Neighbourhood Watch Meeting, Thursday 10th September 2009
Response by Phil Wilson MP
The meeting on Thursday night in the Trimdon Station Community Centre regarding anti-social behaviour in the area was heated and I can understand why. It is always a small number of individuals who spoil it for everyone else. However, the only way in which the problem can be resolved is through the police and community working together.
After many angry exchanges, we were able to organise a smaller meeting from which a Neighbourhood Watch group has been formed. The group has five residents and two private landlords and should be given every assistance by the police. I’ve agreed to attend the first meeting if the organisers would like me to do so.
It is also very important for local residents to attend the Police and Community Together (PACT) meetings, which have been organised locally. They happen all over the county and in other parts of my constituency they have been very useful at tackling crime. But when they meet people must attend because it is one of the main routes for the police into the local community and also is an excellent way for people to raise concerns with the police. They work if people are prepared to take part. The Neighbourhood Watch scheme is vitally important for the same reason.
At the meeting I said I would undertake to do the following:
-Call on the police to provide more patrols in the area
-Call on the police to supply local residents with anti-social behaviour diaries so they can catalogue when incidents occur. They can be returned to the police anonymously if need be. It is vitally important that they are completed if distributed; every piece of information helps the police. I organised for the police to do a similar exercise in another part of my constituency.
-In Chilton and Dean Bank in Ferryhill selective licensing schemes have been established in which private landlords have to enter into a contract in which they agree to maintain their properties up to a certain standard and they can be fined if they don’t. The rule should be good tenants and good private landlords have nothing to fear.
I believe there is a wider issue too. Private landlords have a responsibility to the local community in which their properties are located. So do tenants. I will do all I can to ensure that happens.
In the next few days everyone who attended the meeting will receive a letter from me outlining what It is I intend to do.
Phil Wilson MP
Next: Update 24th September 2009
Neighbourhood Watch Meeting, Thursday 24th September 2009
Update by Phil Wilson MP
I said I would keep you updated on developments regarding the problems in Station Road East and West since the public meeting last week.
I met with the police and other agencies at Peterlee police station On Tuesday, September 16th and with Durham County Council on Thursday, September 18th.
At the meeting on the 16th the following was agreed:
The police are to continue more patrols in the area.
The Neighbourhood Watch scheme and Police and Community Together (PACT) meetings are to be established in the Station Road area of Trimdon Station. Please take part in these meetings.
Anti-social behaviour diaries are to be distributed to those who want them.
The police are to look at the practicality of using CCTV.
The private landlords are to be approached by the County Council to encourage them to join the Council’s accreditation scheme for private landlords so that they know more details about potential tenants.
The County Council is to look at setting up a selective licensing scheme. This takes several months of preparation that is why the above proposals are important.
At the meeting on the 18th where I met with representatives of the County Council, I agreed to work with them to see what else we can do to change the law in this area if need and I will raise the problems with Government ministers on my return to parliament.
I will continue to keep you up to date with developments. If you have any further problems please do not hesitate to contact me, even if it is on an issue unrelated to the above.
Phil Wilson MP