Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, has welcomed the news that his latest bids for a total of £1.5 million from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund have been successful. When matched funding is taken into account, the real value of this extra money exceeds £2.5 million.
Safety buses, a new app and educational programmes in every secondary school are just some of the things on the cards following the latest successful bid to the Safer Streets Fund. The £1.5 million for Cheshire announced today is made up of two bids worth £750,000 each, and projects supported by this money will benefit the entire county.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve secured yet more funding for making Cheshire’s streets even safer. Everyone deserves to feel safe walking our streets, especially at night, and this new money will enable the police to work with local communities and organisations to better protect people.
“I said that I wanted to take what’s worked from previous projects in specific areas and expand it to the whole county, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
“Since I was elected, nearly £9 million of extra funding has been secured and nearly £5 million of that has been in the current financial year since April. My commitment to going further and securing every possible pound to protect the public of Cheshire is unequivocal.”
The money secured by the Commissioner will support measures to protect people within the night time economy such as:
- ‘Operation Street Safe’ – This will create community crime prevention groups, made up of paid and volunteer recruits who will be trained to spot dangerous behaviour and to intervene to keep people safe.
- New ‘Safety Buses’ which will provide safe spaces for those out at night in areas with a busy night time economy. These buses, manned by community safety partners and volunteers, will provide a safe haven and support. They will also have safety equipment such as defibrillators.
- Development of a safety app for Cheshire, where people will be able to see the support services available to them, all in one place. Victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence will also be able to plot their location and routes, adding reassurance to those out alone.
- An educational behaviour-change programme in high schools across the county, teaching young people about how to spot harmful behaviours when out at night and intervene in certain situations.
The Commissioner has listened to what the public want, and before the bids were submitted in May this year he carried out a survey to understand the areas where people felt most unsafe across the county. The results were analysed alongside crime data and the suggested solutions were incorporated into the bids.
Mark Roberts, Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary said:
“I’m delighted this funding has been secured to help us with our ongoing work to help make Cheshire an even safer place for everyone.
“The safety of women and girls is a key priority for the force and this new funding means that we will now be able to roll-out our Safer Streets initiative across the county following the successful Safer Streets campaigns in Chester and Warrington.
“We’ll also be introducing an innovative safety app and rolling out an educational programme at the county’s high schools to help young people identify harmful behaviours.
“I have no doubt that all of this work will further strengthen our ability to tackle violence against women and girls.”
The funding will also support the Violence against Women and Girls agenda by expanding training and support in key areas like:
- Sexual Misconduct Liaison training – Staff in a number of schools will be trained to support students with sexual misconduct issues and help them access further help and support.
- Extending the use of GoodSAM technology to provide a live video link for victims of domestic abuse during follow-up contact with the police, offering more reassurance than a phone call.
- An educational victims support programme. Evidence suggests victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence are more likely to disclose their experience in an environment where they feel comfortable or trust and this programme will help students training to work in the beauty and hair sectors to spot the signs of potential victims alongside other areas of the community.
John Dwyer added:
“All of these training programmes and interventions will help to prevent and tackle crime and protect vulnerable and at-risk people, both of which are central to my Police and Crime Plan.
“I look forward to seeing these proposals become reality and make a real difference to people’s safety and lives. Together we are making Cheshire even safer.”
(Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, Principal Engagement Officer, Cheshire)