Police target South Shields estate in anti-social behaviour crackdown

Teenage yobs who are terrorising elderly residents are being warned to quit their bad behaviour or face the consequences.

Cleadon Park councillor Alex Donaldson is concerned about anti-social behaviour at The Lonnen.
Cleadon Park councillor Alex Donaldson is concerned about anti-social behaviour at The Lonnen.

Police have stepped up patrols at The Lonnen, in Cleadon Park, after a dispersal order for the area was activated at the weekend.

This gives officers the power to move on large groups.Those who ignore warnings and return, could be arrested.

The move comes after pensioners say they have become concerned for their safety because of the actions of young people.

Some have had wheelie bins stolen or set on fire, while others say they feel intimidated by drunken behaviour.

Cleadon Park councillor Alex Donaldson said: “Some of these residents are in their 70s and 80s and these people are terrorising them.

“These are people’s grandparents. How would they like it if other people their age were carrying out the same behaviour towards their grandparents?

“They need to be thinking about how their behaviour is affecting residents. It’s not only reducing their quality of life but also their confidence.

“Residents have had their wheelie bins stolen or burned and say the antisocial behaviour is getting out of hand. The police are out in the area but, as soon as they are spotted, the youngsters run off into the park.

“It is causing a nuisance to those living in the area. Having their wheelie bins stolen is an inconvenience, not to mention the cost to the resident of having it replaced.

“A lot of work is being done on the estate to improve the area for everyone, but this is one issue spoiling it for all.”

Neighbourhood Inspector John Smith said: “We’re aware of issues with antisocial behaviour on The Lonnen and are working to address these.

“We know the effect anti-social behaviour has on our communities and we know it can make some people feel more fearful, which is why it is an issue we simply won’t tolerate.

“We want our communities to be able to enjoy the area they live in and not live in fear.

“We are working closely with our partner agencies, and plan to have a dispersal notice in place over the weekend which will stop large groups gathering in the area. If they do, police will have the authority to ask them to leave the area.

“Regular patrols are carried out and plans are in place to reduce the risk of any further distress to local residents.”