THERE is a new face on the beat in Willington, Sunnybrow, Hunwick and Oakenshaw.

Police Community Support Officer Craig Dowson has joined the Crook neighbourhood police team to help reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.

PCSO Dowson, 25, grew up in Ushaw Moor and worked in the motor trade for five years before he joined Durham police.

He said: “I am really excited to join the team and want to make Crook a safer place to live, work and visit. I have always wanted to be an officer since I was really young. There was a sergeant who lived along the road from me and I used to hear his stories which inspired me. I want to get stuck in and make a difference to the locals.”

His duties could include house-to-house enquiries, offering crime prevention advice and gathering intelligence.

Teesdale and Weardale Inspector Ed Turner said: “PCSOs are an integral part of our frontline policing teams and are at the heart of the communities we serve.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Craig to Weardale. I would encourage everyone to say hello and introduce themselves if they see him out and about.”