Peace returns to Crook housing estate as police chief visits

The Northern Echo: Acting Chief Constable Mike Barton, right, and Sgt Shaun Davis visit the troubled estate Acting Chief Constable Mike Barton, right, and Sgt Shaun Davis visit the troubled estate

County Durham’s most senior policeman has visited residents plagued by the anti-social actions of a gang of 40 youths. Duncan Leatherdale hears how peace has returned and how for some, it had never gone away.

FOR the past three nights residents of the Low Mown Meadows estate in Crook say they have enjoyed some peace.

For some of the estate’s 700 or so households, it was a welcome relief from several weeks of anguish caused by a gang aged between 11 and 18.

The problems did not affect everyone however, and Temporary Chief Constable of Durham Police Mike Barton said while some had suffered significant disruption and distress, their neighbours seemed to have been untouched.

The epicentre of the problems seems to have been an electricity substation in the centre of the estate which Mr Barton described as “classic territory where children get together”.

From here they hurled mud at windows, verbally abused residents and passersby and generally created an air of intimidation and anger for those in the vicinity.

A grandmother whose garden backs on to the station said her life has been blighted by the problems, and The Northern Echo earlier reported on teenager Kimberley Hansom who has also suffered.

But the older woman said the last three nights have been quiet, due in no small part to the extra police presence.

She said: “The police have been brilliant, I have seen them all over the place and it is very reassuring to have them here.”

Mr Barton said officers have now identified the ring leaders, the “small group who are really badly behaved who the rest follow like sheep”.

They and their families are being spoken to and any further “unacceptable behaviour” will not be tolerated.

Having enjoyed a portion of chips from the estate’s fish and chip shop and spent two hours walking the streets, Mr Barton said he was very impressed with Low Mown Meadows.

His officers will work with Durham County Council and other groups to provide more activities for young people in the area and solutions to the substation problem will be sought.

The police chief said: “This is a really well kept, close knit estate with one or two problems which are now being dealt with.”

Residents are also working with police to allocate the priorities for the neighbourhood policing team.

Yet for other residents, they had no issue at all, and mother of-three Barbara Carr, who lives on Sycamore Gardens, said she feared the complaints would drive good, honest residents away.

She said: “Then it really would become an estate with troubles.”

Whether residents suffered or not, they all seem to agree that the majority of the troublemakers came from outside the estate.

Ms Carr said: “I could name you many children who live on the estate who are well behaved and care for the community.

“This is a very nice place to live and I wouldn’t be a better parent if I lived on a different estate, my morals would still be the same.”

Comments (5)

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4:06pm Thu 15 Nov 12

fixthecouncil says...

as soon as the police disappear the trouble will start again...it is the same kids that will be there causing nuisance to others....the parents of those causing the trouble have been spoken to, but as usual they could not give a toss...time for dale and valley homes and d.c.c. to get the people who are blighting the lives of others evicted or put on eviction warnings...and now time for the chief constable to clamp down on the drug dealers on the estate..we all know where they live..especially on laurel gardens...time for the decent residents to get the police to act....but it will never happen as we all know they are police informers....
as soon as the police disappear the trouble will start again...it is the same kids that will be there causing nuisance to others....the parents of those causing the trouble have been spoken to, but as usual they could not give a toss...time for dale and valley homes and d.c.c. to get the people who are blighting the lives of others evicted or put on eviction warnings...and now time for the chief constable to clamp down on the drug dealers on the estate..we all know where they live..especially on laurel gardens...time for the decent residents to get the police to act....but it will never happen as we all know they are police informers.... fixthecouncil
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Thu 15 Nov 12

LEWISBURN says...

fixthecouncil wrote:
as soon as the police disappear the trouble will start again...it is the same kids that will be there causing nuisance to others....the parents of those causing the trouble have been spoken to, but as usual they could not give a toss...time for dale and valley homes and d.c.c. to get the people who are blighting the lives of others evicted or put on eviction warnings...and now time for the chief constable to clamp down on the drug dealers on the estate..we all know where they live..especially on laurel gardens...time for the decent residents to get the police to act....but it will never happen as we all know they are police informers....
THIS IS NOT TRUE
[quote][p][bold]fixthecouncil[/bold] wrote: as soon as the police disappear the trouble will start again...it is the same kids that will be there causing nuisance to others....the parents of those causing the trouble have been spoken to, but as usual they could not give a toss...time for dale and valley homes and d.c.c. to get the people who are blighting the lives of others evicted or put on eviction warnings...and now time for the chief constable to clamp down on the drug dealers on the estate..we all know where they live..especially on laurel gardens...time for the decent residents to get the police to act....but it will never happen as we all know they are police informers....[/p][/quote]THIS IS NOT TRUE LEWISBURN
  • Score: 3

9:32pm Thu 15 Nov 12

LEWISBURN says...

Some of these kids including me love this estate and dont think we should be called anti social
Some of these kids including me love this estate and dont think we should be called anti social LEWISBURN
  • Score: 6

11:35pm Thu 15 Nov 12

neilt63 says...

Here we go again, a positive story showing action being taken by the Police and still criticism. As stated there are lots of good people on the estate who are well behaved. If fixthecouncil you have information about drug dealers in Laurel Gardens, report it. The Police rely on information from the public, if we don't want to help, don't complain when nothing is done.
Well said LEWISBURN, be a community and prove people wrong!
Here we go again, a positive story showing action being taken by the Police and still criticism. As stated there are lots of good people on the estate who are well behaved. If fixthecouncil you have information about drug dealers in Laurel Gardens, report it. The Police rely on information from the public, if we don't want to help, don't complain when nothing is done. Well said LEWISBURN, be a community and prove people wrong! neilt63
  • Score: 6

10:14am Wed 28 Nov 12

Aaron Cowen says...

The problem is so bad that I have seen non of this? Where are all these supposed bad kids? Absolute nonsense. Kids want respect just like anyone else and there are far too many putting them all down. Yes there are a few bad apples, but thats no need to let them spoil the barrel. I agree with Neilt63. Report the problem if you know of it. Truth is you can shout about it on here of what people should and shouldn't do, yet your afraid to get your hands dirty.
The problem is so bad that I have seen non of this? Where are all these supposed bad kids? Absolute nonsense. Kids want respect just like anyone else and there are far too many putting them all down. Yes there are a few bad apples, but thats no need to let them spoil the barrel. I agree with Neilt63. Report the problem if you know of it. Truth is you can shout about it on here of what people should and shouldn't do, yet your afraid to get your hands dirty. Aaron Cowen
  • Score: 0

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