ON 25th June, as councillor for Lingdale, I chaired an extremely well-attended public meeting, in the village’s Youth Centre, about the recent crimewave.

Over a period of less than three weeks, reported crime quadrupled and the village was terrorised by a gang of men, who committed at least 40 break-ins, with homes, vehicles, sheds and garages all targeted.

It’s believed the purpose of the crimes was to feed drug addiction. Residents were deprived of their goods and belongings, suffering great expense, as well as being subjected to anxiety and fear for themselves and their families.

Only when the police took things seriously, and the community united against the perpetrators, did the seemingly endless crimewave cease.

One individual got 44 weeks at Teesside Magistrates’ Court but, to date, no one else has been charged. Lingdale people know there are still criminals on the loose and worry there will be a recurrence of the crimewave, once the prisoner is released.

The police are now fully alerted and, with the council, are examining ways of bringing Criminal Behaviour Orders, Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions, and Selective Licensing Schemes for landlords, into play. Lingdale must never again be subjected to crime on this scale!

Steve Kay, Redcar & Cleveland Councillor