The Safer Streets Fund aims to stop offences that blight communities and cause misery to victims from happening in the first place.
Following a bidding process, grants of up to £550,000 will be provided to PCCs in England and Wales for projects to improve security in areas particularly affected by acquisitive crimes such as burglary, vehicle theft and robbery.
Devon & Cornwall Police have been awarded £546,781.
The money will go towards measures proven to cut crime. These include simple changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV.
The funding will also be used to train community wardens, deliver local crime prevention advice to residents and establish Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities.
That is why I set up this fund to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent people falling victim to these crimes.
Crime and Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse said:
Persistent street crime and burglary have a corrosive effect on a neighbourhood, leaving people apprehensive about leaving their homes, and afraid of what they might encounter when they return.
But simple modifications like better street lighting or CCTV can do a lot to prevent crime.
So alongside more focussed thief-taking by the police, these projects should have a big impact on the communities hardest hit by burglars, robbers and villains in general.
Crime Prevention Leads from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Roger Hirst and Keith Hunter said:
Today’s Safer Streets Fund announcement represents positive news for communities across England and Wales.
This funding will support PCCs and their community safety partners to effectively deliver crime reduction activities that will prevent and reduce crimes such as burglary and robbery in the areas that need it most.
Acquisitive offences are the crimes that the public are most likely to encounter, and they are estimated to cost society billions of pounds every year.
There is strong evidence that these crimes can be prevented by tactics that either remove opportunities to commit crime or act as a deterrent by increasing the chances of an offender being caught.
Measures that the funding will go towards include:
- improved home security
- Neighbourhood Watch schemes
- street lighting
- crime prevention advice
The Home Secretary announced the Safer Streets Fund in October 2019, and PCCs were invited to bid for funding in January this year.
Bids were evaluated against a set criteria and bidders were asked to outline a plan to reduce crime within a local crime hotspot, demonstrating value for money, evidence of community engagement and long-term sustainability.
As they are rolled out, each initiative will be assessed to help inform future government investments.
The Safer Streets Fund forms part of the government’s concerted action to tackle crime.
We are recruiting 20,000 additional police officers over the next three years, and the amount of funding available to the policing system for 2020/21 will increase by more than £1.1 billion, totalling £15.2 billion.