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Commissioner secures £760,000 to tackle anti-social behaviour

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall, secured £760,108 of funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund to help reduce anti-social behaviour.

Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness will both benefit from the funding subsequently receiving £354,638 and £405,470. The aim of both bids is to reduce ASB around the city and town as well as hotspot areas with wider benefits expected around safety in public places, with a focus on women, girls, and other vulnerable groups.

Both communities will benefit from new and upgraded lighting. Collier Lane, Mary Street and Rosemary Lane in Carlisle will receive improved street lighting. The skate park at Bitts Park and Keenan Park will also receive upgraded lighting so young people can enjoy the full benefit. In Barrow-in-Furness, the back lanes to the rear of Cavendish Street and Scott Street will receive street lighting as they were identified for reoccurring ASB regularly and police find patrolling difficult due to the darkness.

Carlisle City Councils Enforcement Officers and Barrow Borough Council’s Safer and Stronger Streets Officers will receive extra equipment including body-worn cameras, body armour and radios, and further training to help reduce ASB and provide comfort to communities. The body-worn video will aim to reassure residents, challenge poor behaviours and provide evidence to the Police, when necessary.

The funding will pay for Carlisle and Barrow to receive REAL (Relate, Engage and Listen) outreach workers who work on the streets where they are needed, specifically targeting young people who have been identified as causing ASB. These workers will interact with young people, form positive relationships, encourage responsible behaviour and provide diversionary activities including a mobile music recording studio and ball games. The outreach workers will work with partners and other existing youth-centred organisations to achieve their goal of reducing ASB and reducing the risk of young people becoming criminal offenders.

Years seven and eight from schools within the bid areas will receive ‘Your Life, You Choose’ workshops on the consequences of poor life choices and the impact on others. These workshops will be delivered by multiple organisations including the Blue Light services (Police, Ambulance and Fire) and criminal justice services (probation).

Reparation work will also be offered to victims and offenders to repair harm caused by ASB. Remedi, who are currently commissioned by the PCC in Cumbria, will provide this service.  The aim of the reparation work is to help victims recover, give them the opportunity to discuss their case with professionals, and have their voice heard by the offender the harm caused.  This will also help the offender understand impact of their behaviour allowing them to make amends and resolve the situation without Police and Criminal Justice involvement.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will receive additional crime prevention training to help them support victims of ASB. The training will also help PCSOs identify problems within the community and provide a more evidence-based approach to finding a solution.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “These bids really are a fantastic opportunity that will help benefit the residents of Carlisle and Barrow.

“Anti-social behaviour is an issue that affects many of us and can cause fear and intimidation, which is not acceptable – everyone has the right to feel safe in their community.

“The two bids, worth more than £760,000 will allow the Police and partners to approach ASB through prevention, diversion, education and restorative justice. The latter allowing those who have already caused harm through ASB to apologise to the victim and take responsibility without facing criminal punishment and reduce the risk of re-offending.

“Barrow, Carlisle, Workington and Whitehaven have all previously benefitted from Safer Streets Funding and I am sure we will see the same level of benefits from the fourth round of funding.

“Anti-social behaviour is a community issue and by providing all these measures, everyone can work together to make our communities more welcoming and safer for all.

“I look forward to working alongside the Police, Barrow Borough Council, Carlisle City Council and other partners to help deliver the Safer Streets plans and make Cumbria a safer place to live.”

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