EXTRA police patrols are being introduced in Cullercoats to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.
Officers from the Whitley Bay neighbourhood policing team and North Tyneside Council are working with the RNLI lifeguards and the coastguard as part of Coastwatch.
Crime has reduced by half since Coastwatch began in April, with the offences falling from 12 to six, while anti-social behaviour has been reduced by 30 per cent, from 26 incidents to 18.
And 16 ‘Direction to Leave’ notices have been issued, banning people intent on causing anti-social behaviour.
Officers are making sure shops selling alcohol in the area are fully aware of their responsibilities not to sell alcohol to under 18s.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Dave Foy said: “This operation is certainly having a big impact and has been well received.
“At a community forum held in Cullercoats on Sunday we’ve had great feedback from residents who are very happy with the joint Coastwatch operation.
“Residents regularly see large numbers of visitors and are happy to welcome people who come to enjoy the seaside.”
“They frequently see officers on patrol in the area and are reassured by their presence.”
This initiative also supports the latest Northumbria Police initiative – ‘Put yourself in their shoes’ – by encouraging people to think about how their behaviour might affect others.
Officers are stopping and talking to youngsters they meet to tell to them about the initiative and find out how it affects them.
They are also taking the opportunity to get to know more young people and find out about the issues which concern them.
Sgt Foy added: “Officers also patrol the busy beaches and keep in close contact with the lifeguards who are equipped with radios, and are extra eyes and ears for us, as they can call in any problems they see.
“And, if they need any help we can quickly come to their assistance.
“The reductions in crime and ASB show this initiative is working well.
“The vast majority of people come to the seaside to have a good time, but there are a small minority of people who do cause problems and we will deal with them effectively.
“By working together Coastwatch is delivering a reassuring presence in the Cullercoats area to keep seaside bathers, day trippers and local residents safe while enjoying the seaside this summer.”
Mayor Linda Arkley said: “This is excellent news.
“We’ve been making a number of physical improvements in the Cullercoats Bay area as part of our coastal regeneration work.
“However, it’s absolutely vital that residents and visitors feel that Cullercoats is a safe place to be. That’s why I’m delighted that this initiative has been such a success.”