Archive for the ‘crime’ Category



Community garden arson strengthens Ushaw Moor volunteers’ resolve From The Northern Echo

October 25, 2013 Leave a comment


VILLAGERS have pledged to continue their efforts to improve their community, despite an arson attack setback.

A shed at Ushaw Moor community garden was burnt to the ground in broad daylight on Sunday lunchtime (October 20).

The garden, off Durham Road, opened last summer – part of an effort by Ushaw Moor Action Group (Umag) to spruce up the village and boost community spirit which has also seen the development of The Hive, a community venue on Station Road, and The Hut, a space for group activities.

The garden features displays, paths, vegetable plots, a large potting shed and a “classroom”, which is soon to become a “Men’s Cree” – a space for men to meet in an alcohol-free environment, having won funding from the East Durham Trust.

It has enjoyed support from Groundwork North East and hosted Durham Agency Against Crime’s highly successful Haggrid project, aimed at inspiring young people to stay away from crime and give them a stake in their community.

Both neighbouring schools, Silver Tree Primary and St Joseph’s RCVA Primary, have been involved.

Umag leaders were devastated to learn the shed had been set alight, but said they had suffered vandalism previously, were thankful the fire had not spread to other buildings and were determined to continue their good work.

Secretary John Arthurs said: “It reinforces to us that we’ve got work to do.

“We’re not going to be knocked back by it.

“You do get annoyed and think these people must face the criminal justice system. Perhaps they could be given some community payback and come and work in the garden.”

Volunteer David Drape-Comym said: “It feels like one step forward, two steps back.

“But we’re trying to build the garden up, bit by bit.”

Umag is now considering whether to replace the shed.

The incident has been reported to Durham Police, which is treating it as arson.

A spokesman appealed for anyone who could help the police investigation to call the non-emergency number 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

via Community garden arson strengthens Ushaw Moor volunteers’ resolve From The Northern Echo.

Police probe two Ushaw Moor arson attacks (From The Northern Echo)

POLICE say it is lucky no-one was hurt in two house fires.

Durham Police believes the fires, which both broke out in Ushaw Moor, near Durham, in the early hours of Monday, April 1, were both started deliberately.

The first was in the garden of an empty house on Aldridge Court. The outside of the house and its back door was damaged.

The second happened in a shed on Bay Court. Again, the outside of the house was damaged. Three children, including a four-month-old girl, were in the house at the time.

Detective Constable Malcolm Bell, of Durham CID, said: “I am appealing for witnesses in what could have been tragic circumstances.

“The fires appear to have been set for no reason.”

via Police probe two Ushaw Moor arson attacks (From The Northern Echo).

Gym club appeals for safer future From The Northern Echo

March 15, 2013 1 comment

A SUCCESSFUL gymnastics club is appealing for support to beat the vandals who are targeting its academy base.

In the latest crime to hit Deerness Gymnastics Academy, the letter ‘E’ was stolen from the club’s sign just a couple of weeks after it was installed at a cost of more than £2,000.

Karl Wharton, the club’s director of gymnastics, said such mindless acts were really disheartening and affecting the running of the club.

Over the last 25 years, the County Durham club has produced more than 80 international class gymnasts and won more than 60 world and European medals, all from the small village of Ushaw Moor.

Eighteen months ago, the club took over running its base from Durham County Council, which was planning to close it.

Since then, there have been several incidents of theft and vandalism at the facility.

The latest crime took place on Wednesday night (March 13).

Mr Wharton said: “A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring this club has a future and it’s really disheartening that these mindless acts affect the running of this club and its continued development.”

The club now wants to install a new security system to protect the academy.

Mr Wharton appealed to anyone who could help to come forward. To support the appeal, call the academy on 0191-373-9419, email: or visit

via Gym club appeals for safer future From The Northern Echo.

Ushaw Moor Action Group – The Hive


The Hive is a flexible place for people to meet, and enjoy a variety of activities and services for people of all ages living in Ushaw Moor. These activities will promote health, well being, intergenerational activity, access to services, social cohesion, and community safety.

The activities will cut across all ages, encourage engagement with key projects to continue throughout the year and showcase positive community action.


Mum’s disgust after conmen target appeal for disabled son From The Northern Echo

A MOTHER has spoken of her disgust after thieves and conmen allegedly stole from her £50,000 campaign to secure life-changing surgery for her disabled son.

Jodie Bussey’s son, Thomas Brennan, five, suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, leaving him in constant pain and unable to walk more than few steps.

He is often confined to a pushchair or wheelchair.

Medics believe pioneering surgery could help him walk freely for the first time. However, the surgery must be performed in the US and would cost at least £48,000.

Since The Northern Echo first reported Thomas’ story in February, wellwishers have helped bring Miss Bussey’s fundraising total to £11,500.

However, she has been told thieves have stolen at least two collection tins, while others have claimed to be fundraising for Thomas, but then pocketed money.

Miss Bussey, from Ushaw Moor, County Durham, said: “To commit theft against a disabled child when we are trying to raise money to get an operation he desperately needs is disgusting.

via Mum’s disgust after conmen target appeal for disabled son From The Northern Echo.

Time to turn to 101 – Durham Constabulary

Durham Constabulary’s non-emergency phone number – 101 – will be the only number for people in the region to call as from today.

The new national non-emergency number 101 went live in Durham in December 2011. It automatically connects callers to their nearest force, but includes options for four other neighbouring forces.

The aim is to have a single non-emergency number for the police which is easy to remember and make it simpler for the public to contact the police in non-emergency situations.

Durham’s previous number – 0845 6060365, which dates back to 2003 – will be switched off from today. Any callers will receive a message advising them to hang up and ring 101.

Although the alternative number – 0345 6060365 – will still operate, it is tailored towards people calling from outside County Durham and Darlington. Local callers using this number will receive a message advising them to use 101.

Chief Superintendent John Bell, head of Durham Constabulary’s Response Command, said: “101 is already proving popular for providing people with quick, direct access to their nearest police force. Our response times remain high and we want this to continue, so the more people who use 101 the better. Using 101 will enable us to continue to provide an effective policing service to the people of County Durham and Darlington.”

Time to turn to 101 –.

Categories: announcements, crime