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Initiative to reduce burglaries and thefts in Norwich welcomed by PCC and partners

A scheme to protect residents from becoming victims of burglary or theft is being rolled out in areas of Norwich thanks to funding secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN).

The ‘Safer Streets Fund’ was launched by the Home Office in January of this year in a bid to reduce the number of thefts, robberies and burglaries – known as acquisitive crimes – in hotspot areas.

Working closely with local partners, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were invited to bid by 3 April 2020 for a chunk of the £25 million national funding available. The Home Office has now announced that 35 PCCs have been awarded a share of the funding pot for measures proven to cut crime – including changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and CCTV.

The OPCCN has been successful in obtaining £363,164 to help improve the home security of vulnerable properties in areas of North Central Norwich.

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, said: “I am delighted we have managed to secure this vital funding to help residents better protect themselves from falling victim to such crimes.

“These are crimes which can have a real impact on local communities and this is a really positive example of partnership working.

“Such preventative measures are vital if we want to see reductions in these crimes, not just locally but on a national level.”

The initiative will also help fund a targeted marketing campaign to raise awareness and give residents top-tips on how best to keep safe.

Some £256,450 will be used in earmarked areas and improve security to 121 properties owned by Norwich City Council and the Norwich Housing Society.

Other benefits will include:

  • £26,173 will be used to install ‘alley gates’ between private properties in North Central Norwich.
  • Property marking will be offered to some households in Norwich to help them safeguard against burglary and other acquisitive crime.
  • Support and resources to the local Neighbourhood Watch

The area being targeted by these safety measures was hardest hit by burglaries in 2019 – with 84 taking place, and a total of 413 acquisitive crimes (including burglary). That is a rate four times higher than the average for Norfolk.

However, Norfolk’s acquisitive crime rate per 1,000 households decreased by 23% between 2017 and 2019, partly due to the hard work of Norfolk Constabulary and its partners in keeping its communities safe. This bid is another example of a joint commitment to making Norfolk and its residents safer.

Chief Inspector Sonia Humphreys, local policing commander, said: “This money will allow additional investment to be placed in preventative measures, such as improved home security and reducing opportunities for crime to thrive in open space communal areas. We look forward to working with our partners to achieve this.”

Norwich City Council councillor Kevin Maguire, Cabinet Member for Safe and Sustainable City Environment, said: “We are so pleased to have been part of the bid and along with our partners have received the funding we hoped for.

“In Norwich, this funding will pay for physical safety measures such as gating and secure doors to help reduce burglary and other crime identified in specific neighbourhoods. These will be great improvements needed for our residents to feel safe.”

Mark Stokes, Chief Executive of the OPCCN and Chair of the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership said: “This is great news for Norfolk and even better news for the communities who have felt the impact of these types of crime.

“The OPCCN is committed to working collaboratively with partners to tackle crime, reduce victimisation and make Norfolk safer for all who live, work and visit here. This successful bid – a partnership effort between many of the agencies who, together, make up the county’s Community Safety Partnership – is testament to what working together in the interest of our communities can achieve.”

More information on the Safer Streets Fund