Decision Title: 2021/22 Safer Streets 3 funding award from the Home Office (HO)
Decision Reference Number: WPCC3 – 0024
Lead Officer: Sara Ansell
To approve the allocation of funding received from the Home Office (HO) following the launch of a new funding stream for 2021/22 known as Safer Streets 3 Funding. The award has been made following a competitive bid/application process, in conjunction with partners and the OPCC has subsequently been allocated £0.249m of funding to cover the period up to the 31st March 2022.
I confirm that my register of interests declaration is up to date and that none of my interests preclude me from making this decision.
Signature: Philip Seccombe
Date: 29 November 2021
1. Background information
Following the announcement of a funding round known as Safer Streets 3, by the Home Office (HO), the OPCC worked with their key partners, primarily Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to submit a bid to seek funding for interventions to reduce Violence Against Women and Girls and increase feelings of safety in public spaces across the County.
VAWG crimes in Warwickshire are low compared to national levels, however the Safer Warwickshire Partnershp Board (SWPB) is aware that there is a disproportionate fear of crime amongst females which has heightened in response to recent national incidents. A partnership multi-location approach is being taken to address feelings of safety across Warwickshire, working with communities to identify locations of concern and deliver community safety improvements.
Partners and community engagement has and will continue to help to identify localised solutions to reduce risk and the fear of VAWG crimes. In addition to tackling VAWG offences and the fear of crime, the interventions should have a positive impact on acquisitive crime (by increasing visibility / presence of capable guardians) and violent crime / ASB (by increasing community involvement / engagement).
Recommendations will align to the 10 principles of crime prevention and consider community intervention and ownership, including engagement with Community Payback, multi-lingual safety campaigns addressing fears about their locality and awareness raising campaigns around safer routes home.
Key to the project and to ensure delivery within the timeframe, a fixed term Community Organiser will be appointed by Warwickshire EQuIP. The Countywide role will engage local communities, coordinate responses and develop networks to maintain improvements. The postholder will consult rural communities to identify locations where females feel unsafe, developing solutions to address their concerns. The work streams that form part of the approved project are summarised below:
Leamington Spa, Brunswick: Working with students, an action plan will be developed addressing safety concerns. A peer Virtual Reality programme on choices and consequences will be developed to raise awareness of safer routes home. Students will be educated and encouraged to use established main routes with good lighting, CCTV and supported by marshals. Through the work with students the identification of places of increased fear that require situational crime prevention will be outlined, which will include assessments of lighting, pruning of vegetation, mobile CCTV and lamp column conversions.
Nuneaton, Meadow Street and Riversley Park: Consultation identified two parks and nearby streets as places where females feel unsafe. Initial recommendations include upgrading lamp columns and the installation of mobile CCTV. The identification and conversion of lamp columns to enable Borough Council compatible mobile CCTV is essential. Additional cameras will be purchased and dedicated to the park areas to increase feelings of security. Vegetation will be maintained avoiding conflict with lighting columns. Graffiti removal will occur.
Rugby town: Consultation identified two areas where interventions will be required to address specific concerns, including a communication campaign and situational crime prevention techniques. Techniques will include mobile CCTV, lighting improvements, boundary maintenance and vegetation management. Community buy in is essential to increase community guardianship of routes potentially with street pastors, safe walking routes, establishing community walking groups. The community organisers will be critical to develop and build the community input.
Rural communities. Working with local communities, all situational crime prevention techniques will be considered to address the specific issues identified. Having funding to enable changes in a short space of time will enhance public confidence and working
2. List of additional information attached as appendices
3. Expected benefits
The purpose of awarding this additional funding to our partners will help to sustain and increase the level of support they can provide to reduce the level of violence against Women and girls and increase feelings of safety in public spaces across the County.
4. Impact of not approving the application
The additional funding that has been awarded will not be received and there will be a missed opportunity to reduce violence against Women and girls and interventions that can be put in place to help increase feelings of safety in public spaces across the County.
5. Costs (including any identified savings)
£249,000 of additional funding has been awarded following a competitive bidding process to the PCC for the agreed project to be implemented. The funding has been awarded to the PCC and the Office will work with partners to ensure delivery in line with the grant conditions and by the 31st March 2022.
6. Equality implications
The Purpose of the Fund is to:
• Reduce VAWG and increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in public spaces;
• Build the evidence base for what works on reducing VAWG crimes and increasing women and girls’ feelings of safety in the public domain;
• Improve the national and local data picture regarding VAWG crimes in public spaces, which could include increased reporting for some crime types; and
• Make public spaces safer for all.
7. Legal comments
The PCC must comply with the grant conditions laid out in detail in the grant agreement. Only eligible items of expenditure in relation to the approved project can be funded from this award.
Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation. Unless the information provided is covered by an exemption and stated to be either confidential or partly confidential, the information contained in the form will be published on the OPCC website.
Comments from the Treasurer
The grant conditions dictate how the funding can be used and our delivery partners will be required to confirm that they will comply with the funding conditions that the PCC has signed up to. Representatives from the OPCC will sit on the steering group to oversee the project delivery, receiving performance updates and reporting to the Home Office on progress to release funding. There will be no additional financial burden on the OPCC with total funding awarded of £249,000, pass ported to partners which will be used to meet all known costs associated with this project.
Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer
This is welcome funding to Warwickshire which complements our strategic activity in this area.