Victim meets the hooded vandals who smashed a window at her South Shields home

A victim who had the windows of her home smashed by youths has thanked police after coming face-to-face with those responsible.

A number of youths attended a restorative justice conference.
A number of youths attended a restorative justice conference.

During July and September this year, police received a number of reports of anti-social behaviour involving a group of teenagers in the Quarry Lane area of South Shields.

One woman had a window of her home shattered by rocks, which were hurled by youngsters.

The damage caused to the victim's home in South Shields.

An investigation was subsequently launched, with police identifying and speaking with more than 20 young people known to have been either involved or present during the incidents.

Five of the primary offenders were made to attend a restorative justice conference, often held with youth offenders to help them understand the consequences of their actions and allow victims to take an active role in guiding young perpetrators away from re-offending.

“I feel as if holding the restorative justice conference was beneficial, as it gave me the opportunity to come face to face with the youths responsible,” the victim said.

“I was able to ask them why they carried out their actions, and they couldn’t give me an answer.

The victim said meeting the young people helped give her closure.

“I explained to them how the incidents had affected me, how it made me feel and how irresponsible their behaviour was. It helped me to see the youngsters in person, rather than in the dark with their hoods up and faces concealed.

“I realised that they were not as intimidating as I first thought. Before the restorative justice conference I was nervous whilst in the house and when around people, but speaking to those responsible has helped to give me some closure.

“I would like to thank the police, especially the Harton neighbourhood team, for all their help and support throughout the investigation”

Sergeant Julie Beattie, of Northumbria Police, believes the conference was helpful for all concerned.

The victim asked the young people why they had carried out this crime.

“The anti-social behaviour of a few can cause a massive impact on many of our residents, who can feel intimidated and vulnerable in their own home,” Sgt Beattie said.

“We are committed to tackling this type of behaviour, and this is an example that action will be taken against those found to have been participating in it.

“Many residents in the Quarry Lane area are thankful for our robust response to these incidents, and parents have been shown footage of their children’s behaviour in a bid to educate them and prevent any further wrongdoing.

“Tackling this type of behaviour is only possible by working with the public as well as our partners, including the Antisocial Behaviour Unit at South Tyneside Council, and we hope this positive result will help reduce incidents like this in the future.”