Week of events to help improve estate

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A week of activities is taking place to help an area of North Shields be safe and spotless.

For five days from Monday, Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will support North Tyneside Council in its Operation Hotspot initiative.

The focus will be on Meadowell, where together they will address issues like littering, fly-tipping, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour, as well as carrying out free home fire safety checks.

On Thursday, April 2, the Dogs Trust will also be on hand to provide free basic health checks and micro-chipping for dogs, from 11am to 3pm, at The Cedarwood Trust.

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for housing and the environment, said: “This is another brilliant example of how closely we work with Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for the good of the community.

“We are delighted to be coming together to enhance the Meadowell area.

“Since launching six years ago, Operation Hotspot has achieved brilliant results and has helped to make the borough an even better place to live, work and visit.

“Going out into the heart of our communities, speaking to our residents and listening to any concerns is extremely important to us – and this forms a big part of this five-day event.

Residents are also invited to support the initiative by joining in with a community clean-up, meeting at The Cedarwood Trust on Tuesday, March 31, at 10.30am.

District Manager for North Tyneside Graeme Hurst, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners again as part of the very successful Operation Hotspot and also as part of our lighter nights campaign.

“Between April and May we see a significant increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB) fires with April being busier than November, which includes the busy bonfire period. ASB fires accounted for 65 percent of all fire incidents we attended during April 2014 and we saw a peak between 7pm and 8pm.

“This is a real opportunity to reduce these types of fire and our officers will be offering free home safety checks to residents.”

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service offers free Home Safety Checks (HSC) to people who are more vulnerable to having a fire, as well as to those who have had a fire.

It also includes ensuring that householders have a fire escape plan in place should a fire break out in their home and that they are aware of the importance of a safe night time routine, such as closing doors, unplugging electrical equipment and safe disposal of cigarettes.

Meadowell Neighbourhood Policing Team acting Inspector Guy Morgan added: “Tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) is one of our force priorities and this operation shows our commitment to working with our partners to prevent and reduce ASB.

“This is a great opportunity for the public to come forward and speak to us and tell us about the issues that matter to them.

“Anyone with information about anti-social behaviour or crime and disorder issues are asked to contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.”

Running in different parts of North Tyneside throughout the year, Operation Hotspot was launched six years ago and also forms part of the council’s Big Spring Clean campaign.