A NETWORK of television monitors will keep the public informed about community safety and crime-fighting initiatives in their area.

Easington Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is mounting screens at police stations, shopping and leisure centres and council offices across east Durham.

The screens will transmit information relating to the partnership's work and is intended to improve the quality of life in the district.

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Tait, Easington district crime manager, said the project was unlike anything else in the country he is aware of.

He said: "By putting CSP TV screens in key positions across the district we aim to keep the community informed about what the partnership is doing for them.

"The partnership has launched a number of on-going initiatives, taking positive action to deal with problems such as anti-social behaviour, drug abuse and abandoned vehicles.

"Crime prevention advice will also be broadcast and we hope to encourage members of the public to become involved in community safety initiatives."

Det Chief Insp Tait said despite having one of the lowest crime rates in the country, the fear of crime remained disproportionately high.

"Hopefully, through CSP TV broadcasts, we can reassure people that their fears are unfounded, that much is being done by the partnership to improve quality of life in the district and that there are steps people can take to help themselves," he said.

The system was set up with funding from the Government Office North-East, but it is hoped that it will become self-financing through the involvement of business sponsorship and advertising.

Partnership members include Easington District Council, Durham County Council, the county probation service, Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Brigade and the police.

The system will be switched on when the scheme is launched at the Glebe Centre, Murton, on Monday.