Police have released footage of officers being surrounded by up to 100 teenagers in a town centre and ‘appalling’ scenes as a number of them launched an attack.
Durham Police urged parents to take responsibility for their children following the frightening disturbance in Stanley around 8.40pm on Saturday November 3.
To prevent further disturbances, they had set up a text message service which will alert parents when there is trouble in the town centre and it will tell them to collect their teenagers and remove them from trouble.
The video from body cameras shows uniformed officers responding to a report of a ‘vulnerable female’ at the bus station, and being quickly surrounded.
Officers were heard to say ‘We are asking people nicely to move away’ before tensions rose and they shouted: ‘Everybody out, move back now.’
A Police Community Support Officer was punched in the face and a group of around 20 youths in hoodies threw bricks, lit fireworks and attacked the police.
Sergeant Emma Kay said: ‘Disorder of this kind is totally unacceptable and violence against our officers will not be tolerated.
‘Action will be taken against all the individuals involved that night and Stanley Police will continue to take positive action against anyone involved in this type of behaviour.
‘Parents were asked to come and review the footage from the officers’ body cams that night and they all agreed the behaviour of the children was appalling.
‘While there is a hardcore group of individuals involved in this incident, there are many more people stood on the sidelines, young people who are going to affect their life chances by continuing to engage in this type of behaviour.
‘We are asking for parents to step up to the plate, take responsibility for your children.
‘Do you know where they are, or are they going to bring trouble to your door?’
The sergeant asked them to sign up to the Be Informed text service which will alert them to collect their children if there is trouble in Stanley.