Drugs, motorbike menaces and misery - neighbours on Hartlepool estate vent frustrations at police

Residents vented their frustrations at crime and antisocial behaviour they say is blighting their estate.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 25 May, 2018, 06:00
From left: Headland & Harbour ward Councillor Mike McLaughlin, Daniel Kossick of Thirteen, Ashley Wood of Hartlepool Community Safety Team and Sergeant Ian Raine of Cleveland Police, at the meeting in Burbank Community Centre to discuss crime concrns.

People of Burbank in Hartlepool expressed their feelings to police, council and housing officials at a meeting organised by ward councillor Mike McLaughlin.

They complained of alleged drug use and dealing, nuisance motorbikes and other antisocial behaviour which they say has got worse in recent years.

Officials all urged residents to report incidents to them to give them the best chance of dealing with issues.

But Coun McLaughlin and Sergeant Ian Raine of the Hartlepool Neighbourhood Police Team said both council and police resources have been hit hard by funding cuts in recent years.

One resident, who declined to be named, said: “People are cutting through the estate to buy drugs.

“Youths are driving around on motorbikes 24/7. You can’t let your grandchildren play out on the grass.”

Sgt Raine said he shared residents’ frustrations but explained neighbourhood policing levels in Hartlepool are at their lowest for 11 years.

He said: “We don’t have a massive pool of officers to go out to every single call.
“Neighbourhood policing teams have a fraction of the staff we used to have.”

Sgt Raine said reported crime for Burbank was low compared to other areas of town.

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Between December 1 and May 17, he said there had been 39 reported crimes for the estate and just four of anti social behaviour in the last month.

Ashleigh Wood, an anti social behaviour officer for Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “If the calls aren’t coming in it’s very difficult for us to do anything.”

She is part of a new Hartlepool Community Safety Team based at Hartlepool Police Station which includes the police and fire service working alongside each other.

She said Behaviour Agreement Orders have had a positive impact on anti-social behaviour on other parts of the town.

Daniel Kossick of Thirteen housing association said crime and anti-social behaviour could put offenders in breach of their tenancy agreements.

He also urged people to report issues to him adding: “It’s not what we want on the estate.”

Resident Marion Robinson said: “We have been reporting it over the years but I think people get fed up because nothing gets done.”

Coun McLaughlin said he would be following up information given by residents at the meeting.

He said: “I think it was a very good meeting. It’s clear there was a lot of frustration and anger in the room and I’m sure the police and other agencies have picked up on that.”