100 suspects stopped in crackdown on disorder in Sunderland city centre

Police, council and business leaders are claiming a victory in the battle against antisocial behaviour after teaming up to tackle the problem.

Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 11:49 am

Operation Flintstone was launched after concerns raised by businesses and those living and working in Sunderland city centre regarding recent problems with adult-related disorder.

Northumbria Police have joined forces with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) as part of the new multi-agency operation to curb offending and help empower communities.

The partners say troughout the summer months, a host of targeted activity will take place to drive down antisocial behaviour, target offenders and encourage more victims to report incidents to police.

Representatives of Northumbria Police, Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID

Police said tactics will include increased patrols in problem hotspots, working hand-in-hand with businesses to address drink or drug-fuelled criminality, and proactively targeting those known to be making life a misery for others.

Officers claim the operation has already made an instant impact – with more than 100 suspects stopped and spoken to by police, 29 dispersals made and two people summonsed to appear in court.

And as the Force support ASB Awareness Week which is being marked nationally, police in Sunderland have vowed to maintain the momentum this summer.

Chief Superintendent Barrie Joisce, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is imperative that our communities feel empowered and know that we will take action as a direct result of their concerns raised.

“That’s why Operation Flintstone has been launched, after speaking to residents and businesses and understanding their concerns. We hugely appreciate your support and will take robust action to tackle and prevent pockets of disorder.

“In the past, we have seen brilliant results through our dedicated city centre operations which have seen a significant reduction in crime. That’s the aim once again – and I’d like to thank the City Council and Sunderland BID for their continued support.

“We all want to help ensure Sunderland remains a safe, hassle-free environment where families and visitors can enjoy the many great things that this city has to offer.

“You will see an increased police presence and I would always encourage anybody affected by anti-social behaviour to speak to us. Operation Flintstone and similar operations are here to empower you – and we’ll use every tactic at our disposal to tackle the issues most important to you.”

Kirsty Currie, Operations Manager at Sunderland BID, welcomed the launch of Operation Flintstone.

“We have previously worked closely with both the police and the council on similar initiatives which have made a real positive impact and we believe that we will achieve the same outcome this time round,” she said.

“It highlights that we have a zero-tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour and by all working together, we can make a real difference.”

Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller is hoping the operation can make a real impact.

He said: “We have a strong track record of working together with our partners at Northumbria Police and Sunderland BID to crack down on ASB and crime and disorder in our city centre.

“So I have every confidence that Operation Flintstone will have a real impact in making sure our city centre with its many attractions is a safe and pleasant place to be over the summer months.”

Northumbria Police has asked anybody who sees anything suspicious in their area to report it by using the ‘Tell Us Something’ web page or call 101.

In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.