Homes targeted in police crackdown

Easington based police officers Sgt Paul Footes (right) and PCSO Paul Pringle, who will be involved in the force's latest Action Plan to stamp out crime in the area.
Easington based police officers Sgt Paul Footes (right) and PCSO Paul Pringle, who will be involved in the force's latest Action Plan to stamp out crime in the area.
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A HIT list of 10 homes has been drawn up as part of an action plan to tackle troublemakers in a North East village.

The project will run in Easington Colliery and will bring together emergency services, community leaders and other agencies to put a stop to those who cause trouble.

Mediators will work with warring residents and families and offer support to those with issues, including housing problems or those who frequently call the police for help.

Sgt Paul Footes, who leads the village’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “It’s focusing on families and individuals who commit crime and antisocial behaviour and it’s a multi-agency-led approach to help deal with these issues.

“It’s still in its early stages. We’ve only just had our second meeting, but we have been to the parish meetings and they really are over the moon about it and the county councillors have given it their full backing.”

Regular feedback will be offered to residents at the Police and Communities Together meetings.

Coun David Boyes, who represents the colliery on Durham County Council, is chairman of the plan’s steering group.

He said: “We have got the right agencies involved and we’re going to try our utmost to make sure it will make a difference in Easington Colliery.

“I think since last year, big changes have been made and we hope to be getting a lot more attention and we’ll see some big improvements.

“It does look as though Easington Colliery is on the up and we’re turning round after the problems we’ve experienced over the last few years.

“It’s being pulled up by its boot straps and has turned a corner.”

Programmes already running include the selective licensing scheme for landlords, encouraging them to take care of their properties, and renewal work to homes on the Wembley Estate.

Further work, including new shops and further revamps on its houses, is in the pipeline.

Organisations involved in the plan in addition to police, fire service and council’s Safe Durham Partnership include East Durham Homes and other social landlords, the Family Intervention Project, Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities Step II programme, which offers help with substance misuse, and Unite mediation.

A similar plan run in Deneside, Seaham, which dealt with problems including street drinking and disorder, won an award from the Safe Durham Partnership for its work to drive down crime and encourage trouble-making families to change their ways.