Gang of teens almost injure girl, 4, while ‘firing rocks at house and bus’

A four-year-old girl narrowly avoided serious injuries after a gang of teens allegedly catapulted rocks at people, animals and houses.

The group allegedly smashed the windows of a house and bus in Sunderland, with two separate victims – including the child – almost seriously injured by the flying glass on May 21.

Following police investigations, a 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the spate of incidents, while a second male, 15, will be interviewed under caution.

Two catapults and a BB gun have also been seized after officers carried out searches at a string of properties across Thorney Close and South Hylton.

It comes as Northumbria Police officers tackle escalating anti-social behaviour across the west of Sunderland.

Officers have since condemned teenage troublemakers for putting lives at risk by firing rocks from a catapult.

As schools closed for the half-term holiday, Inspector Marie Pollock has warned those involved will face criminal repercussions should their irresponsible actions continue.

Insp Pollock said: “This month we have received a range of reports of anti-social behaviour – from large groups gathering and intimidating residents to using catapults to scare ducks, smash bus windows and attack people’s houses.

“The neighbourhood team have been working hand-in-hand with our local authority partners to take action against those believed to be involved – and we’ve already had some success.

“So far, we have seized two catapults and a BB gun associated with the disorder, as well as arrested one teenager and identified another who will be interviewed in the coming days.

“We believe the bulk of this anti-social behaviour is being committed by one group in various locations. Offending started around Barnes Park and has since moved to Thorney Close, Grindon and South Hylton.

“They all know who they are – and it’s only a matter of time before we do too. We’ve already identified a number of suspects and they can expect knock on their door very soon.”

Ahead of half-term, Insp Pollock thanked the overwhelming majority of young people who continue to act responsibly and make a positive difference in their community – but warned troublemakers will be dealt with appropriately.

She said: “We have targeted patrols planned and would ask young people to act responsibly – or face possible criminal action. We would also ask parents to know where your children are heading and work with us to ensure our city remains a safe place to live and work.”

Anyone who sees anti-social behaviour taking place or who is a victim of crime is asked to report it via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland