Safer streets… funding to fight crime continues for St Leonards

The Safer Streets Project is continuing to provide support and funding for crime reduction schemes in the Central St Leonards area.

Coordinated by Hastings Borough Council’s (HBC) Community Safety Team, the Project began when it became clear there was a significant problem of theft and burglary in the area.

Following a successful grant application from the Sussex Police Crime Commissioner to the Home Office, £476,000 was allocated to preventative measures to help reduce local crime rates. A further £72,000 was awarded in November 2020.

The Project has so far helped strengthen the security of over 100 residential properties and 40 local businesses in Central St Leonards, according to HBC.

Along with security measures, the team are also making improvements to the area’s appearance, with Tidy Up St Leonards coordinating cleanups in a number of areas such as Church Road, Decimus Burton Way and the ‘wiggly path’ adjoining Ocean House, helping develop spaces that can be enjoyed by the local community.

The Safer Streets Project has allocated £5,000 of funding to Transition Towns to create so-called micro-meadows, small forage garden spaces and to create a map to encourage people to explore and enjoy the footpaths and biodiversity. These planting schemes will be located at areas across Central St Leonards.

The funding will also help to provide community events, including workshops on planting and seed harvesting, and guided discovery green spaces to enhance pride in the community and social interaction and to reduce anti-social behaviour.

“It is great to see the team working hard to combat the issues St Leonards has faced,” says Councillor Judy Rogers, HBC’s lead councillor for community safety.

“With residents, they are bringing a new lease of life into the area. The continued work is a huge step in the right direction, creating a space that feels safe and inviting for everyone.”

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, says: “I am so pleased to have secured this funding with partners so that a lasting positive change can be made to areas like St Leonards.

“It’s fantastic that the community are rallying together to put this funding to good use and make it an even nicer, safer area to live, work and visit.”

John Funnell of Tidy Up St Leonards (TUSL) said: “TUSL have been an important contributor towards the success of this fantastic project, managing improvement in three significant neglected areas of St Leonards.

“Since the improvement works at Decimus Burton Way were completed, which included the cutting back of neglected overgrowth, the high occurrence of antisocial and drug related behaviours have been reported by have significantly reduced. We are happy to see the hard work put in is making a difference to this neighbourhood and hope to also see a significant decrease in other areas.”

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