DARLINGTON MP Jenny Chapman and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) have praised the pioneering work of one of the town’s neighbourhood police teams.

The North Road beat police team, based in Gladstone Street and led by Sergeant Daryl Edmunds, works closely with the community to crack down on an increase in race hate crime following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

The area is home to a variety of different cultures, so to ensure residents and business owners can fully engage with the police, the team has taken on volunteers from a number of different nationalities, including Daniel Kempf, from Gdansk in Poland, recently named the country’s best Special Constable.

Mrs Chapman said: “I have been very impressed with the efforts that the police have gone to to make Northgate a safer place to live and work.

“It is a smashing area of the town and it is heart-warming to see everybody sharing their concerns about crime and the efforts the police are going to to make sure people feel safe.”

The team regularly holds Pact (Police and Communities Together) meetings for Polish residents, and a Problem Oriented Partnership (POP) plan to tackle antisocial behaviour has also seen a reduction in complaints from residents and business owners. 

Ron Hogg, PCC for County Durham, said: “They have managed to reduce crime and increase public confidence.

“It is a good example of good practice which we need to be looking at across the force.”