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Businesses honoured at awards ceremony

Caroline Ashfield awards

More than 40 Ashfield businesses have been commended for becoming a place of refuge for residents as part of the Safer Streets scheme.

A network of companies have been kitted out with state-of the-art CCTV systems, signage, lighting and training for staff to enhance security and safety across the district. Residents and visitors to the towns can access the stores if they feel they are at risk or need help.  

The cameras will also be used to help deter retail crime and other offences as well as being used by the Police to assist with criminal investigations. The CCTV devices will be filming 24 hours a day, seven days per week and are equipped with sensors and night vision.

The features have been introduced after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire secured £3 million of Safer Streets funding from the Home Office in 2022 for projects across the county that will help tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as violence against women and girls.

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Safer Streets is all about coming up with innovative ways to make our public spaces safer. That trailblazing principle is something that has been absolutely grabbed with both hands here in Ashfield, with some pioneering projects such as the Safe Point refuge cameras – which was a world first in in Sutton-in-Ashfield and is now being replicated in towns and cities across the country, as well as being expanded here into Kirkby.

“The Safe Spaces scheme in shops is also a great example of thinking outside the box to improve safety and feelings of safety. These awards pay tribute to the hard work and innovation that has gone into these schemes and many more Safer Streets projects that are helping to prevent neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls.”

Safer Streets is being delivered in partnership between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire Police. A number of positive outcomes have already been achieved in Kirkby-in-Ashfield such as Safe Spaces in shops, Shop Watch radios and youth diversion activity from ‘Switch Up’.

Ashfield District Council hosted a presentation evening on Wednesday June 21 where Commissioner Henry was joined by Ashfield Chief Executive Officer Theresa Hodgkinson and Police Superintendent Claire Rukas in presenting awards to businesses who have signed up for the initiative.

Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Crime Reduction, said: “It was a pleasure to be joined by all the businesses in Kirkby and Hucknall so we could show our appreciation to them for their enthusiasm and commitment to the Safer Streets scheme. Without their support, we couldn’t have implemented so many successful projects to make the Ashfield District a safer place for all.

“Including the work undertaken in Sutton last year, we now have over 80 businesses across the District accredited which means women and girls, and those vulnerable can seek support from any of these businesses.”

Superintendent Claire Rukas, County Area Commander for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “When it comes to reducing crime, lots of little things can make a very big difference to making communities feel safer. For every business that has benefited from additional training or targeting hardening measures like CCTV, a potential opportunity for criminals is taken away. 

“This kind of work has been going on for a while but the Safer Streets initiative and the very significant sums of money that has come with it has really taken it to new level and allowed us to do things that would not previously have been possible. It really is an effective and exciting initiative and I am delighted to help celebrate its success.”

Posted on Tuesday 27th June 2023
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