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Safer Streets 'improves confidence' but minimal impact on crime so far

An independent evaluation has been carried out on the Safer Streets Round 1 funding for which interventions had been implemented between July 2020 and June 2021.

Safer Streets funding has had minimal impact on acquisitive crime and ASB but a significant impact on trust and confidence, preliminary findings have found.

The Home Office first announced the programme in October 2019 – and £25m was made available for PCCs to bid for. The brief was interventions aimed at preventing acquisitive crime and burglary using a problem-solving approach.

Key outcome measures had been defined as:

Across 52 bid areas, the interventions delivered including 29 bids for streetlights, 31 for alleygates, 7 for ANPR cameras and 36 for CCTV.

However, an independent evaluation on the first round of Safer Streets funding has now found “minimal evidence” of any immediate impact on acquisitive crime.

The conclusion was drawn from both survey data  (a baseline and a follow up) and the preliminary analysis of reported acquisitive crimes or burglaries.

Impact findings remain preliminary, and the report has said they are not conclusive, in part due to delays in implementation and the Covid pandemic – further impact analysis is planned with a longer follow-up period. Most areas were still implementing initiatives when follow up surveys were collected for this analysis.

The survey-based analysis for ASB was on similar levels. Although there was a reduction in the chances of residents experiencing certain types of ASB (vagrancy and begging, homelessness) – these types were not strongly linked to the programme and most measures had “no significant impact”.

The report suggests the finding is due an “unknown interaction” between the programme and government support for homelessness during the pandemic.

That said, the programme was found to improve trust and confidence within local policing. Residents were seven percentage points more likely to think that local police were doing a “good” or “excellent” job, and nine percentage points less likely to be “fairly” or “very worried” about being mugged or robbed.  

Meanwhile, one third of those asked had seen or heard about police or local council actions to tackle crime and ASB – 74% could identify what it was about.

Kantar Public, who carried out the evaluation, concluded that the first round of the Safer Streets funding has brought “several substantial benefits” to local forces.

Key learning points for the Home Office have been identified including the need to consider the timing of the bid launch and ensuring PCC areas can access guidance and best practice on the sustainability of interventions, community engagement and calculating programme costs.

To date, the fund has supported 270 projects and £120m has been handed out across four rounds of the fund.

Projects include in Humberside where improved communal entrances in flats are helping to prevent drug dealing, and new storage units are stopping bike and motorbike theft.  In Northampton, funding has supported improvements to the security of thousands of homes that were vulnerable to burglary, with alleyway gates installed to prevent an easy escape for offenders.

Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, Chris Philp, said: "Our local communities are the beating hearts of the UK, and I want our streets to be safe for everyone to go about their daily lives without fear inflicted on them by criminals.

"Increasing public safety in our communities, and restoring people’s confidence in the police and pride in where they live, is an absolute priority.

"This funding gives local people the power to make real changes in their area, as well as driving investment in businesses and jobs." 

Safer Streets Fund Round One allocations:



Total grant funding

Avon and Somerset

Manor Farm, Bristol



Midland Road area, Bedford



High Town Area, Luton


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Arbury/West Chesterton area, Cambridge



Bewsey and Whitecross, Warrington



Newport area, Middlesbrough



Burn Valley area, Hartlepool



South Bank area, Redcar



Barrow-in-Furness area off Salthouse Road, Barrow-in-Furness



West End, Derby


Devon and Cornwall

North Stonehouse close to Plymouth City Centre



Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Dorset



Boscombe West, Bournemouth



Northgate, Darlington



Horden, County Durham


Dyfed Powys

Glanymor and Tyisha, Carmarthenshire


Greater Manchester

Hilton Park, Leigh


Greater Manchester

Fallowfield, South Manchester



Bargate, Southampton



Cheshunt East



Cheshunt South and Theobalds



Westcliffe Estate, Scunthorpe



Gillingham North, Medway



Bank Hall & Fulledge/Rose Hill & Burnley Wood, Burnley



Birchgreen, centre of Skelmersdale in West Lancashire



Westcotes, Narborough Road



Warwick Way and Dishley Estates



Braunstone Frith, Leicester



West Lindsey, Lincoln



Bidston and St James Ward, Birkenhead



Hendon Park, Barnet



North Central, Norwich


North Wales

Queensway, Wrexham


North Wales

Rhyl West


North Yorkshire

Whitley Ward



Castle Ward, Wellingborough



St Crispin’s, Northampton



All Saints Ward, Kettering



Chatham and Northgate, near Newark town centre


South Wales

Merthyr Tydfil


South Yorkshire

Hexthorpe, Doncaster



Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent



Northwood, Stoke-on-Trent



Stanwell North


Sussex PCC

Lower St Leonards and Warrior Square, Hastings


Sussex PCC

Eastbourne town, East Sussex


Thames Valley

East Oxford Secure Homes Zone


Thames Valley

Iffley Road area, Oxford


West Mercia

Brookside, Telford


West Midlands

Hillfields, Coventry


West Yorkshire

Fagley, Bradford


West Yorkshire

Gledhow, Leeds






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