Winning PCCs Awarded With Grant
Safer Streets fund dishes out funds to reduce crime by investing in simple prevention strategies.
Thirty-five police and crime commissioners, or PCCs, have been awarded with government funding to make their streets safer, following an extensive bidding process. £25 million was set aside by the government’s Safer Streets fund to encourage PCCs to reduce crime in recognised hotspots throughout the country. The fund was announced by the Home Secretary in October 2019, and PCCs were encouraged to bid for their portion of the funding from January 2020.
How Do The Grants Work?
PCCs were able to bid for a grant of up to £550,000 to put towards security projects in hard-hit areas which are known to be particularly impacted by acquisitive crimes. These types of crimes are those that members of the public are most likely to be affected by, yet they cost our society several billion pounds each year. Vehicle theft, robberies and burglaries are all common crimes, which are surprisingly easy to prevent, yet can be devastating to the victims involved. Home Secretary Priti Patel explains “I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities….. That is why I set up this fund to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent people falling victim to these crimes.”
Simple Security Strategies
Basic changes to street design are proven to reduce the volume of crime that takes place in an area. Increased street lighting is essential as criminals are known to avoid operating in well-lit areas, preferring instead to carry out thefts and other crimes under the cover of darkness. CCTV installation is also important as criminals are deterred by the presence of surveillance cameras and the threat that their actions might be filmed. Locked gates around alleyways can be effective too, as this removes a prime strategy for thieves who are attempting to gain unauthorised access to a building.
Liaising With Neighbourhood Watch
As well as making infrastructure changes, the Safer Streets funding should also go towards training the community on how to a make a positive difference to their local neighbourhoods. Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse explains, “persistent street crime and burglary have a corrosive effect on a neighbourhood, leaving people apprehensive about leaving their homes, and afraid of what they might encounter when they return.” By empowering community wardens to supply local residents with effective crime prevention advice, this will go a long way to creating or strengthening Neighbourhood Watch Schemes. Simple steps such as installing industrial security doors at your building’s entrance points and setting up surveillance cameras to monitor activity will all help to make your community a safer place to live and work in.
Who Received The Funding?
Thirty-five PCCs in the UK were awarded grants from the Safer Streets fund. Leicestershire was awarded the most from the grant – £1,518,306 which covered three successful bids, whilst Kent only required £111,005. The money awarded totals £22.4 million from the pot of £25 million. The remainder will be spent on evaluating the impact of the fund and providing administration to support its aims and progression.