Image courtesy of Friends of Eston Hills
Drones, increased police patrols and engagement with local young people will form the basis of Cleveland Police’s response to a recent crime spate on Eston Hills.
In response to a scrutiny question posed by Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger today, Chief Constable Richard Lewis confirmed that a coordinated approach with the local authority, Cleveland Fire Brigade and the community will continue.
A number of deliberate blazes have taken place on the Hills over the weekend, as well as increased reports of nuisance riding by quads and motorbikes.
The force confirmed that engagement between neighbourhood policing teams and local young people has been ongoing for some time, after increased reports of antisocial behaviour throughout Greater Eston.
Yesterday PCC Barry Coppinger chaired a Tees Rural Crime Task Force, in which the problems blighting Eston Hills – and other issues of concern to rural communities across Cleveland - were discussed with representatives from police, fire, the Environment Agency and other organisations active in rural areas.
A significant part of the discussion was based on how agencies and community groups like Friends of Eston Hills can continue to work closely together on gathering intelligence and developing solutions. At Mr Coppinger’s request, this group will now meet monthly.
PCC Barry Coppinger said: “During the worry of the Covid-19 pandemic, so many of us have been enjoying local beauty spots even more as a way to protect our physical and emotional wellbeing.
“Sadly, a small minority have also taken the opportunity to deliberately cause damage and engage in antisocial behaviour, including the nuisance use of off-road bikes and quads.
“Preventing crime on such an expansive area is a challenge – and one that cannot be solved by one agency alone. Through true partnership working we can develop a multi-pronged approach with proactive and preventative measures.
“I will continue to monitor the police response to the issue and maintain my role of bringing together organisations with the power to make a real difference to communities who enjoy spending time on Eston Hills lawfully.”
Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2020