HALTWHISTLE Town Council has criticised the lack of a police presence in the town as complaints over drug use continue to rise.

Councillors said that officers were rarely seen on the street, and that drugs were now being bought, sold, and used in broad daylight.

Coun. Margaret Forrest said: “I’m very, very unhappy about policing in Haltwhsitle. We never see a police officer on the streets.

“We pay for them through council tax, and I think it’s time this town kicked off properly. It’s never-ending the complaints we’re getting.

“It’s not the inspector’s fault, she hasn’t got the staff; it’s further up the scale.”

Coun. Julia Hunter added: “The drug problem is horrendous. We see it every day. They’re doing it in broad daylight – they don’t care.”

The council agreed to write to chief constable Winton Keenen and invite him to a future meeting.

Neighbourhood Inspector for Tynedale Pam Bridges said: “If anyone has concerns about drug-related crime where they live, we would always encourage them to contact police to provide information.

“Reports of this nature will always be taken seriously and we will continue to work closely with our partners to take appropriate action.”