PCC secures almost £1M Safer Streets funding for Swindon and Wiltshire
Almost one million pounds of additional funding will be invested in Swindon and Wiltshire to support targeted community projects tackling neighbourhood crime, such as burglary, robbery, theft and vehicle theft, as well as reducing violence against women and girls (VAWG).
This follows a successful bid from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to the latest round of the Home Office’s “Safer Streets Fund” where £998,251 was secured from the £42M pot.
The OPCC worked with Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council as well as the Community Safety Partnerships, which includes representatives from the Fire Service and the NHS, in both areas to identify areas where investment was needed and the organisations who could provide the services to meet those needs.
The money will be used across three projects and split between twelve separate schemes in Wiltshire focusing on a safer night-time economy, preventing burglary and anti-social behaviour (ASB) and improving mentoring services for young people
The proposals for funding include:
VAWG – funding for night-time economy wardens in Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge on Friday and Saturday evenings along with Welfare And Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) training for staff in licenced premises across Swindon and Wiltshire. There’s also funding for four deployable CCTV cameras in Salisbury and additional CCTV cameras in Chippenham town centre.
ASB – funding to support vulnerable people in burglary hotspots through the Bobby Van Trust as well as a grant to make changes to the area surrounding the Salisbury Playhouse to prevent ASB. Funding will also be provided to improve the reporting of crime and ASB in hotspot areas
Youth Engagement – a large programme of detached youth work and mentoring in Swindon, Chippenham and Salisbury.
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said:
“The latest figures show we’ve seen a 15% increase in knife crime compared to a 3% rise nationally in Swindon and Wiltshire.
“We need to get to the root cause of these offences and engage with young people before they’re dragged into situations they find difficult to get out of.
“This latest investment will allow my office, our new Serious Violence Duty Co-ordinator, and our partners to work towards that goal through these projects.
“The projects address the issues that matter to people, such as anti-social behaviour, making the streets safer for women and girls, and burglary and robbery. This focus on prevention backs the work of Wiltshire Police as they get tough on offenders, reducing the number of innocent people becoming victims.
“By using this funding from Government efficiently and effectively, working in partnership, we will see projects that make a positive difference in these areas, delivering the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan to reduce violence and serious harm and to tackle crimes that matter to local communities.”
So far, Safer Streets funding has seen money invested in Swindon town centre to increase CCTV coverage and improve lighting to make the streets safer for women and girls, and in Devizes where over one hundred thousand pounds was spent on tackling youth anti-social behaviour.
Andy Malcolm is the CEO of SMASH, a youth mentoring service in Swindon and Wiltshire which is set to receive a grant of £497,000:
“We’re delighted to be part of the Safer Streets Round 5 partnership with the OPCC, leading a collaboration of brilliant youth work organisations across Swindon and Wiltshire to provide Street-based mentoring and interventions.
“Working with The Bridge Project, The Rise Trust and Iprovefit, this funding will allow us to increase the presence of high quality youth workers on the streets of Swindon, Salisbury and Chippenham, as well as provide exceptional one to one mentoring for those young people most at risk of engaging in crime.
“We know this funding will not only lead to safer communities, but also create opportunities for young people to thrive across Swindon and Wiltshire”