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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 Shropshire this will include an investment of almost £550,000 in a range of different projects, designed to make the community safer, including:

  • New and improved CCTV.
  • A campaign to relaunch the PSPO (public space protection order) to prevent and prosecute anti-social behaviour.
  • A pro-active and visible Shrewsbury Ranger Programme.
  • Security and taxi marshalls to support the police, increase confidence and reduce anti-social behaviour.
  • A targeted educational campaign to reduce violence against women and girls.
  • Providing a safe space for women and girls to share issues and concerns.
  • Improved lighting, signage and throwlines along the River Severn to reduce the risk of drowning.
  • Installation of safer routes signage, deterring people from taking short cuts by the river and encouraging people to use those which are well let lit and covered by CCTV or security or rangers patrols.

Match funding is being provided from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Shropshire County Council, Shrewsbury Town Council, Shrewsbury Bid, Shrewsbury Watch, West Mercia Police, Shrewsbury Street Pastors, and Shropshire Community Safety Partnership.

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 an 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 particular focuses on drowning prevention in line with my Home and Dry campaign and on violence against women and girls. This will allow a multi-faceted approach 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.”