New report says ‘Safer Streets Fund’ is building confidence in the police
18 January 2023
An independent evaluation of the Government’s Safer Streets funding shows it is leading to growing confidence and engagement with the police.
The Safer Streets Fund was launched in January 2020 with the aim of reducing acquisitive crime in the worst affected local residential areas. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales were encouraged to bid for funding to invest in relevant crime prevention measures.
Since the fund was launched, more than £3 million has been secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to help tackle crime and improve safety across the two counties.
The money has been used to prevent and address violence against women and girls, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour.
The report said communities benefitting from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund are less likely to worry about being mugged or robbed, according to an independent evaluation of the first round of funding.
Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones said, “This is welcome praise of the hard work that has gone into securing these investments year on year to make Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer.”
“This review shows that the work we do as Police and Crime Commissioners is making a tangible difference to feelings of safety, solving crime and improving the public’s confidence in policing.
“As Commissioner, I’ve been very clear that I expect police to work with councils and other partners to make communities safer, to cut crime and anti-social behaviour. The Safer Streets Funding rounds help make that happen.”
The Home Office has, to date, run four rounds of the Safer Streets Fund, making money available to communities across England and Wales to help combat a range of crimes, including theft, anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls in public spaces.
Crime prevention initiatives in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, paid for with Safer Streets funding, have so far included:
- Installing cameras and lighting and removal of a building to improve lines of sight in Hoglands Park and the wider Bargate Ward in Southampton reducing ASB by 45%
- Equipping entertainment venues with relevant training and toolkits to spot vulnerability, target perpetrators and prevent harassment and extra CCTV operator to spot suspicious, predatory behaviour in Southampton as well as the introduction of a ‘safe zone’
- Improved fencing and gating in residential areas, improved street lighting, improved CCTV coverage, general environmental improvements and maintenance to improve safety in Portsmouth, Basingstoke and on the Isle of Wight
- Installed situational measures including CCTV, upgraded lighting, removing offensive graffiti and commissioned artwork to open up ‘no go’ areas in Portsmouth
- Introduction of 50 Safe Spaces across Portmsouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and the Isle of Wight
- Training and mentoring programmes which aims to make cultural change by giving people the confidence to call out inappropriate or misogynistic behaviour and talk about unhealthy relationships
- Extra financial support for youth services to work with young people in Millbrook and Redbridge to divert them away from ASB
Donna Jones said, “Increasing public safety in our communities, and restoring people’s confidence in the police and pride in where they live, is an absolute priority for me.
“I want our streets to be safe for everyone to go about their daily lives without fear.
“We are witnessing first-hand the positive impact these preventative initiatives are having in tackling anti-social behaviour, embedding vital community safety projects and tackling violence against women and girls in public spaces.”