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Council officers with Cllr Andy Meakin, Cllr Dale Grounds and Commissioner Henry in Kirkby

Kirkby’s streets are now safer

Over the past 15 months, Ashfield District Council and partners, have implemented several initiatives across Kirkby resulting in safer streets for all.

In July 2022, Ashfield District Council and the Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner were successful in a bid for £750,000 of funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund. Kirkby’s share of the funding has been used to address violence against women and girls, anti-social behaviour, residential burglary and shop thefts in Kirkby.

The Coxmoor estate has benefited from a wide range of environmental improvements including the installation of 13 new streetlights, innovative QR codes to report faulty lights, and Holiday Hills Park has received £32,000 worth of investment which has paid for nine streetlights, a replacement barrier to the park, new bins, hedge and tree trimming, weeding, and rubbish removal.

Alongside the environmental improvements, three notorious anti-social behaviour and environmental crime hotspot alleyways have been gated, and 25 residents of Coxmoor Estate have received Ring doorbells, security lights and new locks as part of a burglary reduction scheme.

Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Executive Lead for Community Safety and Crime Reduction, said:

“It’s not just about the physical improvements though, the additional support services we have provided, through extra patrols and the Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme, have allowed us to provide interventions and have a positive impact on residents’ lives. The Council is serious about improving safety across the District and the Safer Streets Fund has allowed us to do that.”

Through the duration of the Safer Streets Fund, Ashfield District Council’s Community Protection Officers and Nottinghamshire Police have provided an extra 76 patrols a month, and five Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras have been installed on key routes in Kirkby to enable detection of criminality, serious and organised crime, and drugs transport and supply.  

As many as 20 businesses in Kirkby’s town centre have signed up to the Safe Space scheme which has provided businesses with 4G Ultra High-Definition CCTV cameras, signage, lighting, and safeguarding training for their employees. These businesses now provide a haven for vulnerable people, or anyone who needs assistance. 15 of these businesses have also signed up to be part of the Shop Watch Scheme which provides radios connected directly to the CCTV control room at police headquarters. The Shop Watch Scheme has seen a 45% reduction in retail crime in the three months that it has been active.

Cllr Andy Meakin, Ward Councillor for Abbey Hill, who has seen first-hand how the Safer Streets Fund has positively impacted the residents who live on Coxmoor, said:

“The Safer Streets Fund has provided an incredible amount of diverse projects and initiatives that have genuinely improved the feelings of safety on Coxmoor, and in Kirkby town centre, for everyone, but especially for women and girls.”

Two state-of-the-art Safe Point cameras have been installed in Kirkby, one on Kirkby Plaza, and one on Welbeck Street opposite Morven Park. The cameras feature an emergency call button which allows the user to instantly speak to the police control room. This technology is the first of its kind and was originally launched in Sutton in 2022 as part of the Safer Streets Fund.

The Safer Streets Fund has also paid for a series of educational sessions for primary school children in Kirkby aimed at promoting healthy relationships, a youth diversionary scheme to divert young people away from crime and a Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme to support our most vulnerable residents.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, commented:

“The incredible work carried out across Kirkby-in-Ashfield is a great example of the difference that our Safer Streets funding is having to the people of the town.
“From world first innovations with our refuge point camera systems, to the new lighting at Holidays Hill Park, and our Shop Watch Radio scheme, the people of Kirkby are seeing first hand the great work that is being done.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Kirkby a number of times to see the real difference these interventions are making to the lives of residents, and I’d like to pay tribute to our partners at Nottinghamshire Police and Ashfield District Council, who have worked closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to make this possible.”