Sunderland community calls for crack down on anti-social behaviour

Residents and councillors in Hetton are calling for a clamp down on anti-social behaviour after a spate of incidents across the town.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 11:37 am
Hetton Town Council Coun David Geddis is calling for a long term plan to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Residents say they have been left “frightened” by anti-social behaviour across Hetton which they believe is an “ongoing” issue.

Mayor of Hetton David Geddis says the incidents are now “beyond a joke” following multiple arson attacks, vandalism and anti-social disorder.

Northumbria Police said it will not be “complacent” about issues in the area and will work with the public in a bid to keep streets safe.

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A man who works in Hetton had his windscreen smashed and another resident's car was the subject of arson.

One man, who has worked in Hetton for the last six years and does not wish to be named, says he has been the victim of acts of car vandalism over the last two months.

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He said: “I have also witnessed other anti-social behaviour antics where youths have kicked in the bus shelters, thrown fruit, stones and eggs at cars and buses.

"I feel upset and people are frightened, it’s getting ridiculous.”

Emergency services were called to a report of a fire in Hetton where more than 10 cars had been set on fire.

Mayor of Hetton, Cllr David Geddis says residents are now “fed up”.

He said: “Anti-social behaviour here tends to come in spates and just last year we had 18 bus shelters smashed and now this year we’ve huge problems with arson and off road bikes – it’s absolute craziness.

"It’s getting ridiculous now and people are frustrated and frightened, nobody deserves to live in fear. I’m an avid fan of the police and I appreciate that there is a lack of resources but we need to come up with a long term plan to tackle this.”

Inspector Steve Passey, of Northumbria Police, said: “We know that the anti-social behaviour of a minority can have a detrimental effect on the communities we serve.

“That’s why we are committed to tackling disorder through proactive policing and dedicated operations which we run throughout the year to tackle crime trends, identify perpetrators and ensure effective justice is delivered.

“In Hetton specifically, we launched Operation Avalanche last year to tackle youth disorder following some concerns raised by residents. That proactive operation resulted in a marked decrease in youth disorder.

“In fact, we have seen a 46 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour as a whole since April this year, compared to the same time period in 2020. We are pleased these results compliment the dedication and passion shown by our officers in that area.

“However, we will not get complacent. We have seen recent incidents such as arson and criminal damage in the area and an investigation is ongoing into each of these crimes.

“I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support and cooperation, and we will continue to work closely with them and all our partners to ensure Hetton remains a safe place to live and work.”

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