Extra crime-busting measures will soon be introduced on a Middlesbrough estate affected by antisocial behaviour and crime.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner has agreed to provide Middlesbrough Council with an additional £41,800 for security measures in and around the Viewley Centre, Hemlington.
Proposals include the installation of new gates to improve security around the complex and car park, while further measures will be deployed to deter vandalism and antisocial behaviour.
Lighting columns on the estate have frequently been vandalised, so improved lighting will be installed to withstand vandalism and criminal damage.
Extra lighting will also support four additional permanent and mobile CCTV cameras.
The views of residents and businesses will be sought. It’s hoped that the additional measures will discourage antisocial behaviour close to the shopping parade and restore public confidence.
The PCC’s investment is funded by cash generated by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA.) POCA allows the police to seize goods and assets from criminals and use the proceeds from selling these items to disrupt and deter offending.
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner has been working with a number of partners including Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough Council, Thirteen Housing and Habinteg Housing to combat Hemlington’s problems of vandalism and antisocial behaviour.
Steve said: “The Viewley Shopping Centre has long been a focus for crime and antisocial behaviour, but more recently residents have told me that the levels of disorder and wanton vandalism have increased massively.
“To date, Dispersal Orders, enforcement of tenancy agreements and improved CCTV have all been used to combat problems.
”However, it hasn’t been enough to address the situation so I am funding additional physical and electronic security measures in and around the centre to beat the high rates of antisocial behaviour blighting the area.”
Security measures are just one of the ways in which the PCC and its partners are targeting resources on the estate.
Daryll Tomlinson, Chief Inspector of Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing, said: “Cleveland Police is committed to protecting communities from crime and antisocial behaviour.
“All partners are working hard on a six-month plan to make improvements to the area and investment by the PCC’s office is critical on this journey.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Solving these problems isn’t easy but we know that more cameras and more police do work and we are going to see both of those things. The criminals and the troublemakers are going to hate it.”
Other measures introduced in Hemlington include increased engagement with the local community, investment in sports facilities and development of an unpaid work scheme to clean up the area.