Increased police presence in Sunderland city centre in bid to crackdown on anti-social behaviour

Northumbria Police have launched their festive crackdown on anti-social behaviour and shoplifting in the city centre.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 2:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 1:49 am
Operation Cracken launch at Bridges Shopping centre, Sunderland. L/R Duncan Allen (The Briges), David Lynn (SCC), Kate McCafferty (SCC), Sgt Maria Ord (Northumberia Police) Kirsty Currie (BID) and Inspector Jamie Southwell (Northumberia Police)

This comes after 22 people were arrested by police and 39 dispersal orders were issued banning people from the city centre in a police operation which ran over October and November.

Police will maintain increase patrols in the lead up to Christmas and uniformed and plain-clothed officers will work closely with The Bridges, Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) and Sunderland City Council.

Sergeant Maria Ord and the city centre neighbourhood team launched Operation Kraken, which will run until Christmas Eve in Sunderland.

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She said: “Christmas is a time of good-will and excitement for residents and visitors who will be coming to Sunderland to share in the festive spirit.

“We are expecting increased footfall across the city centre over the coming weeks and we want to make sure families can enjoy themselves in a safe and hassle-free manner.

“That’s why we’ve launched Operation Kraken, something we have run successfully in previous years, which will see increased patrols across the city centre and officers will target hotspot areas and individuals believed to be involved in disorder or criminality.

“The feedback we have received off the back of Operation Justice has been incredibly positive, and we will be looking to build on that by working hand-in-hand with our city centre partners and businesses to create a positive, vibrant environment for shoppers and families to enjoy.

“Anybody who threatens that festive spirit within our city centre will face robust action and could face the prospect of spending Christmas behind bars.”

Kirsty Currie, operations manager at Sunderland BID, said: “We are delighted with the results of both recent operations which have proven working in partnership can deliver hugely effective and positive results for the city centre.

“We are coming into the busiest time of year for city centre businesses and with the added fun packed Christmas programme bringing additional footfall in to the city, it is imperative we continue our zero tolerance approach to crime and anti-social behaviour.”.