Durham poised to net up to £1.4m to tackle the public’s top priorities

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The Home Office has released details of its Safer Streets 5 funding, which will inject a further £60m into crime prevention measures across England and Wales. The aim is to reduce neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in public spaces. 

Recently, a rise in anti-social behaviour has resulted in Durham traders urging the County Council to implement a Public Spaces Protection Order due to the high levels of disruption across the city centre.

County Durham and Darlington has been allocated a provisional £1.4m grant to invest in projects starting 1 October 2023 until 31 March 2025. County Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen will work closely with partners to create detailed proposals on how she intends to use the funding. 

“It will enable me to build on the huge progress we have made so far since launching a multi agency crackdown on ASB, neighbourhood crime and VAWG- crimes that matter a great deal to the public”

commissioner allen

It is the first time in the Safer Streets scheme that PCCs have been directly awarded funding rather than competing for a share against other areas. PCCs are still required to submit their plans to confirm they meet the requirements of the fund.

County Durham and Darlington received a total of £3.4m in the first four Safer Streets rounds.

Commissioner Allen expressed her excitement for the funding saying, “This is fantastic news for our communities in County Durham and Darlington. It will enable me to build on the huge progress we have made so far since launching a multi agency crackdown on ASB, neighbourhood crime and VAWG- crimes that matter a great deal to the public.”

She elaborated on the latest accomplishments of the scheme. “The most recent performance figures show neighbourhood crime (robbery, residential burglary, theft from the person, vehicle crime) fell -327 percent (2,373 offences) in the 12 months to March 2023 compared to 2019-20 (pre-Covid). ASB, meanwhile, fell -26.6 percent in the 12 months to March 2023 (4,886 fewer offences). Clearly, previous Safer Streets funding and a continued focus on these areas is making a difference.”

Commissioner Allen continued, explaining why these issues are so important to the community. “Tackling VAWG and providing better protection for women and girls was a key election pledge and I have funded a wealth of new resources to deliver increased support and safety measures to victims of these offences. This funding will enable us to expand on these improvements and help create communities where women and girls can live their lives with confidence and without fear.”

This funding will enable us to expand on these improvements and help create communities where women and girls can live their lives with confidence and without fear”

commissioner allen

PCCs can apply for up to £465k in 2023-24 and up to a further £930k in 2024-25. They must contribute a mandatory 50 percent in matched-funding support.

The round, similar to previous projects, will be concentrated on geographical areas of the county which are disproportionately and persistently affected by neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and VAWG and evidence will be needed to support individual projects.

PCCs have until 29 August 2023 to submit their proposals for funding.

Image: Newcastle Chronicle

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