Survey shows drugs concern

Retiring Durham Police officer Jamie McAloon (right) chats with his boss, Chief Constable Jon Stoddart.
Retiring Durham Police officer Jamie McAloon (right) chats with his boss, Chief Constable Jon Stoddart.

ONE in three people think drug use is a problem where they live, according to an independent crime survey.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) has seen 45,000 households quizzed nationally about crimes on their estates and what concerns them.

In the Cleveland Police area, 33 per cent of those asked said there is a problem with drug use or dealing in their neighbourhood, while 32 per cent in the Durham Constabulary region had the same concerns. The national average is 26 per cent.

The survey also shows that 15 per cent of people in Cleveland and 17 per cent of those in County Durham have been a victim of crime at some point, which is one per cent higher than the national average of 16 per cent.

But both forces say crime is down overall in their areas, with both recording crime falls of nine per cent in the last financial year – the joint fifth largest drop in the country and better than the national average of a four per cent fall.

The BCS also shows that 61 per cent of people asked in Cleveland’s area say officers do an excellent or good job and 57 per cent think the same in Durham, with the national average at 52 per cent. Sixty per cent in both areas say their police deal with local issues, the national average is 47.

The Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Sean Price, said: “We are obviously pleased with the decreases in crime we have seen over recent months, and I would like to thank our officers and staff for the huge efforts they have made in achieving these results together with our partners and local communities. 

“We know that in the current financial climate it will become more difficult to maintain these sort of results, but Cleveland Police and the Authority are doing everything we can to protect frontline services while delivering the stringent savings imposed upon us by the Government.”

Durham Constabulary Chief Constable, Jon Stoddart, said: “We’re keeping County Durham and Darlington safe for everyone except criminals.

“People in County Durham and Darlington are living in one of the safest places in the country, where the likelihood of them becoming a victim of crime is decreasing year on year.

“I’m proud to be leading a force with this record in crime reduction.”