A new order is in place banning gangs of youths from a large area of central Middlesbrough.
The move by Cleveland Police follows a spate of yobbish behaviour including criminal damage and intimidation of businesses and shoppers.
The Dispersal Order - covering an area bounded by Hartington Road, Borough Road and the A66 - came into effect at midday on Tuesday.
Welcoming the clampdown, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "This sort of thuggish behaviour is completely unacceptable at the best of times - and these are far from the best of times.
"We all have a duty to protect one another - and our stretched health services - from a pandemic that has yet to loosen its grip and which still threatens us all.
"That means avoiding all large groups and gatherings, not to mention the criminal damage, abuse and intimidation that this group has inflicted on law-abiding people.
"We know some of the young people are from out of town, but we will identify those responsible and take action to stamp out this reckless and anti-social behaviour in our town centre.
"I'd urge every parent across the Tees Valley to ask themselves if they know where their children are and what they are doing, and do the responsible thing and keep their kids away."
The Dispersal Order - which can be extended if necessary - will allow large groups of youths to be dispersed from the area for 48 hours, and if they return then they can be arrested.
Cleveland Police Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Birkett said: "This level of behaviour will not be condoned under any circumstances.
"The town centre should be a place for people to enjoy and for people to work and no one should feel threatened or intimidated by the mindless acts of these individuals.
"Additional officers will be patrolling the town centre and we will take appropriate action to stop this kind of behaviour.
"Police would like to remind these youths, and their parents, that fines can and will be issued for gathering in large groups above six in a Tier 3 area.
"We all need to play our part and abide by the COVID guidelines to protect lives."