As part of the Home Office’s £25million Safer Streets Fund, that was announced last year, homes across Darlington(Northgate and North Road areas) as well as Horden have been entitled to free home security measures.
Further security measures have now been secured in Horden, including alarm and security cameras for empty properties to be installed by the end of March.
Targeted environmental action has also begun in Darlington, including removal of graffiti, replacement of rear gates and the fitting of defensive toppings such as trellis in rear gardens to deter criminals looking to enter properties.
These additional measures are designed to be a visual deterrent to criminals as well as make streets look more attractive.
Since the safer streets initiative began, over 1000 people have engaged and benefitted from crime prevention advice through neighbourhood wardens, PCSOs and crime prevention leaflets.
Around 500 people have or are planned to receive security upgrades to their properties by the end of March to help reduce the chances of further incidents occurring.
The security measures offered include window locks, double door locks, plug in timers and dusk to dawn security lights.
10 deployable cameras will also be available for local authorities in Horden and Darlington to use as and when required.
Dozens of empty properties inHorden will be boarded up as part of the safer streets project led by the Office of the Durham, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner. Often empty properties become the target of burglary and vandalism, and it is hoped that property screening will reduce these incidents.
Many of the properties are being boarded up in partnership with Durham Police’s neighbourhood policing teams and local authorities.
Chief Constable Jo Farrell, of Durham Constabulary, said: “To be able to offer these security measures to residents within Darlington and Horden is fantastic.
“Burglary can be hugely distressing to people and everyone has a right to feel safe in their own home.
“Preventing this type of crime is apriority for us and hopefully these measures can make a significant improvement to the lives of the people who live in these areas.”
Horden and areas in Darlington were specifically chosen based on specific criteria as they both have high rates of acquisitive crime, in particular, burglary.
Graham Hall, Darlington Council’s head of community safety, said: “The aim of the Safer Streets Fund is to provide concentrated investment into hotspot areas to deter criminality. These straightforward, long-term solutions have benefitted many residents and will continue to make a genuine difference, preventing crime and making streets safer.”
“We hope residents feel reassured that we work closely with the police to address concerns and are committed to improving the quality of life for this community.”
Since its launch last September, there has been a fall in the number of burglaries in these areas, so it was possible to allow more households to be eligible for the home improvements.
Work on the project has been carried out by Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, with support from the PCVC’s office, Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and the Victim Care and Advice Service(VCAS).
Steve White, Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner said, “As we approach the end of the scheme, we reflect on all the hard work put in by all Safer Street Partner organisations involved to make our communities safer and thank local residents for engaging with the Safer Streets Project.”
“We hope the security measures in place have been a benefit to community safety and we will continue to aid crime prevention schemes in the future. We look forward to being involved in further Safer Street projects”.
Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s Head of community protection services, said: “We would like to thank the local community and all partners who have coordinated and engaged with the Safer Streets Project. We hope that the measures put in place have made residents feel safer in their homes.
“A large number of streets in Horden have benefitted from this scheme and we have had very positive feedback from residents. Our priority is always to make sure our county remains a safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit.”
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