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Great Ayton residents unite to tackle nuisance behaviour
VILLAGERS say peace has been restored to their community after they came together to tackle nuisance neighbours.
Residents living in and around Central Way in Great Ayton were being targeted by two families to the extent that children stopped playing outside, neighbours felt too intimidated to chat outside and many were scared to leave their homes.
The problems began at the beginning of last year and escalated.
Police say the incidents included abusive words, people urinating in the street, wing mirrors broken off their cars and beer cans and broken bottles thrown into gardens.
Residents had to deal with drunken and anti-social behaviour in the street night and day.
After six months their lives were made such a misery that they formed an action group to try and deal with the problem.
The group worked with police, Broadacres Housing Association and Hambleton and Richmondshire Community Safety Partnership to begin the long process of gathering evidence so that legal action could be taken and the families moved out of the community.
Now the residents are celebrating after the action they took resulted in the problem families moving away.
Sergeant Simon Wilson, of Stokesley Safer Neighbourhood Team, said the turning point for residents came when they agreed to start giving witness statements.
He said: “We managed to persuade a few people to give statements through the support we gave them - and the promise of the protection of the full force of the law if they did.
“When they started to see they were getting results, they started to give more statements.
“It meant we were able to arrest (people) and get them to court.”
The offenders were convicted of a string of charges, including affray, assault and criminal damage. Broadacres also took out a success injunction against the head of the household responsible for the majority of the anti-social behaviour. The housing association was only weeks away from repossessing the property when the families moved out voluntarily.
A local resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “The change in the neighbourhood has been just amazing.
“Kids are now playing in the street and we’re able to enjoy going into our gardens again without finding empty beer cans and suffering abuse from the problem families."