Matt Smith Conservative campaigner and former Tory Welsh Assembly candidate welcomes new Safer Streets Fund.
The Safer Streets Fund will open this week for bids from police and crime commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales to fund initiatives aimed at stopping these offences happening in the first place.
The fund is specifically designed for areas that need to tackle theft, robbery and burglary – known as acquisitive crimes.
Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse said:
We are determined to cut crime and make our streets safer. That’s why we are backing the police with more resources and recruiting 20,000 new officers.
This fund will help prevent people falling victim to crimes which can have a real impact on a community, like burglaries or theft.
Association of Police and Crime Commissioners lead for prevention, Roger Hirst said:
I welcome the launch of this fund which will help to tackle acquisitive crime by investing in a more preventative approach.
Preventing crime in the first place is better for the public and reduces demand on policing. We want to ensure that this funding is used to drive down crime in the most effective way, including through targeting key local hotspots.
Police and crime commissioners, in formulating bids, will work closely with local partners to identify those measures that are most likely to make our communities safer.
PCCs can use the fund to improve neighbourhoods by increasing street lighting, installing better locks and gating alleyways.
They can also invest the money in other types of crime prevention, such as training community wardens, and delivering local crime prevention advice to residents or Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
PCCs will be expected to make use of local police force data and to use toolkits provided by the College of Policing, in partnership with other experts, to understand where the funding can have the biggest impact and what interventions will work best in a local area.
Successful areas will receive grants of up to £550,000.
As they are rolled out, each initiative will be assessed to help inform future government investments.
The Safer Streets Fund forms part of the government’s concerted action to tackle crime. On Wednesday 22 January the Home Office announced the biggest increase in funding for the police system in a decade.
The amount of funding available to the policing system for 2020 to 2021 will increase by more than £1.1 billion, totalling £15.2 billion, should police and crime commissioners (PCCs) take full advantage of flexibility to set the police precept. This will allow the government to deliver on the people’s priorities and recruit the first wave of 20,000 additional police officers by the end of March 2021.
Matt Smith is a Welsh Tory who has stood as a Conservative candidate for Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. He was a Policy Analyst at Vote Leave. He writes for ConservativeHome and BrexitCentral. You can read more about Welsh politics at www.mattsmith.org.uk/news.