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Middlesbrough Mayor says don't suffer in silence

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A photo of Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston with officers from the Neighbourhood Safety team, Cleveland Police and Thirteen Housing

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston today urged residents not to "suffer in silence" and report crime and anti-social behaviour to police and the council.

The Mayor visited the town's Pallister Park estate alongside officers from Cleveland Police, Thirteen Housing and Middlesbrough Council's Neighbourhood Safety Team following an incident which saw a Polish family in the area victimised.

The partners did a letter drop - in English and in Polish - informing residents that the area is now being monitored and that surveillance vehicle would be gathering evidence.

Following the incident last week which saw racist abuse targeted at the family and their vehicle damaged, a 13-year-old boy was arrested.

In his letter to residents Mr Preston wrote: "I am very much aware that residents are afraid to come forward for fear of reprisals; however we can deal with these matters much quicker and more effectively by residents assisting us with information.

"This does not mean that your identity will be disclosed nor does it mean that you will be asked to give evidence in court.

"All complaints are held in the strictest of confidence and the identities of those providing information will not be disclosed."

In addition Middlesbrough Council has announced an action plan to stamp out the awful behaviour so condemned by residents.

It will start with work to identify the wider group of young people seen in the widely shared footage.

Warning letters and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) will be issued to those involved as appropriate. Any breach of an ABC can be used in evidence to support an application for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.

Referrals will also be made to youth services for engagement and focused work with those involved.

Neighbourhood Safety Wardens will monitor the area daily during key times and work will be carried out with the local community around the issues.

Support will also be offered to the family victimised in the incident including looking at CCTV options and assistance from the Victim Care and Advice Service.

All of the Council's work will be carried out alongside partner agencies including Cleveland Police and Thirteen Housing.

Ward councillors for Berwick Hills and Pallister Cllr Lee Garvey and Cllr Donna Jones said: "As ward councillors we know the frustration and disappointment the people of our ward feel when it comes to anti-social behaviour, we live here we suffer it too.

"Please continue to report all crime and anti-social behaviour so we can use it to lobby for more community policing."

Cleveland Police have arranged for extra patrols in the area and have asked that anyone with information contact them via the 101 number, quoting reference 060445, or alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously online via the Crimestoppers website or by phoning them on 0800 555 111.

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