SCHOOLCHILDREN who persist in racial attacks on asylum seekers risk losing their parents the family home - as well as landing themselves in court.

Cleveland Police are to apply for anti-social behaviour orders for youngsters as young as 13, while housing landlords Coast and Country Housing will evict tenants' families found to be responsible for racial abuse and racial graffiti.

The clampdown follows a rise in racially motivated incidents in the Redcar area from one to up to eight a month, over the last year. Insp Dave Mead, of Cleveland Police, said: "We will do all we can on this. We will prosecute and Coast and Country will evict.''

He believes a hard core of thugs is responsible for the incidents, which have included isolated incidents of petrol bombing, but more commonly take the form of name-calling and the spraying of graffiti on house walls.

Racial aggression at Redcar is no worse than anywhere else on Teesside, but Insp Mead says the police want the problem nipping in the bud. He appealed to anyone witnessing or experiencing race hate to contact the police.

Insp Mead said: "We have to draw a line in the sand; we are not going to tolerate this. We want to send the message out that those responsible will not only experience the wrath of the legal system, but will be evicted."

The police will use acceptable behaviour agreements which have to be signed by both parent and child. If they do not comply, the police will seek antisocial behaviour orders.

Police patrols are being stepped up in sensitive areas.

Iain Sim, chief executive of Coast and Country, said: "The company has a racial harassment policy in which it makes clear to all its tenants the seriousness with which the company views racist behaviour and the action it is prepared to take against the perpetrators of such acts."

Pete Widlinski, of the North of England Refugee Service, said of the attacks on asylum seekers: "We have professional people who have given up jobs, their homes and sometimes their families to flee to this country for safety, who are being hounded by local people.

"They cannot understand why this is happening in a civilised society."