The Safer Streets fund won by the PCC and partners in 2020 is a multi-partnership project aiming to tackle anti-social behaviour and associated criminality for the High Town area in Luton and the Midland Road area in Bedford. Local police officers and partners have dedicated their time to being visible and easily accessible for the community during this project. Safer Streets isn’t just about tackling criminal issues, but is also about getting the residents of this area to take back their community and be proud of the work they have done in creating a better place to live.
The Safer Streets team included representatives from Bedford Borough Council, Bedfordshire Police, Luton Borough Council, Neighbourhood Watch, SmartWater and others.
In 2021, several engagement days were held in both Luton and Bedford, where residents saw the Safer Streets team give advice and information through door knocks and on the advertisement van that moved through the areas. Engagement with residents were completed in both areas to greater understand the needs of the community.
In Bedford as part of these visits, over 350 residents have received crime prevention tools:
- 22 Streets visited
- 12 agencies working together
- 338 completed Surveys
- 246 Smart Water kits registered at the door
- 90 Care and Repair assessments completed
- 23 Fire Service ‘Safe and Well’ Referrals
- 17 Signpost ‘Victims Hub’ referrals
- 109 requests for Ring Doorbells
In Luton, as part of the home visits:
- 8 streets have been visited
- 15 agencies working together
- Over 70 surveys have been completed
- 30 referrals to Neighbourhood Watch
- 23 Bobby Scheme referrals
- 25 expression of interest to the Safer Community Training from LASE
- 40 Ring Door Bells
- 29 residents signed up to Beds Alert
Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Clare Kelly said “The success of Safer Streets is testament to the way the partners worked together for the good of the communities. In our own office Project Manager Antonina Belcheva who speaks many languages spoken by the local community has been a strong lead for this work and has ensured the full delivery of the porjects, which have been on time and on budget.”
Project Manager for Safer Streets, Antonina Belcheva, said “Residents from both areas have now seen some new gating, improvement in lighting and soon the new CCTV cameras will be placed. I would like to thank my colleagues Tara Lynch from Luton Borough Council, Inspector Cray Birch from Bedfordshire Police, Chief Inspector Mohammed Aziz and Sarah Stevens from Bedford Community Safety team in supporting the initiatives during this challenging time Partners who have been out working with the Police and Local Authority on these engagement days have found the days productive for both residents and their own organisations.”
Azalea run a Safer Communities Course where individuals can talk together as a community about how they can assist in stopping sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation in Luton. The course can be signed up to through this link www.azalea.org.uk/lase. Ruth Robb, Co-Founder and CEO of Azalea, said “It has been so inspiring to hear stories from local people about how passionate they are to tackle these issues in a compassionate way.”
Jenny Bull, Domestic Abuse Coordinator from Luton Borough Council, stated that “It was a great opportunity to reach out to residents directly, answer any concerns they might have and provide them with information that could not only prevent a crime, with all the anxiety that might cause, but that could potentially save a life (for someone affected by domestic abuse) too. I was really impressed by the enthusiasm of the Safer Streets teams and the interest shown by all those that answered their doors on what was (weather wise) a pretty wet and miserable day.”
Sergeant Sarah Hudson from Luton Central Community Policing Team said “Despite the cold weather on the day, it was great to see so many partners supporting the safer streets project. By working together in partnership, we were able to engage with the local community, listen to their concerns and complete a number of community surveys. The safer streets project is another tool helping us to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour within High Town which we hope will ultimately improve the quality of life of the local residents.”
“The Safer street project is great way of further improving the safety of residents within High Town area. We are thankful to have been invited to be part of it, I had a chance to complete door knocks teaming up with 2 very supportive community officers. It was a very productive but wet day, but we are looking forward supporting the Safer Street Team in their next visit to residents. Thank you for providing us with this opportunity” said Borislava Zarkova from Change Ur Life who support individuals experiencing Domestic Abuse.
Clare Kelly, Chief Executive for the OPCC for Bedfordshire, said “I’m so grateful to local residents who have already registered to give their time to the community and extend that thanks to our partners who have worked so hard to provide practical events for the people of Bedfordshire.”
If any of the residents would like further information on the project or would like to request SmartWater, Ring Bell or a visit from the Fire Service, please email:
or call 0777 666 0235.