A new initiative to encourage residents to take more pride in where they live is to be piloted in Darlington.

Durham Police, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Darlington Borough Council have joined forces to launch ‘Respect your Street’ which urges residents to take greater pride in their street and aims to help tackle antisocial behaviour, criminal damage, arson, fly tipping and littering.

‘Respect your Street’ will be launched on Saturday 2 December and will initially be piloted in two streets in Darlington – Eastbourne Road and Brunton Street – where Police Community Support Officers, Council staff and Firefighters will be on hand to offer advice, Safe & Wellbeing Visits and hand out information leaflets.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for leisure and the local environment explained:

“We’ve already been asking residents to do their bit by not dropping litter, taking part in litter picks and reporting incidents of fly tipping as part of the Council’s #OurStreets initiative.

“Respect your Street is a joint initiative with the Police and Fire service, which aims to tackle more wide-ranging issues that impact on residents’ quality of life.

“We all have a role to play in looking after where we live. Simple things like not dropping litter, reporting fly tipping and not leaving your bins out overnight, all help. If bins are left out overnight, or for days on end, it can become a target – the bin itself may be stolen or used by thieves; bag slashers are more likely to be active late at night or very early in the morning and the less time your bin is out, the less likely it is to be a target for arsonists or others.

“We’d also love to hear from anyone who would like to join our growing army of Street Champions or join community litter picks.”

Inspector Chris Knox, Darlington Police, said:

“This is an excellent initiative aimed at residents taking some ownership of the issues affecting their neighbourhood, which in turn improves their quality of life making the environment they live in safer and more enjoyable for residents and those who visit.”

Graeme Metcalf, District Manager for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, added:

“We fully support the Respect your Street initiative and look forward to working with key partners and the local community to help address issues with nuisance fires in the area and improve the local environment.”

Residents can report criminal damage and other antisocial behaviour by calling 101.

Any incidents of fly tipping can be reported by emailing the details to customerservices@darlington.gov.uk and mark FAO: StreetScene Enforcement.

To find out more about the free Safe and Wellbeing Visits offered by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service visithttps://www.ddfire.gov.uk/free-safe-and-wellbeing-visit