Work is underway to install new street lighting as part of an ambitious project to improve the safety of women and girls in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Officers from Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have been busy conducting site surveys and street patrols across the Town Centre, New Cross and Sutton Lawn areas to determine key areas where lighting could be upgraded to improve visibility and reduce vulnerability after dark.
The work, which also included environmental assessments to identify areas of overgrown private land, is part of the Safer Streets 3 project which aims to increase the safety of women and girls in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Working in partnership with Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry submitted a successful bid for £550k to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.
The funding will see £70,000 invested in street lighting in target areas in the Town Centre and £15,000 for enhanced street lighting along routes used by school children in addition to a network of new and upgraded CCTV cameras, refuge cameras for women at risk or in danger and automatic number plate technology (ANPR) cameras to detect crime.
Two evening scoping patrols of the area and a multiagency audit have taken place to highlight where street lighting can be improved.
In the New Year, new columns and improved LED lighting which is brighter than traditional sodium bulbs will be installed by Via East Midlands, a company wholly owned by Nottinghamshire County Council.
New and upgraded lighting will be installed to illuminate vacant land and public footpaths in the New Cross area of Sutton.
Commissioner Henry said: “I am delighted these initial surveys are already complete and that new street lighting will soon be installed in Sutton-in-Ashfield. It is important local people feel the benefit of these improvements as quickly as possible so I am grateful for the team’s hard work.
“Almost nine in 10 of the women surveyed as part of the bid submission said poor lighting made them feel unsafe – in fact it was the most cited reason of all the circumstances increasing fear. We have taken these concerns seriously which is why this funding will deliver improvements along main routes from key venues and where women have identified feeling most unsafe.”
Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Ashfield District Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Crime Reductions said “We know from working closely with our communities that street lighting has a significant impact on how safe women and girls feel whilst walking in their communities at night. Something as simple as making the street lighting brighter can have a significant impact on preventing crime and making women and girls feel safer.
“This is just one of many projects being delivered as part of Safer Streets. The Council is committed to making our communities safe places to live and work, and the delivery of projects like this demonstrate our commitment to making this happen.”
Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, chairman of the Transport and Environment Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It’s important that residents feel safe when they are out and about in the evening and this latest investment will help improve visibility on local streets and footpaths across the town.
“Our street lighting team will use the latest technology to upgrade and install the new streetlights as part of this ongoing partnership project, which we are proud to be a part of.
“LED lighting also has wider benefits of course. They require much less energy than older style lighting and have a longer lifespan, which is better for the environment as well as taxpayers’ pockets.”
Chief Inspector Steven O’Neill, neighbourhood policing lead for Ashfield and Mansfield, said: “The Safer Streets programme is already delivering real public safety benefits for local people. This work is all about designing out crime and making things as difficult as possible for potential offenders. Street lighting plays a significant part not only in helping people to feel safe in our community; it also helps to make other measures such as CCTV cameras even more effective than they already are. Improvements like these are vital in helping to make people feel safer when they’re out and about in the dark.”
A new partnership team has been put in place to manage the delivery of improvements in Sutton-in-Ashfield, which will be implemented by the end of March next year.
SAFER STREETS MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 8th December 2021