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Plymouth gets £670k to improve safety

Funding will help tackle crime and bad behaviour

Plymouth is getting a cash injection of just over £670,000 from the Home Office's Safer Streets 4 fund to improve safety over the next year.

National data shows that Plymouth is viewed among the safest cities in the country, and this bid, jointly put together by Plymouth University, the city council and Devon and Cornwall Police will help it to maintain its position.

The funding will be used to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence against women and girls (VAWG), as well as enhancing the safety of public spaces for all.

Plans include:

  • Plymouth night bus service – staffed with a marshal to address issues at key closing times of Plymouth’s night time industry, and ensuring safe transport options. 
  • Environmental improvement works – in areas identified in the recent VAWG commission recommendations. 
  • Conference to raise awareness and deliver training to men about VAWG – delivered by the cross-city Plymouth VAWG Men’s group to raise awareness among, and engage the voices of, men and boys in Plymouth around the impact of the issue.
  • Designing and piloting a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer model at the University of Plymouth – in response to student feedback.
  • As well as following the recent VAWG Commission, led by Plymouth City Council, the project proposals build upon the approach taken by the Safer Streets 3 Partnership in Plymouth, which took place earlier this year and focused on three key areas:  
  • Strengthening the local environment to improve safe passage; 
  • Targeted prevention activity and 
  • Helping the community to develop their own solutions, reclaim community spaces and improve guardianship. 

Safer Streets 3 saw physical updates and improvements, including new CCTV cameras, improved street lighting and ‘help points’, and the plans’ early implementation will now help to shape Stage 4.

Gavin Douglas, registrar and secretary at the University of Plymouth, said: “This funding is an important addition to ongoing work to ensure that everyone feels safe in our city, which rightly prides itself on its community feel. We all have a responsibility to work with and look after each other – and working with partners across Plymouth has been vital to securing this bid.

“We take our students’ safety and that of the wider community very seriously, and look forward to implementing the plans, and contributing to the education, that will ultimately help us to stay one of the safest cities in the UK.”

Plymouth City Council leader Richard Bingley said: “This is good news. Funding from the Home Office to help specific projects that will make people feel safer as they go about this city.

“We know that women and girls, in particular, want to see change and I am delighted to see that these carefully selected projects will really help us continue on our journey to make Plymouth feel safer.

“And I am sure our pub and club goers as well as people who work in the night time economy will be pleased to see financial support for a night bus. As a city we are acknowledging there are problems with the lack of taxis and late night buses – funding towards a night bus trial could help.

“This is a suite of measures which, in addition to many existing actions, will help us to deliver a safer Plymouth. Anti-social behaviour and crime should not be tolerated within our city.”

Chief superintendent Matt Longman, commander of Plymouth Police and chair of Safer Plymouth said: “News of the successful bid in the Safer Streets 4 funding is really exciting for the whole city. A huge number of organisations have worked well together to make Plymouth a safer place to live.

“We have collectively listened to communities to understand what further work needs to be done and the new grant will allow us to progress even further with these plans, and enter a new phase of Safer Streets activity.”

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