Tackling anti-social behaviour at the heart of new Horden partnership

Tackling neighbourhood nuisances and improving quality of life in a County Durham village are at the heart of a new partnership.

Horden Together will see a range of organisations working closely with residents to address the issues and concerns that matter most to them.

Over the next three years, representatives from Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary, County Durham & Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Horden Parish Council and East Durham Trust as well as Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner will offer a range of support.

Based at a new neighbourhood hub within the Miners’ Welfare Hall, they will combine their efforts to tackle issues such as crime and anti-social behaviour, environmental problems and empty properties.

The team will work with the local community to identify emerging issues and take action to solve the problems that people say most affect their daily lives.

Despite the pandemic, work has been taking place over the past 18 months to address issues of concern in Horden. In 2020, our Community Action Team took action to deal with flytipping and vacant properties that were being misused.

And, earlier in the year, dozens of empty properties were made secure as part of the Safer Streets Initiative, which aims to reduce incidents of burglary and vandalism.

The work of the partnership will complement ongoing regeneration work in the area and support the long-term aspirations of the Horden Masterplan. The masterplan, which was created in 2019, looks to address issues with poor housing, the environment and access to amenities in the village, with a particular focus on the part of the village known locally as the ‘numbered streets’.

The masterplan was informed by the views of residents, who made it clear that significant change is required in Horden.

The village has experienced substantial social and economic problems and is in the top three per cent of the most deprived areas in England and Wales. Our masterplan sets out our intention, subject to funding, to clear and rebuild houses and properties in the village, some of which are empty and no longer fit for purpose and which attract anti-social behaviour and crime.

Cllr John Shuttleworth, the council’s cabinet member for Rural Communities and Highways, including community safety, said: “We are very pleased to announce the launch of Horden Together, which is an exciting opportunity for us to enhance the quality of life of people in Horden.

“By joining forces with partners in public service and the voluntary community, we will be able to make the best use of a wide range of expertise, resource, local knowledge and skills to develop Horden.

“We are keen to work with local people and hear their thoughts on the areas of the village they would like to see enhanced.”

The introduction of the team follows work undertaken in Horden by the council’s Community Action Team in 2020, when officers tackled issues reported by residents, including anti-social behaviour, flytipping and vacant properties which were being misused.

Earlier in the year, dozens of empty properties were secured as part of the Safer Streets Initiative with the aim of reducing incidents of burglary and vandalism.

Chief Inspector Emma Kay said: “We are very excited to be a part of this innovative and forward-thinking project, which brings together the right people in the right place to make a positive difference to our communities.

“It is an opportunity for us to work closely with our partners in local agencies and increase our visibility within the Horden area, where we are always keen to listen to the needs and concerns of residents.

“As ever, close communication with residents is key to identifying and addressing the key issues that affect day to day to life, and we’re confident that Horden Together is an important step in strengthening those relationships.”

People are being encouraged to have their say on what they would like the new team to address. Residents living in Horden can report issues or register their interest to get involved, by contacting the Horden Together team at horden.together@durham.gov.uk or telephoning 03000 263387.