The Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing Team at Coulby Newham has accepted a Problem Solving Award after an operation dedicated to tackling antisocial behaviour (ASB) and crime led to some of the lowest levels of ASB in years.
Operation Fortress began in February 2022 in the Hemlington area, where police worked closely with partner agencies to tackle issues in the area which were leading to residents becoming fearful in their own communities.
In the first year the operation took place, the reported levels of antisocial behaviour in the area dropped to some of the lowest levels in five years.
The aim of the multiagency operation set out to make Hemlington a more pleasant place to live and to provide residents with the confidence their concerns were heard.
In the twelve months following February 2022, there were 280 arrests, 143 stop searches, 239 antisocial behaviour warnings issued, 145 people charged and two youths served with Criminal Behaviour Orders with strict conditions. When comparing reports in January 2023 to January 2022, reports of fly tipping to Middlesbrough Council reduced by 42.8%, deliberate fires declined by 89%, complaints around antisocial behaviour reduced by 93.2% and crimes reported reduced by 61.8%.
Chief Inspector Wendy Tinkler from Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Having our neighbourhood team working closely with our partners and the community in Hemlington has seen reductions in crime and antisocial behaviour, tackling some of the key issues which were affecting the residents and local businesses.
“I'm extremely proud of the work the team at Coulby have conducted alongside our partner agencies, but this work continues, and we are not complacent as there are still further improvements to make. The progress we have made since Operation Fortress began is evidence of how effective a multi-agency problem solving approach can be to improve the response to crime and disorder. However, we recognise this works needs to continue to provide the community of Hemlington with the confidence to report issues to the police, to effectively tackle those who cause harm and provide reassurance that we will listen and will act on their concerns."
Members of the public can also report via the COPA app, which was created by Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner. The app is designed to be easy and accessible and adds another way for people to get in touch with the Force.