More than £1.5m secured to prevent crime and improve community safety
Residents in Wiltshire and Swindon will benefit from more than £1.5 million from the Home Office to improve community safety by tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence against women and girls.
The money was awarded following three separate bids to the Government’s Safer Streets Fund led by the county’s two local authorities, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council, supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The county has been identified as one of a number of areas across England and Wales who will receive funding from the latest round of the £50 million Safer Streets Fund to prevent violence against women and girls in public, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour.
Nearly £1.5m to make Swindon safer
Swindon Borough Council secured just under £1.5 million, in two separate bids. The first bid awarded £742,500, to be spent on introducing measures to tackle ASB and violence against women and girls. This funding will focus on the Victoria Road, town centre, Old Town, Toothill and Walcot areas in Swindon.
The second bid, also for £742,500, will be spent on measures to tackle ASB, focussing on the Eastleaze, Gorse Hill, Eastcott and Park South areas of Swindon.
Since the first bid for funding was entered last year, several surveys have been launched to help understand how safe residents feel on Swindon’s streets, and where improvements could be made. An additional follow-up survey was launched this year by Swindon Borough Council and Voluntary Action Swindon, to get additional information. In total, over 4,000 people responded to the surveys, with feedback helping to inform the bid submissions, including identifying the recommended measures to be introduced and the locations to be targeted.
This is the third round of Safer Streets funding received by Swindon Borough Council, with funding now totalling £2.4million.
So far, the funding from previous rounds has supported the introduction of various measures and initiatives. Funding from Safer Streets funding round two, led to the installation of 10 fixed and 10 deployable CCTV cameras to link back to the Council’s control room for monitoring by control room staff who already have direct links to local Police teams.
With funding from round three, the Council worked with partners to identify a number of hot spot locations for acquisitive crime and installed additional lighting in the rear alleyways where CCTV would help deter anti-social behaviour activity.
With this extra funding announced today, the Council will build on ongoing work to provide training and support in schools and businesses, and work closely with local families to provide early interventions. Training will also be provided to local practitioners, while also developing the trigger process across the local authority and engaging with communities.
Councillor Cathy Martyn, Cabinet Member for Health Inequalities and Housing, said: “I am extremely pleased to hear that Swindon has once again been successful in its bid for funding from the Safer Streets Fund – this time securing two lots of funding, worth over £1.4m.
“In our bid submissions, we worked with the Police and the OPCC, and used the information received from residents who responded to the consultation, to identify the areas of Swindon where many local residents felt the most unsafe. These are the areas where this funding will be focused, in the hopes of making the biggest difference.
“We also identified how we propose to best utilise the funding we receive, and as set out above, we have produced a very thorough plan of proposed interventions, which focus on early intervention, education and youth engagement – measures that could truly make a difference.
“This is the third round of funding we’ve received, so this additional money will add to the proactive work we’re already carrying out with our partners, including more work with local schools, with families who need more intensive support, and more early intervention work to try to prevent situations arising in the first place. We want to work with our communities to make our town safer.”
Measures to tackle ASB in Devizes receives funding boost
Wiltshire Council received just under £130,000 as part of a partnership bid to tackle youth anti-social behaviour in the Devizes area.
The funding will help provide a temporary full time young people’s support worker, mobile youth work provision to provide a safe space for young people to access support and opportunities, community mediation workshops, parent mentor and parenting support for parents struggling with their children’s behaviour in the community and educational packages including training for local residents and stakeholders including young people on how to respond if they see issues within their community.
There will also be additional CCTV in Station Road Car park and key road junctions to provide reassurance to the public. The work will involve a “contextual safeguarding” approach which aims to understand the wider context for issues affecting the young people in places outside of the home.
Cllr Peter Hutton, Portfolio Holder for Safeguarding at Wiltshire Council said: “We are really pleased to have secured this funding which will help tackle issues seen in the Devizes area using a combination of measures including physical interventions, educational programmes and diversionary activities which aim to address the root causes of anti-social behaviour concerns relating to young people.
“This is backed up by a strong partnership with a combination of approaches which aims to reduce ASB in the short term but longer-term impact on accepted norms and behaviours in social spaces for future generations. We hope to use this learning in other areas around the county.”
The work is being planned alongside other activities by Devizes Town Council which is developing initiatives to engage young people into understanding their role within the community and enhance their sense of civic duty and belonging.
Philip Wilkinson, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I’m really pleased to be working with both local authorities and to have supported these national funding bids to address those issues that matter most to our communities, such as ASB and violence against women and girls, which can have a really detrimental impact on the day-to-day lives of residents in Wiltshire and Swindon.
“This additional funding will see significant progress made in tackling crime, and most importantly, preventing it from happening in the first place. Addressing neighbourhood crime and violence against women and girls continues to be a priority within my police and crime plan, and they require a multi-agency approach to ensure sustainable and long-term resolutions are found.
““I am confident this funding will make a real difference to the areas outlined in Swindon and Wiltshire and look forward to seeing the plans progress to make Wiltshire safer.”