A SENIOR police officer has vowed to get tough on youngsters running wild on the streets around Langbaurgh in a bid to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

A get tough initiative, codenamed Operation Mischief, has been ordered by Langbaurgh District Commander Chief Superintendent John Kelly.

Specialist police squads will be set up in the area, ready to carry out arrests. They will be backed by plain-clothed spotters identifying ringleaders.

Chief Supt Kelly said: "Many parents think their youngsters are perfect angels who cause no problems when they are out of the house.

"The reality is some youths simply run wild and think they are a law unto themselves. It is about time the parents took some responsibility for their off-spring.

"They should be asking where they have been and what they have been up to. Some youngsters, fuelled by drink, bring misery to local communities - and it is going to stop."

Council chiefs have welcomed the police action, David Walsh, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: "Anything that gives peace of mind and positive police action in our borough is good news.

"As a borough council we will fully co-operate with the police on this issue."

Chief Supt Kelly said his team of officers would come down hard on troublemakers. "If their parents do not like it, then it is tough," he said.

"It is wrong that a minority of young people should cause misery to many. It is also wrong that parents, many of whom I suspect are aware their youngsters cause problems, do nothing."

Operations throughout Langbaurgh are now under way.

Undercover spotters will be sent to known problem areas to mark out ringleaders who will be targeted by the specialist squads.

Chief supt Kelly said: "All too often when police get calls about anti-social behaviour the troublemakers have left the area or there is no evidence to arrest them.

"This time we will ensure they are caught red-handed.

"As a result of other similar methods in the past, crime has fallen in Langbaurgh. I now want to ensure anti-social behaviour, and the people behind it, is also tackled and dealt with in a similarly robust manner.