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Crime reduction project leaves Cheshunt residents feeling safer

Crime reduction project leaves Cheshunt residents feeling safer

The pioneering Safer Streets project has made residents feel safer by increasing home security and encouraging community relations.

Those living in two areas of Cheshunt covered by the £821,000 initiative met with leaders Saturday 22nd to celebrate the final phase of the crime prevention measures being installed.

Around 450 individual properties were eligible for free security upgrades to reduce offending including burglary, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd initially secured £618,629 of funding from the Home Office last year.

The government contributed a further £83,000 and Mr Lloyd gave an additional £119,983 from the Commissioner’s Prevention and Innovation Fund.

The project was run by the PCC along with Broxbourne Borough Council, B3Living, Hertfordshire Constabulary, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Enfield Council.

The Coopers Walk Estate gained improvements including new front garden fencing and gates; defensible landscaping; intercoms on communal doors and upgraded lighting. Plus additional live monitored communal CCTV cameras have been financed and installed by social landlord B3Living.

Other streets covered by the scheme were Davison Drive, Rowley Gardens, Shortmead Drive, Limes Road, Springfield Road and Northfield Road.

Properties benefited from upgraded high security ‘Secured by Design’ external doors and locks, smart video enabled doorbells and video-recording security lights. New alley-gates are being installed to prevent access to back gardens.

After visiting both sites Mr Lloyd said: “I was really excited when my office secured this substantial Home Office grant for Cheshunt which brings together various levels of local governance with residents.

“The really important aspect is that Safer Streets has made these areas much better places to live. It is working, all the measures which have been put in place to improve security are making people feel safer. The focus has been on designing out crimes such as burglary, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime.

Valuable lessons have been learnt here which can be rolled out across the whole county.”

Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council Lewis Cocking said: “Broxbourne Council has been actively working with key partner organisations, the homeowners and the leaseholders to ensure the productiveness of this whole community project.

“Residents have stated that the progress made has been absolutely phenomenal. Hertfordshire is already a fantastic place to live and work, however this project has been about making our streets safer for current residents and future generations, so it’s great to see the scheme has been a fantastic success.”

Steve Woodcock, Chief Executive of B3Living; “We are here today to celebrate all the hard work over the past year following the investment of the grant to make a real difference to local people.

“The aim is to make it a safer environment for everyone to live in. The idea is to reduce low level crime in the area, but the real benefit is creating a greater sense of community with people talking to each other, and from that that a lot of other positive aspects have emerged.”

During the day local police officers gave out crime prevention advice and carried out bike security marking.

Charlie Hall, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Safer Streets fits very well with our new Prevention First strategy. Peoples’ homes have benefited from upgraded security and surveillance.

“Clearly our aim is to reduce crime, we have put these measures in place to help do that. It is always far better to prevent crime than to deal with it afterwards. It is a win win for the communities and all the partners, which will pay dividends for years to come.”

Hertfordshire Home Security Service carried out hundreds of assessments of residents’ properties and helped install additional locks. Their spokesperson Area Commander Steve Holton, from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Safer Streets project has been a real success. It’s brought all of the partners together to work for the benefit of the residents to ensure their safety. The whole estate has changed: it’s opened up, and is much more welcoming.”

Hertfordshire was one of 35 counties across the country to receive money from the Home Office Safer Streets fund to invest in targeted measures to design out and reduce acquisitive crimes.

Future crime levels in the streets covered will be monitored to assess the impact the measure have had.