A DARLINGTON woman has spoken out about living in fear of crime and vandalism from youths she says are “running riot” on her estate.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has lived in St Paul’s Place, off North Road, for many years.

She said the area used to have only occasional incidents of anti-social behaviour, but has worsened in recent years.

Residents say problems started to worsen in 2010, after the former North Road Primary School was knocked down and a new one built further away from the estate.

A path was created, running down the side of St Paul’s Place from St Paul’s Terrace to Henry Street.

The woman said: “When the school was knocked down, all hell broke loose. Now we have crime. There are people breaking into cars and damaging vehicles.

“They run through, jump over the wall and use the path as an escape route, hiding in the bushes. This only started when the path was built. It needs to be stopped.

“We’re getting nowhere with the council. Nothing is getting done about it."

She says that the residents were under the impression that the council was going to put up a fence on top of the wall already there against the path, which would hamper the escaping youths.

A spokesman for Darlington Borough Council said that there were never any such plans.

Other problems include fly-tipping, theft, dog fouling and noise from motor bikes which regularly race down the path.