POLICE in South Tyneside have been praised for overseeing a drop in town centre crime.
The Gazette reported on Friday that in the last five weeks, crime has fallen by 8.9 per cent in South Shields compared with the same period last year.
The figures were revealed by Insp Nick Gjorven, at the town’s Riverside community area forum meeting last week. He told the meeting that 219 fewer crimes had been committed and that anti-social behaviour was down by 11.7 per cent.
Vera Baird, Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner, congratulated the town centre officers.
Mrs Baird said: “I was delighted to hear that crime in South Shields town centre continues to fall.
“I’m particularly pleased that anti-social behaviour is down by nearly 12 per cent since the last period. This shows that the police and their partners are working hard to keep our communities safe.
“I gave a commitment that Northumbria Police will listen to local communities and ensure that their priorities are met.
“It’s great to see that this is happening in South Shields.”
She added: “I will ask for regular updates on the work of officers in dealing with youths congregating at Chichester Metro station.
“By working in partnership, we will continue to deliver an excellent policing service for the residents of South Tyneside.”
The meeting also heard that during the same period there were almost 50 fewer burglaries of buildings other than homes, but the number of house burglaries is up by 14 offences, to 125.
Theft from motor vehicles is also on the rise, by 32 to 163.
Insp Gjorven also said that officers would be increasing their patrols in the town on Good Friday, but that the last two years had not seen any problems.