A hospital worker who was left anxious and scared after an attempted break-in says she finally feels safe in her home after receiving free Safer Streets security upgrades.
Louise Elvin was at her home in Top Valley watching TV with her husband when a suspicious man walked down their garden path and tried their door handle.
Fortunately, her husband saw what happened and chased the man away before he could enter the premises – but the incident from just over two years ago made Louise nervous it could happen again.
“I have anxiety, so I started to get nervous about it. I didn’t feel safe, especially when we were out of the house,” says Louise, a theater support worker at City Hospital.
“We work long days. I work 12 hours a day at the hospital and you just want to feel that your home is protected.”
When Louise received a flyer through her door saying she could get free security equipment through the Safer Streets plan — which covers a specific part of Top Valley where she lives — she jumped at the chance.
The 58-year-old has now had a Ring video doorbell and window alarms installed, and is getting motion-sensor lighting, CCTV and a security bolt on her back gate.
“It means I can feel safe and know that when I’m at work there won’t be a break-in and I’ve done everything I can to secure the house, thanks to the Safer Streets plan,” she said.
“I really appreciate it because we don’t have a lot of money and we got all this for nothing. It has made me feel happy and that I don’t have to worry.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire managed to secure £3 million in funding through the Home Office’s Safer Streets program in July 2022.
It has since worked with Nottinghamshire Police and each of the local authorities in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, including Nottingham City Council, to implement a wide range of measures to make people feel safer.
These measures include installing CCTV and better street lighting in public spaces to make people feel safer when they are out and about, installing cameras with automatic number plate recognition to allow police to track vehicles related to crime, the Safe Spaces program in businesses to let people in to provide an oasis of safety, and allowing municipalities to employ Safer Street Wardens to conduct high-visibility patrols.
In some specific areas where funding is allocated, including parts of Top Valley, burglary prevention officers may also offer free security equipment to victims of burglaries to prevent a recurrence.
Matching funding from police and municipal partners has also enabled increased visibility of police officers to patrol the Safer Streets areas.
The aim of the Safer Streets scheme is to tackle neighborhood crime – such as burglary, theft and vehicle crime – and to combat anti-social behavior and violence against women and girls.
Burglary prevention officers PCSO Amardeep Sandhu of Nottinghamshire Police and Julian Best of Nottingham City Council are working together on the project to secure people’s homes.
PCSO Sandhu has visited dozens of homes to raise awareness of the plan and assess them for possible security installations.
“People are very positive. It’s something Top Valley has needed for a long time. They’ve never had anything like this before,” he says.
“Most burglars are opportunists. They try handles and look for easy targets. But when they walk down the street and see security devices everywhere, it scares them off because it’s not an easy grab.
“It’s a visible deterrent and we know from other areas where this has been done. It’s reduced burglaries and made people feel safer.”
Victims of burglaries in the demarcated area of Top Valley where the scheme is in force can still benefit from the scheme for a limited time.
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said:
“Safer Streets has a real impact on people’s sense of security. We do this by working together with the police and municipality on a more uniform presence on the street and more safety measures in people’s homes and in public spaces.”
Councilor Neghat Khan, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, safety and inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “Burglaries and burglaries are deeply disturbing crimes that undermine people’s confidence and ability to feel comfortable. It’s great to hear that these measures are helping to restore that confidence and comfort and deter further incidents in those neighborhoods.”
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