Middlesbrough mayor calls for 'thuggish teens' to be sent to Rwanda
Middlesbrough's mayor has called for "thuggish teens" to be sent to Rwanda.
In a now-deleted tweet on 7 January, Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston agreed with another tweeter who posted that action should be taken to get "the county's crime wave of unruly thuggish teens under control."
In reply to their tweet, Mr Preston said: "Totally agree about crime and thuggish teens.
"The only sensible thing to do with some indigenous families is to send them packing...to Rwanda."
It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the decision to send some asylum seekers who arrive in the UK to Rwanda on a one-way ticket, telling broadcasters in Riga, Latvia: "We’ve always maintained that our Rwanda policy is lawful, and I’m pleased that was confirmed today and this is just one part of our plan to tackle illegal migration."
Despite deleting the tweet, Mr Preston has stood by his initial comments in a longer statement.
Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said: "Troublemakers and criminals of all ages bring misery to the lives of decent people in Middlesbrough.
"Right now the disgusting behaviour of a small group of criminals and troublemakers is causing havoc and misery to Pallister Park and Berwick Hills.
"The many decent people there feel ignored and overlooked because known troublemakers are smashing windows, throwing bricks and stones at cars and assaulting innocent shop workers and customers."
He added: "The system of catching and punishing criminals seems broken. The rights of criminals and troublemakers seem to always be prioritised over the victims and we’ve all had enough.
"Some people are now talking about taking vigilante action and, while I absolutely do not condone such action, I can understand their thinking.
"All decent people want to see these criminals locked up and those who want to keep on causing suffering should be forced out to live somewhere else - I don’t care where, whether it is Reading, Rochester or Rwanda - I am just sick of them bringing Middlesbrough down.
"I want to see the government get tough and actually start locking up criminals and troublemakers."