THREE children have been arrested this evening (Wednesday, March 12) in connection with the potentially deadly craze of hurling bricks at cars and houses.

Widespread criminal damage has been caused by youngsters in the Stanley area of County Durham and police have said it could end in a fatality.

The stark warning came less than a month after nine-year-old Abbie Keers, from Stanley, was almost blinded after a bottle was thrown at her grandmother’s car as she sat in the passenger seat.

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There has been a spate of recent incidents of bricks being thrown at cars from the bridge over the road to Tanfield Lea and in the areas surrounding Stanley.

Earlier this evening, police arrested three boys, aged 12, 14 and 15, and they are being taken to Peterlee Police Station for questioning.

Sergeant Dave Clarke, of Stanley Police, said: “Somebody could be killed.

“If a brick is thrown from a bridge and it goes throw the window and there are splinters of glass and an automatic reaction is to close your eyes and turn away.

“If someone is going under a bridge then they are going to have a serious injury and possibly die. It has happened in other parts of the country.

“Whoever was responsible for that would be spending a long time in prison.”

Police have also received many calls of bricks being thrown at house windows and cars from the roadside.

Officers are aware of a small number of people behind the yobbish behaviour and more arrests are expected to be made tomorrow. (Thursday, March 13) They have the support of the schools in the area and are making visits, along with neighbourhood wardens from Durham County Council, to urge pupils to stop now before there is a serious incident.

David Thornton, principal of North Durham Academy, said: “Any student here represents us whether they are in the academy during the day or in the community at night time.

“We will work with the police to tackle anti social behaviour and stamp it out.

“There is zero tolerance as far as we are concerned.”

Ian Thompson, assistant headteacher of Tanfield School, said: “What we need to do as part of the education push with the police are bring in here is the idea of consequences, that every action has got consequences.”

  • A 23-year-old man from the area has been arrested in connection with the Abbie Keers incident and bailed pending further inquiries.