NEWLY elected Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen has outlined her key priorities as she presses ahead in cutting down crime in County Durham.

Speaking at a Darlington Borough Council meeting on Thursday she revealed the outcome of a public consultation conducted shortly after taking office in May.

Ms Allen said the top priorities for residents are: anti-social behaviour; drug use; fly-tipping; speeding and vandalism.

“We had 1,200 responses to the consultation and I think that sets out the agenda for people’s priorities,” Ms Allen told councillors.

“To do this, what I want to do is be evidence-led. The people who were surveyed said 39 per cent of people who had had a crime didn’t report it.

“We really do have to encourage people to report crime and anti-social behaviour. We have to make it easier, more flexible and more convenient to report a crime.

READ MORE: Durham Police and Crime Commissioner appointed to leading roles

Ms Allen praised the relationship between the police and other local authorities in County Durham and Darlington and hopes their continued work will see the crime rate decrease.

"We need to identify where, when, how and what is happening in our communities," she added.

"It's very much local solutions to local problems - it's not a one size fits all.

"I want to work with councillors and your communities to prevent crime occurring in the first place.

"We want to protect individuals and communities to make them feel safer, deter offending and reoffending, and when we need to, pursue those who offend and cause nuisance and commit crime in our communities.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners appointed Ms Allen as joint lead for environment and sustainability, and alcohol and substance misuse, and deputy lead for road safety and emergency service collaboration.

Road Safety was highlighted as one of County Durham and Darlington’s top priorities following a crime survey conducted last year.

Out of 1,211 respondents, 39 per cent indicated they felt unsafe on the roads in their area and 75 per cent agreed that there should be more enforcement of road traffic offences where they lived.

Ms Allen also pledged to tackle hate crime, domestic violence, stalking, modern day slavery and gambling. 

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