Police criticised for missing meeting to discuss antisocial behaviour

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Northumbria Police have been criticised for missing a public meeting to discuss antisocial behaviour in Hebburn.

The issue sparked an outburst at a meeting of Hebburn Community Area Forum.

Councillors and members of the public heard a presentation from South Tyneside Homes on efforts to tackle problem behaviour in the area, but the police did not send any representatives to explain the force’s role.

Speaking at the meeting at Hebburn Central, Coun John McCabe said: “I said at the last meeting that it’s important for Northumbria Police to come to these meetings.

“It’s not every week, it’s every six weeks, and yes, they’re struggling with resources.

“But when we have an item on antisocial behaviour I thought their attendance would have been a requirement.”

Coun McCabe, who is himself a former police officer, added: “It’s not good enough in my opinion. It’s not good enough for the people of Hebburn.”

One of the  main issues in recent years has been nuisance motorcycle, bicycle and moped riders.

Proposals to tackle the problem in the past have included using drones, mounted officers and ‘DNA spray’ to identify suspected offenders.

Officers from Northumbria Police regularly attend CAF meetings for Hebburn and other areas of South Tyneside to give updates on their work and take questions from the public and councillors.

In a statement, Inspector Denise Easdon said: “Where possible, officers always endeavour to attend council meetings to discuss matters regarding the protection and safety of the public.

“However, sometimes operational demands mean it is not always possible for an officer to be in attendance.

“As a Force, we value the importance of working closely with councillors and the public to keep our streets safe.

“As a result, we will endeavour to meet the councillor in the near future to discuss any concerns about crime in his area.”

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service