This week we received some really good news from Government. Its flagship Safer Streets programme has awarded us more than £2 million to spend on tackling issues like violence against women and girls, rural crime and anti-social behaviour in Gloucestershire.
My office submitted three separate bids, all of which have been successful.
The primary bid of £749,124 will be used to tackle anti-social behaviour in a number of ways, including: six new Police Community Support Officers – one for each district to deal with low-level anti-social behaviour; a children’s education project designed to facilitate restorative conversations at a primary school level; outreach and diversionary activities for young people; intervention and support to prevent street drinking in Gloucester and Cheltenham; funding to help roll-out Solace – a multi-agency anti-social behaviour project – in rural parts of the county; and promotion and roll-out of a ‘community triggers’ scheme to help provide partnership support in cases of repeat anti-social behaviour.
The second bid focuses on tackling neighbourhood crime and residential burglary in rural areas with £591,705 to provide solutions such as better software for witnesses to upload digital doorbell footage to police; a new fleet of drones to safely collect real-time data and support rural communities; 32 rural Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras along with technician support; enhanced forensic testing in relation to neighbourhood crimes such as burglary; and rural crime prevention tactics such as wildlife cameras, home security alarms, trackers for farming equipment and concrete blocks for gateways.
The final bid for £691,340 focuses on tackling violence against women and girls through techniques, including educational theatre on the topic of sexual harassment and sexism; funding for personal safety apps and alarms; production of a video highlighting stalking behaviours; a target hardening fund for the six Community Safety Partnerships; new drug testing machines to tackle drink spiking; and an additional presence in the night-time economy through Street Medics, Night Safe Officers and Street Pastors.
This funding is the second time my office has been successful with the highly competitive Safer Streets initiative, outperforming the vast majority of forces around the country, raising a total of more than £3 million. Over the last year, this inititaive has helped drive down anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crime in Gloucestershire by 59%. That’s what I call value for money.