Durham County Council has partnered with a housing provider to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in areas of its county.
The local authority’s trading standards team will be working with believe housing to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime that could affect the housing association’s homes and customers.
Under this agreement, the council’s trading standards officers will be able to share information about customers who have been convicted or cautioned for criminal offences, such as selling counterfeit goods and illegal tobacco.
The information has been collected during criminal investigations and prosecutions by the trading standards team and will be used to try and curb anti-social behaviour, and nuisance-related issues that could negatively affect the quality of life of residents.
With this information, believe housing can use existing conditions in tenancy agreements to prevent and disrupt crime or anti-social behaviour.
This could include warnings or, potentially, loss of a home.
In any cases where believe housing properties are involved in an offence, the interventions made possible by the new agreement could help to reduce, prevent and disrupt crime or related anti-social behaviour.
This partnership also supports the council’s adopted County Durham Housing Strategy, 2019 to 2024, which aims to maintain and improve standards across the county’s housing stock and put people and communities first by working to resolve housing issues and keep neighbourhoods safe.
Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council’s public protection manager, said: “The agreement with believe housing illustrates our continued commitment to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of life of our residents.
“Although County Durham is a very safe place in which to work, live and visit, we understand the significant impact that crime and anti-social behaviour can have on people’s sense of well-being.
“We are pleased to be able to build on our existing work with believe housing to improve our response to these issues.”
Ian Porter, director of neighbourhood and customer experience at believe housing, said: “This important collaboration with Durham County Council strengthens our joint work to tackle a minority of people who choose to disrupt our communities.
“We are committed to improving the lives of the vast majority of law-abiding people in the neighbourhoods we serve.
“The information that will be shared through this agreement will play a key role in enabling us to take firm action against perpetrators wherever necessary to stop crime and anti-social behaviour.”