Northumbria Police have asked parents to make sure they know where their children are this half-term – as they step up patrols to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
Today (Friday) schools across the North East will break-up for the final half-term of the school year with children looking forward to a week out of the classroom.
But police officers across the region have been making plans of their own as they anticipate an increase in reports of youth disorder this week.
Police say the majority of children will not cross their radar over the holidays 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 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 and Nexus to keep disruption to a minimum.
She said: “During the school holidays we have historically recorded an increase in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour.
“With the weather getting warmer we do expect large groups of young people together in public places and that can often lead to complaints from the local community.
“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, whether that is street drinking or intimidating residents.
“In the past we have seen reports of criminal damage and even assaults – that type of behaviour simply won’t be tolerated and offenders will face action.
“We are asking parents and carers to work with us over the holiday period and make sure you know where your children are going to be.
“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.