More CCTV and Ask for Angela among £500k town safety scheme
- Credit: Ipswich Borough Council
More than £900,000 has now been secured to improve women's safety and curb anti-social behaviour across the town, with proposals winning the backing of campaigners.
Ipswich has received £500,000 from the Home Office’s latest round of Safer Streets Fund as well as a contribution of officer time and funding totalling £432,000.
The improvements will focus on countering violence against women and girls, anti-social behaviour, including violence, criminal damage and theft as well as sexual assault and harassment.
Focus will be placed on the town centre and Waterfront areas, including the main retail, hospitality and business districts as well as at the university area.
Laura Polley from Reclaim These Streets Ipswich said: “This is great news for Ipswich, with over 2000 reported offences of violent crime between June 2021-May 2022, it is clear that the town can benefit from extra funding to make streets safer.
“I am pleased to see that consultations both with myself and other members of the community were taken on board to identify initiatives which are aimed at making women feel safer.
“Although this funding has been sought to combat violence against women and girls, I hope these initiatives will make improvements to safety more broadly across the town.
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“The plans indicate a really good use of technology to assist with crime prevention and detection in areas and industries where violence against women and girls is more likely to occur.”
Ipswich Borough Council, with its partners, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Ipswich Central and Suffolk County Council, to bring the projects to fruititon.
The remedies will include smarter CCTV with improved monitoring that will lead to swifter responses, but also greater coverage for the cameras.
Along with better signage, lighting and landscaping, the new CCTV will act to deter crime and give local residents more confidence when traversing the town, particularly at night.
The improvements will also include the installation of safe spaces and hubs with help points.
The ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign will be enhanced to include all town centre licenced premises and publicly accessible buildings, including libraries, retail and food outlets.
A scheme called Barwach is going to be introduced to help pubs and bars share information about the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour.
There will also be installed better lighting in the subway at St Matthew’s Street and new Townlink radio coverage, which will be used by retailers and others to keep in touch with the police and security.
Sophie Alexander Parker, chief executive officer at Ipswich Central, said: “Securing this funding is a massive boost for Ipswich, both residents and businesses.
“It is of paramount importance that people feel safe in our town, particularly at night which has historically been an issue.
“This funding will mean that initiatives can be mobilised and our town becomes a safer place.
“Ipswich securing this funding is testament to the collaborative working between all parties involved, particularly Ipswich Borough Council for driving this”
Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, added: "It's really important that people feel safe in their homes, businesses and their communities, so I am pleased to see this investment in our county town, which will help reduce crime and the fear of crime.”
Cllr Alasdair Ross, Ipswich Borough Council portfolio holder for community safety, added: “This winning bid by your Council will mean we can make many improvements in Ipswich that will make people feel more confident, particularly at night, in some of our central areas.
"We have overseen many improvements to make Ipswich safer but we can always do more and these new anti-crime measures will make Ipswich better for all – except criminals."
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he had been lobbying the Minister for Crime and Policing for the funding, bringing him to the town last month to discuss the issues.
Welcoming the funding, he said: "There is still a way to go, with the campaign for fairer funding formula still ongoing. I will continue my work to see that Ipswich receives the same level of police funding as anywhere else in the UK. However, this is a key step in the right direction and I looking forward to the positive steps forward this money will bring."