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Gravesham awarded £74k in government's Safer Streets scheme

Tens of thousands of pounds are to be ploughed into improving CCTV and lighting, and setting up designated spaces, as part of a project to make people feel safer while out and about.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s office put in a bid and secured more than £74,000 for safety improvements in Gravesham as part of the government's Safer Streets initiative.

Window stickers displayed by businesses in Rochester High Street in the Safe Spaces initiative. Picture: Kent Police
Window stickers displayed by businesses in Rochester High Street in the Safe Spaces initiative. Picture: Kent Police

The funding will be put towards more CCTV, better lighting and the introduction of Safe Spaces – where people who feel threatened or vulnerable can go to seek assistance.

Gravesham council has received more than £60,000 from the pot and the rest will be allocated to other services to provide additional support in the area.

The local authority has matched the funding, which means in total more than £122,000 will go towards:

  • The installation of eight new CCTV cameras and the upgrading of 37 street lights, providing a deterrent and public re-assurance and improving evidence gathering.
  • Improving the environment and personal safety of the footpath which runs between Thames Way and Overcliffe.
  • Offering a six-month free trial for selected businesses which are not yet part of the town’s G-Safe programme – where businesses, police, the local authority and others use two-way radios and online reporting to prevent and reduce crime – and upgrading G-Safe’s radio link with CCTV control.
  • Encouraging G-Safe members to join a new Safe Place scheme. Staff will be trained to support any person feeling vulnerable and asking for assistance, providing a space within their premises where the individual can be given help and advice.
  • Training for employers and local businesses focussing on changing attitudes amongst boys and men to address violence against women and girls, to be delivered in collaboration with Cultivating Minds.
  • Partnering with mental health charity Rethink and Kent Equality and Cohesion Council on targeted work with Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women and girls to improve awareness of the unacceptability of violence against women and girls, encourage reporting, and to overcome cultural barriers.
  • Completion of a public survey to assess perceptions of crime and safety both before and after the works included in the project have been done. This will help identify further work that could be undertaken as the project progresses.
Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox has welcomed the funding
Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox has welcomed the funding

Welcoming the funding, Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, Gravesham council’s cabinet member for community and leisure, said: "We are absolutely committed to making our town a safe environment for residents, business and visitors.

"This funding, linked with our clear strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour throughout the borough, will help us take a number of practical steps to deter, apprehend and prosecute offenders, and inform and support our community.

"It is another valuable tool in keeping our borough safe."

Kent Police and Crime commissioner Matthew Scott added: "I am absolutely delighted we have secured this funding. I have seen the difference previous Safer Streets Programmes have made to our communities and I am thrilled we can expand that good work.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott
Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott

"From new Safe Spaces to improved lighting and CCTV, we want to make our town centres feel safe for everyone. I would like to thank all our partners for working so hard on this and I look forward to seeing the results over the next 18 months."

The commissioner's office will receive around £1.4 million which will be divided between Canterbury, Gravesham, Maidstone and Medway's Rochester, Chatham and Luton districts.

Previous schemes have seen tonnes of fly-tipping removed, graffiti cleaned up, improved lighting, the creation of Safe Spaces, active bystander training – informing people how to act should they see an incident, and personal safety and crime prevention kits handed out at engagement events.

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