Northumbria Police have asked parents to make sure they know where their children are these school holidays – as they step up patrols to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
Today (Friday) a number of schools across the North East will break up for their summer holidays with children looking forward to six weeks out of the classroom.
But they are not the only ones who have been doing their homework and police in the region are adjusting their plans in anticipation of an increase in reports of youth disorder.
Officers have said that the majority of children will not cross their radar over the next six weeks and will behave in a responsible manner during their time off.
But they have warned those who do involve themselves in trouble that they could find themselves being arrested.
Police have asked parents to make sure they know where their children are during the holidays and have also reminded shop owners that it is illegal to sell alcohol to children.
Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton, Northumbria Police's lead for anti-social behaviour, said the Force will be working with all six local authorities, youth offending teams, housing associations, the region's two fire and rescue services and NEXUS to keep any disruption to a minimum.
Ch Supt Hutton said: “We issued a similar warning about anti-social behaviour over the Easter holidays and we were able to keep disorder to a minimum.
“But we know the summer holidays can be a different challenge with hotter weather leading to more groups of children gathering in public, particularly on our coastlines.
“In previous years we have seen children drinking alcohol and behaving in a way that can be very intimidating for more vulnerable members of the public.
“It goes without saying that the majority of young people are an absolute credit to themselves and their community and a minority continue to give them a bad name.
“Hanging out with your friends is not a crime but many youngsters can find themselves getting drawn into anti-social behaviour.
“We are asking parents to work with us over the next six weeks and make sure you know where your children are going to be in the evening.
“We will also be visiting local businesses to warn them about the consequences of selling alcohol to young people and Nexus will be using legislation to ban problem individuals from the Metro system.
“If you see our officers on patrol then we would encourage you to approach them and raise any concerns you may have about crime in your neighbourhood.”
Anyone who wants to report anti-social behaviour can do so by calling 101 or reporting it online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.