A quarter of a million pounds has been invested in Stoke-on-Trent to help tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) as part of the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, following a successful bid by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office (SCO).
To celebrate this latest round of funding, Staffordshire Commissioner Ben Adams visited areas across the city which are already benefiting from the investment.
The Blurton Community Garden received £17,000 to make improvements to the site on Finstock Avenue which once held derelict garages and resulted in high levels of ASB.
Volunteers have been working hard to turn the garden into a space the whole community will soon be able to enjoy. Improvement work is also underway at Ingestre Square to clean the area in addition to new CCTV cameras and railings to increase feelings of safety.
On Hope Street, Hanley £30,000 has been invested to refurbish the shopfronts and create eye-catching artwork to improve the feel of the area with the aim of reducing ASB.
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: “Protecting people from harm is an absolute priority in my Police & Crime Plan, and this funding is a welcome boost to the significant work already underway to reduce the threat of violence against women and girls, and tackle anti-social behaviour that damages our communities.
“The work already underway in Blurton and Hanley has been impressive to see. By taking a coordinated partnership approach, combining practical measures with awareness campaigns and education programmes to change people’s behaviours, we aim to not only make our communities safer, but also ensure that they feel safer too.”
Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Jo Gideon said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to join Commissioner Ben Adams, his deputy, and Richard from the City Centre Bid on Hope Street to see the start of a project funded under the Safer Streets Fund to improve the attractiveness of this significant entryway into our city.
“This will help our local businesses thrive and enhance the safety of the area for those visiting our city centre. I am looking forward to revisiting the site upon the project’s completion and witnessing the positive transformation it will bring to our community.”
Cllr Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health said:
“I am really pleased to see improvements to the local community and absolutely delighted that a space which has previously been blighted by anti-social behaviour has been transformed into a community garden.
“I would like to thank all those who worked with me to secure the site and a big thank you to all those volunteers who have worked to clear the site and will work to make this a fantastic community asset.”