By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter
More than £300,000 in Government funding is being used by Nottingham City Council to prune vegetation in a park, install CCTV, and deliver training and youth work to try to make areas safer.
Around £30,000 will go towards pruning at the Forest Recreation Ground, after the area was deemed “a concern” due to bad sight-lines and poor lighting.
The plan is also part of a focus on safety for women and girls at night, according to the council.
The money was awarded to the Labour-run authority by Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, and the council has now detailed how it will be spent in a number of delegated decision documents.
On behalf of the council, Mrs Henry’s office submitted a number of bids to the Home Office to secure money in the fourth round of the Safer Streets Fund.
According to area statistics from Police.uk, the highest number of reported violent and sexual offences in the Hyson Green and Arboretum area, the mapping area where the Forest Rec lies, was 105 in October last year.
The lowest number of reported offences, of any single month in 2022, was 68 in March.
When the funding was secured last year Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at the council, said: “We are delighted that the City Central Safer Streets bid has been successful.
“This additional funding will enable partnership delivery of a range of measures designed to tackle acquisitive crime, anti-social behaviour, and improve the safety of women and girls in our city.
“It is targeted towards areas of the city which are disproportionately impacted by these issues, with Bestwood, Hyson Green and Arboretum, and Radford all benefitting from this particular round of funding.”
The council says tree and vegetation pruning at the Forest Recreation Ground “will lead to improved CCTV sight-lines, lighting spills and better visibility for users of this public space”.
A further £78,000 will go towards community and youth intervention projects in the Bestwood area, including provision and staffing of youth centres.
Some £13,000 will be spent on violence against women training for workers and owners of pubs, bars and businesses in Radford, Hyson Green and the Arboretum.
Much of the remaining money, just over £200,000, will then go towards the supply, installation and upgrading of CCTV cameras and for the installation of direct 999 telephones.
Last year the previous round of funding was used to install 12 new CCTV cameras across the north of the city centre.
Also speaking after the funding was secured last year PCC Mrs Henry said: “This money provides extra support and capacity on top of the fantastic work already being carried out every day by Nottinghamshire Police and our local authorities and third-sector partners to prevent and respond to crime and support victims and reduce re-offending.
“We have seen improvements in feelings of safety in each of the areas we have previously invested Safer Streets money, and I hope we can build on that momentum to ensure everyone can feel safe every time they step outside, right across Nottinghamshire.”