Authorities in Sunderland are working together in response to videos being shared on messaging platforms between pupils at local schools.
Yesterday, a teenage boy was arrested on suspicion of malicious communication in connection with threats made to place a bomb at a school in the city.
Two youths have been arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and three arrested on suspicion of assault.
Police are aware there have also been incidents of anti-social behaviour, including on the Metro and neighbourhood officers are working with British Transport Police to identify those involved so appropriate action can be taken.
Police are also working closely with local schools and Sunderland City Council with extra officers on patrol around schools in the city this afternoon.
Chief Inspector Mark Hall said: “I want to reassure local residents and parents that we are treating these incidents very seriously and are working with British Transport Police, local schools and Sunderland City Council to address the issues.
“There will be a visible police presence around schools in the city this afternoon to prevent any further disorder and these patrols will continue over the weekend in the areas we know young people gather.”
Councillor Harry Trueman, Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, said: “The City Council is working with schools and community safety partners to support the police in taking appropriate action. We have been advised by the police that there is nothing to suggest the incidents were racially motivated.”
Sergeant Stephanie Reynolds from British Transport Police, said: “In recent weeks we have experienced an increase in anti-social behaviour incidents on the rail network in Sunderland. This behaviour is completely unacceptable and we’ve been working hard with Northumbria Police to deter, disrupt and arrest offenders.
“We have banned a number of individuals from using the railway as a result of unacceptable behaviour. We’ll continue to use these tactics, as well as prosecuting offenders to ensure crime is nipped in the bud.
Police are engaging with the schools involved and providing reassurance with extra officers on patrol in the areas around them.
Featured Image from PA/PA Wire.