A serial criminal who was dubbed as a “drain on police resources” has been banned from setting foot in several areas of Sunderland.
Northumbria Police said Robert Friendship Smith struck fear into the hearts of communities across the city with a history of violent and frequent crimes.
The 23-year-old has been arrested 59 times and racked up 25 criminal convictions since 2007 with his offending ranging from assault, criminal damage and breach of criminal behaviour order to arson and theft.
He was released from prison on Christmas Eve last year and the terms of his licence instructed him to stay at specified premises outside of the area.
The areas he is banned from include; Castletown, Hylton Castle, Town End Farm, Redhouse and Downhill.
It also prohibits him from causing a nuisance or annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to any member of the public in the entire Northumbria force area, along with using abusive, insulting, threatening or intimidating language or behaviour.
Should Smith breach the terms of the injunction he faces the possibility of a significant spell behind bars.
Inspector Don Wade, of Northumbria Police, said: “Smith has caused fear to our communities and has been a drain on police resources for well over a decade.
“The majority of his offending has taken place in the Castletown, Hylton Castle, Town End Farm, Redhouse and Downhill areas of Sunderland.
“His violent criminal reputation precedes him and he has used that reputation to commit multiple offences within a very small geographic area.
“Smith has shown a constant disregard for the law and his behaviour has had an intimidating impact on our communities, with many of his victims aware of his history of violent crime.
“This injunction is an effective way to manage and deal with Smith’s criminality, banning him from areas of the city where he has predominantly committed offences and anti-social behaviour.
“Should he ignore these strict conditions and breach the injunction, he will be re-arrested and the courts will have greater powers in which to sentence him.
“I would like to thank our communities for their ongoing support and would ask anybody who sees Smith in the above locations where he is banned to contact police immediately.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, added: “Without a doubt, this will be welcome news for the people of Sunderland.
“You can’t carry on like this causing harm, misery and damage to entire communities and get away with it.
“Northumbria Police won’t stand for a repeat of any of this behaviour and will rightly take firm action if needed, which I hope helps reassure the many people whose lives he has blighted over the years.”
Smith’s injunction runs until February 4, 2025.
Anybody concerned about anti-social behaviour in their area is asked to report it by using the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the police website or by calling 101.
In an emergency or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.
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