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A staggering £1.7 million of additional funding has been secured to tackle neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls across West Mercia.

As part of the fourth round of the Government’s Safer Streets initiative, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, in partnership with West Mercia Police, submitted four bids based on local needs. The grants that have been awarded have also been match funded, which means the total funding going into the various projects totals £3.76 million.

In Herefordshire this will include an investment of almost £350,000 in a range of different projects, designed to make the community safer, including:

  • Expanding the ‘Lean on me’ Guardianship programme, investing in training, supervision and equipment for volunteers.
  • A local education programme for partners working in the night time economy, schools and colleges, to understand sexually harmful behaviours.
  • Developing Herefordshire’s ‘Time to change’ campaign to reduce violence against women and girls.
  • New and improved CCTV
  • News and improved street lighting.
  • Landscaping improvements to make communities safer.
  • Vibrant subway artwork.

Match funding is being provided from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Vennture, Hereford City Improvements Project, Herefordshire Council and West Mercia Police

In addition, nearly £400,000 will be invested in a West Mercia wide project to improve safety for women and girls. The money will be invested to increase the number of StreetWatch schemes, provide a digital platform for volunteers to support victims, run a force wide education programmes for partners working in the night time economy and schools and colleges focused on healthy relationships and raise awareness in communities.

Commissioner John Campion said “This substantial announcement will make a massive difference in our communities, helping people to be safe and feel safe. I am proud to support it with my own investments, as part of my ongoing work to make communities safer.

The money will be targeted to tackle a range of anti-social behaviours which have a significant and long lasting impact on our communities. It is especially pleasing to see a particular focus on violence against women and girls. This will allow a multi-faceted approach in Herefordshire and across the force which tackles the issue at the root, changing behaviours whilst also putting structured support in for victims.”

Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “We are really pleased that this additional funding has been secured. The crime prevention measures that we’re able to implement as a result of this investment will help us to make real tangible changes to the communities we serve; they will help protect people from harm by preventing crime and help make our villages, towns and cities be and feel safer.

“This is fully supported by our new Prevention Strategy. Most importantly our strategy isn’t just words on a page. Through schemes supported by this funding will enable us to make Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire safer.”