Almost 80 youths identified by police over trouble in town

Police walkabout in Houghton-le-Spring town centre.
Police walkabout in Houghton-le-Spring town centre.

Almost 80 youths who have been causing trouble in a Wearside community have been identified and spoken to by police.

The Echo has reported in recent weeks about anti-social behaviour issues in Houghton, with buses often diverted away from the town centre due to vandalism by yobs.

Last week police chaired a Partners and Communities Together meeting for residents to air their concerns.

Since the meeting an officer has been drafted into the local authority CCTV office so that police can identify and react to any incidents.

Plain clothes officers are also riding on buses.

Ten people who have been identified as being involved in causing a nuisance on buses were served with dispersal notices and have been visited by police about their on-going behaviour.

A further 68 youths have been identified as being involved in anti-social behaviour and these youths have been spoken to in the presence of their parents and have attended anti-social behaviour presentations.

Last month Superintendent Steve Heatley carried out joint patrols with Sunderland City Council and councillors in the town to speak to residents.

He said: “As the school holidays approach I know that people may be concerned there will be another increase in the number of incidents and I would like to reassure residents that our work to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area will continue right into the New Year.

“Additional patrols will be carried out by both uniformed and plain clothes officer, throughout the school holidays and Christmas and New Year period, and I really would urge anyone who witnesses any disorder to either speak to an officer on patrol or contact 101 so that we can deal with it.

Chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership and deputy leader of the city council Councillor Harry Trueman added: “What we have done is identify those responsible, make them and their families aware of the effect their behaviour was having on others, and then take action to prevent it from happening again.”