More than £900,000 of funding has been secured by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner to improve safety and protect women and girls in three areas blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour.
Emily Spurrell’s successful bid into the fifth round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund will see a total of £912,766 awarded to three projects aimed at reducing crime in key areas in Liverpool, Knowsley, and St Helens.
Working with St Helens Council, the Police Commissioner will use more than £200,000 of funding to increase the safety of women and girls as they visit the night time economy and travel at night.
The funding will be used towards creating an environment where women and girls feel safer after a consultation found 14% of respondents reported feeling unsafe and 21% slightly unsafe.
The safe transport home project will see improved lighting installed at taxi ranks, with wardens operating at key times. As part of the initiative, St Helens Borough Council will also encourage taxis to install CCTV to increase feelings of safety among women and girls.
In Liverpool, a cash investment of £445,433 will be used to target areas in Kensington and Fairfield that are disproportionately and persistently impacted by criminal and anti-social behaviour, as well as being a hotspot for sex work and sexual violence.
The intervention work will be focused on protecting residents by tackling public disorder incidents, such as kerb-crawling, to reduce the impact that sex work and drug use is having on residents, while also seeking to reduce crimes against sex workers.
The funding will also enhance the work already planned by Liverpool City Council to improve street lighting in the area, as well as supporting partners to continue the work with charities to support the vulnerable, with a focus on cleaning up litter and drugs paraphernalia from alley ways.
In Knowsley, £264,000 of funding will be used to make people living in and around, and visiting, Prescot town centre feel safer. It will be used to enhance and expand a number of multi-agency interventions and operations focused on tackling an increase in burglaries and vehicle crime, as well as providing more CCTV to enhance the personal safety of women and girls, particularly those visiting and working at night.
Today’s announcement brings the total funding secured by the Police Commissioner from the Safer Streets Fund to almost £4m.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “I’m really pleased that this successful bid means we can invest in these projects focused on preventing crime and improving safety in three key locations.
“I’ve seen for myself the challenges facing residents and the misery caused by crime and anti-social behaviour in these areas and this major cash boost has the power to make a real difference.
“Through Safer Streets, we’ve already delivered a lot of work to improve the safety of women and girls, particularly at night, and I’m pleased we can continue this work with funding focused on ensuring the safety of women who visit St Helens town centre for a night out.
“In Liverpool, the area around Shiel Road has long been plagued by issue. By targeting those who seek to exploit sex workers, our aim is to reduce incidents of violence against women and girls, while improving the feelings of safety and quality of life for all those who live, work and visit the area.
“Prescot is another area of our region which has unfortunately been plagued by issues in recent years, particularly burglaries and anti-social behaviour. This cash boost will support local policing teams to proactively target perpetrators and help reduce the number of innocent people falling victim to crime.
“Everybody has a right to feel safe where they live and work. We’ve seen the success previous Safer Streets projects have had in other parts of Merseyside, like Birkenhead and Primrose Court in Huyton so I’m really positive that this funding means we can change things for the better in Kensington, Fairfield, Prescot and St Helens too.”
Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities at Liverpool City Council said: “This successful bid for funding is to be welcomed and will make a real difference to residents of Kensington and Fairfield who are affected by crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Working with our partners, we are determined to improve life in our communities and tackle the issues that blight the lives of local people. This latest tranche of money builds upon previous work to improve safety on public transport and in the night time economy.”
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “We work closely with our community safety partners to help ensure our residents are safe and do not have to suffer the effects of criminal and anti-social behaviour.
“This funding will support that ongoing work in a variety of ways, including enhancing our already extensive CCTV network, supporting local businesses and providing more engagement opportunities for young people in the area.”
Councillor Mancyia Uddin, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities for St Helens Council said: “This funding will help to further enhance and support our night time economy in St Helens town centre, which has already been recognised for its exemplary offer through the success of maintaining our Purple Flag status again this year, which recognises the social and economic importance that this sector brings to the borough as a whole.
“It is really welcome too in supporting women to stay safe by providing secure spaces and routes home, improving the night time experience for women hugely.”