Commissioner Henry with Safer Streets wardens
High-visibility street warden patrols, new CCTV and free home security devices for burglary victims have all helped reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in West Bridgford.
A £250,000 investment in public safety initiatives through the Safer Streets scheme has been targeted around the Trent Bridge area ward of the town, a which is a thriving public space with lots of bars, restaurants and retail outlets – all close to number of sporting venues including Nottingham Forest’s City Ground and Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.
The action in this specific area, alongside the continuing hard work of Nottinghamshire Police and Rushcliffe Borough Council, has seen house burglary reduce by 46% and vehicle crime drop by 44%, while antisocial behaviour has fallen by 25%.
This was in the 12 months from October 2022 when the project started, compared to the previous three-year average.
Trent Bridge ward’s Safer Streets project was delivered by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and Rushcliffe Borough Council, with funding from the Home Office.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “The area we targeted with these interventions is a thriving social hub, with bars, restaurants, cafes and shops which are extremely busy, particularly in the evenings and weekends and at times of sporting events.
“Having all of this extra investment helps ensure that when people come to the area to enjoy what the town has to offer, they can feel relaxed in the knowledge that these public spaces have been made even safer.
“Working alongside our partners at Nottinghamshire Police and Rushcliffe Borough Council we have managed to provide some real improvements to safety on top of the work they already do all year round.”
Some of the largest decreases in antisocial behaviour included in Bridgford Road, which dropped from an average of 33 incidents in the previous three years to just three occurrences in the reporting period – a drop of 91%.
Central Avenue also decreased from an average of 27 incidents to one report of antisocial behaviour – down 96%, and Radcliffe Road decreased from an average of 26 incidents to three reports – a drop of 88%.
The Trent Bridge ward benefitted from Safer Streets wardens conducting high-visibility patrols to prevent antisocial behaviour and providing vital additional information to the local neighbourhood policing team.
A network of local shops were also provided with free Shop Watch radios so they could communicate with each other, as well as police and wardens, about any shoplifters or suspicious activity in the area.
One of the key successes was when the street wardens and local shops using the Shop Watch radios were able to combine to provide evidence to police that helped them in an investigation that resulted in a prolific shoplifter, 41-year-old Andrew Wimbledon, being put behind bars.
Thanks to a Shop Watch Radio scheme and WISE wardens patrolling in the West Bridgford area, vital evidence was gathered that supported the police investigation.
Michael Brown, team leader at the Hilton Crescent Co-op branch in Edwalton, said: “Our workers come in to serve the community, they come in to do a job not to get harassed. I won’t stand for it.
“One of the issues we have within our store is not being able to communicate with other stores if we see a shoplifter, so it will help a lot.
“With us being outside of the general West Bridgford area, it’s nice to know we have support within the town centre. It helps us track people and get more evidence.
“It has helped a lot in finding people. We’ve had more success in taking people to court since joining Shopwatch.”
New CCTV cameras were also fitted along Bridgford Road and Central Avenue – all monitored from a council-run control room – to ensure people are safe.
Local burglary victims were also given free home security devices, such a video Ring doorbells, motion sensor lighting, CCTV and door and window locks to prevent repeat victimisation.
West Bridgford resident Simon Beale, who had bikes stolen from his garage, said he was given “peace of mind” after being given a video doorbell and front and rear sensor lighting, as part of the scheme.
New automatic number plate recognition cameras were also fitted in the area, to make it even harder for criminals to use the area’s road network without being spotted by police.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety Cllr Rob Inglis said: “The Safer Streets funding has already made significant inroads to tackle neighbourhood crime in key hotspots here in West Bridgford with good results.
“Anti-social behaviour, burglary and vehicle crime decreasing is very positive and matched with higher visibility officers and new cameras, gives our residents the extra peace of mind whether on the street or at home.
“Business owners also feel more secure and connected which can again only breed further confidence West Bridgford is a safer place to be as a result of this investment.”
Trent Bridge ward was one of a number of areas to benefit from Safer Streets investment after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner secured a total of £3 million from the Home Office for projects across Nottinghamshire, which were delivered with police and local authority partners.
Posted on Thursday 9th November 2023