Tees

Hartlepool regeneration residents 'feel unsafe'

Graham Buttery
Image caption Reverend Graeme Buttery said £5,500 worth of lead has been stolen from the church

It is officially a regeneration area and Dyke House in Hartlepool has newly built smart houses - but they are in the minority.

You will see far more properties boarded up with metal shutters - ready for redevelopment that just has not happened.

Crime is the key issue here.

Officially it is falling - the police monthly crime map figures show 100 fewer crimes than a year ago.

But 600 crimes still took place within a mile of Dyke House including 300 anti-social behaviour offences.

Reverend Graeme Buttery, from St Oswald's Clergy House, said: "We had £5,500 worth of lead taken from the roof and we've graffiti on the outside wall.

"Before the window guards went on we used to get everything from six inch bolts to stones through the windows - one during a wedding nearly hitting the best man."

'Heard a bang'

Harry Trigg is moving a few miles across town because of the level of crime but reckons he will feel safer away from Dyke House.

However, he is not convinced the new police and crime commissioners (PCC) will cut crime.

He said: "With them cutting the budgets they're cutting the police off their main beat but they're going to bring in a commissioner into a job which will get thousands a year but they're cutting the front line."

Margaret Dryden, 77, said she would stay in the area even though she has been burgled.

Image caption Ms Dryden will stay in the area even though she has been burgled

"I heard a bang and when I went to the back I found all the glass broken and all my windows and the back door to the lane wide open," she said.

"We don't see many police round our area, they think it's better now but if they don't appear it'll all start again."

As night falls, teenagers appear on the streets - but they too are worried about crime.

Callum, 17, says crime is a constant worry and said he felt unsafe.

He said: "There was fighting in the street and I thought that's something I wouldn't want to happen every day."

Rae-Shaune, 14, said: "We've had a smashed window. The police have been called out about 10 times and there's nowt being done."

"[The PCC should] sort out the teenage abuse, all the druggies, the drug dealers."

Cleveland police say there have been over 2000 less victims of anti-social behaviour this financial year compared to last in the Hartlepool area, with a decrease in overall crime of 9%.

Police Elections - Time To Choose will be on BBC1 Wednesday 7 November at 19:30 BST.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites