POLICE and Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer, has confirmed his office has submitted further bids to the Safer Streets Fund, to help tackle crime and support victims.
The Commissioner was successful in previous Safer Streets bids and last year Cheshire received £1.1 million – the joint-highest award in the country.
To support the bid, a survey on safety in public spaces was recently carried out where the Commissioner asked people, particularly women and girls, to identify where they felt unsafe in the county. He also liaised with Cheshire’s four Community Safety Partnerships, which deal with community safety issues in each of Cheshire’s four boroughs, ahead of making the bid.
All of the above has been taken into account alongside crime statistics provided by Cheshire Constabulary, giving the fullest possible overview of the situation across the county.
Mr Dwyer said: “It’s my job as Commissioner to look for every funding avenue to prevent and tackle crime and support victims. I’m delighted that we’ve had success in this area, with over £5 million in extra funding secured through bids during my first year in office, and I want to continue that success through Safer Streets 4.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who responded to my survey and to the Community Safety Partnerships for their input. It’s vital that we’re able to target any additional funding where it will be most effective and your feedback will ensure this can happen.”
Last year’s successful bid enabled the Commissioner to fund the Safer Streets programmes seen recently in Warrington Town Centre and at the University of Chester.
The Town Centre saw new CCTV and street lighting installed, as well as an educational package rolled out across schools to teach students about challenging unacceptable behaviours.
At the University, a new Independent Sexual Violence Advisor scheme was started to give people on campus confidence in reporting incidents of sexual assault. An app was also developed to show students where ‘safe spaces’ with practical support such as phone chargers and emergency contacts were located.
Mr Dwyer added: “We know from experience that Safer Streets funding can make a real difference in Cheshire. That’s why my office has maximized our use of this funding so far and why we’re aiming to do so again.
“I am hopeful of another successful bid that will enable us to work with partners across the county to make our streets safer for everyone.”
The fourth round of Safer Streets funding is worth £75 million and is open to Police and Crime Commissioners across the country to bid for a share for their force area. The main aims of the Safer Streets Fund are to:
- Reduce neighbourhood crime: domestic burglary, robbery, theft from person, vehicle crime
- Reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB)
- Reduce VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) in public spaces (including the night-time economy)
- Increase feelings of safety from VAWG and ASB in public places