leaflets criticising asylum seekers, which were sent to Teesside homes in the summer, have reappeared.

Staff at the North of England Refugee Service, in Middlesbrough, were dismayed when the British National Party (BNP) first began distributing the leaflets in Stockton.

They chose a street where it was widely known that asylum seekers were due to move, for the propaganda.

In the latest move by the group, another refugee area has been targeted.

Leaflets have been distributed throughout Middlesbrough's Parliament Street, confirming that efforts by the refugee service have failed to put an end to the problem.

Pete Widlinski, a team leader at its base in Middlesbrough's Borough Road, believes that the leaflets are highly dangerous.

"They are cleverly worded and they are deliberately trying to give the false impression that asylum seekers are the root of all society's ills," he said.

"We have seen stickers put up in the area over the past couple of years, but the leaflets are more serious.

"They blame asylum seekers for things like hospital waiting lists and high unemployment.

He added: "We are not going to rest until we have stamped the problem out."

In an bid to cancel the harm done by the messages in the leaflets, the refugee service distributed its own pamphlets, arguing that refugees are beneficial to the community.

Mr Widlinski said: "The money that was spent in the South-East on asylum seekers is now coming up to the North-East. It's being spent on properties that the local authority can not afford to do up."

The leaflets' reappearance follows the BNP's hard-hitting campaign in Stockton, in which members marched to reinforce their point.

Mr Widlinski said that it provoked fear among residents.

"Some people were afraid to take leaflets from us in case of retribution," he said.

While he hopes the BNP will not target other areas of Teesside, Mr Widlinski said he believes it may have a Darlington branch.

"I think the leaflets are probably a national product, but they have a Darlington postmark," he said.

"Also, the BNP is standing a local council candidate in Darlington."

l The North of England Refugee Service is organising a coach trip to a pro-asylum seekers' rally, in Newcastle, on September 30.

To book a place, ring (01642) 211117