POLICE and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson says the £3 million invested in Gloucestershire from the government’s Safer Streets Fund has made a “tangible difference” to residents’ safety.

An independent evaluation of the Home Office fund, which launched in 2020, found that people are less likely to worry about being robbed or mugged in communities that have benefited from the funding.

In Gloucestershire, the funds are being used to tackle violence against women and girls, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour.

PCC Chris Nelson said: “I am pleased to see that this initial review shows that the work we do as Police and Crime Commissioners is making a tangible difference and improving the public’s confidence in policing.   

“It is a welcome endorsement of the hard work that has gone into securing this investment and the benefits of working with partners to make our communities better.

“I’ve been very clear that I want the police to work with councils and other partners to create safer communities and cut crime and anti-social behaviour. The Safer Streets Fund (SSF) helps make that happen.”

The fund was launched with the aim of reducing acquisitive crime in the worst affected local residential areas, with PCCs across England and Wales encouraged to apply.

Initiatives in Gloucestershire paid for by the fund have included the deployment of cameras and lighting where women and girls say they feel unsafe, a training programme to help change the culture around the issue of violence against women and girls, and a PCSO for each district to deal with “low-level” ASB.

It has also funded technology to help tackle rural crime, such as enhanced forensic testing in relation to neighbourhood crimes like burglary; wildlife cameras and trackers for farming equipment; a fleet of drones to collect real-time data to support rural communities; 32 rural automatic number plate recognition cameras along with technician support, and more.

Mr Nelson added: “Increasing public safety in our communities, and restoring people’s confidence in the police and pride in where they live, is an absolute priority.

“We are witnessing firsthand the positive impact these preventative initiatives are having in supporting victims, tackling anti-social behaviour, embedding vital community safety projects and helping to tackle violence against women and girls.  

“I want our streets to be safe for everyone to go about their daily lives without fear inflicted on them by criminals.

“I look forward to continuing this work alongside our partners, preventing crime and making a real difference to the lives of those in our communities.”