Concerns over local nuisances

Peterlee Police Inspector Dave Coxon. Picture By FRANK REID
Peterlee Police Inspector Dave Coxon. Picture By FRANK REID

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour was high on the agenda when police held an online meeting for the public.

Inspector Dave Coxon, of Peterlee Neighbourhood Police, regularly takes to cyberspace to find out about concerns from residents.

During the latest session, various east Durham councillors took to the internet to air their views about neighbourhood nuisances in their area.

Insp Coxon said that last year 4,308 people were arrested at Peterlee, with a further 399 arrested on a voluntary attendance basis.

Anyone from County Durham can be dealt with at the town’s custody suite, but he said the majority of prisoners were predominantly from the Peterlee and Seaham areas.

Officers had dealt with almost 19,000 incidents and around 3,665 crimes, with offenders brought to justice in just over 37 per cent of cases, which Insp Coxon said is good at a national level.

Durham County Council representative for Peterlee East, Coun Audrey Laing said: “I am very concerned regarding the youths re Fulwell Road and more so the events in Asda car park.”

Insp Coxon said neighbourhood wardens and police teams have spent a lot of time working in the area, issuing numerous written warnings.

He also highlighted work being done in Asda itself, which has halved the number of shoplifting incidents, as reported by the Hartlepool Mail last week.

Insp Coxon and county councillor for Blackhall, Coun Rob Crute, agreed that they should get together with Horden representatives to pre-empt anti-social behaviour that happened during lighter nights last year in the two villages.

Insp Coxon said: “Anti-social behaviour and crime has reduced dramatically in Blackhall over the last six months, now’s the time to work to maintain and improve on that.”

The regular Club Adolescent nights at Peterlee Leisure Centre, which attracts more than 200 under-18s, were also hailed for helping to keep anti-social behaviour down in local neighbourhoods.

Insp Coxon said there were plans to bring a similar event to Blackhall.

He added that the police are also developing an intergenerational community garden in Shotton Colliery to give all age groups something to do, with rewards of weekend adventure trips.

Coun Crute asked whether fly-tipping issues had been resolved at Blackhall’s industrial estate.

Will Clifton, neighbourhood warden team leader at Durham County Council, said: “No cases have yet gone to court, the incidents that have been investigated either produced no evidence or not enough to prosecute. The area is still being monitored.”

The meeting also heard that the Pubwatch scheme, which deals with people arrested in pubs and clubs, had 40 licensees signed up, with 17 people on a banned list.

Coun Crute, who also represents Station Town, mentioned problems with speeding traffic in the village’s Milbank Terrace.

He hailed plans for a Community Speedwatch event, which involves residents monitoring speed alongside police.

The next online meeting is on February 20.