Clean-up crews target estates in crime blitz

A NATIONALLY acclaimed scheme which sees specialist teams move into neighbourhoods to improves residents’ lives has been expanded.

Doncaster Council’s Neighbourhood Hit Squad will now be rolled out across another seven areas of the borough.

The initiative tackles a range of issues including the number and condition of empty properties, fly-tipping and community safety.

It is run by the authority’s private sector housing team in conjunction with health, police and fire bosses.

Coun Ray Mullis, cabinet member for housing, said: “The neighbourhood hit squad has been extended following a highly successful pilot and the initiative is now part of a national best practice tool kit for other local authorities to follow.

“We will continue to talk with local councillors and the community to improve and reshape the project to make it even more successful and focused on the issues that are important to local people in particular hotspots across Doncaster.”

Under the extended project there will be two teams operating in different areas at the same time.

Neighbourhoods to benefit will include two in Wheatley, four in the Bentley area and one in Conisbrough.

The first hit squad of the new programme is in Wheatley and covers an area from Queen’s Road to Axholme Road and Thorne Road to Beckett Road. It was launched this week.

Meanwhile, Highfields is also set to benefit from a three weeks blitz on crime.

The council’s Neighbourhood Alliance programme has started in the area this week and will see renovation and clean-up work carried out by offenders on community service.

There will also be daily litter and fly-tipping patrols and a number of operations designed to deal with anti-social behaviour.

The Great Northern Youth Centre in Woodlands will hosting more activities for youths in a bit to stop them loitering on street corners.