Council prepares to bid for up to £400k in funding to keep borough streets safe

A BID of around £385,000 in 'Safer Streets' funding is to be made by Barrow Borough Council as it seeks to continue crucial work in the community.

The money, accessible via a central government pot, would be used for the delivery of crime prevention initiatives in neighbourhoods where support is most needed.

In 2020 funding was used to deliver an initiative in the Salthouse Road area of Barrow, where residential burglary and theft were tackled.

Round two of the Safer Streets Fund is a second £20m fund aimed at continuing the work from the initial round of funding and this time local authorities are allowed to apply to lead bids.

During a meeting of the council’s executive committee on Tuesday (March 23), the council agreed to apply for further funding after achieving some great results in a collaborative partnership with Cumbria Constabulary and Cumbria County Council.

If successful, the council will widen its net and focus not only on Central Ward but also include Central: North West, Hindpool: West Central and Hindpool South East as these areas have been recorded to have higher crime rates than the national average, according to the Police Crime and Commissioner.

A council spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of residents in our borough is one of the most important issues we deal with as a borough council.

“We have identified areas of the borough where we believe we can make a positive change, improving home safety and reducing levels of crime through a series of simple actions.

“Last year our Safer Streets project was based in the Salthouse Road area of Central Ward, and we now hope to expand the area and continue to make a difference in Barrow.

“We need to ensure that our residents can feel safe in their homes and we can do this in a number of ways. For example, in 2020 it was surveyed that more than 70 per cent of households had insecure backdoors and issues with poor lighting. We ensured some of the budget was allocated to households which need this fix.”

“Our volunteers have also been fantastic over the past year and have created a positive difference within our community. It’s important that we acknowledge the work they do as they have been so instrumental in encouraging other residents to come together to make their area a safer and happier place to live.”

The council’s bid for additional funding has been endorsed by The Police Crime and Commissioner. The council can submit a bid for funding to a value of up to £400,000.

With the allocated funding, the council will be able to host a number of community events, recruit community volunteers and train them with the necessary skills to conduct crime prevention surveys within the home and provide tailored crime prevention advice and guidance.

Special kits would also be distributed to a number of properties in the hotspot areas to help residents feel safe. The kits will include a dusk to dawn timer, mini 24-hour timer, card defender diamond, a plug-in simulated TV, advice leaflets and a property marking kit.

The bid will now be evaluated by the Home Office.

If successful the project can begin from June and will run for a year until April 2022.