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RECLAIM OUR STREETS: Phone is weapon in war on yobs.

Byline: ROSA PRINCE, Political Correspondent

A NEW "shop-a-yob" phone line for the public to report anti-social behaviour was launched yesterday.

It's Your Call will be introduced in 25 trouble-spots around the country over the next six weeks.

Residents will be able to report their neighbours for nuisance behaviour like daubing graffiti, abandoning cars and playing loud music.

Posters will display the number - 0845 605 2222 - and publicity flyers will be mailed to homes.

Callers will be asked to give their postcode so they can be dealt with by the appropriate local service. After complaints have been dealt with, feedback reports explaining what action has been taken will be sent to homes in the neighbourhood.

Launching the first service in Benwell, Newcastle, yesterday, Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: "What we're saying today is simple - it's your call.

"Pick up the phone and make a difference. Together we can tackle anti-social behaviour.

"We need the public to play their part and take some responsibility for where they live.

"Engaging local people is vital to create strong communities and tackle the thugs who can destroy peoples' quality of life and ruin neighbourhoods."

PILOT AREAS

Blackburn, Brighton, Bristol, Burnley, Canterbury, Gateshead, Great Yarmouth, Harlow, Ipswich, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Northampton, Oldham, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Salford, Sheffield, Slough, South Tyneside, Southampton, Southend, Sunderland and Swindon.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 18, 2005
Words:220
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