Gwent secures £700,000 to support survivors of sexual abuse and violence, and tackle neighbourhood crime
Gwent has been awarded £700,553.12 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund to support initiatives that tackle crime in communities.
The money will be split between two projects. The first will focus on neighbourhood crime in areas of Ebbw Vale and Maindee. A second project will improve the safety of women and girls, and support survivors of abuse, by working with Gwent’s colleges and universities.
The projects will be delivered in partnership with Gwent Police, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Newport City Council, New Pathways and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The funding will enable Gwent Police to provide more than 2500 crime prevention packs, including home alarms and property marking kits, to residents in areas of Ebbw Vale and Maindee, and will pay for deployable CCTV cameras to tackle issue of antisocial behaviour.
Chief Superintendent Carl Williams said: "Our officers are committed to tackling acquisitive crimes like burglary and theft, and, with the money received through the initiative, will be able to provide some residents in Maindee and Ebbw Vale with security equipment and advice to help them protect their homes and possessions, and deter thieves.
"Making our communities safer, and feel safer, for women and girls will always be a key priority for Gwent Police, and the funding we receive will support officers in our work with partners to protect women and girls from violence, unacceptable attitudes and behaviours.
"Through these preventative measures, we aim to increase safety, and tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour."
Money will be available to improve streetlighting infrastructure and grow Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Ebbw Vale, and for Newport council to appoint a dedicated response worker to address the growing problems linked to e-scooters.
Councillor Helen Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Place & Environment, at Blaenau Gwent council said: “We’re committed to working with our partners, specifically Gwent Police and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, to keep communities safe.
“We’re delighted that there has been a successful bid for further Safer Streets funding and that this will be used to support schemes here in Blaenau Gwent which have been designed to help people feel safe in their homes, through the distribution of home safety and security equipment.
“We also appreciate the support of residents and organisations who work with us on community safety. Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Blaenau Gwent are expanding so that we can all work together on the identified issues. Volunteers will be offered training and support on the community safety issues that affect their neighbourhoods.”
Councillor Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said: “I’m pleased that, through our partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office and Gwent Police, Newport will benefit from more funding to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities.
“Strong, safe communities are the foundation of any thriving town or city. This funding will help us expand our work, and I’m particularly pleased that we will be able to offer a dedicated resource to tackle issues caused by the illegal use of e-scooters.”
New Pathways, which is the largest sexual violence support provider in Wales, will work with Gwent’s colleges and universities to provide vulnerability training to students, staff, and those working in the night time economy. The training will help students, and those working closely with them, to recognise signs of abuse and understand how to deal with disclosures from victims.
Students and staff will also receive workshops aiming to address inappropriate behaviours, and New Pathways will run intervention workshops for anyone identified as displaying concerning attitudes or behaviours.
Mike Wilkinson, Deputy CEO of New Pathways said: “Our communities should be places where people feel safe, but sadly each year in Gwent we support thousands of people who have suffered sexual violence, with one of the highest risk groups being women and girls of further and higher education age. Working with our partners we will deliver training and support that will improve the response to people affected by sexual violence, and that will also help to keep people safe and prevent them from becoming victims.
"It is also a regular occurrence that women and girls in Gwent are subjected to sexual harassment and misogynistic attitudes, particularly within night-time economy venues. Through this project we will again work with our partners to challenge these attitudes and behaviours by educating people about the harm that is caused, with the aim of making our communities safer places which are intolerant to abuse against others.”
The UK Government’s Safer Streets Fund is awarded to Police and Crime Commissioners to support partnership work between the police, local authorities and other partners for projects that keep communities safe.