Emergency services and council join forces to keep streets safe

Coun Ed Hodson.
Coun Ed Hodson.
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A MULTI-agency approach is helping keep the borough’s streets cleaner and safer.

Operation Hotspot – involving North Tyneside Council, Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service – is targeting littering, anti-social behaviour and other activities which blight communities.

The latest initiative began in March in part of North Shields and has since rolled out to Wallsend, Seaton Burn, North Shields, New York and Longbenton, with the final initiative taking place in Davison Avenue, Whitley Bay, at the end of August.

Meanwhile, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service provided free home safety checks, which included offering fire safety advice and fitting smoke alarms.

Achievements so far include:

n ten community clean-ups, filling 10 bags of litter;

n five tonnes of fly-tipped waste removed;

n six fixed penalty notices issued for litter offences; and

n 464 free home fire safety checks carried out.

Coun Ed Hodson, pictured, cabinet member for transport and the environment, said: “This initiative has all been about individuals and organisations working together to make a difference to people’s lives.

“I’m delighted that it’s had such a positive impact on the environment as well as made many homes safer places to live.”

Station manager Graeme Hurst, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We were pleased to be part of the campaign, as rubbish build-up can often be a target for deliberate fire setting.

“There has been a 44 per cent reduction in deliberate fires compared to the same time last year which proves that campaigns like this really do make a difference.

“The number of accidental house fires reduced by eight per cent compared to the same time last year.

“Through working with our partners in Operation Hotspot and by carrying out home fire safety checks, we can reduce the risk of fire and help to make the community a safer place.”

Acting Chief Inspector John Smith, of North Tyneside area command, said: “This joint operation has helped to physically improve local areas and has made a positive difference to neighbourhoods.

“We know that streets which suffer from litter and fly tipping quickly look run down and become unattractive places to live.

“Neighbourhood officers work closely with other agencies to tackle these important quality of life issues and carry out additional patrols to tackle anti-social behaviour and reassure communities.”