POLICE have sent a letter warning residents that criminal prosecutions will be made, after teachers had been confronted about parking in a public street.

The letter sent to all residents on Reid Street in Darlington stated that officers had received reports of anti-social behaviour around the vicinity of Reid Street Primary School.

The letter said: "It has been reported that staff at the school are being confronted in regard to where they are parking their cars whilst at work, this behaviour can be quite intimidating and will not be tolerated. May we remind you that the spaces which the staff are using are public spaces and anyone can park there."

Reid Street runs between Hollyhurst Road and Greenbank Road. The street is a busy through road with the primary school in one corner, a convenience store nearby and Darlington Memorial Hospital close by - causing a lot of people to park in the street.

The letter continued: "Reid Street School is a huge asset to your community and the staff have no car park and therefore no option but to park in the streets around the school outside of residents' parking bays. They do so with consideration and your support in this matter would be greatly appreciated."

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I was shocked to hear this has been happening and fully support the stance taken by the police. 

“These teachers do a really important job and they should not have to put up with this kind of intimidation.

“I can usually find a spot near to my house, but if not I just park further up the street or round the corner – it’s no great hardship. If people want to guarantee a parking spot they should pay for a permit.

“I know some people might have reasons for needing to park close to their homes, but confronting teachers is not on. Politeness costs nothing.”

Police said if the anti-social behaviour continues in the area they would look at investigating and instigating criminal prosecutions where necessary, speak with landlords and housing associations, inform other partner agencies, such as the council, ask offenders to sign an acceptable behaviour contract, give verbal warnings to offenders or use a restorative approach with victims and offenders in a safe environment.