The museum has been targeted several times through recent years, with theft of artifacts and roofing reported several times. The surrounding area has also been a hotspot for anti-social behaviour including criminal damage, littering and both physical and verbal abuse.
Funding of over £1,000 through Andrew’s Community Fund has secured new CCTV and alarm capability for the community hub’s site that is keeping the priceless artifacts and the staff, volunteers and visitors to the museum safe. It is also helping local officers and other partners with improved CCTV capacity in the area surrounding, as the local policing team tackle ASB concerns and gather intelligence.
During the visit, the Police and Crime Commissioner met with representatives from the museum, who explained the impact it has had on their ability to tackle the ongoing issues. The museum works with some of the most vulnerable people in the area, including children and the elderly, and is an important part of local heritage.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:
“It was great to get out and about in Bacup to see for myself the challenges and issues raised by the community and how funding from my Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund is helping address them.
“This CCTV has helped make what has been an ASB and theft hotspot safer, and increase the chances of catching those involved, which can only be good for the people of Bacup. Talking to the local policing team, it is clear that this is going to support the wider work they are doing to proactively target offenders, whilst also give peace of mind to the museum and those who work in or utilise it.
“When I help fund projects like this through my Safer Lancashire Neighbourhood Fund, there is always a poetic irony in using cash seized from criminals and pumping it back into the community they once exploited, helping us fund projects that address root causes of crimes bettering the lives of those in the community.”
Wendy Lord, from Bacup National History Society & Museum said: “The award from the PCC will allow us to help our local policing team with ASB that is carried out around the museum and adjoining garden.
“Our updated cctv now allows us to share higher quality images.”
For more information on the Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund, which has this week reopened to applications, visit https://www.lancashire-pcc.gov.uk/grant-funding/safer-lancashire-neighbourhoods-fund/