CAR parks have been given the safety approval by police and security chiefs after being spruced up by council workers.
Four more car parks in Hartlepool have been nationally accredited for being safe and secure places following an assessment.
The checks of the bays at the One Life Centre in Park Road, Mill House in Raby Road, the transport interchange in Church Square, and Waldon Street mean that 98 per cent of pay-and-display car parking in the town centre are now covered by the Park Mark Safer Parking Scheme.
The initiative is run by the British Parking Association on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers with the aim of reducing crime and the fear of crime in car parks.
Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon, Hartlepool Police District Commander, said: “Making Hartlepool a safe place to visit not only improves the lives of residents and tourists, but also promotes the area as a safe, attractive and viable destination.
“We aim to fly the flag for the town and spread the word that crime is down and will continue to work with partner agencies to instil pride and strengthen communities.”
Councilllor Pamela Hargreaves, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, added: “I am delighted that more of our car parks have received recognition for their commitment to quality and safety, and I look forward to the day when we celebrate 100 per cent Park Mark coverage.
“It is import that people are able to use our car parks with confidence, and this is particularly important in terms of our efforts to attract more visitors.”
Phil Hepburn, Hartlepool Borough Council’s car parking manager, said improvements had been made on lighting and providing effective surveillance, such as security cameras.
Another part of the award is that they must be clean, well maintained, well signed and clearly marked out.
Phil Taylor, from the British Parking Association, added: “The council has invested significantly in improvements to its car parks over the last four or five years and I think it should be applauded.”