Police and partners unite to tackle lighter nights disorder
Dated: 02 Apr 2012
A JOINT initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour in South Tyneside is offering a host of activities to keep young people occupied and off the streets over the Easter holidays.
Police have joined forces with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes to introduce the Lighter Nights campaign after the clocks sprung forward.
The campaign, which runs until April 15, will tackle anti-social behaviour such as criminal damage, underage drinking, wheelie bin fires, rubbish and grass fires.
As well as providing diversionary activities, the campaign features increased patrols and walkabouts to educate children and young people on the dangers and consequences relating to deliberate fires and anti-social behaviour.
Over the Easter weekend, Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Council Trading Standards officers are teaming up every day to carry out underage alcohol purchase checks at off licenses across the area.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will be carrying out high visibility patrols in hot spot areas to identify potential fire hazards, as well as meeting and talking to young people from South Tyneside during community engagement sessions at Harton Primary School and the Temple Park Centre.
South Tyneside Council's Sports Development team is also hosting a wide range of sport, dance and fitness sessions for youngsters of all ages at local schools, leisure and community centres.
Chief Inspector Brian Walker, from South Tyneside Area Command, said: "The lighter evenings often coincide with an increase in crime, disorder and inconsiderate behaviour, particularly around the Easter holidays, which can make people feel unsafe in their neighbourhoods.
"Working together, we aim to cut any incidents by focusing our attention on identified areas, as well as offering reassurance to residents."
District Manager for South Tyneside, Ian Robertson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Statistics show that anti-social behaviour, including deliberate fire setting, increases during the Spring period. Anecdotal evidence leads us to believe that this is linked to the onset of the lighter nights and improved weather conditions. By going out and talking to young people and offering them other things to do in their spare time, we hope to reverse this trend."
The Lighter Nights campaign is funded by South Tyneside’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams which is a partnership between Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Council, including Services for Young People, the Antisocial Behaviour Team and Neighbourhood Wardens.
Police and partners pictured at the launch of the campaign