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How Safer Streets has driven crime reductions in Kirkby


Commissioner Henry alongside partners from Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council

Neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour have reduced significantly in an area of Kirkby-in-Ashfield that was targeted with around £375,000 of investment in public space security measures.

The Safer Streets project brought interventions including new CCTV, Refuge Points and automatic number plate recognition cameras, street lighting, Shop Watch radios, a network of Safe Spaces shops and gating orders to the town.

The activity was targeted around the Coxmoor Estate area and – combined with continuing efforts by officers from Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council - saw a reduction of 43% in vehicle crime, a 39% fall in house burglary and an 11% drop in antisocial behaviour.

This was in the 12 months from October 2022 when the project started, compared to the previous three-year average.

Kirkby’s Safer Streets project was delivered by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council, with funding from the Home Office.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Safer Streets aims to make our public spaces safer and I’m delighted to see the huge success we’ve had, with these crime statistics showing we have achieved our ambition.

“With neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour showing significant reductions, and violence against women and girls remaining low with just 10 incidents in a year, it shows that the interventions are having the desired impact.

“The partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council to deliver this project has been outstanding and while the project is now completed, the legacy of this work will continue to have benefits for these communities with the additional infrastructure we have put in place.

“I now look forward to seeing the difference we can make together with the next round of funding that we have secured from the Safer Streets programme.”

Residents living in Beacon Drive saw some of the biggest improvements to their quality of life – with zero reports of antisocial behaviour during the Safer Streets project, compared to an average of 25 a year in the previous three years. Walesby Drive also saw a decrease in antisocial behaviour from an average of nine incidents to four incidents, while Wollaton Road decreased from an average of six incidents to just two.

Inspector Jon Hewitt, Ashfield Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Effective neighbourhood policing is about ensuring our residents feel safe and listened to. It also requires a team effort from other key partners in the community.

“The Safer Streets initiative is a great example of this and has really empowered us to put in place effective solutions to some significant local problems. The results speak for themselves and I have every confidence these positive trends will continue in the months ahead.

“Residents too have a vital part to play by telling us what is happening in their communities and sharing any concerns they have with us.”

Some of the projects funded in the area include a Shop Watch radio scheme that saw shoplifting reduce by 45%.

A new set of nine additional streetlights have lit up Holiday Hills Park in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, ensuring people can feel safe when out and about at night.

New alleyway gates were installed to prevent residents being affected by antisocial behaviour in a number of Kirkby streets including between Spruce Grove and Beacon Drive; in Rosewood Drive; and between Spruce Grove and Poplar Avenue.

A sports and mentoring scheme to divert young away from antisocial behaviour was also launched in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, delivered by Switch Up.

A network of businesses in Kirkby-in-Ashfield became part of the Safe Space scheme and were kitted out with free state-of the-art 4G Ultra HD CCTV systems as well as signs, lighting and training for staff to enhance security, safety and support to vulnerable groups, including women and girls.

A Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme has also been pioneered in Kirkby-in-Ashfield to support vulnerable residents under the Safer Streets initiative. The scheme aims to assist residents with complex needs who are involved in crime, antisocial behaviour and exploitation to get their lives back on track and prevent reoffending. It is also designed to help victims or survivors of such behaviour.

And a healthy relationships programme was also delivered in Kirkby schools to educate young people about misogyny, inappropriate behaviour and domestic abuse.

Councillor Helen Smith, Executive Lead for Community Safety and Crime Reduction at Ashfield District Council, said: “It’s not just about the physical improvements.

“The additional support services we have provided, through extra patrols and the Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme, have allowed us to provide interventions and have a positive impact on residents’ lives.

“The Council is serious about improving safety across the District and the Safer Streets Fund has allowed us to do that.”

Kirkby-in-Ashfield 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 Tuesday 31st October 2023
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