A JUDGE has sent two teenage boys to a youth detention centre after they caused more than £20,000 of damage to a building.

The two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, will spend a total of 34 months in the detention centre after two incidents in the Blakelaw area of Newcastle last week.

Police were initially called last Wednesday to a report that youths had climbed onto the roof of the Blakelaw Neighbourhood Centre and nearby shops and were causing a significant amount of damage.

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A substantial number of police resources had to be dispatched to the incident due to concerns around public safety. Two 17-year-olds were later arrested in connection with the incident.

But just three days later police received a second report of youths climbing on the roof of a premise near Blakelaw Shopping Centre.

Two youths again tore tiles from the roof, damaged chimneys, smashed windows, threw the debris at passers-by and caused a significant police response.

A 16-year-old, and one of the 17-year-olds from the incident just three days earlier, eventually came down from the roof and were arrested in connection with the incident.

It is estimated that damage caused in both incidents amounted to around £22,000. None of the teenagers can be identified due to legal reasons.

All three teenage boys were charged with a string of offences including theft, affray and criminal damage. Two of them were sentenced this week after a judge said he was disgusted by the damage they had caused to the estate.

Neighbourhood inspector Julie Rana has condemned the teenagers behaviour and said the youths do not represent the local community in Blakelaw.

She said: "These three teenagers have shown a total lack of respect for the community and caused a huge amount of damage to buildings in the heart of Blakelaw.

"They caused huge disruption in the area on the evenings in question and sparked a considerable police response which was both time consuming and resource intensive.”

"Not only is this behaviour incredibly disrespectful to local people and local businesses but these teenagers are putting their lives at risk through this type of behaviour.

"They're also putting the lives of others at risk by tearing roof tiles and bricks from the buildings and throwing them at members of the public.”

"We are glad a judge has recognised the seriousness of this offending and now these teenagers are facing lengthy spells in a detention centre.”

"I know that these offenders are not representative of the people of Blakelaw and we will continue to work with residents to restore pride in our local community."

Glenn Pendleton, the Executive Manager of The Blakelaw Ward Community Partnership, said: “We are grateful to Northumbria Police and the justice system for dealing with this incident so quickly.

"The regrettable actions of the individuals concerned is not an accurate reflection of the behaviour of the young people who live in this area.

"Our charity, which runs the Blakelaw Centre and all of its services, will now have to pay for repairs. That money would obviously have been better spent on supporting one of our main priorities, which is providing quality provision for the young people of Blakelaw.

"Like everybody else we were disappointed that this incident took place but by no means does it deter the determination - especially by our committed youth team, led by Leanne Risk - to deliver excellent services to all members of our community."

The 17 year-old involved in both incidents was handed a 16 month sentence to be served in a youth detention facility. He admitted offences including an affray, theft, a racially aggravated public order offence and possession of a bladed article.

The 16-year-old will also serve with a 16 month sentence as he also admitted assaulting a police officer, theft and an affray. He denied a further offence of possession of a bladed article and will appear before the youth court in the near future.

The 17-year-old involved in the first incident, but not the second, admitted theft, affray and a racially aggravated public order offence. However, he denied an unrelated offence and will appear before youth court in the near future for this case to be heard.