Funding agreed to boost community safety

Four projects aimed at keeping people and communities safer are to receive extra funding following a decision by Derbyshire County Council.

A total of £76,000 will be shared between the four community safety projects which focus on keeping areas cleaner and safer, reducing re-offending and helping people with learning disabilities to stay safe.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “These four projects are very different but all have the same aim, which is to keep individuals and communities safer.

“I am pleased we can support these worthwhile projects which can make all the difference to people’s lives.”

A sum of £20,000 will go towards continuing a programme of general clean-ups and graffiti removal in areas nominated by district and parish councils, Community Safety Partnerships and the county council.

In 2012 a total of 37 clean-up schemes were carried out across the county through the Probation Community Payback Scheme.

Work has included removing vegetation and bushes, cleaning general debris and litter, removing fly-tipping, painting and decorating.

In the same period a contractor removed graffiti from 30 areas around the county including on bridges, subways, signs, a skate park, railings, fences and walls.

The second project to benefit from the cash is a street lighting scheme where communities can put forward the case for additional lighting in areas where anti-social behaviour and crime are an issue.

In 2012/13 a total of 13 communities successfully applied for additional street lighting and the project will receive £45,000 to continue the work.

A scheme to install Citizen’s Advice Bureau electronic information kiosks at three main probation offices in Derby City, Chesterfield and Ilkeston, is the third project to receive a funding boost following today’s (Thursday 18 July) decision.

The county council will give £3,500 towards the project which is a joint initiative with the Derbyshire Probation Trust and the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The information kiosks provide up-to-date information for offenders around debt, finance and benefits, housing options and support services which may help them in their daily lives and reduce repeat offending.

A successful pilot has already been held, generating positive feedback and resulting in a number of referrals and sign-posting into other support services.

The final project to receive money is a Hate Crime/Staying Safe project for people with learning disabilities.

The aim of the project is to provide information about bullying, harassment, hate crime and safeguarding through a series of workshop events across the county.

The scheme has seen people with learning disabilities recruited as Keeping Safe Champions and helping to deliver the workshops, and it has been recognised regionally and nationally.

A total of £7,500 will go towards the project, with a view to keeping it going and expanding it to cover topics like the safe use of the internet including social networking and cyber-bullying. The sum will match-fund money already supporting the project from the county council’s Adult Care budget.