Millions awarded to make our streets safer

Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.

40 areas across England and Wales have today been awarded a total of £18.3 million to make our streets safer through projects to crack down on neighbourhood crimes like burglary, vehicle theft and robbery.

The money, from the government’s Safer Streets Fund, will go towards measures proven to cut crime, including simple changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV. 

The third round of the Safer Streets Fund also opens today, providing another opportunity to bid from a fund of £25 million for the year 2021/22.

This next round of funding will go beyond essential environmental measures like improved street lighting and encourage police to secure innovative bids for plans primarily focused on helping make women and girls feel safer on the streets, as well as projects which could include an emphasis on changing attitudes and behaviours in local communities.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

  “I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities, which is why I launched the Safer Streets Fund to improve security in areas blighted by crimes like burglary, robbery and theft. 

“But it’s more than just environmental change – we need to prevent people from committing these offences in the first place as we build back safer.

“That is why the next round will rightly look at behaviour change, with a primary focus on women and girls who are disproportionately affected by crimes like harassment in public places.”

Minister for Safeguarding Victoria Atkins said:

“No one should feel afraid while walking the streets, yet for so many people, particularly women and girls, a background hum of feeling uncomfortable or even unsafe in public spaces has become an all too common occurrence.

“We want this fund to help the police and local councils ensure that our streets are safe for everyone.”

Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Prevention lead Roger Hirst said:

“Today’s announcement of £25m Safer Streets funding reflects the government’s confidence in elected Police and Crime Commissioners to effectively recognise local areas of need and deliver evidence-based crime prevention initiatives.

“The Safer Streets Fund allows PCCs to work with local partners in areas that are disproportionately affected by neighbourhood and acquisitive crime, investing in preventative approaches to make communities safer. Preventing crime in the first place is better for the public and reduces demand on policing, as demonstrated by the first round of Safer Streets announced in 2020, which funded 52 projects across 35 PCC areas.

“I also warmly welcome the launch of Round 3 of the Fund, which aims to increase the safety of public spaces, with a specific focus on the safety of women and girls.

“This additional £25m fund has been made available to PCCs to deliver a range of interventions including CCTV, street lighting, educational products and neighbourhood watch schemes. PCCs will now work in close consultation with representative groups and those with lived experience to ensure voices of women and girls are at the forefront of their applications.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said:

“Neighbourhood crimes such as burglary and theft have a detrimental effect on local communities, with people often scared to leave their homes.

“We know that better street lighting or CCTV can do a lot to prevent crime, which is why we welcome the latest round of the Safer Streets Funding to ensure projects can continue to have a positive impact on the communities that are hardest hit.

“We also know that changing attitudes is key in the long run, which is why police and local authorities are being encouraged to focus new bids on behaviour change and community engagement.”

Safer Streets is just one of the ways the government say it is working to tackle violence against women and girls.

In March, the Home Office reopened its call for evidence on violence against women and girls, to hear views on this hugely important issue. Over 180,000 responses were received and are helping to inform the new cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and complementary Domestic Abuse Strategy, which will be published later this year.

The Home Office say they are also working closely with police on a new online tool aimed at women and girls, which will allow people to pinpoint locations in their local area where they have felt unsafe.

Since its inception last year, the Safer Streets Fund has allowed forces to invest in transformative crime prevention initiatives.

For example, in Humberside, in one of the most deprived estates in the country, funding has gone towards upgrading 20 communal entrances to blocks that drive a high level of burglary and installing 18 secure storage facilities for bikes and motorbikes.

Alongside this, they have installed secure fencing and gates and there is now a dedicated community outreach programme to support residents and victims of crime on the estate.

Projects across the country have also focused on setting up Neighbourhood Watch groups, increased Automated Numberplate Recognition Technology and CCTV and introducing wardens to undertake community engagement and train members of the public in crime prevention. 

A full list of the successful recipients for the second round of Safer Streets is as follows:

PCC or local authorityGrant funding awarded (£)Number of bids covered 
Bedfordshire PCC432,0001
Birmingham City Council 432,000 1 
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 432,000 1 
Bristol City Council 398,000 1
Cambridge and Peterborough PCC 430,000 1
Cheshire PCC 432,000   1
Chesterfield Borough Council   432,000   1
Cleveland PCC   366,289   1
Cumbria PCC   311,358   1
Durham PCC   670,864   2
Dyfed Powys PCC   87,338   1
Essex PFCC   432,000   1
Exeter City Council   432,000   1
Great Yarmouth Borough Council   96,000   1
Gwent PCC    699,564   2
Hampshire PCC    600,030    2
Hertsmere Borough Council     116,000    1
Humberside PCC     431,564    1
Ipswich Borough Council     422,200     1
Kent PCC      769,436     2
Leicestershire PCC      432,000     1
Lincolnshire PCC      244,801     1
Manchester City Council      432,000     1
Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime      725,996    2
Merseyside PCC      819,532   2
Newcastle City Council    431,967   1
North Wales PCC    485,535    2
North Yorkshire OFPCC    429,986   1
Northamptonshire PCC     432,000   1
Nottinghamshire PCC       864,000     2
South Wales PCC       432,000     1
South Yorkshire PCC        850,000     2
Staffordshire OPFCC        432,000     1
Surrey PCC        310,227     1
Thames Valley PCC        401,950     1
Wealden District Council      309,453      1
West Mercia PCC     863,185      2
West Yorkshire PCC     306,317     1
Wiltshire PCC    432,000     1
Wolverhampton City Council   247,602      1
Total  £18.3m        

Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here