Where is Your Child - And What Are They Getting Up To?

That’s the question police and partners are asking parents and carers to ask their children as the darker nights arrive, along with the half term holiday for many youngsters.

This time of year has traditionally seen an increase in calls to police about antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.  The annual Operation Autumnus sees police working with partners during the October-November period of increased demand.

Senior officers from Cleveland Police, Local Authorities and Cleveland Fire Brigade are warning children- and their parents or guardians -  that there is no excuse for this behaviour and anyone taking part in it will suffer the consequences.

Housing Associations are working closely with local Neighbourhood Police Teams and warning families that persistent anti-social behaviour can have a negative effect on tenancy agreements.

And police officers and Local Authority enforcement officers will be patrolling local areas, wearing body worn cameras in order to record and gather evidence of any antisocial behaviour; those found committing offences will be dealt with at the appropriate level.

Cleveland Police Superintendent Bev Gill said: “Some youngsters may think they are simply taking part in pranks but their behaviour is likely to be intimidating and can cause misery and suffering to those around them.

“Our job is to ensure we keep our communities safe and I would urge parents to make every effort to know where their children are - especially on an evening - as police and partners will take swift action on anyone causing antisocial behaviour or committing criminal offences.

“My question to all parents would be is: Do you know where your child is?

“There are a number of activities on offer via your local authority – why not check their website for some ideas? 

“We are running increased patrols over several weeks and we’re also working closely with the Fire Brigade, the local authorities and housing providers to ensure we keep our communities safe.

“Many children will have had input at school from neighbourhood officers who will have stressed to them what constitutes unacceptable or even criminal behaviour and they will have reminded pupils how to stay safe if they’re out and about on these darker evenings.”

Steve Johnson, Area Manager Prevention & Protection, Cleveland Fire Brigade added: “Working in partnership is key to ensuring the safety of our communities.  We want people to enjoy themselves safely and respect other people and their property.”