Four more Kent towns to benefit from Safer Streets investment

Chatham, Folkestone, Sittingbourne and Sheerness will benefit from funding which will help reduce crime and antisocial behaviour, tackle violence against women and girls, support local businesses, establish neighbourhood watch groups and improve local parks.

I am delighted to be working with the Home Office again to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in Kent and Medway. This vital investment will address the concerns that local residents and businesses have raised with me and make our neighbourhoods safer. I am grateful to Community Safety teams in Swale, Folkestone and Hythe and Medway, as well as Kent Police and my Office, for the extensive work they have put into this project and I look forward to working with them to deliver tangible benefits.

This is the fifth round of the “Safer Streets” programme which has seen investment made in Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Canterbury, Ashford, Maidstone, Gravesend and Ramsgate in previous years. Local authorities will work together with Kent Police and the PCC’s office to deliver the programmes between October 2023 and March 2025.

The joint commitment that all agencies have to tackling violence against women and girls in this project is most welcome. Whether it is through Active Bystander training, youth outreach, improvements to the public realm, training for staff working in the nighttime economy or action on drink spiking I am pleased that we have listened and acted on this issue.

Folkestone & Hythe – Folkestone Central Ward

Year 1 costs – £149,458; Year 2 costs – £186,088.04, Total – £335,546.64

The area covers Folkestone Town Centre, Bouverie Place Shopping Centre, and Bus Station. This is an area of deprivation and has higher levels of harm associated with the nighttime economy and neighbourhood crime.

The funding will seek to target sexual offences, stalking and harassment, violence against the person, retail crime, antisocial behaviour, drug offences, theft and vehicle interference.  It will include things like improved CCTV, improved safety at taxi ranks and a Safe Taxi Scheme, support for outreach workers and Street Pastors as well as graffiti and litter removal.

Swale – Sittingbourne and Sheerness Town Centres

Year 1 costs – £154,413.25, Year 2 costs – £169,325.80, Total – £323,739.05

Funding will focus on tackling antisocial behaviour, offences associated with violence against women and girls, and neighbourhood crime in Sittingbourne and Sheerness town centres. The area will include Sittingbourne High St, and the area next to the train station and nearby retail park. In Sheerness it will cover the High St and the Broadway, the station and Beachfields park. It will include improved lighting and CCTV provision and target areas affected by antisocial behaviour and support outreach workers and Street Pastors.

Medway – Chatham Town Centre (Medway 015D) Y1 cost – £118,006.45, Y2 costs – £166,517.20, total cost – £284,523.65

The bid area incorporates Chatham Town Centre, a shopping arcade and significant transport hubs connecting Medway with London. This area is also bordered by residential housing and contains several greenspaces. The zone has reported high levels of antisocial behaviour and high levels of neighbourhood crime and offences associated with violence against women and girls.  It will include environmental improvements, more CCTV, more training for bar staff in the nighttime economy and more community engagement work.

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