MORE than two million pounds of government funding has been secured to spend on tackling issues like violence against women and girls (VAWG), rural crime and anti-social behaviour in Gloucestershire.
The money comes from a pot of funding known as the Safer Streets Fund – an initiative from the Home Office, now in its fourth round of funding.
Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner submitted three separate successful bids, covering the topics of VAWG, Neighbourhood Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.
The primary bid of £749,124 will be used to tackle anti-social behaviour in a number of ways, including:
- Six PCSOs – one for each district to deal with low-level ASB
- a children’s education project designed to facilitate restorative conversations at a primary school level
- outreach and diversionary activities for young people intervention
- support to prevent street drinking in Gloucester and Cheltenham
- funding to help roll-out Solace – an ASB project – in rural parts of the county and
- promotion and roll-out of a ‘community triggers’ scheme to help provide multi-agency support in cases of repeat anti-social behaviour.
The second bid focuses on tackling neighbourhood crime with £591,705 to provide solutions such as:
- better software for witnesses to upload digital doorbell footage to police
- a new fleet of drones to safely collect real-time data and support rural communities
- 32 rural ANPR cameras along with technician support
- enhanced forensic testing in relation to neighbourhood crimes such as burglary and
- rural crime prevention tactics such as wildlife cameras, trackers for farming equipment and concrete blocks for gateways.
The final bid focuses on tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) through techniques including:
- educational theatre on the topic of stalking
- funding for personal safety apps and alarms
- expansion of a local Sex Worker Outreach Programme
- new drug testing machines to tackle spiking, and
- additional presence in the night-time economy through Street Medics, Night Safe Officers and Street Pastors.
Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I am delighted that all three of our bids were successful, bringing over £2 million of Government money into Gloucestershire.
“These bids are full of progressive and engaging ideas to help prevent crime; as well as operational support and equipment which will allow officers to work more efficiently.”
Local authorities (LAs), the British Transport Police (BTP), and certain Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are also eligible to lead bids. However in Gloucestershire, all three bids were curated and submitted by the county’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, due to the team’s experience and previous success in this arena.
In previous rounds of Safer Streets funding, Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner secured more than one million pounds and was the third-biggest successful bid in the country.