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Safer Streets Fund money for 40 areas

Some 40 areas across England and Wales have been awarded a total of £18.3m from the Home Office Safer Streets Fund. Towns and cities will spend it on such things as changed street design – locked gates at alleyways – street lighting and public space CCTV. 

Newcastle City Council and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s office have received £431,967, for example, to go on the district of Byker.

The third round of the Safer Streets Fund has opened, whereby local government and police and crime commissioners (PCCs) can bid from a fund of £25m for the year 2021/22. The Home Office says that this next round of funding will go beyond environmental measures such as improved street lighting, and encourage what the Government describes as innovative bids, primarily helping make women and girls feel safer on the streets, as well as projects which could include an emphasis on changing attitudes and behaviours in communities.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities, which is why I launched the Safer Streets Fund to improve security in areas blighted by crimes like burglary, robbery and theft. But it’s more than just environmental change – we need to prevent people from committing these offences in the first place as we build back safer.

“That is why the next round will rightly look at behaviour change, with a primary focus on women and girls who are disproportionately affected by crimes like harassment in public places.”

The largest single receiver was Nottinghamshire’s PCC, with £864,000, then West Mercia PCC, with £863,185, and South Yorkshire with £850,000 and Merseyside with £819,532; each for two projects.

For example, Exeter (pictured, Cathedral Green) has been awarded £432,000 to make streets safer in the city centre and surrounding areas following a partnership funding bid headed by the Devon and Cornwall Office of the Devon and Cornwall PCC Alison Hernandez and Exeter City Council. That same amount went to Bedfordshire PCC, Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen council, Cheshire PCC, Chesterfield, Essex police, fire and crime commissioner, Leicestershire PCC, Manchester, and the PCCs in Northamptonshire, South Wales, Staffordshire and Wiltshire.

Alison Hernandez said: “There is strong evidence, according to the Home Office, that crimes can be prevented by tactics that either remove opportunities to commit crime or act as a deterrent by increasing the chances of an offender being caught.

“While the focus of this funding is on preventing acquisitive crimes like burglary and vehicle theft the measures being put in place will also contribute to wider safety of people living, working or socialising in the city. I am particularly pleased that this funding will allow a significant increase in CCTV coverage with an additional 17 cameras planned in new locations.”

The Home Office says that it is also working with police on an online tool aimed at women and girls, which will allow people to pinpoint locations in their local area where they have felt unsafe.

For the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the APCC Prevention lead, Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, stressed that the funding went to local areas of need and delivered evidence-based crime prevention. He said: “The Safer Streets Fund allows PCCs to work with local partners in areas that are disproportionately affected by neighbourhood and acquisitive crime, investing in preventative approaches to make communities safer. Preventing crime in the first place is better for the public and reduces demand on policing, as demonstrated by the first round of Safer Streets announced in 2020, which funded 52 projects across 35 PCC areas.”

The June 2021 print edition of Professional Security magazine reported the swing to the Conservatives in the May 7 PCC elections, outside the main cities.


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