Police action in villages

POLICE have been getting to the heart of crime concerns by chatting to the community.

Officers from the Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team travelled to outlying areas last month to encourage residents to raise any issues of concern.

The mobile police station was used, making stops in Longhorsley, Eshott, Acklington, Hadston and Pegswood.

And now police have been able to take action to tackle some of the problems that were identified, such as speeding, anti-social behaviour, rural crime and illegal parking.

Sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves said: “We have listened to residents and will take action to combat the issues that most concern them, like speeding and anti-social behaviour.

“We have made our partners aware of some of the issues raised and will work with them to respond to residents’ concerns.

“The Neighbourhood Team works closely with local game-keepers and estates to combat theft and poaching offences. Operation Gatsby is a rural crime operation, which is run in conjunction with game-keepers and land users to prevent and detect rural crime.”

In response to the feedback, an operation has been ongoing to tackle speeding and nuisance drivers.

A total of 1,436 vehicle checks were carried last month in Pegswood, Longhirst, Hebron, Green Lane. Hepscott, Stannington, Acklington, West Thirston, Longhorsley, Red Row, Widdrington, Fairmoor, Scots Gap, Cambo, Hartburn, Middleton and Mitford.

Seven warnings were issued.

Officers also carried out a one-day initiative with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to stop and check vehicles as part of Operation Gatsby.

Sixteen vehicles were checked, six prohibition notices were issued, one vehicle was taken off the road and scrapped, and two drivers were summonsed for offences.

Sgt Wilmore-Greaves said: “This is another example of how going out and speaking to local people helps us to tackle the issues that concern them most.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has welcomed the action.

She said: “Police getting out and about in communities, giving people the opportunity to chat to local officers in a more informal setting, is a great way of increasing community confidence.

“It means residents can raise the issues that concern them the most, give their views and suggestions, and are more informed about what police and partners are doing in their community.

“I welcome the initiatives taking place in the Morpeth area.”