Hartlepool woman 'daren't go on holiday' due to antisocial behaviour fears

One woman in Hartlepool said people were afraid to report issues to police. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A woman has told ITV Tyne Tees she “daren’t go out” due to fears about antisocial behaviour.

The woman, from Hartlepool, said people were afraid to report issues to police.

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees, the woman, whose identity is being protected, said: "We have motorbikes up and down the street.

"You daren’t go out. You daren’t book holidays because people are watching. They just don’t respect your property. It is very scary."

She added: "If you do go on holiday you’re worrying all the time about what the property is going to be like when you get back. Are you going to be robbed? Is someone going to take things from you?

"You shouldn’t have to live like that and you daren’t report it to the police because if you get found out your windows will be put out. We just want to live in safety."

On Monday 3 April, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Hartlepool, where he outlined his plans for 13,000 more neighbourhood policing officers to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Mr Starmer visited the town to discuss the issue with residents and to announce his plans to increase the number of neighbourhood policing officers.

He said the plan would be funded by efficiency savings from police forces across the country.

He said: "We've costed the savings we could make and we're going to use that directly to pay for those neighbourhood policing officers."

He added: "I don't think anyone would say I'd rather spend money on different ways of doing things around the country when I could save that money and put it directly into neighbourhood policing on the beat, in their patch, in their communities."

Mr Starmer said: "I was very shocked by what I heard from residents here in Hartlepool. Too many people have said to me over the years antisocial behaviour is somehow low level. I totally reject that. It massively impacts on people’s lives.

"Here you’ve got many people who feel the government isn’t really on their side and is trying to pretend everything is fine. It’s not fine."

Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner hit back at Mr Starmer's comments.

He said: "The facts speak for themselves. Antisocial behaviour in Cleveland has dropped and I think all they are doing is trying to scaremonger to try and sound tough on crime when the reality is they’re actually not and they’re just rehashing Conservative ideas."

Last week, the Government announced new plans on stopping the problem.

How has the government said it will crackdown on anti-social behaviour?

  • The Prime Minister has set the target of having offenders who are slapped with community orders starting reparation work within 48 hours of being handed the punishment.

  • Laughing gas will be banned.

  • Drug testing of criminals will become more prevalent.

  • On-the-spot fines for graffiti and fly-tipping will be increased.

  • More money will be ploughed into youth centres as part of a bid to eradicate behaviours spoiling Britain’s neighbourhoods.

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