A police operation is to try and improve life on a group of streets in Blyth.
Officers from the Blyth Neighbourhood Policing team are working with Safer Northumberland on the ‘12 streets campaign’ in the Cowpen area.
Throughout February and March, the campaign will focus on Wright Street, Beaumont Street, Disraeli Street, Salisbury Street, Gladstone Street, Hambledon Street, Durban Street, Goschen Street, Balfour Street, Maddison Street, Hall Terrace and Hodgson’s Road.
Officers will work closely with the local authority and other key agencies to address issues such as anti-social behaviour, waste accumulation, drug offences, road safety, lighting and rogue landlords.
Blyth Neighbourhood Inspector, Grant Dawson, said: “The 12 streets campaign is a real partnership effort and aims to improve quality of life for residents of Cowpen Quay and make it an even safer place to live in.
“The campaign is a direct result of intelligence gained from the community last year. During the visits officers and cadets talked to residents about key issues of concern and where they would like to see police and partner action.
“We’re committed to not only tackling issues such as waste and fly tipping but getting to the root of the problem and working with our partners to prevent the issues reoccurring.”
“We will be working closely with Safer Northumberland and other key agencies to identify residents who are vulnerable in the community and ensuring they are directed to the right agency and receive the right support.
“Throughout this month residents will see an increased police presence in Cowpen Quay as officers carry out the operation and we encourage anyone who may have concerns or who may be worried about a vulnerable neighbour, relative or friend to speak with an officer face-to-face so we can take appropriate action.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “I welcome this proactive policing from Northumbria Police which is working with partners to tackle issues of great importance to local residents.
“Protecting the vulnerable is an absolute priority for me and I am confident that this project will have a positive impact for our communities in Blyth. I look forward to seeing more projects develop as part of Operation Merlin and wish this campaign every success.”
Northumberland County Councillor Liz Simpson, chair of Safer Northumberland, said “This initiative is all about agencies working together for the long-term benefit of the community.
“It’s important we provide long-term solutions as well as quick fixes, but no one organisation can do everything. That’s why so many agencies have come together to provide a range of support and solutions.”
Local Ward County Councillor Kath Nisbet added: “I know the vast majority of local residents are honest and law-abiding and just want the best for the community.
“Throughout the initiative the council is working in partnership with ICCQ (Improving Croft and Cowpen Quay) street reps and I hope Operation Merlin will make a real difference by targeting the small minority who cause problems and it will make a real positive difference to local people.”