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Investing £500,000 in 11 new neighbourhood wardens

by Craig Martin on 2 September, 2020

A North East council has employed 11 new neighbourhood wardens to help it keep enviro-crime and anti-social behaviour under control.

Durham County Council has invested £500,000 in the recruitment of the wardens as part of its efforts to ensure previous reductions in activities like fly-tipping are built on.

In February, the council agreed to invest £31million in frontline services over the next two years. In doing so the authority is seeking to enhance the services it knows residents value and which are important in maintaining communities as nice places to live; in which people feel safe and protected. The new warden posts represent the first such investment.

The employment of 11 people to the roles – the vast majority of whom are County Durham residents – represents the council’s biggest ever recruitment drive for wardens.

Neighbourhood wardens work to improve the quality of life for residents by reducing levels of anti-social behaviour and fear of crime. They carry out regular patrols across the county and have continued to for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, dealing with issues they encounter, or which are reported to them.

Wardens have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for environmental crimes such as littering, fly-tipping, abandoned vehicles, graffiti, and allowing a dog to foul or stray.

The new wardens will work across County Durham.

Four of them will focus solely on fly-tipping.

The new wardens have undertaken extensive training and are taking up their posts from this week.

Among the new recruits is Martin Allison who said: “I am looking forward to it and speaking to all the members of the community I am going to be working in. Just getting into communities and speaking to people, it is about building a rapport with residents in the area. The more you help them the more they help you. It is about making those links with the community.”

Speaking about his new role, another of the new wardens Jeff Parker said: “I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting stuck into tackling what incidents of fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour there are.”

Fellow new recruit Jill Greenfield added: “I’m looking forward to helping County Durham remain a clean, green and safe place to live.”

A short film on the new wardens can be viewed at https://youtu.be/s62m350P-W4

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