People rummaging through commercial rubbish bins looking for things to take or sell on have been slammed for making Sunderland city centre look ‘unsightly’.
Police say they are working with the council to tackle what has become a growing issue.
Over the past few weeks police have been informed about concerns of people searching through large commercial rubbish bins looking for items for them to take.
Rubbish is being thrown out of the bins as people search through them, and is then left lying on the ground.
Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell said: “We’ve been made aware people are searching through the large commercial rubbish bins in the city centre looking for rubbish that has been thrown away that they can take – and in some instances sell on.
“This is causing great concern to the local community, local retailers and local business, who are having to put up with the mess that these people are creating when they’re searching through the bins.
“Rubbish is being scattered everywhere, making the surrounding area look untidy and unsightly.
“We’re working closely with our partners to take action to address these concerns and have increased patrols in the areas where this is happening.
“However, we also want the public to help us. If they see anyone carrying out this sort of activity and they contact us, we can identify them and go and speak to them about this.
“Our priority is making everyone who uses the city centre feel safer and we will continue to listen and respond to our local communities concerns.”
Coun Harry Trueman said: “Again we’d ask people to help us prevent this type of anti-social, irresponsible behaviour by informing us where and when it is happening, so appropriate action can be taken.
“Our city centre is for us all to enjoy, and we work hard with our community safety and business partners to keep it as safe, clean and attractive as possible.”