Three quarters of a million pounds (£750,000) is to be invested in tackling anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls in Stafford, Burton, Newcastle and areas of Stoke-on-Trent as part of the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, following a successful bid by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office (SCO).
This funding is in addition to over £2 million already secured by the SCO through Safer Streets in rounds one, two and three.
The latest Safer Streets initiative, which focuses on Stafford, Burton, Newcastle, Etruria and Hanley, and Blurton & Longton West, forms part of Staffordshire’s preventative approach to reducing ASB and violence more broadly.
The funding will be used to provide a range of partnership interventions including:
· Additional lighting, gating, CCTV and environmental measures such as community clean-ups and removing graffiti in public spaces
· Crime prevention improvements to premises and homes in vulnerable areas
· Educational programmes to be delivered within the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education curriculum
· Community awareness campaigns to address ASB, supported by a community engagement project to empower communities to identify local concerns, design and oversee projects to resolve them, with the aid of a small grant
· Personal development and diversionary activities for young people at risk of or involved in ASB and violence against women and girls (VAWG). The activities aim to change attitudes and behaviours, and build self-confidence and awareness, through educational inputs and recreational activities in ‘hotspot’ areas
· Street pastor schemes to be developed or extended in night-time economies and vulnerable locations, increasing the number of trained, capable guardians able to support and signpost those vulnerable to safe places and support.
Due to the nature of the interventions and the partnership approach being taken, this work is also expected to have a wider impact on serious violence, robbery, theft, online abuse, gang initiations and other forms of violence.
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said:
“Protecting people from harm is an absolute priority in my Police & Crime Plan, and this funding is a welcome boost to the significant work already underway to reduce the threat of violence against women and girls, and tackle anti-social behaviour that damages our communities.
“By taking a coordinated partnership approach, combining practical measures like CCTV and improved lighting with awareness campaigns and education programmes to change people’s behaviours, we aim to not only make our communities safer, but also ensure that they feel safer too.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader, Councillor Abi Brown, said:
“We know that anti-social behaviour has a big impact on how people feel about where they live, and we’re committed to addressing it as we want people to feel positive about Stoke-on-Trent. We’ve been working with like-minded partners over the last few years, using education and Community Awareness Programmes, as well as installing additional lighting, gateways and CCTV, to not only challenge anti-social behaviour, but to also change it.
“We’ve had a number of successful projects including improved CCTV and alley gating in Northwood and Fenton, enhanced CCTV and alley gating in the city centre, and extra lighting, CCTV and increased activities within our parks. The positive impact these projects have had has now led to securing even more funding to address important issues, particularly around the safety of women and girls, which we know is a concern.
“We want our streets to be safe, we want residents and visitors to be safe. No one should live in fear, especially out and about in the areas they reside, and we’re committed to working closely with Staffordshire Police to continue making our city a great place to live, work and visit.”
The Safer Streets round 4 funding is just one element of the SCO’s and partners’ commitment to tackling VAWG across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, which includes:
· Securing funding from the Government’s Safety of Women at Night funding, to provide initiatives focused on preventing VAWG in public places at night, including in the night-time economy, in venues and on public transport
· Launching a partnership Violence Reduction Alliance to deliver the local Violence Strategy
· Holding a dedicated Violence Reduction conference
· Establishing a Violence Against Women and Girls Commission, to deliver related actions
Find out more about the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund at Safer Streets Fund continues to make streets safer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)