Time’s up for drinking dens

PCSO John Ellis with North Tyneside Council Waggonway Wardens, Richie Barnes and Chris Dominiczak during the clean-up.
PCSO John Ellis with North Tyneside Council Waggonway Wardens, Richie Barnes and Chris Dominiczak during the clean-up.
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five drinking dens have been dismantled to try to curb the anti-social behaviour problems they create.

Police and North Tyneside Council officers have dismantled or destroyed a handful of locations used by under-age drinkers in Benton and Longbenton areas over the last three weeks.

Nearly a tonne of debris were removed from the dens.

Officers from Killingworth’s neighbourhood policing team have been increasing patrols in affected areas and working with the council’s waggonway wardens to deal with the issue.

Three dens were cleared on the Longbenton waggonway, one in Killingworth’s Keegan Park and another next to Benton Metro station.

Inspector John Smith said: “These dens have been a concern for the local community, and we have put resources into dealing with them.

“Police and council staff will continue to address anti-social behaviour and crime issues in the area.

“Officers have stopped and spoken to many young people about their behaviour and recovered cans and bottles of alcohol.

“We’re also asking the public to contact us with information if they see a drinking den, so we can take further action.”

Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “Drinking dens can cause damage to the environment, generate litter and are often a source of anti-social behaviour which affects the quality of our residents’ lives.

“They can also make the young people themselves vulnerable through the effects of under-age drinking.

“The impact of early drinking on a young person’s brain can make it more difficult to do well at school, as well as having long-term health consequences.

“All these reasons make it extremely important that these drinking dens are dealt with whenever they’re brought to the attention of the police or council.”