ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour in Darlington comes because its residents have nothing to do, according to a local councillor.

Following concerns raised at a PACT meeting, Councillor David Regan said unemployment and the effects of the credit crunch were also contributory factors.

He said: “Anti-social behaviour is a problem in the whole town.

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“People have nothing to do and due to the credit crunch people are unemployed, lots of places are shutting down and social lives have dwindled.”

The PACT meeting, held in Cockerton last night (Wednesday, February 12), saw residents raise concerns around unlicensed motorcycles, dangerous driving and excessive noise.

Coun Regan said the situation required a balanced approach.

He said: “There needs to be a balance, young people kicking a ball outside can be a problem to some yet not so much to others.

“With the use of mobile phones now there are bigger groups gathering which can be intimidating.”

Darlington Police said they were aware of the issues raised and were working to tackle them.

Sergeant Dave Kirton said: “We’re aware of anti-social behaviour in the area and we are proactively tackling it in particularly places like the Tillage Green and the West Park area.

“This weekend we’re using extra police officers and they will be going out on mountain bikes to try and help to solve the issues.”