A CRACKDOWN on anti-social yobs has seen crime plummet in Hartlepool – but police still face challenges with violence and arson.
The total number of incidents reported to police fell by 16.1 per cent over the last three months to 1,381 crimes.
Anti-social behaviour call-outs were slashed by more than a third with a 34.3 per cent reduction to 1,570 incidents compared to the same time last year.
Crimefighters say the success is down to a host of organisations working together under the Safer Hartlepool Partnership banner to make the town a better place to live.
Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon, District Commander for Hartlepool Police, said he was very pleased with the first quarter figures.
He added: “These results again emphasise the good work of the partnership and show that working together we are stronger.
“The number of victims of crime has reduced and this not only makes a difference to people’s lives but it also has a positive impact on the local economy.”
There has been big drops across a host of crime types, from house burglaries (down 27 per cent) and vehicle crime (down 51.6 per cent) to shoplifting (down 31.8 per cent) and robbery (down 33.3 per cent).
But violence against the person has jumped up by 16.2 per cent and criminal damage and arson has risen by 1.4 per cent.
A number of initiatives are said to be underway to tackle assaults under the Respect Hartlepool banner, which aims to reduce domestic violence, incidents related to night-time boozing and shoplifting.
Police, firefighters and council bosses also joined forces with the Hartlepool Mail on Saturday to launch a Stamp It Out campaign to stop those hell-bent on starting fires around the town.
Dave Turton, Hartlepool district manager with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “All of the key organisations in the town are working really hard together to drive down crime and these figures are very encouraging.
“However, we recognise that there is much more work to be done and we will not become complacent.”
Denise Ogden, the council’s assistant director (neighbourhood services), added: “It’s a small minority of people in the town who are responsible for the majority of criminal acts and the council is working very closely with the police and other key organisations to address this issue.”
Anyone with information on suspected criminals, no matter how small the incident may be, is urged to either contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.