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PCC praises partnership working as £630k Safer Streets project gathers pace

WORK ON a six-figure project to increase safety in Peterborough and Wisbech is gathering pace with a series of key milestones already achieved.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston praised partners for their swift action and joined-up approach on the Safer Streets four project which is already making a difference.

Peterborough and Wisbech secured £634,285k to roll out a package of improvements to tackle anti-social behaviour and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) over 15 months – bringing total investment from all four rounds of Safer Streets funding to £1.8m across the county. The bid was developed and submitted by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Constabulary on behalf of the partners.

The new interventions, which include extra mobile CCTV cameras due to be installed by the end of March 2023 and an additional camera operator trained in spotting predatory behaviours, will help to protect people in the Medworth Ward of Wisbech and Peterborough Central and many have already been implemented.

Led by Inspector Ian Lombardo, from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, in conjunction with the OPCC, the project has already seen two new Anti-social Behaviour Officers recruited within Peterborough City Council and Fenland District Council who are looking into prolific offenders and gathering evidence in preparation for robust enforcement action.

Meanwhile, more than 200 professionals across several public safety agencies have received specialised anti-social behaviour training to ensure they fully understand and can exhaust the full range of powers and legislation available to successfully tackle problems.  

Darryl said: “It is testament to the hard work and tenacity of the team that we have already pulled off many of the improvements we have promised through this round of Safer Streets funding. This means the public has benefited much quicker than we’d anticipated and that we are better equipped to protect their safety.

“The real success here is the joint problem-solving approach and strong partnerships that are bringing together experts across a variety of fields all with the goal of making these areas much more resistant to criminal threat.

“Preventing crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan. The funding is enabling us to tackle old problems in innovative ways while also reducing risk and vulnerability to enable people to go about their lives without fear.”

Key milestones achieved so far include:

  • The appointment of two Anti-Social Behaviour Officers within Peterborough City Council and Fenland District Council dedicated to tackling anti-social behaviour;
  • Training of more than 200 professionals from different organisations to improve knowledge and understanding of anti-social behaviour legislation and how it can be used effectively to tackle problems;
  • Eleven schools signed up to training to raise awareness and challenge predatory behaviour among pupils across Peterborough and Fenland;
  • Recruitment of 19 new police cadets (across Peterborough and Wisbech) as part of Citizens in Policing scheme to help divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour;
  • Installation of 43 Ring (video) Doorbells at addresses identified as vulnerable to burglary with more to be fitted;
  • Development of an accreditation scheme for security industry staff and taxi drivers at an advanced stage;
  • One new Neighbourhood Watch scheme launched in Cathedral Green, Peterborough, and outreach work undertaken to encourage the development of further schemes in the Fenland area;
  • Recruitment of four additional Street Chaplains in Peterborough providing additional day and night patrols and assistance to those who need it.

Inspector Ian Lombardo, project manager, said: “Altogether, there are nine separate projects associated with Safer Streets Four. We have a lot of experienced people across multiple organisations working hard to bring these interventions together and are pushing on with the task at pace.

“Two hundred people have now received enhanced anti-social behaviour legislation training across numerous organisations which is a significant achievement. The idea is that everyone understands the powers available and how to get cases before the courts so we can be more effective and robust in tackling the issues.

“We are continuing through to the end of the project making specialist advisors available to all the agencies who have been trained by setting up a surgery where individuals can book an hour with an expert in anti-social behaviour legislation from ASB Action on how to prepare a package before it’s put through the court process.”

In other developments, Insp Lombardo said the arrival of new mobile cameras over the next few weeks would provide the force and partners with additional resilience to respond and detect crime, manage ongoing incidents and provide officers with better quality evidence for investigations.