What is the Safer Streets project?
Safer Streets is a project developed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Cleveland and funded by the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.
The £25m Safer Streets Fund was developed to reduce the impact of theft and burglary on the country’s most vulnerable communities. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were invited to make up to three bids to support neighbourhoods in their areas disproportionately affected by theft-related crime.
The OPCC worked in partnership with Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland Councils to develop three bids to the Safer Streets Fund. All bids were successful, securing over £1m in funding for three at-risk areas of Cleveland:
• Burn Valley and Oxford Road ladder (Hartlepool) – £444,608
• Newport (Middlesbrough) – £479,838
• South Bank (Redcar and Cleveland) – £110,250
What are the aims of the project?
• Reduce levels of acquisitive crime (theft and burglary)
• Reduce incidents of antisocial behaviour and repeat victimisation
• Reduce fear of crime
• Improve engagement with key services, such as victim care and mediation services
What will the project involve?
A range of crime prevention measures and equipment will be installed across the three project areas as part of the £1m scheme to reduce burglary and improve community safety.
Additional fixed CCTV cameras will be installed in all three project areas. Deployable cameras will also be made available for local authorities to use as and when they are required.
To accompany the additional CCTV cameras and to provide a safer environment for the community, improved street lighting will be installed.
Alley gate regeneration
All three areas have existing alley gates, but many have fallen into disrepair. Regeneration will involve repairs to existing gates and where appropriate new keys given to every resident and key agencies (such as the police or local authority).
Some alley gates will be treated with anti-climb paint and devices to prevent unauthorised access to alleys.
Void property screening
When a property becomes empty, it can become a target for burglary or vandalism. In the worst case scenario, it can become a hot spot location for drug activity and anti-social gatherings.
Initially six properties in each area identified as empty will be protected with metal screens decorated with artwork from the local community, with additional properties added weekly. This will not only provide a more pleasant view for neighbours, but will protect the property from intrusion.
Safe at home packs
400 homes from each project area will receive a ‘Safe at Home’ pack including a range of crime prevention measures to allow residents to protect their homes and outside spaces from burglary and theft. The OPCC provided £66,000 to Cleveland Police to develop these packs and their Crime Prevention Officers, Neighbourhood police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will play a role in distributing them to communities over Christmas and the New Year.
Mediation and community cohesion
Specialists in community cohesion and mediation have been recruited to build positive relationships among residents in the three areas. These workers will begin in January to repair damaged relationships and settle neighbourhood issues before they become disputes reported to the police.
Victim care and Neighbourhood Watch
Victim Care and Advice Service have been commissioned by the OPCC to deliver support and advice to victims of theft and burglary living in the three areas. This intervention is designed to assist victims in moving forward with their lives and will encourage them to take steps to prevent further victimisation.
Who are the key agencies involved?
The Safer Streets Project was developed by staff working for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The OPCC has a project manager who oversees the delivery of over £1m in crime prevention measures across three local authority areas.
This work has been supported and delivered by:
• Hartlepool Borough Council
• Middlesbrough Council
• Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
• Cleveland Police
• Victim Care and Advice Service
• Cleveland Fire Support Network (Cleveland Fire Brigade)
• Neighbourhood Watch
• Thirteen Housing
• Beyond Housing
Safer Streets – the story so far
The Home Office launches the Safer Streets Fund, which aims to protect communities from burglary and theft. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) from across England and Wales can submit bids for an allocation from the £25mfund.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland (OPCC) submits three bids to the Safer Streets Fund, focusing on the areas in Cleveland most disproportionately affected by theft and burglary:
• Burn Valley and the Oxford Road ladder, Hartlepool
• Newport, Middlesbrough
• South Bank, Redcar and Cleveland
The OPCC worked in conjunction with Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, Redcar and Cleveland Council and a range of other partners on developing the bids.
Cleveland receives news that it will receive funding for all three bids, with a total investment of £1,034,696 – the sixth highest figure from the 35 successful bid areas.
The funding was allocated as follows:
• Burn Valley and Oxford Road ladder – £444,608
• Newport – £479,838
• South Bank – £110,250
Further consultation with local residents and partner organisations about how the funding can best be used to meet the needs of individual areas.
Work begins on CCTV, alley gates, protecting empty buildings, handing out safety packs to residents