Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has hailed the success of a safety project that has helped protect 229 Castle Donington homes from the risk of burglary and theft.
Since the launch of the Safer Streets 2 project last summer, security experts have visited hundreds of residents in the town to carry out free risk assessments as part of a plan to increase safety and prevent crime.
In total, Castle Donington residents received 3,000 free security products over the 10-month project ranging from new locks, window alert alarms, light timers and door bar/chains while 162 received bicycle/vehicle packages to protect them from theft. In addition, all residents received a Personal Attack Alarm and a Property Marking Kit.
Mr Matthews said: “The Safer Streets scheme has been a phenomenal success and it is rewarding for all involved to hear about the positive impact these improvements have had on confidence, peace of mind and feelings of safety.
“Our partners 24-7 Locks Ltd and North West Leicestershire District Council have worked relentlessly to ensure our communities receive the full benefit of this funding, with 24-7 Locks Ltd in particular delivering a huge programme of works within a challenging timeframe.
“Preventing crime was always a key aim of the scheme but we also set out to help free people of the fear of crime so they no longer felt apprehensive about leaving their homes. It is clear from the feedback we’ve received that these security products have improved confidence and safety considerably.
“There is always more to do of course, and I will build on this progress with our partners in the near future, exploring every available funding opportunity to bring further improvements to our communities and reduce the risk of street crime.”
Councillor Andrew Woodman, Chair of the Safer North West Leicestershire Community Safety Partnership, said: “We know the fear of crime can be very debilitating so it is great to know that the funding from the Safer Streets 2 programme in Castle Donington has helped to give more residents peace of mind.
“We were pleased to work with the PCC on this initiative to reduce crime and make our residents feel safer.”
The Safer Streets 2 project has been funded by a £432k grant secured by Mr Matthews following a successful bid to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.
This was topped up by a further £50k grant from the Home Office in January to expand the security scheme, enabling an extra 41 homes in Castle Donington to receive free home security products as well as the allocation of 162 bicycle/vehicle packages.
Together, the grant has funded security upgrades to more than 1,000 homes across the areas of Castle Donington, Hinckley, Lutterworth and Melton Mowbray – areas impacted by disproportionate levels of serious acquisitive crimes such burglary, robbery and theft.
Alongside free home improvements, the scheme has funded new police automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and additional CCTV as well as enhanced streetlighting in some areas.
Castle Donington resident James, 74, who benefitted from the scheme, said: “We put our name down for a survey and I didn’t have a great deal of expectation, I imagined the cost would fall back on me. To my surprise, it was not the case.
“The guy changed the locks and put some switches on the windows that detect tremors and any sign of movement – I was mighty impressed.
“We have a local information website and I went on and said I’d just had a survey and I was impressed and a lot of people went ahead and booked a survey too.
“I feel safer, definitely. He pointed out vulnerabilities and weaknesses that I wasn’t even aware of and that you take for granted because you think you’ll be alright statistically. I was very impressed with the work he did.
“I had my car stolen off my drive many, many years ago. The police said it was probably joy riders and sure enough I got it back a couple of days later undamaged. It was more of an inconvenience than anything else but I was outraged at the time. The company came back out to supply me with an immobiliser.”
Of the core security products, 24-7 Locks Ltd distributed 387 three-star Diamond-Rated, Anti-Snap Cylinders to secure the main points of access to properties, 354 light timers, 122 door bar/chains and 901 window alarms.
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Posted on Wednesday 4th May 2022