In January 2020 the Home Office announced the availability of the Safer Streets Fund, a funding stream of £25 million made available to Local Authorities to bid in to with projects tackling high impact acquisitive crime rates. In August of the same year, Burnley Borough Council successfully secured their bid of £549,000 to target burglary and anti-social behaviour in the local wards of Bank Hall and Burnley Wood, with areas of Rose Hill and Fulledge included in residents benefitting from the scheme. Due to COVID-19 and the restrictions that came with lockdown, the project was temporarily halted; however, this week has seen a number of those project strands restarting in a bid to rejuvenate local greenspace areas, safeguard those most vulnerable from crime and enhance CCTV and alley gates across Burnley. The project has been divided into three strands, all due to be delivered by 30 June 2021:
- Place: Through a combination of alleygating, improved CCTV and green space improvements the areas themselves will be improved to remove the sense of vulnerability that attracts crime to the area.
- People & Property: Residential properties will be offered bespoke home security improvements, from improved locks and new back doors where appropriate, to improved security lighting, improved back gates, and home security kits.
- Awareness Raising: Delivering communications and workshops to local residents on how best to keep themselves, and their properties safe
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said, “this is a fantastic initiative, in which the residents of Burnley will be able to rest easier at night knowing their homes are more secure and the green spaces for socialising once out of lockdown will be safer, and in better condition to enjoy as a family.
“The last twelve months have been incredibly tough on our communities, so this extra funding into community space and the safeguarding of particularly vulnerable homes and residents is welcome”
Local business Blakeys have also benefitted from the funding, and are working closely with local authority and housing association Calico to ensure residents benefit as soon as possible from new front, and back door locks; while Burnley’s REMEC engineering is supporting partners with the building and installation of wrought iron alley gates – aimed at deterring offenders from targeting vulnerable people and their homes.
Joanne Dann, Deputy Director, Cumbria & Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company and Chair of the Pennine Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: “This funding is helping to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in these areas and improve the quality of life for the people who live there, by using simple but effective measures to deter criminals and make their lives more difficult. This project has been a real achievement and reflects the commitment to joint working of the partnership.’’
Local policing teams will personally deliver home security kits, which will help residents mark their valuable property so that should it be stolen and recovered by police, it can be identified and returned to its rightful owner.
Local policing Inspector for Burnley and Padiham, Damian Pemberton is prioritising the safety of residents, commenting: “we’re really proud to be working alongside such conscientious partners, whose knowledge and understanding of how important it is to protect those most at risk in our communities means we can work together to make Burnley a better place to live, work and travel to. My team are committed to working with residents so we can tackle the things that mean the most to them, with them. I would encourage you to engage with us through Lancashire Talking – by signing up to www.stayintheknow.co.uk/LancashireTalking and have your say.
I hope this also sends a strong message to those who wish to criminally target Burnley residents, that we will not tolerate your actions and you will be held accountable; we will safeguard those who need it, and we will continue to invest in our communities to keep them safe”
Councillor Afrasiab Anwar, Burnley Council’s executive member for community and environmental services, added: “Safer Streets is an excellent scheme that will help make these areas safer for the people who live in them, and more difficult for criminals to operate. It will involve a wider range of measures aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and thereby improving the quality of life for residents.
“Burnley Council is delighted to be a partner in this scheme and I’m sure that residents in the areas covered by Safer Streets will help support this initiative by taking up the security measures on offer and by doing so, help to fight crime in their neighbourhoods.”
A number of the works have already been carried out, with REMEC finalising the alley gates mid-March, and Blakeys already prioritising fitting locks to the homes of the elderly and those in independent living. Should you be eligible to take part in the scheme as a tenant or landlord, we would ask for you to contact the Safer Streets team by visiting the council website or by calling 01282 425011.