Police stepping up fight against yobs

Taking part in the new police patrols in the Bunny Hill area of Sunderland are PC Paul Holden (right) and CSO Dave Corner

Taking part in the new police patrols in the Bunny Hill area of Sunderland are PC Paul Holden (right) and CSO Dave Corner

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TOUGH measures are being introduced to combat young yobs.

Tackling troublemakers has been flagged up as a priority by police in Bunny Hill who have pledged to step up their efforts to crack down on the problem.

Anyone found causing trouble in the area will be slapped with a direction-to-leave notice banning them from the area for up to 48 hours.

Police patrols in the area will also receive an evening-time boost as more officers hit the streets.

And they will be targeting underage drinkers who fuel the problem.

Neighbourhood Inspector Lisa Musgrove, who covers the area, said: “As the nights get lighter more and more people will be out in the evenings and we want to make sure the behaviour of a few individuals is not causing distress to other members of the community.

“While it’s important to recognise that not all young people are involved in antisocial behaviour, when people see groups of youths hanging around on the street it can seem like they are going to be a nuisance.

“Over the next couple of months, extra officers will be on patrol between 5pm and 9pm to reassure the local community and stop any disorder before it gets out of hand.

“We will also be targeting underage drinking as this fuels disorder even more.

“We would always encourage young people to get involved in the many activities that are provided in the area and work closely with partner agencies, such as Sunderland City Council, to support these.”

The area has been a popular place for youngsters to gather but police claim they have already helped to drive down disorder in the area and have pledged to work with their partners to continue to do so by putting on various activities to keep youngsters off the streets.

Insp Musgrove added: “The area is a traditional hot spot for disorder and while this has fallen dramatically, we want to keep it that way.”

Stuart Douglass, Sunderland City Council’s Safer Communities Manager, added: “Working together, we can target some of the causes of antisocial behaviour and stop them combining to cause any problems.

“Preventing access to alcohol at the same time as providing increased access to positive activities for young people is a proven approach.

“We hope to build on the success of exciting projects like the mobile XL Youth Villages, which bring a range of activities such as sport and music out into the community where more young people can get involved.”