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Officers to visit parents of youths engaged in crime and antisocial behaviour on estate

Crime and safety

Friday, 12 April 2024
A police light

Parents will be visited by police and council officers after a spate of “unacceptable” crime and antisocial behaviour on a Middlesbrough estate.

Middlesbrough Council is supporting Cleveland Police as it responds to public concerns in Netherfields.

Issues including vandalism, damage to property and verbal and physical abuse have been reported in recent weeks, centred around Vaughan Shops off Fosdyke Green.

The Council’s Neighbourhood Safety team has assisted in identifying a number of youths believed to be responsible, while Cleveland Police have put dispersal orders in place which effectively ban groups from congregating in the area.

The force’s Neighbourhood Policing Team officially ordered 25 youths to leave the area using its dispersal powers, while another 20 youths left after being asked by officers.

Two boys, aged 12 and 17, were arrested for breaching a dispersal order in place over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Now, as part of the Council’s joint work with police, an application for a civil injunction order for one young person will be heard at the Youth Court later this month.

The injunction is designed to stop antisocial and nuisance behaviour – with the threat of three months detention in a young offender facility for any breach.

Ten youths have been given official warnings while others will have their parents visited at home.

During the visits, they will be issued an Acceptable Behaviour Contract which, if breached, could be a precursor to a more powerful court-backed order.

The council and police are also working with landlords in the area to potentially evict those who fail to comply.

Marion Walker, Head of Stronger Communities at Middlesbrough Council, said: “Our staff have worked hard, alongside Cleveland Police, to identify youths involved in the completely unacceptable behaviour seen in Netherfields recently.

“We’ve listened to the concerns of residents and done everything we can to track down those responsible, and now we are visiting parents to let them know in no uncertain terms that this must stop.

“When we’ve done this in the past, the majority of parents have been supportive and engaged with us to deal with the problem.

“But there are a minority of parents who insist their children are merely ‘playing at the shops’, and it’s those families we are warning.

“Smashing windows, damaging property, shouting abuse and intimidating people in large groups is not ‘playing’ and will not be tolerated.”

Temporary Inspector Steven Pattison, from Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are working closely with our partners to tackle recent increases in both antisocial behaviour and crime in the area around Vaughan Shops, where we have seen some instances of appalling behaviour in the last few weeks.

“Where there are repeat offenders we won’t hesitate to look at enforcement options, which can include Criminal Behaviour Orders, arrests and looking into tenancy agreements with housing providers.”

Anyone who is concerned about antisocial behaviour or crime or wishes to report an incident in their local area should contact Cleveland Police on 101 or visit the police website.

Always call 999 in an emergency.