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Living in Middlesbrough

About Middlesbrough

The history of Middlesbrough


About Middlesbrough

We are happy to welcome you to Middlesbrough.

We believe that right now, our town is home to around 140,000 people. We have a growing population thanks to migration, something that we have always been very proud of.

Our town is a new town - it's less than 200 years old.

In 1801, Middlesbrough was a farm with only around 25 people living there. In 1829, Joseph Pease, a Quaker man from Darlington, bought the farm and created the 'Port of Darlington'.

Pease needed workers for the port, so he started to think about building a town. His father, Edward Pease (the 'father of the railways'), helped Joseph get the Stockton and Darlington railway line extended into the town in 1830.

20 years later, iron was discovered in the hills just outside Middlesbrough. The population of Middlesbrough rose from 150 in 1831 to nearly 90,000 in the late 1880s, as the growth of the coal and iron industries attracted people to the town.

Asylum and migration

Middlesbrough has a long and proud history of welcoming migrants and asylum seekers. In fact, Middlesbrough was built on migration, something that we take great pride in. Asylum seekers cannot choose where they live (the Home Office chooses), but we are proud of the fact that so many people choose to stay here once they get a positive decision.

In Middlesbrough, we are committed to making sure everybody is welcomed and is given a chance to rebuild their lives. Our values are to be passionate, to act with integrity, to be creative, to collaborate with others, and to be focussed, and that extends to all the people we work with.

Useful information about Middlesbrough


Places to go

There is always lots to do in Middlesbrough.

We have parks in every part of the town, and they are the perfect place to walk and relax. Lots of the parks have play areas for children too. Look out for events being held in our parks, especially in the summer!

We also have two museums, the Dorman Museum and the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. The Dorman Museum is a great place to find out about the history of Middlesbrough, and there lots of exhibitions which children will enjoy too. Look out for the room full of birds' eggs! The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum is dedicated to the life of 18th century explorer Captain James Cook. He's one of the most famous people ever to come from Middlesbrough!

There are libraries all over Middlesbrough, and it is free to join. Being a library member also means you can use the library computers for free. Our libraries are in community centres called Community Hubs. Lots of different events happen in our Community Hubs, like: reading groups, free computer courses, and job clubs. Look out for posters in your local Community Hub, or ask the staff what things are going on there. Find your nearest Community Hub and Library.

There are lots of events in Middlesbrough all year round. You can check the We are Middlesbrough website to find out more. Lots of the events are free to get in.

Transport links

It is very easy to travel around Middlesbrough, especially if you use public transport (buses and trains).

The bus station is right in the middle of town. You can get buses to different parts of Middlesbrough, as well as other towns in the area, like Stockton, Redcar, and Hartlepool. You can also get coaches to bigger cities like London. You can use Connect Tees Valley to look up buses and when they run.

The train station is also in the middle of town. You can get trains to lots of different places, both in the local area, and to bigger cities like Newcastle, York, Leeds, and Manchester. You can use Connect Tees Valley to find out more about trains to and from Middlesbrough.

Staying safe

Safety in your home



Cleveland Fire Brigade is the fire service for Middlesbrough.

Their website has lots of advice to keep you and your family safe from fire in your home. It includes

  • how to avoid fires from cooking and smoking
  • what to do if a fire starts
  • the importance of using a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm

You can also do a home safety check to find out if there is anything you can do to make your home safer.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Accidents at home

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a charity that works to prevent accidents and injuries around the house.

The website has lots of advice on topics including: gas and electrical safety, safety for older people, and safety for children.

The Better Lives, Healthy Futures website has lots of advice about keeping children safe at home.

The Age UK website has advice about keeping older people safe at home.

Safety in your neighbourhood


Each area of Middlesbrough is looked after by a Neighbourhood Safety Team. They are there to help make sure your area is safe and comfortable to live in. If you have any problems in the area you live, you can call the Neighbourhood Safety Team and ask for help.

Staying safe

It is important to feel confident when you are walking around in Middlesbrough or your local area. These tips can help you stay safe:

  1. Try to avoid walking around at night on your own.
  2. Try to stay in well-lit, busy areas.
  3. If you are on a night out, do not accept drinks from people you do not know, and never leave your drink unattended.
  4. Keep your bag secure so your belongings are not on show.
  5. Trust your instincts if you do not trust someone.

Protecting yourself from burglary and theft

Following some simple tips you can help protect yourself from theft:

  1. Don't keep personal belongings - like car keys, money, mobile phones, or laptops - in plain sight, either in your car or home.
  2. Keep ground floor windows and doors closed and locked if you are not in the room.
  3. If you have a burglar alarm, set it when you go out or go to bed.
  4. Shred or rip up receipts, bank statements, and bills before putting them in the bin.
  5. If you are renting your home, report any problems (for example, a broken window or lock) to your landlord.
  6. Think about using a timer on lamps so they will come on when it gets dark, even if you are out. Having a light on in the house can stop burglars. Timers are not expensive, and you can buy them from shops which sell household goods, like Wilko's or Argos.

Reporting a burglary or theft

If you are a victim of burglary, you should report it to the police.

If the crime has already happened and no-one is in danger, you can call 101 or visit your local police station.

If it is an emergency, because you or someone else in danger, or the crime is in progress, call 999.

Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour is when people do things which upset or harm someone or the community. It can make people feel frightened and afraid. It can happen where you live, in a public place, or on public transport. Examples include:

  • neighbours being a nuisance or too noisy
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • drinking alcohol on the street
  • people dropping litter
  • aggressive begging for money
  • problems related to sex-workers
  • inappropriate use of vehicles, and abandoned vehicles

Reporting anti-social behaviour

If you have experienced anti-social behaviour, you should report it to the council. We can investigate, offer support and advice, and help you handle the situation. You can also report anti-social behaviour to Cleveland Police by calling 101.

Drinking alcohol in a public place

There are rules called Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in some areas of Middlesbrough. These rules make it illegal to drink alcohol in the street. You can be fined if you are caught.

The areas affected are:

  • Acklam Cemetery
  • Linthorpe Cemetery
  • North Ormesby / Saint Joseph's Combined Cemetery
  • Teesside Crematorium
  • Thorntree Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • Thorntree Cemetery

Public Space Protection Orders also cover other anti-social behaviour, like: having or using illegal drugs, not keeping your dog on a lead, lighting fires, and being violent.



Reporting crime

The police force for Middlesbrough is Cleveland Police.

If you are a victim of a crime, you should report it to the police. They will be able to support you. If possible, they will investigate what happened, find the people responsible, and prosecute them if there is enough evidence.

  • If it is an emergency (if someone is in danger or has been hurt) you should call 999.
  • If it is not an emergency (if the crime has already happened and nobody is in danger or has been hurt) you should call 101.

If you go to the police for help, you can ask for an interpreter. You can also ask a friend or relative to go with you.

What to expect when you report a crime

When you report a crime the police will ask for your personal details. These are things like your name, date of birth, your address, and phone number.

They may also ask you about your ethnicity and your sexual orientation. You do not have to answer these questions. They are just to make sure the police are doing a good job with people from different backgrounds.

If you do report a crime the police will explain what will happen next. They should also give you the contact details of the police officer dealing with your case, and a crime reference number. Make a note of this number somewhere and keep it safe. You will need the number if you want to contact the police again about the crime, or if you want to make an insurance or compensation claim.

What happens next?

When you report a crime, the police should also ask you if you are happy for your details to be passed to Victim Support. Victim Support is an independent charity which helps and supports victims of crime.

If you say yes, Victim Support will automatically get your contact information and brief details about the crime. They will then contact you to see how they can help. If you don’t want them to contact you, tell the police officer. You can change your mind later, and you can contact them directly at any time for help and support.

Hate crime

Cleveland Police explains hate crime as follows:

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person's:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

This can be committed against a person, or someone's property (for example, a house or a car).

Hate incidents can feel like crimes to the victims, and they often get worse, leading to crimes or tension in a community. This is why the police are particularly worried about hate incidents, and they encourage people to report them. The police can only prosecute people if they have broken the law, but for hate incidents they will work with partners to try and stop things getting worse.

There are lots of places in Middlesbrough where you can report hate crime. They can be found on the Cleveland Police website, under 'a list of all Third Party Reporting Centres in the Cleveland Police Area'. You can also report a hate crime to the Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager by email to jolande_mace@middlesbrough.gov.uk.



We take the safety of our residents very seriously. 'Safeguarding' means keeping people safe from harm and abuse.

We have various safeguarding policies and procedures to make sure everyone can live safely. That includes: