An alleyway in Sutton-in-Ashfield that has repeatedly suffered incidents of antisocial behaviour and crime has been closed off to the public to help increase the safety of women and girls.
The passageway, which runs between Bentinck and Welbeck Street in the town, has been gated off as part of a three-year Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) imposed by Ashfield District Council.
New gates worth £5,000 have been installed to secure the area thanks to funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets 3 project which is designed to increase the protection of women and girls and reduce the opportunity for crime and violence.
The funding will also provide £3,000 of maintenance on the gates for the next three years.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry secured £550k from the Fund after submitting a successful bid in partnership with Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council.
The new gating order is one of a raft of improvements underway to improve safety following the results of a survey of women living in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Women who contributed to the research described feeling unsafe when making journeys to and from bus stops - especially in secluded areas with poor lighting where they were likely to come into contact with street drinkers and people engaging in antisocial behaviour.
Alley gates are designed to limit access to passageways to prevent crime and reduce the vulnerability of those who use them.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “We’ve listened carefully to women and their experiences of harassment and have taken positive action to address their concerns.
“The strip of land between Bentinck and Welbeck Street is well-known to the Police and Ashfield District Council due to the numerous reports of antisocial behaviour. These incidents have had a detrimental impact on those who live in this locality and have heightened the fear of crime, especially for women.
“We want women to feel safe and we want them to know we take their concerns seriously. This gating order is one of a number of measures being funded by Safer Streets to increase the security of public spaces so women feel less restricted in their daily lives and can enjoy their community without fear.”
Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Ashfield District Council Cabinet Member for Community Protection and Crime Reduction said “The Council has been working with the residents of Welbeck Street to get the alley gated off. It is fantastic that as part of the Council’s PSPO and Gating Order, and with funding from Safer Streets that we have been able to achieve this.
“The area was a hotbed for antisocial behaviour and residents can now be reassured and feel safer in their community. We are committed to creating a District that is safe, clean and brings pride to the people that live here. We have shown time and time again that Anti-Social Behaviour will not be tolerated in Ashfield.”
Inspector Mark Dickson, district commander for Ashfield, added: “This alleyway has been a cause of concern for some time to local residents who have complained of antisocial behaviour, drug dealing and other offending behaviour.
“As a police officer, I am always looking for ways for different ways to address problems so I was pleased to support the installation of this gate which will complement other ongoing work to help keep people safe in our community.”
Media Enquiries for Safer Streets: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 2nd December 2021