COMMUNITY figures have hailed “progress” after police reported that crime was down on a troubled estate.

Officers said for a second month running there had been a drop in the number of crimes at Barrow’s Egerton Court following efforts by the police and other community groups to improve the area.

Statistics for last month showed there were three crimes in the area - two assaults and one dishonest use of electricity.

The reduction has been welcomed by community leaders in Barrow Island.

Alison Johnston, who represents Barrow Island, said the “good news” was down to the work of the police and the other agencies.

She said: “The reduction is absolutely down to the police, who have been working with landlords to make sure the right people are being allowed to live at Egerton Court.

“We have been working to make the area better and this is a real step forward.

“There is great community around Egerton Court and Barrow Island and this work is progress for the area.”

Community Inspector Jim Bailey, of Barrow Police, has been part of a working group, which has spent the past year looking at ways to ease problems in the area.

He said: “I am really chuffed to be able to report that crime is down.

“We, the police, and other agencies have worked very hard to try to sort out problems at Egerton Court and the situation has definitely improved from a year ago.

“We have seen this borne out by the figures but also from people I have been speaking to in the area who tell me that things have gotten better."

He said community police officers have been at Egerton Court every other day.

And agencies including the domestic violence charity Women’s Community Matters and drug and alcohol rehabilitation group The Well have also been doing work in the area.

Rob McAloone, the director of a Barrow Island community group, welcomed the news but said there was more to be done.

He said: “This is small progress but it is still progress.

“There is a lot of good work being done at Egerton Court but it is still a troubled area.

“I hope the work that is being done will help the vulnerable people who live in Egerton Court and in the Barrow Island community."

Police also announced that a welfare hub, which has been in development over the past six months, is due to open its doors on the estate in mid-October.

Housing a number of services, including mental health support from Mind in Furness and help from Barrow Foodbank, the hub aims to reduce drug, alcohol and other welfare-related issues for Egerton Court residents.

Insp Bailey said: “This will be a place for people to go and speak to someone whenever they need help.”