A POLICE chief has revealed the identity of two men he suspects of being involved in criminal activity.

Chief Constable of Durham Police Mike Barton believes John Watson and Billy Wilson, both 37, are "flouting the law" and are having an adverse impact on the community in which they live.

In what Mr Barton described as a "world first", he released details of the two men at a Police and Communities Together meeting in Bishop Auckland last night (Wednesday, April 2).

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The Northern Echo:

During the meeting, the public were encouraged to play the Guess Who? board game as a way of helping them understand how organised crime groups operate in their community.

Mr Watson - also known as 'John Boy' - is banned from keeping horses or having anything to do with them for ten years, but officers believe he wears a ski mask when riding a horse and trap through Bishop Auckland.

Mr Wilson is said to have links to cannabis, rural crime, unsecured horses, illegal grazing and animal cruelty.

Both are from the Bishop Auckland area.

"When the police was created, it was never designed that we would know everything," said Mr Barton. "We work in partnership with the community and tackle crime and that is what we are doing here.

"If somebody we know is having an adverse impact on the community then we want to work with the community.

"We want to put fear into the criminals and we want these people to have a miserable time. We are upping our game and these are bad lads.

“It is not as if these people haven't had a chance.

“They are organised, because this is their business. We go to work, but this is their work.”

Mr Barton added: “Most people will already know these people, but sometimes the public don't know we know.

"He (John Watson) can't be trusted with animals. We don't think it is right when people flout the law.

"Billy Wilson is somebody we know who is having an adverse impact on the community."

"We have not picked these people out at random, we are responding to what the community has told us.

“They are maximum pains in the bum."