Week of action tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough

A week of action tackling crime and anti-social behaviour has begun in Middlesbrough.

Antisocial behaviour in Hemlington has become an issue over recent weeks, with incidents ranging from arson, criminal damage - to an elderly man knocked out by a brick that was thrown through his window.

The first day of the operation saw a man arrested, a knife recovered, visits to local businesses and engagement with a local school.

Cleveland Police has said that crime in the area has reached unprecedented levels in recent months.

Chief Inspector Daryl Tomlinson from Cleveland Police said: "What we are hearing from the community is large groups of kids causing fires, throwing missiles, and basically causing a nuisance and making it a really unpleasant place to live.

I think there is a lot of unrest because it's people within their own community who are causing some of these issues, there's a reluctance for them to tell us who is doing it because of the fair of reprisals.

Uniformed police patrols will be a constant presence on the streets as part of a week of action by officers. Plain clothed police will also be targeting known offenders.

The police operation involves the force working throughout the day and night, working with councillors, schools and housing associations.

Emergency services have also been attacked - in September police cars were vandalised and fire crews were pelted with missiles as they tried to tackle a large fire which had been deliberately started in a number of wheelie bins in this park.

Residents are hopeful this action could make a difference by dealing with the most problematic offenders.