A SERIES of community walkabouts are being held for people to discuss anti-social behaviour in Darlington.

Darlington Borough Council is also hosting a public meeting tomorrow to allow people to have a say on police response times to anti-social behaviour.

This week marks the UK's first anti-social behaviour awareness week.

READ MORE: Darlington to host meeting to discuss police response times

READ MORE: County Durham Police and Crime chief outlines crime priorities

A survey by Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen found anti-social behaviour was the number one concern for 78 per cent of respondents.

Darlington Police Inspector Dean Haythornthwaite said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe in their own home – antisocial behaviour is not something that people should have to put up with.

"This type of behaviour affects the whole community, which is why it’s really important that we all work together with our partners and local residents to tackle it."

Events are being held with Durham Police and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

The council’s civic enforcement and housing teams, councillors, local police and firefighters will hit the streets for a series of sessions, with walkabouts planned in Cockerton Green, Mowden shops. Park Place community centre, Firthmoor community centre, Hundens Lane, Skerne Park shops, Eldon Street and Haughton.

Events are being held today at North Lodge Park and at Whitby Way shops, Branksome.

The Northern Echo:

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, the council's deputy leader, said: “We are working hard with our partners to help ensure Darlington is a safe place for everyone to live, work and visit.

"Anti-social behaviour is something that will not be tolerated and we’re delighted to be able to support this first national ASB Awareness Week and look forward to working with local residents to make our communities safer for all.”

The week of action was organised by community safety specialists Resolve, and is backed by the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Local Government Association (LGA), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC).

Ms Allen said: “This is a priority that the local people of County Durham and Darlington have raised so now we need to address it.

“A partnership approach to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour is absolutely key and I would like to work with partners to establish area based multi-agency hubs to support collaborative problem solving approaches to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and victimisation.

"I’m delighted to be involved in the first national campaign focusing on anti-social behaviour and I look forward to working with Darlington Borough Council to make communities safer, stronger and more resilient to crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Insp Haythornthwaite added: ““If you’re experiencing antisocial behaviour or want to know more about what the police and our partners are doing to tackle it, then please come along to one of the community events in your local area.

"The more you tell us about antisocial behaviour in your area, the more we can do to help make your community safer.”

Glen Stewart, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s community safety manager, said: “With the cummer holidays here, and with Covid-19 restrictions easing, we want to advise all parents and carers to play their part in helping to reduce ASB. They can do this by talking to their children and young people about the consequences of ASB which may include the starting of deliberate fires.

"These fires put them in harm’s way, and not only that, but these types of incidents take our valuable resources away from where they are needed most and can have a devastating impact on the community.

“If you’re experiencing antisocial behaviour, we along with our partners are always here to help. We would encourage anyone who has any information in relation to ASB and deliberate fire setting to contact Firestoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5888 or report online by visiting www.firestoppersreport.co.uk.”

Rebecca Bryant OBE, chief executive of Resolve, said: “We need to change the way we think about ASB. It is not low-level crime. It devastates the lives of victims and communities and can be a precursor to more serious crime.

"As the nation begins to recover from the impact of the pandemic and our society and economy celebrates the start of return to normal life, it is important that the challenge of ASB continues to be given the priority it needs nationally and locally so that people feel safe in their homes and communities.

“We are delighted to have Darlington Borough Council involved in this hugely important and successful campaign. It is vital to develop partnership approaches across communities to deal with the growing challenges around ASB. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and community.”

A public meeting is being held at the Dolphin Centre on Tuesday at 6pm. Representatives from Durham Police have been invited to attend the event, which was organised by the council.

Events being held this week: 

Monday 19,   9.30am – 12pm, free microchipping with Grange Vets for dog owners at North Lodge Park, walkabout

Monday 19,   2pm – 4.30pm, walkabout starting at Whitby Way shops, Branksome

Tuesday 20,   9.30am – 12pm, walkabout starting at Cockerton Green

Tuesday 20,   2pm – 4.30pm, walkabout starting at Mowden Shops

Wednesday 21,   9.30am – 12pm, walkabout starting at Park Place Community Centre

Wesnesday 21,   2pm – 4.30pm, walkabout starting at Firthmoor Community Centre

Thursday 22,   9.30am – 12pm, walkabout starting at Hundens Lane, to the rear of Shelley Road

Thursday 22,   2pm – 4.30pm, walkabout starting at Skerne Park shops

Friday 23,   9.30am – 12pm, walkabout starting at Rise Carr College, Eldon Street

Friday 23,   2pm – 4.30pm walkabout starting at Nightingale Avenue shops, Haughton