POLICE and support officers have been given extra powers to curb anti-social behaviour in the Southey area.
They now have the authority to tell groups of youths to disperse and not to return for up to 24 hours - or risk arrest and prosecution - and to take home under-16s.
Police and the council turned to legislation after complaints from Southey residents. The dispersal order will run until the end of July.
Insp Simon Leake, of the North East Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “These powers allow us to take action against a minority of people who intimidate and cause distress to others by behaving antisocially.
“We will continue working with our partners to tackle nuisance behaviour in our communities, and we’re working to do all we can to address this.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said: “Anti-social behaviour is a modern blight on society.”