YOUTHS causing criminal damage as part of so-called “Mischief Night” last night broke windows, threw fireworks and even damaged a police car in the Teesside area.

Cleveland Police drafted in an extra 200 police officers on to the streets and cancelled leave as it dealt with the 284 incidents overnight.

A spokeswoman said: "Last night there was a pre-planned force wide operation to deal with anti social behaviour, crime and disorder, which typically increases at this time of year.
"Units dealt with 284 incidents throughout that period. A police vehicle was damaged in Loftus (stone throwing), but there were no injuries.
"Six dispersal orders were signed and will remain in force over the next 48 hours.

Loading article content

The traditional event involved flour and eggs being thrown, leading to many shops refusing to sell them last night – but some youngsters use stones and fireworks and the evening of October 30 has become synonymous with anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

Last night a bus window was damaged near Stewart Park in Marton, causing delays and traffic chaos during rush hour.

Police also reportedly arrested a male in the Netherfields area of Middlesbrough on suspicion of throwing a brick at a police car, and youngsters setting off fireworks in the Elm Tree area of Stockton abused members of the public.

Vulnerable people were also targeted in their own homes, with police reporting that a deaf man’s windows were smashed at his Thorntree home in Middlesbrough.

There were unconfirmed reports of fireworks and other objects being thrown at a property in Hylton Road, Billingham, damaging the front of the home, and when occupants tried to investigate they were met with racial abuse.

Youths also damaged a car on Pentland Avenue in Billingham and there were unconfirmed reports of a gang of 30-40 teenagers in the Bishopsgarth area of Stockton wearing balaclavas, shouting abuse and jumping on cars.

A Facebook post from the Billingham and Norton Neighbourhood Policing Team read: “Antisocial behaviour patrols are continuing all night in Billingham and Norton. Main problem areas so far have been Billingham town centre, Low Grange and Norton High Street.

“A group were stopped and eggs recovered from them however we are aware that many more are out there so we will be looking.

“We would like to thank those responsible parents of Billingham and Norton who have made sure they know where their children are and what they are up to.

“This has helped reduce the ASB impact on local residents.

Sadly it appears that the parents of around 40 youths don’t agree with knowing where their children are and seem to not care what they are up to. Ourselves and the ASB team will be in contact with some of these in the near future.”

One woman in Middlesbrough said people had been setting off fireworks in her street, hitting cars and homes between about 5.30pm and 1.30am most evenings since mid-October.

Cleveland Police said last night it was responding to a number of public disorder incidents in Stockton, Norton, Billingham, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough and Redcar.

Stones were said to have been thrown at cars and fireworks were being let off by youths often hidden in bushes at the side of the road.