Residents hold emergency meeting after rise in crime on Hartlepool estate

Almost 50 people attended an ‘emergency' meeting after a rise in crime and suspicious behaviour on a Hartlepool estate.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 7:00 am
The meeting at Hartfields retirement village to discuss crime concerns on Bishop Cuthbert and Clavering.

Residents, councillors, PCSOs and town MP Mike Hill all attended the meeting called by the Bishop Cuthbert, Hartfields and Clavering Residents' Association.

It was in response to what they call a worrying rise in recent weeks of would-be criminals being captured on homes’ CCTV trying to get into residents’ houses, garages, vehicles, including at Hartfields retirement village.

Four cars are also reported to have been burned out at Clavering.

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Meeting organiser Glen Hughes, a member of the residents' association said: “We have been having an issue on the estate for quite a while with opportunist crime in the early hours of the morning.

“People are trying doors, garages and car doors and going round with scanners to try to open car doors.

“There have been lads on bikes up to no good on the look out for things.

“It seems to have escalated in the last couple of weeks. We thought enough’s enough, let’s call a meeting.”

Glen hailed the meeting a huge success with numerous suggestions on how to tackle the issues.

Some people even had to be turned away as the room was full.

Two of the area’s ward councillors attended and council leader Shane Moore was there as a substitute for the third.

Police say they are committing extra resources to the area in response to the recent rise in crime.

Glen added: “The attendance just showed the amount of feeling on the estate that people are fed up with it and they want to see some action.

“This is just the first step in doing something in a structured way. We want to work with the council and police.”

Residents were urged they must report crimes and suspicious activity to the police so it can be recorded and will help to direct resources where they are needed.

Glen added: “Police stated they would try to up patrols in the area which is positive.”

A further meeting is due to take place on September 25 when the residents hope crime commissioner Barry Coppinger will be there.

Hartlepool Neighbourhood Inspector Matthew Reeves said the Hartlepool Community Safety Team is committed to working with residents and other agencies to tackle issues highlighted by local people.

He said: “Although this is historically one of the lower crime areas of the town, we are aware of a recent increase in suspicious activity in this area with vehicle doors being opened and belongings thrown around or even stolen, as well as house doors being tried therefore we have committed extra officers to this area and added the area to our Operation Impact.

“Under Operation Impact, we identify hotspots for higher crime, damage and anti-social behaviour and then commit appropriate resources, so we can reassure local residents, prevent crime or identify perpetrators where it has taken place.

“We will also continue to run anti-vehicle crime operations across the whole town and have seen recent success where a 30 year old man was dealt with by Hartlepool CID for a number of similar offences in Seaton Carew.”

He urged people to follow simple crime prevention measures such as taking all valuables out of vehicles at night and keep keys upstairs.

“Offenders often take the easiest route such as an unlocked vehicle with cash on show or something which is easy to sell on cheaply and quickly,” added Inspector Reeves.