DURHAM’S top cop took part in an early morning litter pick to show his force will respond to community concerns.
Chief Constable Mike Barton is urging more residents to have their say at Police and Communities Together (Pact) meetings.
“Litter around the bandstand at Sherburn was made a priority by the local Pact,” said Mr Barton.
“Although cleaning up litter is not strictly speaking a police responsibility, people often raise it as an issue at Pact meetings.
“If they do, we will work together with our partners in the local authority to address it.
“I want to reassure communities of County Durham we will listen when they tell us their concerns, regardless of whether it is serious crime or local neighbourhood issues.”
Mr Barton, who is temporary chief constable pending a full-time appointment next year, said there has been a sharp reduction in anti-social behaviour in the last 18 months.
“The situation is not perfect,” he added, “but people are telling me there are fewer gangs hanging around on street corners.
“We think it is partly to do with us targeting that behaviour, but also because young people are spending more time on social media.”
Mr Barton is pleased with research by Durham University which shows 90 per cent of people who call Durham Police are satisfied with the service they receive.
“The figure for public confidence in the police is lower at 60 per cent,” said Mr Barton. “That includes people who have never had cause to call us.
“I’m sure the confidence figure would improve if we can get more people involved in policing by attending their local Pact meeting.”
Details of meetings are on the Durham Police website: www.durham.police.uk