Welcome to our new column to put the spotlight on how police staff and others are working to make our communities better places to be.

THE members of the region's crime reduction and community safety teams toil away daily to crack down on crime and tackle issues that matter to people living in North Devon and Torridge.

Each week we will bring you an article from one of the team about their work, dealing with everything from noisy neighbours, youth crime and con men that prey upon the elderly to alcohol related problems and road safety initiatives to cut down on deaths out the region's roads.

Anti social behaviour takes up a great deal of their time and it is often the so-called 'minor' offences such as excessive noise or dog fouling that can in fact make life miserable for those living nearby.

It is not all about 'cracking down' on crime and often the team works behind the scenes with their communities in numerous ways to help prevent problems before they occur and establish a rapport with local people.

The team would also like suggestions from Gazette readers on issues they would like covered in future articles and you can send theses to the contact details below.

Various people work with and link in with the two teams, but some of the people you will be hearing from in the weeks ahead include Sergeant Mark Harper, responsible for reducing crime and anti social behaviour across North and West Devon.

Crime prevention officer Donna Woolway will be another regular 'columnist', joined by youth intervention officer Mark Roberts, plus PC Paul Daw - responsible for licensing and the late night economy.

Anti social behaviour officer Kate Morne, architectural liaison officer John Knowles and road casualty reduction officer PC Mark Goulding will also be taking their turns at the keyboard.

If there is anything you would like covered in our new column, please send your suggestions to newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or write to: Community Safety Column, North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB.

If it is something which should be reported to the police, please do so by dialling 101 and if it is an emergency, a crime is being committed or you feel threatened, dial 999.