Sandwell council secures government funding to make Smethwick streets safer

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Sandwell Council has received over £200,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund to target neighborhood crime, violence against women and girls and anti-social behavior in Smethwick.

Fighting neighborhood crime is at the heart of the Safer Streets Fund. Neighborhood crime can be upsetting and extremely intrusive for victims. Women are disproportionately more likely to be victims of certain types of crime; for example, they are about four times more likely than men to be sexually assaulted.

One of the aims of the Safer Streets Fund is to test approaches to gathering evidence of what is successful in preventing and deterring these offences.

The £227,000 from round four of the Safer Streets Fund will be used to make Smethwick residents feel safer, with improvements along Bearwood Road and surrounding areas.

The council and its partners are also providing a matching funded contribution of staff time, bringing the total value of the project to nearly £350,000.

New CCTV will be installed along Bearwood Road, which will be linked to the council’s 24-hour control room and will be monitored by approved officers.

This will be complemented by enhanced detached youth work at Lightwoods Park and Warley Woods. Additionally, an officer will work with partners to engage with businesses and the community and support school transition projects at two area elementary schools.

Upon being offered the grant, the council was informed that their application effectively demonstrated the analysis of the issues in the target area and that they had identified an appropriate response to address the issues.

Councilor Danny Millard, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: ‘Everyone in Sandwell should have the security and confidence that comes from a safe street and a safe home, and that is at the heart of our Safer Streets projects in Smethwick.

“We will use a problem-solving approach, seeking to develop an in-depth understanding of the crimes/problems in the region through scanning and analysis, using data and consultation. And then our solutions will have the best chance of preventing crime and trouble, making residents and businesses feel safer.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: ‘We are delighted to have secured Safer Streets funding for this important project in Sandwell, which addresses key priorities in my policing plan and crime.

“I am committed to rebuilding community policing, addressing violence against women and girls, and preventing crime and anti-social behavior.

“My top priority is justice, safety and security for people, communities and businesses.”

Find out how the Safer Sandwell Partnership brings together council, police, fire, health and probation services and more to fight crime and improve community safety (text will take you to a web link).

Find out more about the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Policing and Crime Plan 2021-2025 (the text takes you to a web link).

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