POLICE have launched their annual crackdown on anti-social and drunken youths.
Operation Staysafe will see extra officers on patrol to stop children drinking in public places and getting involved in crimes such as criminal damage.
Those caught will be taken aside by police to a designated building and spoken to about their behaviour.
Their parents will also be informed.
The initiative is being supported by a host of partner agencies, including the anti-social behaviour unit, social services and the youth offending team, who will be on hand to give advice and to discuss any issues or concerns the youngsters may have.
Inspector Paul Haytack, of Hartlepool Police, said: “Members of the public have asked us to take action against young people who behave anti-socially or are drunk in public.
“Operation Staysafe allows us to take those youngsters to a place of safety where they can be offered advice and they can discuss any issues that they may have with professionals if they should need to.
“Following being taken to the place of safety, we will call the youngsters’ parents to collect them and any criminal matters will be dealt with appropriately.
“Those who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to become a victim of crime or get inured and end up in hospital. We don’t want this to happen, we want them to stay safe and to think about the consequences of their behaviour.”