Neighbourhood warden patrols are set to be doubled in a County Durham village to help tackle antisocial behaviour.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen has greenlit funding to double patrols of the Pelton area to “further boost public safety and tackle anti-social behaviour.”

The Pelton Parish Council has funded Neighbourhood Warden John Smith and a vehicle to deliver four-and-a-half hours of patrols per week since 2021.

The PCC said the scheme has helped tackle the issues of dog fouling, fly-tipping, littering, and antisocial behaviour in the area.

Commissioner Allen said: “I am delighted to support this scheme and increase the visibility patrols taking place across Pelton.

“John has made a huge impact on locals since taking on the role and is successfully dealing with issues that blight residents’ lives including litter, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour.

“With additional funding to lengthen the time he can spend in the village, we will be able to build on the fantastic progress already made and continue to keep these public spaces safe. 

“Neighbourhood wardens are a huge asset to our communities, providing a bridge between residents and the police and working with partners to tackle the source of nuisance and criminal behaviour, often engaging directly with perpetrators.

“They are also key to uncovering hidden criminality and support the police by building an intelligence picture.”

One incident saw the warden alert police officers to an off-road bike driven around The Avenues in Pelton who arrived and immediately seized the vehicle.

The council applied to the Commissioner for matched funding to increase dedicated patrols to nine hours per week.

The successful application will allow the warden to continue focusing on community safety priorities, help provide local policing intelligence, reassure residents, and reduce antisocial behaviour.

More than seven in ten residents (73.6 per cent) agreed additional neighbourhood warden hours in the area were essential when consulted by the council – while many also praised the warden’s work.

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Cllr Danny Wood, chair of Pelton Parish Council, said: “Pelton Parish Council are delighted that Joy, as the Police and Crime Commissioner, is supporting this initiative. Ensuring our area is as safe as possible is a big priority for our residents.

“We’re really pleased that we have a Police and Crime Commissioner that regularly comes out to meet with us and is really responsive to the issues we have raised with her.”

Neighbourhood Warden John Smith added: “We have had success in tackling off-road bikes when we seized one that was being driven on a public road. We will continue to target these throughout the year.”