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20 teenagers dealt with for anti-social behaviour as Operation Avalanche maintains momentum
02 Feb | 09:11

Police have issued anti-social behaviour notices to more than 20 teenagers as Operation Avalanche maintains momentum.

Officers in partnership with Sunderland City Council launched the operation in Hetton-le-Hole and Houghton-le-Spring in a bid to tackle troublemaking youths.

The initiative, spearheaded by Inspector Nick Gjorven, came in response to concerns raised by residents about the behaviour of some youngsters who had been running roughshod over the area.

Operation Avalanche has already seen uniformed and plain-clothed cops, along with ward councillors and council anti-social behaviour officers, carry out dedicated patrols in problem areas to detect and disrupt crime, stop and search suspects and offer reassurance to residents.

Yesterday marked the two-week milestone since Operation Avalanche began, and Insp Gjorven believes it has had a significant impact in the area.

“Operation Avalanche was about tackling the issues most important to the communities we serve,” Insp Gjorven said.

“We’ve had some great results with 24 youths identified who have now been served with formal anti-social behaviour warnings, with letters sent home to their parents reaffirming this behaviour must change.

“Should they reoffend, those individuals and their parents will receive a home visit by the council’s anti-social behaviour team, housing providers and police.

“We’ve issued three dispersal notices banning groups of people from congregating in areas of Hetton and Houghton, while 12 vehicles believed to be involved in criminality have been uplifted.

“Last week, officers along with Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt and ward councillors also went on joint patrols to speak to residents.

“While we acknowledge anti-social behaviour is caused by a minority, their actions can have a long-lasting effect on our community - and that’s why we will continue to maintain this momentum over the coming weeks.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, who raised some concerns from residents to officers, welcomed the “great work”.

She said: “Everyone has the right to feel comfortable and safe where they live. Nobody should be left feeling intimidated or anxious due to the behaviours of young people in their area.

“Northumbria Police has shown that firm action will be taken against those responsible for anti-social behaviour – officers want to catch it, stop it and prevent it from happening again. There is still work to be done, but there is some great work to build on here.”
Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, Cllr Michael Mordey, added: “I know the progress and the results of this police and council partnership will be welcomed across Hetton.

“Information from residents and community action is guiding our partnership as it tackles anti-social behaviour and crime. There is no place for bad and anti-social behaviour anywhere.”

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