North Yorkshire Police has urged parents and carers to make sure they know where their children are and what they are up to during half-term.
On Friday (18 February), schools across our area break-up with pupils enjoying a welcome week away from the classroom.
Anticipating an increase in reports of youth-related anti-social behaviour, the Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been making plans to deal with this issue.
Most young people are well-behaved and act responsibly during the holidays, police said. But those who break the law have been warned they could find themselves being arrested.
Assistant Chief Constable Lindsey Butterfield said: “During the school holidays we tend to see an increase in complaints of anti-social behaviour where children and young people are identified as being responsible.
“While the minority may be causing issues, we find that most youngsters we speak to are polite and respectful and are simply enjoying being with their friends.
“To be clear, we will not move kids on who are not causing issues. Their presence alone is not an issue in most circumstances.
“However, some youngsters can find themselves getting drawn into anti-social behaviour, including street drinking or intimidating residents by gathering in large groups and being disruptive.
“Our policing teams will respond to such issues and will use powers to disperse these groups if necessary.
“Any behaviour that spills over into criminal acts such as criminal damage or assaults will be treated very seriously and offenders can expect to face action.
“As a preventative measure, we are urging parents and carers to work with us over half-term and make sure you know where your children are going to be and what they are doing.”
In this video clip, YorkMix talks to York and Selby’s police commander, Superintendent Mark Khan, about the trouble in Foxwood in York recently.
Be aware of the consequences
If youngsters are found to be causing issues by the police, there may be consequences for them as well as for their parents or carers.
This could mean:
- You will have to leave whatever it is you are doing to come and collect them
- Their details could be logged on the local police system
- They may receive a dispersal
- They may be investigated for any subsequent criminal offences
- They could end up being charged with a criminal offence
- They could be putting themselves in danger
- The police will submit referrals to other agencies with concerns they have
Assistant Chief Constable Lindsey Butterfield added: “We encourage parents and carers to have open and honest conversations with your youngsters, take responsibility for their safety and teach them how to keep safe, and make sure they know the risks of being involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We believe this is the best approach to deal with this issue and ensure all in our communities are safe and feel safe.”
Reporting anti-social behaviour
If youngsters are causing anti-social behaviour, acting in an intimidating manner or preventing you from accessing areas within the community safely, then please make a report so we can address the problem as soon as possible.
If you have any concerns, please call North Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency number 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room.
If there is an immediate risk of harm and an emergency response is required, always dial 999.