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Community Action Team measures welcomed in West Cornforth
EXTRA police patrols are to be mounted in problem areas of West Cornforth together with continuing action to clamp down on under-age drinking.
The measures are part of a wide-ranging initiative designed to tackle anti-social behaviour highlighted by residents to a Community Action Team (CAT).
The team - made up of members of several organisations including Durham County Council, Durham Police, social landlord livin and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue - worked with locals to identify issues and draw up an action plan.
Over the four week project they sent under-age youngsters into shops to carry out test purchases of alcohol and cigarettes.
Action was also taken to remove rubbish dumped in gardens, streets and waste ground to try to improve the environment as well as examine the problem of empty properties.
Joanne Waller, the county council's head of environmental health and consumer protection, said: "We've had very positive feedback from local people and the CAT project has been a huge success.
"During the course of the initiative a range of issues were identified and action has been taken, and will continue to take place, to address the concerns residents have raised.
"This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the council, its partners and the local community work together."
As a result of the CAT project a number of initiatives have been put in place to ensure problems will continue to be addressed.
These include regular patrols by the police in problem streets plus further alcoholic test purchasing.
Talks are also be held in local schools over under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour while work will be undertaken to tackle long-term empty properties.
Landlord livin has carried out improvements to car parking in the Palm Road and Maple Grove areas.
West Cornforth Parish Council will also carry out improvements to properties on the high street and action will be taken to tackle dog fouling.
Inspector Warren Edwards, of Spennymoor Police, said the force had been happy to support the scheme and it had raised problems officers had not previously known.