Grant of £750k to improve safety on Bridgend streets
Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter
A series of initiatives aimed at improving safety in the streets and towns of Bridgend county have begun this month, as part of a joint effort between the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and the local authority.
The scheme comes after almost £750,000 worth of funding was awarded to the local Community Safety Partnership from the Home Office to deliver the plans as part of the Safer Streets Fund.
The funding is part of a wider £75m government programme that encourages local authorities to bid for investments that prevent neighbourhood crime and will include measures such as installing new street-based CCTV cameras around borough, and targeting specific areas to encourage Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
Other steps for the project will focus on increasing police patrols and taxi marshals in Bridgend town centre during the night to reduce violence and harassment offences, as well as rolling out Mobile Youth Unit vehicles and equipment to help youth engagement in anti-social behaviour hotspots.
There will also be free self-defence classes offered to residents at venues across the borough.
Women and girls
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael said: “We have worked closely with the council and other partners to identify in detail, the drivers of local problems and how best we can tackle them together.
“This money will be invested in making the streets of Bridgend county borough safer for everyone, in particular women and girls, as well as reducing the impact of anti-social behaviour across our communities.
“Working in partnership our focus is both on immediate benefits from practical measures like CCTV and physical improvements to the environment and to achieve sustainable long-term improvements to create safe, confident, and resilient communities.
“It is a simple fact that when we work together, we achieve more than we achieve alone.”
Bridgend County Borough Council Cllr Neelo Farr added: “We are delighted this new round of Safer Streets funding is already being put to good use and benefitting our local communities.
“Community safety is high on our agenda and this funding offers a real opportunity to make a difference to ensuring the safety of our residents and combatting crime across the county borough.
“We will continue to work in closely with our partners at South Wales Police and other blue light services to ensure people in the county borough feel free from threat or danger when out in our communities.”
Address the issues
Richard Dymond lives near Bridgend town and says he is also hopeful the funding can make a difference, saying: “It’s great that the council have secured this funding as it is definitely needed.
“There are certain areas of Bridgend that are quite bad at the moment, and with young children walking there it does make you worry. Will it be succesful? I’m not quite sure, but with this it seems like there is acknowledgement of the issues and we hope it can improve.”
Jan Whelan lives in Maesteg and says while she is all about street safety across the borough, she feels more could be done to address the issues with local communities.
She said: “When it comes to improving safety for people on the streets of Bridgend, I am all for it, but more needs to be done at a base level in communities to prevent these kinds of issues in the first place.
“Obviously more CCTV and police patrols will discourage some crime but at the same time if there was more for the youth of the borough to do, it might help stop these sorts of behaviours at the source.
“There’s just nothing for youngsters to do in many parts of the borough at the moment, so when they have more anti-social behaviour as a result we shouldn’t be surprised.
“To me that is the bigger issue that could use some of the funding and would help improve the area for everyone.”
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