Stockton town centre and its surrounding residential areas are the latest locations to benefit from funding to drive down crime.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, has secured a £366,289 investment from the Home Office as part of their £20m Safer Streets programme.
The fund invests cash in crime hot spots with a focus on combatting burglary, robbery, theft and vehicle crime.
In Stockton town centre and parts of Oxbridge and Parkfield ward, funding will pay to secure and tidy up empty properties, repair alley gates, provide better CCTV coverage and to improve lighting in lanes between terraced properties.
Crime prevention tool kits including rear gate pad locks, front door chains, window sensors and letter box guards will be given to victims of crime and the area’s most vulnerable.
Communities will be encouraged to take pride in their area by working with community and voluntary groups on a range of programmes. They are likely to include working together to grow plants to make the alleys and green spaces pleasant, and to bring them back into community use.
This latest funding award means the PCC’s Office has made four successful bids to the Safer Streets fund in the space of a year, securing over £1.3m for a ward in each of Cleveland’s four boroughs.
Steve Turner said: “We are pleased to have received funding to invest in Stockton Town Centre and the Oxbridge and Parkfield area.
“This follows the success of the first round of Safer Streets funding, which saw a number of improvements carried out in Burn Valley, South Bank and Newport. Acquisitive crime in these areas has decreased by up to 49%.
“The extra investment in this fourth area will allow more individuals and families to benefit from these measures and feel more safe and secure in their homes.”
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: “Securing this funding is a welcome boost to tackling neighbourhood crime in targeted areas of the Borough and will reinforce the investment the Council has made to improve community safety in recent years.
“This funding will go towards a host of crime prevention measures that will make a difference to our residents and wider communities. The Borough continues to be one of the safest areas in the Tees Valley and we remain committed to working with our partners to ensure it stays that way.”
The second round of Safer Streets funding broadened the brief of the first round of funding to allow investment in commercial and non-residential areas.
Its objectives are to:
- Reduce burglaries, vehicle-related thefts, thefts from the person and robberies in the target area, making it safer and reducing the demand on police so they can focus on crimes causing the greatest harm;
- Continue to build evidence about the impact of targeted investment to prevent crime in hotspot and strengthen the case for future investment at a local and national level;
- Grow the local capability to undertake data-driven problem solving and capture evidence and learning on the best way to implement crime prevention.
The OPCC is now consulting with women and girls across Cleveland to find out how it can improve their feelings of safety in public spaces. The survey is open until Friday 11 June
Information from the consultation will feed into a bid for the third round of Safer Streets funding, which has to be submitted to the Home Office by 18 June 2021.