LABOUR'S candidate for the Hartlepool by-election was joined by the Shadow Home Secretary and Matt Storey the Labour candidate for Cleveland Police Crime Commissioner in the town today (Tuesday).

Dr Paul Williams, who is standing for Hartlepool MP and Nick Thomas-Symonds MP for Torfaen met local people and discussed the impact the reduction in police numbers has had locally, as well as any crime and anti-social behaviour issues.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Thomas-Symonds said: "I've been speaking here to people who've been victims of anti-social behaviour, so, anti-social behaviour is the focus for today. What I've been hearing, is people who've been vicitims over a sustained period of time of anti-social behaviour, it's frankly making their lives a misery.

"So, I'm here today to highlight the real need that we have now to do something about that. I've been highly impressed to hear from Paul, first of all his plans for an anti-social behaviour taskforce, to bring together all those stakeholders, to produce the teamwork that we actually need to deal with it, whether that's community groups with victims at the centre of it, housing associations, local councils, police, everybody working together, to try to prevent anti-social behaviour happening in the first place. There are 500 police officers lost in Cleveland, we're fighting to get every single one of those back."

Dr Williams said: "People have been telling me about incidents of anti-social behaviour in their communities, so for example, I was in Ward Jackson Park last week and people were telling me about damage that was being done to the bowling greens there and intimidation of local residents and I'm not waiting to become the MP, I took immediate action. Reported crimes that people had told me about - the criminal damage and I want to show people the impact that this has on mental health."