Drunken louts will be booted out of Sunderland

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DRUNKEN louts will be booted out of the city centre to sober up and cool down.

Police in Sunderland are reinforcing powers aimed at cutting alcohol-related disorder.

The warning comes as the new Premier League season starts today, with SAFC hosting Fulham at the Stadium of Light.

Officers can deal with drunk and disorderly behaviour using Direction to Leave orders.

These give police powers to remove individuals from a designated area for up to 48 hours.

If they breach the order by returning to the area within the stipulated time, they face being arrested and put before the courts.

Now the force has extended the exclusion zone, which is detailed on a leaflet handed to those given the order.

It also explains how the order works and that any breach will be treated as a criminal offence.

Ged Fairclough, Neighbourhood Sergeant for Sunderland city centre, said: “One of the main concerns raised to us is late night drunken, rowdy and disorderly behaviour.

“The Direction to Leave powers mean we can get people away from a specified area for the relevant period of time and arrest them if they don’t comply.

“Those committing criminal offences will obviously be arrested in the first instance, but these powers mean we can get rid of groups or individuals who may be worsening a situation or getting themselves involved in disorder.

“It’s yet another tool we have at our disposal to ensure the concerns of the community are being addressed.”

“The new leaflets also leave those who are issued with an order in no doubt of the area from which they are excluded and how the order works.

“We hope those people who are directed to leave will learn from their disorderly behaviour and refrain from getting involved in the future.” The activity forms part of Operation Guardian focusing on the city centre’s night time economy.

Officers are working closely with pubs and clubs to promote responsible drinking and to take action at any problem premises.

People committing offences within licensed premises or the city centre will be the subject of an exclusion order under the Pubwatch scheme.

Anyone charged in relation to alcohol-related crimes will also have strict bail conditions excluding them from the city centre.

Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We are determined to keep Sunderland a safe place to live and work.

“Local residents have told us they want drunken behaviour tackled and that is exactly what we are doing.

“The orders issued will be effective and those who break the order will face the consequences of their actions.”

For further information about policing in Sunderland follow @NPSunderland or like Facebook.com/NPSunderland.