Initial results from a government-funded scheme to reduce crime in Hailsham are very encouraging, says a Conservative councillor who represents the town. The programme has already captured fly-tippers, untaxed and uninsured vehicles, and helped dozens of shopkeepers to improve security.
Although a safe place to live, Hailsham was suffering from above-average levels of neighbourhood crime, so Wealden council worked hard to secure a £300,000 grant to tackle the problems.
The Home Secretary said that she would not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our local communities. Conservative-run Wealden acted quickly and were the only rural council to submit a successful Safer Streets Funding bid. The bid was co-ordinated by Conservative councillor Philip Lunn, Wealden's cabinet member for Community and Public Health. He said: "This funding, provided by the Government, will help us to target one area where we believe a carefully thought-through strategy will make it much more difficult for criminals in the future. “
“The timescales for the project were very tight, but thanks to hard-work and good partnership-working by the Wealden District Policy Team with the Sussex Police Neighbourhood Policing Team and Hailsham Town Council, among other bodies, much has been achieved”, says Gerard Fox, Conservative county councillor for Hailsham.
Safer Streets funding has allowed the following in Hailsham:
- A community survey has been undertaken in those residential areas most affected by the crimes listed by the Home Office to identify residents’ security and safety concerns
- Visits have taken place to a number of properties at the request of the owners with locks replaced and upgraded where necessary, and, where home safety support was sought, from the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
- There has been an increased Police presence in the town over the last six months
- A DISC project has been developed and now launched in Hailsham Town Centre. DISC provides a platform via an App whereby shops can share information between each other and the police about shoplifters operating in the town and other crimes that may be happening
- Three remote wireless CCTV cameras, covering the three waste recycling points in the town, have been purchased and installed
- Seven upgraded digital CCTV cameras have been purchased and installed, replacing all the existing cameras, providing high quality imaging, future-proofing the Town’s CCTV camera system
- Two additional Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras have been purchased and are being sited within the town’s vicinity, to assist tracking of vehicle movements in order to identify and prosecute offenders
- Victim Support have been commissioned to undertake a number of personal safety workshops in the project area in Hailsham
- Nothing of Value’ cards for display in vehicles have been designed, using insights from the behavioural sciences, and are being given to vehicle owners to further reduce acquisitive and car crime in the target area
- A large number of ‘Selecta’ DNA kits, permitting property owners to invisibly mark their property, aimed at vehicle owners to reduce car crime and make it easier to identify and prosecute offenders, have been purchased along with ‘Selecta’ DNA property marking kits
- A community outreach drugs worker has been appointed and is working in the project area
- Two Youth Shelters have been purchased. They will be sited in recreation grounds adjoining the project area and just outside the town centre. These will aim to provide a place for young people to gather and socialise, draw the current groups of young people meeting in the town centre to locations where they will have less potential to cause problems, hopefully permitting police and youth workers to engage with young people more effectively