Almost £150k (£149,500) is to be invested in tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Stafford as part of the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, following a successful bid by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office (SCO).
Round four of the Safer Streets Fund saw £750,000 allocated to areas in Staffordshire, including Stafford, Burton, Newcastle and areas of Stoke-on-Trent.
This funding is in addition to over £2 million already secured by the SCO through Safer Streets in rounds one, two and three.
The latest Safer Streets initiative forms part of Staffordshire’s preventative approach to reducing ASB and violence more broadly. In Stafford the funding will be used to provide a range of partnership interventions including:
- Additional lighting, gating, CCTV and environmental measures such as community clean-ups and removing graffiti in public spaces
- Crime prevention improvements to premises and homes in vulnerable areas
- Educational programmes to be delivered within the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education curriculum
- Community awareness campaigns to address ASB, supported by a community engagement project to empower communities to identify local concerns, design and oversee projects to resolve them, with the aid of a small grant
- Street pastor schemes to be extended in night-time economies and vulnerable locations, increasing the number of trained, capable guardians able to support and signpost those vulnerable to safe places and support.
Due to the nature of the interventions and the partnership approach being taken, this work is also expected to have a wider impact on serious violence, robbery, theft, online abuse, gang initiations and other forms of violence.
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.
“By taking a coordinated partnership approach, combining practical measures like CCTV and improved lighting 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.”
Councillor Jeremy Pert, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities at Stafford Borough Council, said:
“This demonstrates how we work together with the police, and other partners, to keep the public safe. Looking after our residents is at the heart of everything that is driven forward by the council.
“Our town centre is already an extremely safe and welcoming place, and the schemes we are working on are about creating safer places for people to go at night and where they feel supported.
“We want women and girls especially to feel safe and welcomed at night in our town centre as we all know too well that nationally they are disproportionally affected by sexual assaults and harassment.
“This funding will help us introduce more measures – improving CCTV and lighting for example – so there are no places in Stafford town centre where people would not feel safe.”
The Safer Streets round four funding is just one element of the SCO’s and partners’ commitment to tackling violence against women and girls across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, which includes:
- Securing funding from the Government’s Safety of Women at Night funding, to provide initiatives focused on preventing VAWG in public places at night, including in the night-time economy, in venues and on public transport
- Launching a partnership Violence Reduction Alliance to deliver the local Violence Strategy
- Holding a dedicated Violence Reduction conference
- Establishing a Violence Against Women and Girls Commission, to deliver related actions
Find out more about the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund at Safer Streets Fund continues to make streets safer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)