Over 130 empty properties in some of Cleveland’s most vulnerable areas are expected to be boarded up by the end of March, as part of a major investment in crime prevention.
As part of the £1m Safer Streets project – led by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland – dozens of empty properties have been fitted with screens to deter intruders.
In some cases, screens have been used to make buildings look like occupied houses and corner shops to deter criminals and make the street look more attractive.
Many of the properties were boarded as a result of successful closure notices secured by Cleveland Police’s neighbourhood policing teams in partnership with local authorities.
The Safer Streets project has targeted three areas of Cleveland disproportionately affected by theft and burglary – Burn Valley and the Oxford Road ladder in Hartlepool, Newport in Middlesbrough, and South Bank in Redcar and Cleveland.
A range of activity has taken place to make these neighbourhoods safer for residents, including improvements to street lighting, additional investment in CCTV cameras, refreshed alley gate schemes and recruitment of a team of experts to support the community.
Many residents in these areas have received a visit from a crime prevention officer to ensure their home is better protected from criminals.
Acting Commissioner Lisa Oldroyd said: “Residents who have to live alongside these vacant properties know how quickly they can become a target for burglary, vandalism and drug-related offences.
“It’s been an amazing effort by our partners to see how many empty properties will be screened and secured by the time the Safer Streets project concludes in March.
“Property screening is just one part of the £1m project and we’ll be monitoring crime levels closely in the months to come to identify the benefits of this significant investment in crime prevention measures.”