A multi-agency operation has been launched across Sunderland and South Tyneside to tackle teenagers involved in anti-social behaviour.
This week, neighbourhood officers will be looking to clamp down on youth disorder in a number of anti-social behaviour hotspots as part of Operation Constellate.
Uniformed and plain-clothed officers will increase patrols in areas including Sunderland city centre, Galleries shopping centre and Chichester Metro station that have previously experienced incidents of anti-social behaviour involving large groups of youths.
Police will use both criminal and civil legislation to tackle any trouble and take action against ringleaders believed to be causing misery to residents and businesses.
The operation will be supported by a number of partners including enforcement officers at Sunderland City Council, local Youth Offending Teams and Nexus.
Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell, of Northumbria Police, said: “This week, residents across Sunderland and South Tyneside will see officers out and about in the areas where the operation is running in a bid to nip any anti-social behaviour in the bud.
“It may only be a minority of individuals who get involved in anti-social behaviour, but their actions can have a significant effect on residents who can be made to feel intimidated or frightened in their own home.
“This operation aims to tackle any reports made to us and take action against those making life a misery for others. Our activity will focus around areas where we have seen reports of anti-social behaviour in the past, as well as many of the region’s transport hubs.
“Officers will look to take appropriate action against anybody found to be involved in criminal activity, and youngsters involved in anti-social behaviour will be taken home to their parents and spoken to about their conduct.
“We would ask parents to please make sure you know where your children are on an evening and work with us and our partners to ensure local residents feel safe.”
Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, Councillor Michael Mordey, said: "I’m very pleased to hear about it and to offer support for this partnership operation.
"I know from meeting residents and hearing from businesses, there’s been concerns around these large gatherings and the anti-social behaviour that they can generate. It’s behaviour that will not be tolerated."
Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, said: “We work closely with the police to crackdown on issues of anti-social behaviour and fare evasion on Metro.
“Crime rates on Metro remain low but we are working hard to reduce issues of low level disorder in and around some of our stations. Anyone who gets caught causing trouble on Metro faces prosecution and a possible ban from travelling on the system.”