An estate in Mansfield is to benefit from a joint council, police and fire service initiative to cut the number of deliberately set fires and thefts of bicycles and motorbikes.
It comes after Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry awarded £33,000 to Mansfield District Council from her new Safer4All (Target Hardening) funding.
The council's Community Safety team will be working with Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to deliver an action plan between now and March 2023 to cut crime and antisocial behaviour on the Oak Tree Lane Estate.
Crime figures show the estate experiences high offending rates with arson, and particular issues with theft of bicycles and motorbike. These will be the focus of crime prevention events in the coming weeks to offer free locks and anti-theft kits plus outreach work with schools and community groups.
The area is currently designated a priority neighbourhood for the council, the local Community Safety Partnership and Neighbourhood Policing Team, for actions to improve the quality of life for residents.
Cllr Marion Bradshaw, the council's Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing, said: "The people living on this estate, which suffers a high level of deprivation, often feel abandoned by agencies so we hope this crime prevention action plan will address those feelings as well as making the estate a better and safer place to live.
“We have been out meeting and listening to the residents of Oak Tree and we are delighted that we have been successful in bidding for additional funding to improve the environment on the estate.”
The Safer4All funding is from a pot of £800,000 that the PCC has allocated to support crime prevention initiatives between 2022 and 2025, with £100,000 assigned to each of the seven local authorities and the city council in the county, which equates to £33,300 per area per year.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “It is really important to me that residents are listened to and have trust and confidence that action will be taken when issues occur.
“This Safer4All funding allows a greater ability for Community Safety Partnerships to act dynamically to local issues and implement really targeted safety measures that can have a big impact on people’s lives and support the priorities in our Make Notts Safe plan.”
The action plan for the Oak Tree Lane Estate includes the council and police joining forces to run single day bike security events on the estate in the coming three months where motorcycle owners can have their bikes fitted with anti-theft screw kits which prevent the easy removal of their bike's number plate.
This will not only act as a deterrent to theft but will also prevent the theft of number plates to hide the identity of stolen bikes, and help the police identify stolen motorcycles more easily. Owners will have to show that they are residents of the estate by bringing the V5 certificates.
Similar events will be targeted at the owners of pedal cycles prior to and after Christmas Day, where Oak Tree Lane Estate residents can get free high quality D locks and where bikes worth over £300 can be fitted with GPS tracking devices or ImmobiBike Cycle Protection Kits.
Inspector Kylie Davies, district commander for Mansfield, said: “We are working hard with our partners to address the concerns of local residents about persistent antisocial behaviour and crime in this area.
“It simply isn’t acceptable that the behaviour of a small minority of people can have such significant impact on other people’s lives.
“The local neighbourhood team are spending more and more time in the area in order to build stronger, more trusting relationships with residents. These latest initiatives are a good example of that hands-on approach and I am pleased to say there is plenty more of this kind of work to come.”
In addition, the police are working with West Nottinghamshire College to help students who are victims of bicycle theft.
In this scheme, the police anticipate they will be able to allocate eight to ten recovered or used bicycles a month to the college to provide student victims of cycle theft with a replacement.
The college is running a course to refurbish these bicycles with funding for the parts provided by the council. Each would also be fitted with an ImmobiBike Cycle Protection Kit.
Phil Clark, West Nottinghamshire College’s assistant principal for construction and engineering, said: “The automotive, engineering, metal fabrication and welding department is very excited to become involved in this scheme. This will provide our multi-skills students with an opportunity to work on a live project and gain those additional skills in these disciplines.
“It makes me proud to know that these bicycles will be given a new lease of life as well as being offered to individuals who may have lost theirs through an act of crime.
“Both our students and teachers, and automotive teacher James Duncan, who is the project lead, can’t wait to be involved in this valuable work to support the communities.”
To help reduce the number of deliberate fires and anti-social behaviour relating to bonfires and fireworks on the estate in the run-up to Guy Fawkes night on 5 November, the fire service will be going into youth groups, community groups and schools to highlight the dangers and issues relating to arson.
The Mansfield Community Safety Partnership also intends to install a CCTV camera at the hotspot location for fires on the edge of the heathland near the estate.
Fire crews will also be organising targeted activity and heightened visibility on the estate, with appliances visiting streets, discussing fire safety and fitting safety appliances for residents.
In the future, to amplify messages fire appliances will also carry advertising messages specific to the Oak Tree Lane estate.
Chris Clark, Group Manager for Prevention, at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We take deliberate fire setting very seriously and work hard to discourage the behaviour. We will always be there for our communities when you are in need, but not only do deliberate fires put people at risk, they take us away from other emergencies.
"In the coming weeks we’re asking people to think of others before setting fires and misusing fireworks. If possible, only attend organised community firework displays – however if you choose to host your own display, keep fireworks and bonfires away from houses, sheds and trees."
Anyone with information about deliberate fire setting can call FireStoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558. Anyone experiencing anti-social behaviour in the district can report it on the council website at www.mansfield.gov.uk/report. In an emergency always call 999.
Posted on Tuesday 25th October 2022