What is Safer Streets?
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Cleveland developed the Safer Streets project, which was funded by the Home Office.
The £25m Government initiative aims to reduce the impact of theft and burglary in some of the country’s most vulnerable communities. The Home Office invited Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to make up to three bids to support neighbourhoods 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. All 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)
• Decrease the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour and repeat victimisation
• Lower the fear of crime
• Improve engagement with key services including victim care and mediation services
What does the project involve?
A range of crime prevention measures and equipment will be installed across the three areas as as part of a £1m scheme to reduce burglary and improve community safety.
Additional fixed CCTV cameras will be installed. Deployable cameras will also be available for local authorities to use as and when required.
To accompany additional CCTV cameras and provide a safer environment, the project will install improved street lighting.
Alley gate regeneration
All three areas have alley gates, but many are in disrepair. As a result, repairs will take place to existing gates and, where appropriate, new keys given to residents and key agencies (such as the police or local authority).
Improvements will also include using anti-climb paint and devices to prevent unauthorised access to alleys.
Void property screening
An empty property 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. More void properties will be added over time.
Metal screens on void properties will be decorated to improve their appearance. This will not only improve the look of the neighbourhood but also protect the property from further break-ins.
Safer 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. With the aim of repairing damaged relationships and settling neighbourhood issues before they become disputes reported to the police, staff start work from February 2021..
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. Designed to help victims move forward with their lives, workers will encourage residents to take steps to prevent further victimisation.
Who are the key agencies involved?
OPCC staff developed the Safer Streets Project. There is a project manager, who oversees delivery of over £1m in crime prevention measures across three local authorities.
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 Safer Streets, which aims to protect communities from burglary and theft. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales can submit bids for a slice of the £25m fund.
The OPCC submits three bids to Safer Streets, focusing on areas most 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 to develop bids.
Cleveland is successful with all three bids, drawing in a total investment of £1,034,696 – the sixth highest figure of the 35 successful bid areas.
The funding is allocated as follows:
• Burn Valley and Oxford Road ladder – £444,608
• Newport – £479,838
• South Bank – £110,250
Further consultation takes place with local residents and partner organisations to find out how funding can best meet their needs.
Work begins on CCTV, alley gates, protecting empty buildings, handing out safety packs to residents
Safer Streets’ neighbourhoods appoint community cohesion workers