POLICE officers are taking fresh measures to stop missile attacks on buses in the North-East.

Last week, police officers in Darlington confirmed they would be monitoring part of a bus route in the town after a number of windows were smashed with stones and bricks.

Police community support officers (PCSOs) have been using the buses in and around Firthmoor to try and identify those responsible for throwing missiles at vehicles.

Now, in a further attempt to stop the attacks, officers have visited a number of primary schools in Darlington to educate pupils about the dangers of attacking the buses.

The warning comes after Arriva North East decided to temporarily halt services into Firthmoor after youths allegedly targeted their buses.

A few days later, they faced similar problems on the outskirts of the estate when another bus was attacked with services being re-routed.

The Northern Echo understands there have been a number of other attacks on buses in the town in recent weeks, which police are investigating.

A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said: "Due to the issues we have had lately regarding stones, bricks and snowballs being thrown at moving vehicles including buses, PCSO Palmer and PC Rushworth have been out to local schools educating youths about the dangers of playing near traffic and distracting road users."

Last week, Kevin Nicholson, independent councillor for Eastbourne, said one of the elderly residents in his ward was now too scared to go out of her house because of anti-social behaviour in the area.

“It is a good first step to have PCSOs on the buses, but the priority for the police should be finding the people responsible,” said Cllr Nicholson.

“These youngsters could be from anywhere, and they are coming to this estate to cause problems.

“It is a beautiful area – I live here because I want to live here and these kids are giving the place a bad name.

“We need more of a police presence and we need police to respond to concerns – it is not rocket science,” he added.

Speaking about the missile attacks earlier this month, Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East said: “Our 13A/13B service was subject to vandalism and for safety reasons we missed out certain elements of the route.

“The safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority, fortunately there were no reported injuries.

“Together with the police we are conducting a full investigation to ensure that it is dealt with quickly and appropriately.”

Broken windows are understood to cost Arriva more than £1,000 each time to replace.