A targeted investment in improving public safety in Worksop has helped drive significant reductions in neighbourhood crime, antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls.
It follows a £300,000 package of Safer Streets measures including employing a team of street wardens to provide a high-visibility public presence, the installation of new street lighting and the provision of drink testing kits and training for people working in the night-time economy to prevent violence against women and girls.
Combined with the continuing hard work of Nottinghamshire Police officers and Bassetlaw District Council’s antisocial behaviour team, it has led to a 76% reduction in house burglary, 53% drop in vehicle offences, a 40% fall in violence against women and girls in public spaces, a 16% drop in robbery and an 11% reduction in antisocial behaviour.
This was in last six months of the Safer Streets project, from April to September 2023, compared to the three-year average for the same period in 2017-28, 2018-19, and 2019-20.
The measures were implemented as part of the Safer Streets scheme, after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner secured £3 million of Home Office funding to improve safety in public spaces across Nottinghamshire and delivered the improvements alongside Nottinghamshire Police and local authorities, including Bassetlaw District Council.
Bassetlaw’s share of this funding was targeted in the Worksop South area after it was identified as having slightly higher rates of neighbourhood crime, antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls.
Significantly, Worksop South’s crime reductions during the Safer Streets programme outstripped reductions in the rest of Worksop.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I’m really proud to see all of this investment and hard work giving us such amazing results.
“The funding has been a huge boost to the area and comes in addition to all of the great work that is already happening in the area to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
“The wardens have provided extra eyes and ears on the street to fight crime and antisocial behaviour.
“I’m sure residents will have noticed a difference and feel even safer in Worksop – thanks to some absolutely outstanding partnership working alongside Nottinghamshire Police and Bassetlaw District Council.”
The Safer Streets wardens’ role includes engaging with residents, businesses and visitors on community safety and crime prevention, and working closely with the Police, the Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Team, ShopWatch and PubWatch to provide a reassuring presence and gather information that can help investigations.
They also enforce the Public Spaces Protection Order for the town centre, tackle street begging, deal with aggressive behaviour and alcohol and substance misuse. Their powers extend from engaging with the local community and issuing advice to individuals and groups, to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices and providing evidence to the Antisocial Behaviour Team or Police in the case of more serious criminal activity.
New street lights were also put up in the Memorial Gardens, along the pathway behind the Aurora Centre that links Worksop Library with The Canch.
Several existing lights were also upgraded in the Memorial Gardens, The Canch, and along Church Walk (between Bridge Place and the Memorial Gardens. And an additional light was installed on Chapel Walk to help improve the safety of people using these routes, particularly women and girls.
A new scheme testing people’s drinks for banned substances has also been launched in bars and venues in Worksop, thanks to Safer Streets funding.
The kits which test for drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, street GHB and Rohypnol are now behind bars in a variety of venues with staff also receiving training on what to do.
Councillor Lynne Schuller, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Bassetlaw District Council, said:
“We are delighted that by introducing a number of different Safer Streets measures, the Council has been able to contribute to this reduction in anti-social behaviour and make a real difference in the town centre.
“The statistics clearly show this, and we hope that the perception of visitors and the public of feeling safer in Worksop town centre is changing. The feedback from retailers has also been encouraging, especially before the key trading period ahead of Christmas.
“We are, however, not complacent and we need to keep working on these issues with Nottinghamshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and other partners to continue this progress.”
Bassetlaw Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Hayley Crawford said:
“I’m delighted we have seen such a huge reduction in this area where Safer Streets interventions have taken place. My teams across Bassetlaw continue to work within the community to tackle issues and work with our partners to deliver on the Safer streets project.
“I am also pleased that the funding has extended to the drink testing service which I developed back in 2017 in another county, benefiting people locally in Worksop.”
Worksop was one of a number of areas to benefit from Safer Streets investment after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner secured a total of £3 million from the Home Office for projects across Nottinghamshire, which were delivered with police and local authority partners.
The town has also benefitted from previous rounds of Safer Streets funding, which saw the installation of Refuge Point CCTV cameras – where people can press a button on the column to talk instantly to the CCTV control room operators to ask for help. Safer Streets funded these Refuge Point cameras in High Hoe Road, Blyth Road, Devonshire Street / Newcastle Avenue, Priorswell Road, Gateford Road / Babbage Way, Victoria Square, Bridge Street and The Canch. Another Refuge Point camera was also installed in Grove Street, Retford, using a different pot of funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
Local businessman Scott, from Tasty Grill in Worksop, spoke with the Commissioner during her Walkabout Wednesday back in January about how impressed he is with the progress happening in Worksop.
He said: “My customers who were scared to come into town because they didn’t feel safe have said that it has all changed now.
“It’s looking really good, businesses are picking up, shops are happy and I’ve noticed a real change in my customers, they always tell me how much better it is now and how much safer they feel."
Last Updated on Tuesday, November 28, 2023