that they’re doing it, we’ll get out there as quick as we can.”
He added they have previously had success in the past in catching individuals guilty of committing graffiti.
Statistics presented by police at the meeting highlighted how there had been 181 crimes recorded in Hebburn between November 25 and January 6, which included 26 reports of criminal damage.
In the eight weeks prior to this there were 204 crimes logged, 46 of which were for criminal damage.
Police noted in the Hebburn area overall recorded crime is down over the last eight weeks compared to the same period 12 months ago.
PC Sweeney added before the end of this month they hope to have the Northumbria Police community engagement van come to Hebburn targeting children aged between 11 and 18.
The van gives young people the chance to interact with police and take part in different activities.
PC Sweeney said: “It’s just another tool to encourage the kids to keep out of trouble so to speak, to keep them occupied.”
He added “significant work” has also been taking place in the area by Hebburn’s neighbourhood police team, which has been “working extensively to tackle and reduce antisocial behaviour” which is showing a “fantastic reduction”.
People can report incidents of graffiti to police at https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/ as well as by calling 101.