ON one of the biggest nights of the year for Hexham, during an event which attracts thousands of visitors, it is shocking to hear that some visitors will have left with the wrong impression of the town.

Spook Night is one of the annual flagship events organised by Hexham Community Partnership and its success is a credit to all those who work hard to make it happen.

The event’s family-friendly ethos is at the heart of its growing popularity, so to hear reports of parents and children left terrified by clashes between gangs of young people on the Sele is concerning to say the least.

The open spaces in Hexham town centre are there to be enjoyed by the whole community but it is no secret that, at times in recent years, they have become a magnet for anti-social behaviour and disorder.

A number of local organisations and residents have felt the impact of this worrying trend – and there’s no doubt all of them would welcome the call from Coun. Derek Kennedy for Northumbria Police to address the problem before it is allowed to escalate any further.