Police have outlined action taken after a group of youths in Stokesley damaged houses and cars, smashed windows and climbed scaffolding.

Sergeant Chris Ross spoke to Stokesley Town Council to provide further information on the 34 incidents recorded within the previous month.

His main concerns, echoed by many in the community, centred on a group of youths who had been causing problems in several areas, especially in the estates to the east of the town.

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A significant number of properties had been targeted, with damage being caused to houses and cars. Objects had been removed from gardens, rocks and apples had been thrown at houses and windows had been smashed, with greenhouses also being damaged.

Youths had also climbed the scaffolding on several nights on to the roof at the Springfield Co-op and had damaged both the scaffolding and the fencing. Sergeant Ross said that he was not only concerned about the damage caused but also the significant risk of serious injury.

He had had meetings with Co-op manager and contractors, who had tried to accelerate the work.

Sergeant Ross confirmed that the police had identified most of the young people. He said that there had been up to a dozen involved and eight had already been identified.

He said that most of the group had originally been unknown to the police and were from different areas of the town. Most were between 12 and 15 years of age. The police are in the process of taking appropriate action, working with their parents and the school.

Sergeant Ross also reported problems, including a smashed window, at licensed premises on the High Street on the Saturday of show day. Some of the groups who had caused problems were known to have caused similar trouble in Yarm.

Councillor Chris Johnson suggested that public houses should be made to use plastic glasses on show day. The town council had also received an email from a resident concerned about social disorder and drug use at licensed premises in Stokesley. Sergeant Ross assured councillors that the matter was being addressed by the police. He did however say that the Stokesley team were two members down at the moment.

The police were thanked for their prompt action in tackling the recent spate of anti-social behaviour and councillors were pleased to note that the young people responsible had been identified and that action was being taken against them to prevent further incidents.