Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lives Blighted by Crime

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lives Blighted by Crime

Article excerpt

Byline: By Rajeshree Sisodia

A North community last night demanded more action to tackle crime after learning their district had been branded the second worst in the country.

A study by business solutions firm Experian yesterday said Easington District was the second worst place to live, when crime, health and education statistics were taken into consideration.

People in Easington village yesterday claimed the crime rate was one of the main factors in making their area undesirable.

In the study, 408 council areas in England and Wales were placed under the spotlight and ranked, with Easington coming second only to Barking and Dagenham, in Essex.

South Tyneside was listed as the ninth worst council area to live in.

Chiltern, in Buckinghamshire, and Wokingham, in Berkshire, were seen to be the most sought-after locations.

Yesterday in Easington Village, Samantha Wynn and Cherie Tate, said crime was high in the former pit area and prospects were bleak.

Eighteen-year-old Samantha, a cafe worker who has lived in the district all her life, said: "I don't think there's anything good about Easington.

"Easington Colliery is worse for crime and drugs than the village. There should be more police. There are too many joyriders and drug dealers."

Cherie, 23, who is unemployed, moved back to Easington four weeks ago after spending two years in Dundee, Scotland.

She said: "There is nothing to do here - no jobs. The council could change it. If the Government gave the council more money that would be better."

Figures from the 2001 Census show that of the 93,993 people living in Easington District, 28,926 had a "limiting long-term illness" and 16,260 people's general health was "not good".

Jack Cummings, 82, a retired supermarket manager from Easington Village, said the district had deteriorated since the closure of Easington Colliery in 1993.

He said: "When they closed the colliery it made all the difference. It used to be a good place to live. The social life of Easington Colliery was knocked out of it."

And Margaret Defty, 68, a retired carer from Easington Colliery, said crime and anti-social behaviour by a handful of young people was a real problem in the area. …

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