Police lead crackdown on crime in Gateshead's Old Fold estate

31 May 2017 09:00 AM

Old Fold estate operation [View Full Size]

Last week Northumbria Police stopped more than 70 cars in an operation aimed at tackling criminal activity in a Gateshead estate.

Throughout last Monday morning (22/5) officers targeted vehicle stops in the Old Fold estate after spending weeks gathering intelligence from our local communities.

The main focus of the operation was to crack down on illegal businesses, reduce anti-social behaviour, seize motor vehicles unfit for the road and also tackling environmental issues like fly tipping.

Police and partners hope the activity could ease rising community tensions caused by those involved in this type of illegal activity.

During the operation, a total of 71 vehicles were stopped so officers could test their fuel, insurance, registration details and any malfunctions on their vehicles. A number of outbuildings were also checked at addresses on the estate.

One person was reported for no insurance and another was issued with a notice for not having MOT on their vehicle. Numerous prohibition orders were issued by the DVSA to take faulty vehicles off the road.

The operation was carried out in partnership with Gateshead Council, HMRC, the DVLA and the DVSA and Neighbourhood Inspector Alan Pitchford has encouraged local communities to continue reporting illegal activity to the police.

He said: "We want local people to take pride in their own communities and so are committed to tackling any criminal activity that threatens that.

"We are aware that there has been rising community tensions in the Old Fold estate as a result of a rise in anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and ongoing illegal activity.

"The activity last week showed that we will not tolerate that kind of behaviour and will use all the tactics at our disposal to disrupt those we believe to be responsible.

"Motor vehicles are often connected to this type of criminal behaviour and we have worked closely with our partners to take vehicles off the road that we believe are unfit to be driven on a public highway.

"As a result of those vehicle stops we have stopped 71 vehicles and issued a number of prohibition orders to take faulty vehicles off of the roads.

"But most importantly this operation has shown that we mean business and should come as a stern warning to anyone who thinks they can get away with illegal activity in our town."

Anneliese Hutchinson, Service Director, Development, Transport and Public Protection, said: "Gateshead Council fully supports the police-led operation. Local people’s quality of life in this community was being blighted by anti-social and sometimes illegal activity in the area.

"The council is always keen to work in partnership with other agencies and use the full range of powers available to tackle those who are bad neighbours.”

Anyone who wants to report a vehicle or individual acting suspiciously in their area should contact police on 101 and ask for their local neighbourhood policing team.