A MEETING called by an MP to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour has left residents feeling more positive about resolving the problem.

People living in the Trimdons have complained to police and MP Phil Wilson on a number of occasions about persistent arson, criminal damage and off-road bikes being used in the area.

The Sedgefield MP organised the meeting on Saturday morning at Trimdon Station Residents’ Association Community House, in Deaf Hill.

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The meeting was attended by around 30 people.

The Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg was present along with Neighbourhood Police Inspectors Sarah Honeyman, Lee Blakelock and Alex Clarke together with county councillors Lucy Hovvels and Jude Grant.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Wilson said: “I held a surgery before the General Election and a lot of people turned up and talked about the same thing. When that happens I know there is an issue.

“We know what the issues are. We know the names of the people involved because they keep cropping up and I wanted to hold this meeting to find out how we can take this forward.

“The best way I think we can resolve this is by police and the community working together.

"It’s worked in other areas of County Durham and we want to try and do that here.”

However, an anonymous letter send to The Northern Echo, Mr Wilson and Durham Constabulary said that many residents wouldn’t attend the meeting for fear of being targeted by those responsible for committing the crime in the area.

It says: “Things have gone too far here and no matter what some people will continue terrorising, stealing and setting cars on fire.

"At least 13 cars have been set on fire this year.

“There is no worse thought than knowing children are playing in the streets and stolen cars, bikes and quads are flying about.

"I honestly don’t know how someone hasn’t been killed.”

Mr Hogg said: “We are committed to helping and taking this forward, but the police alone can’t do it.

“The last time we were in this room there was a name given to me and that gentleman has since been arrested several times and has spent some time at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

He told those present: "I hope you see that as a real sign that we have listened.”

Residents have agreed to set up a committee to discuss the issues further and plan the best way to tackle the problems, working closely with police and Mr Hogg.

One resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “It’s not going to be easy but I feel positive after listening to what’s been said.

“Everyone does need to work together and we have to show that as a community we are not prepared to put up with this any longer.”