Police have stepped up patrols in South Tyneside to target a rise in anti-social behaviour.
Northumbria Police officers were patrolling the Horsley Hill Square area of South Shields on Tuesday night following increased reports of ASB in the area.
Chief Inspector Lisa Hogan, Supt Steve Heatley, Sergeant Julie Beattie, community warden Tony Thompson and Harton ward councillor Neil Maxwell, took to the streets to tackle the ongoing problem.
As part of the increased patrols officers, will be visiting residents and businesses in the area.
Chief Insp Hogan, who is responsible for neighbourhood policing in South Tyneside, said police will make full use of all the powers available to stop offending.
She said: “It is all about the police being visible in this area as we have had an increased report of anti-social behaviour.
“That anti-social behaviour is something that is a policing priority and something that we take very seriously in terms of how it has an impact on the community in the Horsley Hill.
“In terms of the anti-social behaviour it is large groups of children, some of which have caused disorder and very low level damage, but what that does is have a huge impact on members of the public and the residents that live around here.”
Chief Insp Hogan said there had been a spike in anti-social behaviour in the area since October, with police receiving a number of complaints from local businesses in and from residents.
Officers say they have been engaging with the community through school visits and leaflets to residents to encourage them to come forward to report anti-social behaviour.
Supported by South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes, they will be asking people to fill in a feedback form, giving them the opportunity to tell police the things that bother them the most about anti-social behaviour.
The feedback will then be used to put together a plan of action which also includes visits to the homes of known offenders, test purchases at local shops and illegal motor bike riders face having their machines seized.
Chief Insp Hogan added: “It is predominately young people who causing the anti-social behaviour.
“Police patrols will be ongoing until I am satisfied that the anti-social behaviour is going in the right direction in terms of it declining and us not receiving complaints from members of the community.
“If people are committing offences we will arrest people for that and we will be robust in our approach in dealing with that.” Work has already been carried out across South Tyneside to tackle anti-social behaviour with the force launching Operation Gryphon in 2015.
Coun Maxwell said: “No one knows a neighbourhood better than the people who live there, which is why we would encourage people to let us know of any problems so that we can work together to take a more co-ordinated approach to tackling any problems that are raised.”
Residents concerned about anti-social behaviour can report it by calling: 0191 424 7999 or email: email@example.com.
Or by texting ASB followed by the message to: 07786 200 802 or reporting online at: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit Community Wardens can be contacted on: 0191 420 3713 from 11.30am to 10.30pm.