Major safety scheme to crackdown on ASB and reduce violence hailed a success
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Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston has hailed the success of a major safety project which has driven down anti-social behaviour and made communities more resilient to crime.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough PCC secured £634,285 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets 4 initiative which was invested in 14 projects across Peterborough and Wisbech between July 2022 and September 2023.
It brought total investment from all four rounds of Safer Streets funding to £1.8m across the county.
The interventions, which included new CCTV and the installation of video doorbells for eligible households, were aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), neighbourhood crime and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Businesses in Peterborough and Fenland were encouraged to sign up to Business Against Abuse (BAA) – an accreditation scheme which trains business owners how to identify predatory behaviour, prevent it from escalating into a possible sexual offence and make their business a safe place for everyone, in particular women and girls.
Since the project launched, ASB reports have fallen in areas where the new safety measures were concentrated while specialist training has enabled the force and its partners to target issues quickly and use new legislation more effectively.
Following the funding of two Anti-Social Behaviour Officers within Peterborough City Council and Fenland District Council, 18 ASB cases have now been progressed with three Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) issued and two summons pending.
Other key achievements include the training of 150 professionals from different agencies to improve understanding of ASB legislation and how it can be used. So far, this has directly led to the granting of four Civil ASB Injunctions.
Meanwhile, the installation of new gates within Norfolk Street, Wisbech, has seen ASB calls fall by more than half from 129 to 59 calls during the eight-month project. Further ‘pedestrianised’ gates fitted in Peterborough alongside new CCTV has seen a 38 per cent reduction in ASB reports on the ‘Street Safe’ self-reporting app.
Commenting on the success, Darryl said: “Safer Streets funding has had an immense impact on our communities in Peterborough and Wisbech. I know local people have welcomed the enhanced CCTV coverage and the tougher action against the people who cause misery in their communities.
“Clearly, we are already seeing the results of our investment with ASB reports down and increased use of civil and criminal legislation to bring more perpetrators to justice. The work with our partners is ongoing and will leave a lasting legacy in our communities for many years to come.”
Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable, Vicki Evans said: “Safer Streets has been an overwhelming success and achieved exactly what it set out to do which was to respond to the issues that matter to local people and provide them with opportunities to play an active role in designing the solutions. Prevention is at the heart of our policing and partnership approach and we hope to build on this success in the future.
“It has been a fantastic partnership exercise for all involved and has demonstrated the value in taking a united approach.”
Almost 100 households have now signed up to two new Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Peterborough which launched as part of the scheme while over 250 people working in the security and retail industry have received training on how to recognise VAWG issues and safely intervene when a situation arises. Additionally, more than 1,500 children have received awareness assemblies challenging predatory behaviour and misogynistic views across Peterborough and Fenland.
In further success, 17 new cadets have been recruited to units in Wisbech and Peterborough and are already taking part in volunteering activities including test purchase operations and litter picking.
Additional Street Chaplains were also recruited in Peterborough to expand day and night cover. In a recent case, an older man was prevented from transferring his life savings to a fraudulent business through the care of the chaplains.