Safer Streets funding of more than £3 million has helped to improve safety across Northamptonshire since January 2020.
Thanks to successful bids by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold (OPFCC) significant amounts of money have been spent on areas that are disproportionately affected by acquisitive crime – theft, burglary and robbery.
The Home Office confirms that all three bids for Northamptonshire in 2020 have been successful. It is one of just three counties in the country to be awarded funds for every bid it had submitted in the first round. Overall, the OPFCC is awarded £1.4 million to split between the three schemes.
Funding of £550,000 is put towards security improvements to car parks, safe bike parking facilities and safety enhancements to hundreds of homes on the Bouverie estate and Portland Place in Northampton. The town’s CCTV system was also enhanced with the addition of 13 new cameras.
In Wellingborough, 74 gates are installed in alleyways to make properties in the Victoria area more secure from crime and shut them off from anti-social behaviour. There is also an extension of the town centre CCTV system with the addition of seven new cameras around Mill Road, Cannon Street and Knox Road. And 2,000 homes receive security packs, with 600 fitted with crime prevention devices. Overall funding for the area totalled £545,000.
And the All Saints area of Kettering benefits from £280,000 in funding. Eighteen alley gates are installed as are 15 new CCTV cameras. Sixty homes are also offered Ring doorbells, allowing homeowners to see who is knocking on their door, while a further 139 get home security products.
The OPFCC is successful in securing £400,000 in funding for the Hemmingwell estate in Wellingborough.
Much of the work focuses on new secure doors being fitted at more than 300 properties on the estate, in partnership with Greatwell Homes.
And more than £40,000 worth of home security products – including bike locks, timer switches and shed alarms – were handed out to residents who attended five community events in 2021.
This is on top of 10 new CCTV cameras that have been added to extend coverage in the area for North Northamptonshire Council, as well as several environmental improvements such as the removal of derelict garage blocks and cutting back trees to improve visibility.
In the autumn of 2021, the OPFCC is also awarded funding for the Safer Women at Night scheme, a sister scheme to the Safer Streets programme which is also being run by the Home Office.
Working with West Northamptonshire Council, we jointly have £800,000 to invest in the safety of women in the night-time economy.
A number of venues in Northampton undergo Shout Up! training, which sees bar staff trained in how to deal with harassment of both guests and staff.
It also includes a £180,000 investment for new, monitored CCTV and help points in the Racecourse, Becket’s Park, All Saints Plaza and Abington Street. ANPR cameras and other safety improvements are also installed in the Racecourse car park and a well-lit and signed safer walking route is implemented across Becket’s Park to the town centre.
It coincides with the launch of the ‘It Only Takes One’ campaign, a multi-agency communications campaign highlighting all forms of harassment and violence against women and encouraging people to challenge bad attitudes and inappropriate behaviours.
The OPFCC wins £1.7 million to spend across two different projects in the latest round of funding, and work has already underway to finish these projects by 2023.
The first project enhances the safety of women and girls enjoying the night-time economy in Northampton and Kettering. It includes the creation of a night safety charter; improvements to increase the safety of pedestrians on a night out in Bridge Street, Northampton; lighting improvements and alley gating; and an app to help map areas where people don’t feel safe so that they can be improved.
Investment in ID scan technology will also let around 30 venues in Northampton and Kettering share information about people who behave inappropriately or dangerously, which will improve security for pubs and clubs that open past 1am.
And a ground-breaking partnership will see ‘Stand by Her’ training rolled out to young men in education to help them understand the impact of harassing behaviour on women and give them the skills to challenge safely and offer support.
The second project focuses on the Queensway area of Wellingborough, with around 650 new doors for properties in Kiln Way and Minerva Way, once again in partnership with Greatwell Homes. Alleys in Shelley Road will be gated, while security lighting will be fitted to some properties and there will be a significant roll out of security products to residents.
There will be a major extension of North Northamptonshire Council’s CCTV scheme with up to 18 new cameras on the estate, and car parks will be made more secure and brought to the Park Mark standard and activity schemes will be provided for young people.
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