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Commissioner Henry hails 'incredible' difference after safety investment

SSwardens with caroline at Holidays Hill Park

Commissioner Henry alongside Safer Streets wardens and the police

People in Kirkby-in-Ashfield are now safer than ever after the successful delivery of a massive programme of investment to improve security in the town.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire secured £3m of funding through the Home Office’s Safer Streets project in July 2022 to spend on initiatives across Nottinghamshire that help reduce neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls.

Kirkby was one of the areas to benefit from this additional cash injection, which has paid for a range of measures, including new CCTV, street lighting and automatic number plate recognition cameras, as well as Safe Space Schemes in shops, Shop Watch radios and environmental improvements to make people feel safer.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has worked with Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire Police to deliver the work, which comes in addition to the standard policing and council services the agencies provide every day.

“The incredible work carried out across Kirkby-in-Ashfield is a great example of the difference that our Safer Streets funding is having to the people of the town,” said Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry.

“From world first innovations with our refuge point camera systems, to the new lighting at Holidays Hill Park, and our Shop Watch Radio scheme, the people of Kirkby are seeing first hand the great work that is being done.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Kirkby a number of times to see the real difference these interventions are making to the lives of residents, and I’d like to pay tribute to our partners at Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council, who have worked closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to make this possible.”

The Coxmoor estate has benefited from a wide range of environmental improvements including the installation of 13 new streetlights, innovative QR codes to report faulty lights and Holidays Hill Park has received £32,000 worth of investment which has paid for nine streetlights, a replacement barrier to the park, new bins, hedge and tree trimming, weeding and rubbish removal.

Alongside the environmental improvements three notorious antisocial behaviour and environmental crime hotspot alleyways have been gated and 25 residents of Coxmoor Estate have received Ring doorbells, security lights and new locks as part of a burglary reduction scheme.

“It’s not just about the physical improvements though, 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,” said Cllr Helen-Ann Smith Executive Lead for Community Safety and Crime Reduction.

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

As many as 20 businesses in Kirkby’s town centre have signed up to the Safe Space scheme which has provided businesses with 4G Ultra High-Definition CCTV cameras, signage, lighting and safeguarding training for their employees. These businesses now provide a haven for vulnerable people or anyone who needs assistance.

15 of these businesses have also signed up to be part of the Shop Watch Scheme which provides radios connected directly to the CCTV control room at police headquarters. The Shop Watch Scheme has seen a 45% reduction in retail crime in the three months that it has been active.

Cllr Andy Meakin Ward Councillor for Abbey Hill, who has seen first-hand how the Safer Streets Fund has positively impacted the residents who live on Coxmoor, said: “The Safer Streets Fund has provided an incredible amount of diverse projects and initiatives that have genuinely improved the feelings of safety on Coxmoor, and in Kirkby town centre, for everyone, but especially for women and girls.”

Two state-of-the-art Safe Point cameras have been installed in Kirkby, one on Kirkby Plaza, and one on Welbeck Street opposite Morven Park. The cameras feature an emergency call button which allows the user to instantly speak to the police control room. This technology is the first of its kind and was originally launched in Sutton in 2022 as part of the Safer Streets Fund.

The Safer Streets Fund has also paid for a series of educational sessions for primary school children in Kirkby aimed at promoting healthy relationships, a youth diversionary scheme to divert young people away from crime and a Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme to support our most vulnerable residents.

Posted on Friday 15th September 2023
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