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Stonehouse partnership wins £500k community investment

A partnership of residents, police, volunteers and Plymouth City Council, led by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, has secured more than half a million pounds of Government cash to tackle crime in part of Plymouth.

The Home Office announced today (Tuesday, July 28) that the application to its Safer Streets Fund had been successful.

A total of £546,781 will be made available to reduce acquisitive crime in Northern Stonehouse, part of Plymouth that has had recent problems related to drug use and dealing.

The funding will give residents access to additional security measures such as extra CCTV cover, improved home security, neighbourhood watch schemes, additional street lighting and crime prevention advice.

It will also support the community to develop public spaces.

The commissioner’s office worked with residents, the neighbourhood policing team, Plymouth City Council and the Plymouth Community Safety Partnership, Safer Plymouth, to put the bid together to support greater connectivity.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said she was delighted that the partnership’s efforts had paid off.

“Stonehouse has in the past received negative headlines but what we found was a vibrant and close-knit community that simply needed additional support,” she said.

“The local community have worked hard with neighbourhood policing teams to make significant improvements in recent months and this funding will give us the means to really improve lives and prospects. We will be working closely with the community to ensure that we secure long-term benefits.”

Councillor Sally Haydon, cabinet member for customer focus and community safety at the city council, said:  “We’re really pleased that this very special part of Plymouth is to get such a targeted approach.

“We know that a very small minority of people are blighting where they live. We know that residents are fed up with them and we also know that residents will help this area to turn a corner.  We will be working to improve the look and feel of Stonehouse – especially the parks - and will also install more street lighting and CCTV as well as better home security, which all help create peace of mind.”

Acquisitive offences are the crimes that the public are most likely to encounter, and the Government estimates they cost society billions of pounds every year.

There is strong evidence, according to the Home Office, that these crimes can be prevented by tactics that either remove opportunities to commit crime or act as a deterrent by increasing the chances of an offender being caught.

The Home Secretary announced the Safer Streets Fund in October 2019, and PCCs were invited to bid for funding in January.

Bids were evaluated against a set criteria and bidders were asked to outline a plan to reduce crime within a local crime hotspot, demonstrating value for money, evidence of community engagement and long-term sustainability.

As they are rolled out, each initiative will be assessed to help inform future Government investments.

The total funding awarded today totals £22.4m. The remaining funding will be spent on supporting successful areas to deliver their bids, evaluation of the fund’s impact, administration and other activities which support the aims of the fund.

The money allocated under the scheme must be spent this financial year.