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A total of £676,000 awarded to Lincolnshire and Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioners to make streets safer especially for women and girls

The police and crime commissioners for Lincolnshire and Leicestershire have been awarded a total of £676,000 to support projects in locations affected by neighbourhood crimes.

The Home Office announced awards of £18.3m today (Thursday) across England and Wales, including £2.4m in the East Midlands as part of funding from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund. It will go towards measures proven to cut crime, including simple changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones (Con) was awarded £244,801, while his Leicestershire and Rutland counterpart Rupert Matthews was given £432,000.

Both have been contacted to comment on the funding.

Marc Jones, Lincolnhire Police and Crime Commissioner
Marc Jones, Lincolnhire Police and Crime Commissioner

The Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner also received £432,000.

In Leicestershire, the money will be spent on deploying more automated number plate recognition (ANPR) and CCTV in the Leicestershire area; expanding target hardening services to deliver fitting home security measures for victims of crime; community safety officer to be employed to oversee the project and promote community engagement.

The third round of the Safer Streets Fund also opens today, providing another opportunity to bid from a fund of £25m for the year 2021/22.

This next round of funding will go beyond essential environmental measures like improved street lighting and encourage police and local authorities to secure innovative bids for plans primarily focused on helping make women and girls feel safer on the streets, as well as projects which could include an emphasis on changing attitudes and behaviours in local communities.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities, which is why I launched the Safer Streets Fund to improve security in areas blighted by crimes like burglary, robbery and theft.

“But it’s more than just environmental change – we need to prevent people from committing these offences in the first place as we build back safer.

"That is why the next round will rightly look at behaviour change, with a primary focus on women and girls who are disproportionately affected by crimes like harassment in public places.”

Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Prevention lead Roger Hirst said: "Today’s announcement of £20m Safer Streets funding reflects the Government’s confidence in elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to effectively recognise local areas of need and deliver evidence-based crime prevention initiatives.

“The Safer Streets Fund allows PCCs to work with local partners in areas that are disproportionately affected by neighbourhood and acquisitive crime, investing in preventative approaches to make communities safer. Preventing crime in the first place is better for the public and reduces demand on policing, as demonstrated by the first round of Safer Streets announced in 2020, which funded 52 projects across 35 PCC areas.

“I also warmly welcome the launch of round three of the fund, which aims to increase the safety of public spaces, with a specific focus on the safety of women and girls.

“This additional £25m fund has been made available to PCCs to deliver a range of interventions including CCTV, street lighting, educational products and neighbourhood watch schemes. PCCs will now work in close consultation with representative groups and those with lived experience to ensure voices of women and girls are at the forefront of their applications.”

Safer Streets is just one of the ways the Government is working to tackle violence against women and girls.

In March, the Home Office reopened its call for evidence on violence against women and girls, to hear views on this hugely important issue. Over 180,000 responses were received and are helping to inform the new cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and complementary Domestic Abuse Strategy, which will be published later this year.

The Home Office is also working closely with police on a new online tool, aimed primarily at women and girls, which will allow people to pinpoint locations in their local area where they have felt unsafe.

Since its inception last year, the Safer Streets Fund has allowed forces to invest in transformative crime prevention initiatives.

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