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11-year-old admits criminal damage

An 11-year-old girl charged with criminal damage following disturbances in Nottingham has been given a referral order by magistrates.

The youngster, from Nottinghamshire, appeared before a court in the city where she admitted the offence, and a charge of attempted criminal damage.

She was arrested on Tuesday evening after smashing windows at a New Look store in the city and attempting to break windows at a Flannels store at around 11.30pm.

She was with a group of around 15 others at the time, a police spokeswoman said. The girl was given a nine-month referral order by magistrates while three 14-year-old boys have been charged with violent disorder in relation to disturbances seen in the city earlier this week.

Overnight, the city was largely trouble-free with no major disturbances after police imposed a zero-tolerance policy on anyone intent on causing disorder. Nottinghamshire Police said it received no reports of significant gatherings of youths after deploying dog-handlers and the mounted section to back up around 800 police officers, community support officers and special constables.

Although police dealt with a handful of incidents of criminal damage, there were only four arrests overnight, compared with 86 during the previous evening.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Scarrott said: "On Monday night, there were sporadic and serious incidents of criminality. That night, our tactic was to repel and separate large groups of youths intent on congregating in the city and suburbs.

"On Tuesday night, we warned that our tactics would be different. Again we drove the hooligans back, but this time we made many arrests. We prevented widespread looting and major fires, and despite attacks on police officers, vehicles and police stations, we stood firm and demonstrated that we would not tolerate such behaviour. Last night, we had our strongest presence yet on the streets, lest anyone had failed to get the zero-tolerance message."

The officer added: "Whilst I'm delighted that the residents of the city could have a peaceful night's sleep, there will be no let-up in our determination to take swift and decisive action against anyone who decides to break the law and participate in the sort of mindless, yobbish wanton criminality that blighted the city on Tuesday night.

"For that reason, we will continue to have at our disposal significant numbers of officers on duty, throughout the city and elsewhere, ready to respond 24/7 for the coming days and nights."

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