Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has announced she is to fund a number of community engagement programmes which will run in conjunction with the Safer Streets Project, as part of her ongoing commitment to make the county’s streets safer.
In September, Commissioner Holloway launched a funding process asking for applications for grants of up to £15,000 each for the area of High Town in Luton and £10,000 for Midland Road, Bedford. The following programmes have been commissioned to run alongside the Safer Streets Project: -
High Town, Luton
Azalea - £2,912
The organisation, which helps women to escape the on street sex trade, has been commissioned to deliver information on commercial sexual exploitation, with practical advice on how to spot the signs and how best to report incidents to safeguard vulnerable women and the community. Azalea will also be providing online resources for the community.
Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust (The Bobby Scheme) - £6,108
The charity will support vulnerable residents by upgrading their home security through installing items such as door and window locks and motion sensor lights free of charge.
Midland Road, Bedford
FACES - £10,000
A charity which works with local residents has been awarded funding to support the Bedford Borough Home Visiting Team and offer follow up support to victims of crime.
SMART CJS - £9,000
Funding has been awarded to develop the much needed ‘Safer Street Community Centre’. The Centre will be located on Prebend Street and will be open to partners and members of the community to support those most in need of intervention and support. The Centre aims to be open by December 2020.
Commenting on the projects commissioned, Commissioner Holloway, said: “I’m delighted that we had a range of applicants from charities and community associations who suggested common sense and practical solutions to help tackle crime in two areas which have long been blighted by the on street sex trade in the case of High Town and drug taking, anti-social behaviour, street drinking and burglary in the case of Midland Road.
“Working together with both local councils, my team is confident that these projects will make real differences to the lives of residents,” said PCC Holloway.
Azalea Co-Founder and CEO, Ruth Robb, said: “PCC Holloway has awarded Azalea with vital funds to engage with our local community and together, create local safer community solutions for all who are effected by commercial sexual exploitation.
“Our homes are placed in neighbourhoods and we need to work together to make sure care and support is given to all. We can all suffer the consequences of commercial sexual exploitation in our neighbourhoods and we look forward to working with local people to make the area safe. Thank you to the PCC for making this work possible.”
Further details will be announced about the project in coming months. The OPCC will be working closely with both Bedford Borough Council and Luton Borough Council to ensure the money is spent to best effect. There will be opportunities for residents and businesses in the areas of Midland Road and High Town to share their views and be involved in the project design and implementation.
Residents and community associations wanting to engage with the Safer Streets projects can contact the teams via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Bedford) or SSFcoordinator@luton.gov.uk (Luton).