Crackdown launched as police say drunks and drug users spiralling anti-social behaviour is causing misery in Sunderland city centre
Drunks and drug users are making life a misery for businesses in Sunderland city centre, police and businesses have said.
Police are launching a crackdown on anti-social behaviour after the actions of some individuals has ‘spiralled’.
Officers will patrol hot spots in the city centre targeting alcohol and drug-related anti-social behaviour which is being carried out by adults.
Businesses have raised concerns about the problem and the Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) is working with the police to try and tackle the issue.
The move comes just months after it was reported there had been an increase in the number of people defecating in the city centre.
Sergeant Maria Ord, who will lead Operation Justice, said the team are looking to stamp out the problem in the lead up Christmas.
Sgt Ord said: “We are committed to ensuring shoppers and families who come into Sunderland city centre enjoy a hassle-free, safe environment, while also ensuring our businesses remain safe and secure,” Sgt Ord said.
“Over the last few weeks, we have spoken with Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) and our partners at the Bridges who have voiced concerns about the repeated anti-social behaviour of a group of individuals in our city centre.
“Our message is simple – anti-social behaviour and criminality will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and anyone found to be involved will be dealt with swiftly and robustly.
Sunderland BID operations manager Kirsty Currie said: “Ensuring the city centre is a safe environment for businesses, visitors and residents is one of the BID's highest priorities, which is why we are partnering again with Northumbria Police, Sunderland City Council and the Bridges on this latest operation.
"Last year's Operation Jasper demonstrated that a united approach can yield great results so if those committing crime and anti-social behaviour think they can get away with it in the city centre, they are simply wasting their time.”
Bridges Centre director Andy Bradley also welcomed the new operation: "In recent years the Bridges and the BID have worked together with Northumbria Police on these initiatives which have been hugely successful and highlight what we can achieve when we all work together,” he said.