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Police praise for locals but stay on riot alert; Tyneside officers ready to deal with troublemakers.

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

TYNESIDE remains on alert after a week that saw cities across the country ripped apart by violence and looting.

The North East has escaped the disorder that has swept streets elsewhere in the UK.

But police have vowed to stay vigilant over the weekend and be ready to tackle any problems that arise.

Officers are also keeping a close watch on activity on social networking sites following the arrest of a Hebburn woman suspected of plotting disorder on Facebook.

The force is actively monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other sites and has warned that action will be taken against anyone found to be using them inappropriately. Such sites have been used to encourage copycat riots following the recent riots.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Dave Pryer said: "We are aware of the significant role social networking sites have been playing in the events that have been happening elsewhere in the country. "We are proactively monitoring all sites, and if you are publishing messages generating violence or disorder you can expect a visit from the police.

"It is encouraging to see that most of this sort of material is being challenged by other people who have pride and respect for their communities."

The 21-year-old woman was arrested on Thursday after police received a tip-off about worrying goings-on on Facebook.

She has been released on bail as enquiries continue.

Temp ACC Pryer added: "To the small minority intent on generating disorder using social media - we will track you down and you will face criminal prosecution.

"We would also ask parents to make sure they know what their children are doing online, and for anyone who has any concerns to contact police."

Meanwhile, there will continue to be a high police presence around Tyne and Wear and Northumberland throughout the weekend.

There will be a large number of uniformed officers in and around St James' Park today when Newcastle play Arsenal in their first game of the new season.

Northumbria Police's Assistant Chief Constable Steve Ashman has praised the people of Tyneside for not causing any trouble this week, but warned that the force remained on riot alert.

Anyone with information about planned disorder can contact officers on 03456 043043 or on 999 if they witness any ongoing acts of disorder.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2011
Words:386
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