More than £44,000 in extra funding has been secured by Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews to increase the safety of women and girls across the city and two counties.
In early October, the PCC was awarded £550k in the third round of the Home Office’s Safer Streets funding scheme as part of its strategy to reduce violence against women and girls.
The funding, which is part of a £23.5m national pot, is being invested in physical improvements to increase public safety including the installation of 31 new CCTV cameras and improved lighting in parks across the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland area.
Additionally, it will fund environmental works to increase visibility and reduce seclusion in parks through the cutting back of undergrowth and foliage and the delivery of a new safety campaign to promote behaviour and attitudinal change.
Following a successful bid for further funding, the Commissioner has now been awarded just over £44k to expand the project, the bulk of which (£37,561) will be invested in further environmental works including the cutting back of overgrown areas next to paths, low-lying branches and trees, shrubs and earth banks across eight city parks: Victoria Park, Braunstone Park, Abbey Park, Western Park, Aylestone Meadows, Rally Park, Bede Park and Knighton Park. It is hoped this work will act as a deterrent to offenders by making it more likely for their crimes to be seen.
Additionally, it will fund a new CCTV transmitter for Rutland and the production of a short video for social media to support a new active bystander campaign encouraging men to become allies to women.
Commenting on the extra funding, Mr Matthews said: “This is fantastic news for our communities and will enable us to maximise the impact of this project and ensure our streets and public spaces are even safer.
“Our plans are now well underway, with the first CCTV cameras already installed and many more to follow. We have listened to the needs of women in the pre-bid survey and it is hugely rewarding for the team to be delivering positive changes in the way women want.
“This extra funding will contribute to these efforts, helping us to achieve the best possible quality from this new technology and also supporting our ambition to challenge the misogynistic attitudes and inequalities that foster gender-based violence in our communities.”
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair is responsible for the city’s parks and open spaces, and also chairs the Safer Leicester Partnership, where agencies work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
He said: “We are working closely with the police and crime commissioner to help make our streets and open spaces safer. This extra funding will allow us to expand work this is already under way to clear shrubbery and improve sightlines in key city parks, as well as installing more CCTV.
“Often, it is about the perception of a place as safe. We need to make sure people do not feel fearful when they are out and about – especially women, and especially at night. We want our parks, streets and open spaces to be welcoming places for everyone.”
The wider Safer Streets 3 scheme will deliver improvements at 18 parks across the area:
Victoria Park, Braunstone Park, Abbey Park, Western Park, Bede Park, Aylestone Meadows, Rally Park, Knighton Park in Leicester
Queens Park and Bradgate Park in Charnwood
Warwick Park Kibworth Harcourt and Welland Park in Harborough
Clarendon Park in Hinckley and Bosworth
Melton Country Park in Melton
Brock Hill Country Park and Blaby Road Park in Oadby and Wigston
Cutts Close Park and Tod’s Piece Park in Rutland
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 6th January 2022