CCTV cameras help lead to 100 arrests in just eight weeks in Stockton-on-Tees crime hotspot

New alley gates have also been installed as part of £370,000-worth of crime-fighting measures unveiled last year. Credit: Stockton Council

Almost 100 arrests have been made in just eight weeks thanks to new and improved CCTV cameras across Stockton's crime hotspots.

The new equipment helped Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's control room respond to 498 incidents and assist with 94 police arrests from its installation on 1 March to 26 April.

Among the incidents council control room staff helped police respond to were knife crimes, vehicle offences, offences involving drugs, violence and criminal damage.

Cllr Steve Nelson, cabinet member for community safety, said the measures had also helped with finding two missing persons and supported 15 responses to concerns for a person's safety.

He added: "Although the borough is one of the safest places in the Tees Valley, this particular area is the location of about 20% of all recorded crimes in the borough.

"Now that these measures are in place, we're hoping to see a fall in crime and we hope people living in these areas are starting to see and feel some benefits too."

The CCTV control room Credit: Stockton Council

Cash from the Home Office's Safer Streets Fund helped bring the cameras, as well as 72 alley gate repairs and new brighter street lights, to parts of Stockton town centre and Parkfield.

Stockton Council said £370,000-worth of crime-fighting measures had been introduced since plans were unveiled last year.

Residents told last year how they welcomed the measures but revealed how problems linked to the drug trade remained a chief concern amid stalling house prices on some streets.

The new measures included:

New alley gates were fitted at Eleanor Place and Bramley Parade, while 72 existing gates have been repaired, repainted and serviced.

These gates restrict access to alleys behind terraced houses, where drug use and anti-social behaviour often take place.

Last week saw a court order see the closure of a property at the centre of disturbances and drug problems on nearby Yarm Road.

The move is understood to have brought welcome from neighbours after two years of unrest.

Cllr Louise Baldock said the measures had made a difference.

"We have a big problem in our area where people looking for money come and try car door handles - particularly under the cover of darkness," said Cllr Baldock.

"They've detected quite a lot of that - it's a big issue across our patch because anywhere within walking distance from the town centre is very vulnerable"

The Labour member said the devices had captured an 'enormous amount of drug activity' as expected.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner said: "It's not just about cutting crime - although the impressive figures from Cleveland Police speak for themselves.

"It's also about making the community feel more protected and engaged.

"The fact that they have been involved in consultations about the future of their area throughout this year-long programme has been vitally important."

The Safer Streets funding is also being used to offer free crime prevention advice and equipment to residents including gate locks, alarmed padlocks, security lights, door handle alarms, visitor door viewers and DNA property marking.