A survey found that nearly 83 percent of people living in Newark feel safer in the community thanks to a major project to curb crime and reduce fear.
The Nottinghamshire Police questionnaire was launched last month to provide feedback on a number of improvements made as part of the Safer Streets project in the Chatham Court and Northgate neighborhoods.
That includes installing 400 upgraded £ 150,000 worth of streetlights, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to detect crime, 400 additional hours of police patrols to reassure residents, and free security improvements for 140 people’s homes, including new fences, high – Security doors and windows and solar-powered 4G surveillance cameras in over 30 homes, including victims of burglary and their neighbors.
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The project, carried out by the Office of the Commissioner for Police and Crime, Nottinghamshire Police, Newark and Sherwood County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, also funded a dedicated burglar protection officer for the area.
Survey results show that these improvements have had largely positive effects on public confidence. 82.6 percent of the participating residents said that they now felt safe or very safe because of their work.
In addition, 67.1 percent of respondents said they feel safer or much safer now if they leave their homes uninhabited. 69.1 percent said that improving Safer Streets made them feel safer or safer at night. 67.8 percent said that improved video surveillance would make them feel safer or much safer, and more than half (50.3 percent) think their homes are now less likely to be broken into. Meanwhile, 63.1 percent said that improved street lighting made them feel safer.
The results come as new figures released by the Nottinghamshire Police show that Newark crime has fallen 16.89 percent overall over the past 12 months.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said, “We are very pleased with these results, which show that people in the Chatham Court and Northgate areas of Newark are feeling safer because of the Safer Streets project.
“Burglary is a deeply worrying crime that has lasting effects on victims, and it encourages residents in particular to feel better protected and less fearful with these extra security measures.
“Our own data shows that crime in the city has decreased significantly over the past year. I hope this is further confirmation that solid enforcement, along with proactive prevention work in the community, makes a big difference to their safety.
“One of the many achievements of this project is teamwork, where partners work together seamlessly for the benefit of our Newark communities. It is important that we now get on with the good work and maintain the increased levels of trust, commitment and security this project has brought. We will work closely with our colleagues to achieve this. “
PCC Paddy Tipping of Nottinghamshire added, “We are committed to making real public safety improvements in these areas, and that is exactly what we have delivered.
“Not only are people feeling safer in their homes and on the streets of Newark, crime is actually falling and less crime means fewer victims.
“The new technologies, resources and capabilities that we have secured through Safer Streets will help us to keep it that way in the future.”
Councilor David Lloyd, Chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said, “Since the start of Safer Streets, we have made a commitment to take action that goes well beyond the short term but instead lays the foundations for a safe, supported place and protected future for our residents and I am so pleased that this is reflected in the survey.
“Surveys over the past few years have shown that crime and the fear of crime were a top priority for people, especially in parts of Newark where the feeling of security was well below the national and regional average, especially at night.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that our district remains a safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit. It’s nice to hear that the measures have really changed the lives of residents and will continue to do so.”
After the success of the project, the partners are now working together to create further opportunities for hardening (improving security) in three more local crime hotspots at the Beacon and Castle stations in Newark.
The work, which will cost on the order of £ 102,000, is funded by the OPCC with funding partners and supported by high visibility patrols and environmental measures. It will also cover the cost of the burglar control officer for an additional year.
Project leaders will continue to work with residents of Chatham Court and Northgate to encourage more people to get involved in crime prevention activities, including Neighborhood Watch.
The survey found that more than a quarter of residents in these areas were either interested in getting more involved in security activities or were already playing an active role.
The area will also benefit from a new community hub on Chatham Court, which will give local people personal access to police, housing and other community services. The Safer Streets Fund is part of the government’s crime-fighting effort and PCCs have been invited to bid for funding.