Gwent secures £673,000 in additional funding to keep communities safe

Gwent Police has received more than £673,000 in additional funding to help keep the communities of Newport and Abergavenny safe.

The £673,181 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund will focus on tackling violence against women and girls and increasing the feeling of safety in public spaces. Funding of £395,225 has been allocated to the Stow Hill and Victoria wards in Newport; Grofield and Priory wards in Abergavenny will receive an additional £227,956 to improve community safety.

In the third round of the Safer Streets Fund, Gwent has received the largest sum of all the Welsh forces.

As part of the measures, an educational programme will be provided in local schools, universities and businesses, to help change unacceptable attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls, to provide safety advice and encourage reporting of crimes.

A safe space business scheme will be set up for local business to be able to provide a place of safety for women and girls to access help and support.

The funding will also be used to install additional street lighting and lighting bollards, CCTV cameras including use of covert cameras along with installing gates in alleys in crime hotspot areas.

Mobile community safety guardians will provide reassurance patrols around Newport city centre and Abergavenny town centre.

The money will also help to tackle crimes such as robbery, public order offences, burglary and anti-social behaviour.

Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe in our communities. With the current national picture this funding is a timely opportunity to make our community safer for girls and women by tackling the issues we have identified today, and educating our young people to make a difference for the future.

“Together with our partners, we have worked hard to continually improve our response to tackling violence against women and girls; it remains and will always be a priority for us here in Gwent.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “The country is engaged in a crucial conversation about how we stop all forms of violence against women and girls.

“This targeted funding will help Gwent Police and partners to take a holistic approach to the problem. It will allow us to invest in education to raise awareness of healthy relationships and unacceptable behaviours from an early age, and also install appropriate infrastructure to help protect residents and reassure them that they are safe in their communities.

“The time has come for society to change. Policing has a part to play and targeted initiatives such as this are just one way in which we are committed to being part of the solution.”