A bus shelter has been destroyed by mindless yobs in a Sunderland town which was labelled "the Wild West" by a councillor after a spate of antisocial behaviour.

The windows at Hetton Interchange were smashed last night (Monday, January 18), sparking a police investigation to find those responsible for the damage.

Photos from the scene show a number of windows completely smashed with the glass being swept up into piles this morning.

Northumbria Police is now carrying out targeted patrols in the area and is asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Broken glass from bus shelter windows which have been vandalised at Hetton-le-Hole Interchange in County Durham
Broken glass from bus shelter windows which have been vandalised at Hetton-le-Hole Interchange in County Durham

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: "We can confirm we are aware of criminal damage at Hetton Interchange where a number of windows were damaged.

"Enquiries into the damage is ongoing and targeted patrols are being carried out in the area to deter any further offences.

"Anyone with information about the damage is encouraged to contact police online at our website quoting log 85 19/01/21."

It comes after independent town councillor David Geddis spoke about the escalating anti-social behaviour in the area which he compared to "the Wild West".

He said: "It has got to the point where someone is going to get killed in the middle of Hetton, as the kids are fooling around in the middle of the road and the police are not following them or doing anything.

"It is like Tombstone, just like the Wild West.

"We had some very senior Northumbria Police officers out to see us, and they said if you have a major problem, we will get involved - well, we do have a major problem now."

Broken glass from bus shelter windows which have been vandalised at Hetton-le-Hole Interchange in County Durham
Broken glass from bus shelter windows which have been vandalised at Hetton-le-Hole Interchange in County Durham

Residents claimed the area is blighted by antisocial behaviour with packs of young teenagers engaging in mischief and low-level crime.

George Noble, 85, who lives just yards from the bus station claimed yobs are making life for older residents increasingly difficult.

The Hetton resident of 22 years said: "They throw stones at buses, climb on roofs and run around the back of the houses.

"There's a man living nearby who is registered blind and they've been to his house, shaken the railings, and he must be terrified."

One claimed they'd watched youths cover a park in food, attracting rodents.

Another blamed them for torching the bins at Eppleton Colliery, the home ground of Sunderland AFC's female side.

Northumbria Police were also called over reports a brick had been hurled through a bus window with Operator Go North East refusing to send buses into the village immediately afterwards.

In response, Northumbria Police said it is stepping up patrols while vowing to take on not just the youths - but also their parents.

Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Gjorven said: "The local policing team have been prioritising tackling anti-Social behaviour in Hetton town centre but following last Friday's incident and community concern, we will, however, increase patrols further in this area.

"We will work with the Local Authority and housing providers to identify the youths and hold parents to account for their children's actions."