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More funding for Safer Streets

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Another £1 million will be spent on localised initiatives to make communities safer after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Thames Valley secured the maximum amount of funding available from round 5 of the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.

Safer Streets is a Home Office fund that was set up to invest in a range of situational crime prevention measures in local communities. This latest round of funding will work with local authorities and wider partners to deliver interventions up to 31st March 2025.

Three bids were submitted which include local authority areas from all three counties of the Thames Valley with initiatives focusing on anti-social behaviour (ASB), neighbourhood and rural acquisitive crime and violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am pleased that we have received further funding from the Safer Streets Fund and that we were successful in securing the maximum amount available in this round.

“Anti-social behaviour, neighbourhood crime and violence against women and girls can have a significant impact on the extent to which residents feel safe in their communities and these initiatives have the potential to make a real difference.

“The success of these three bids means that Safer Streets funding has reached every local policing area in Thames Valley since the fund opened in 2020. I look forward to seeing the impact of these latest interventions in tackling these important issues.”

In West Berkshire, £299,000 will be spent on interventions to tackle anti-social behaviour on The Nightingales Estate in Newbury. This will include new CCTV cameras, Neighbourhood Guardians to offer a uniformed presence on the estate, outreach youth work, Community Clean Up days as well as funding to support the provision of diversionary activity for young people. In addition, a schools-based intervention will deliver workshops to young people in the catchment area of The Nightingales to empower young people to make informed decisions and manage situations where others may negatively influence them such as in the context of ASB.

West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse will benefit from £201,000 to deliver interventions on neighbourhood and rural acquisitive crime.  This will include deploying effective signage and property marking products for agricultural equipment, tools and quad bikes and the recruitment of a Rural Crime Advisor who will work to promote rural crime prevention and engage with rural communities, industries, farms and organisations such as Young Farmers and the National Farmers Union.  

And in Slough, High Wycombe and Oxford, £500,000 worth of funding will support a range of initiatives to tackle violence against women and girls. This will include additional Project Vigilant deployments by Thames Valley Police to identify predatory behaviour in the night-time economy (NTE), bystander training for people working and volunteering in the NTE to educate on issues such as consent and support disclosures and reporting as well as the creation of a schools-based attitudinal/behaviour change programme to help tackle the issue. The funding will also be used to increase (or set up where missing) the reach of public guardians such as Street Angels to support vulnerable people on nights out in those areas.