NEIGHBOURHOOD police are warning underage drinkers and troublemakers they will come down hard on them after an increase in anti-social behaviour.
Police say they have seen a slight increase in anti-social behaviour recently in the Hart and De Brus wards as a result of youngsters drinking leading to knock-on effects including criminal damage.
Neighbourhood police from the North and Coastal team in Hartlepool are will focus on the problem as part of a new operation.
Operation Hart aims to educate young people about the dangers of drinking and the consequences of their actions on the community and their own futures.
Extra patrols will take place during key times and any young person found with alcohol will have it seized and their parents will be told.
Repeat offenders will find themselves in court.
Sergeant Mark Haworth said: “We are committed to finding local solutions to local problems and will work to reduce the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour involving underage young people.
“Parents also have responsibility to ensure that they know where their children are and what they are doing. These youngsters are getting their alcohol from somewhere and while our work goes on to identify those selling to underage teenagers, we do ask for support from parents and carers.
“Total crime is down across Cleveland and we are determined to reduce it even further as we move into the summer months.”
Anyone experiencing anti-social behaviour should contact their local neighbourhood police on the non-emergency number 101.