A COUNTY Durham town which has been blighted by anti-social behaviour will be tackling the problem with the installation of CCTV cameras at known hotspots.

The project in Newton Aycliffe, led by the Neighbourhood Policing Team, is a first for the Durham Police force area, seeing partners tirelessly work together to install five Rapid Deployment CCTV cameras.

The cameras are installed in key locations that are experiencing anti-social behaviour and allow the police and partners to gather evidence on offenders causing problems for residents which can then be used as evidence to prosecute them.

The Northern Echo:

They can also be moved very quicky to different locations dependant on the issues that are affecting residents the most.

Project lead, PC Mike Welch, said: “This project has been months of hard work and learning by all those involved in making this happen.

Read more: Newton Aycliffe teenager behind bars for multiple court order breaches

“I hope that the installation of these cameras reassures residents that we are listening to your concerns and taking positive action to improve confidence within our community.

“Newton Aycliffe is full of amazing people and when we all work together it shows what we can achieve.

The Northern Echo:

“This project puts Newton Aycliffe on the map for implementing long term sustainable problem-solving initiatives between key partners and since the introduction of one camera, which was given to us on a loan agreement we have seen anti-social behaviour reduce in Newton Aycliffe by more than 50 per cent.”

Inspector Sarah Honeyman added: “I am delighted that our partners, the GAMP AAP, county councillors, Durham County Council, Great Aycliffe Town Council and Livin have funded this initiative and enabled the purchase of the CCTV cameras to be used across the GAMP area.

These cameras will assist the police in the detection and prevention of anti-social behaviour and crime and support our aim to ensure Newton Aycliffe and Middridge continue to be safe and enjoyable places to live and work.”

The Northern Echo:

The project is GAMP funded from all seven of the town’s county councillors, supported by funding from Great Aycliffe Town Council and Livin.

Brian Riley GAMP Coordinator said: “Great Aycliffe & Middridge Partnership fully support the CCTV cameras for the Aycliffe area.

Read more: SPECIAL REPORT: Aycliffe branded a 'no go zone' over anti-social behaviour

“This project has shown again what can be achieved when all key partners work together. Durham County Council, GAMP, Livin and Great Aycliffe Town Council have all worked alongside the local Neighbourhood Police Team to bring this project together, which will hopefully help to reduce antisocial behaviour in the Aycliffe area.

“A big thank you to all partners involved from the GAMP Board.”

The Northern Echo:

Great Aycliffe Town Council’s Mayor, Councillor Ken Robson added: “The Town Council has been concerned at the increasing anti-social behaviour problems in the town in recent years, having experienced an increasing number of incidents in its parks.

"This has impacted on staff welfare and safety and spoiled the public’s enjoyment of the Council’s facilities.

"The Council is keen to work with the Newton Aycliffe Police Team and other partners such as Livin and Durham County Council to address the problems, and the Rapid Deployment CCTV Camera Project offered an ideal opportunity to work together to address the problems.”

A spokesperson for Livin said: “As part of our local offers we were keen to support the police with this re-deployable camera for the Western Estate and since the camera was installed a number of local residents have told both Livin employees and the police how much safer they feel.”

Daniel del Soldato, Head of Communications at WCCTV Ltd, said: “WCCTV is incredibly proud that our market-leading deployable cameras have yet again proven their value in preventing crime and assisting with the prosecution of offenders.

“With the proactive approach, Durham Police have taken, supported by our camera technology, there’s no place to hide for those who wish to engage in anti-social behaviour.”

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Joy Allen, added: “I am delighted to see excellent partnership working and cooperation delivering such positive results.

"These new cameras will undoubtedly make the communities of Newton Aycliffe safer and more secure and I hope other towns and partnerships will follow Newton Aycliffe's lead.”

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