After a successful application to the Home Office Safer Streets 4 fund, I was delighted to receive £1.5 million thanks to an innovative, evidence-based application which detailed the opportunities to invest in twenty-six projects across Sussex.
After hearing from residents who responded to my Safer Streets Survey last year about what is important to them, the funding will now go towards projects focusing on behaviours and activities tackling anti-social behaviour, neighbourhood crime and violence against women and girls.
Projects include education and awareness programmes for adults and young people, targeted police patrols, and meaningful neighbourhood improvements.
Each month, my office holds a Safer Streets 4 meeting with partners in Sussex to progress these important new areas of work so we can maximise the benefit to our communities.
It was good to have an update on what we can expect to see in the coming months, including: youth outreach programmes; graffiti clean-ups; night-time safety advocates; additional CCTV and an extension of our existing Taxi Marshal scheme.
The round of funding runs from August 2022 to March 2024 and I look forward to providing more updates in the future.
Record numbers of first-time callers to Samaritans
The Samaritans released figures this week announcing that they are receiving a record number of first-time callers worried about their personal finances.
People in crisis, including those experiencing mental health problems, often call the police who we know are not always the right people to respond or provide the appropriate support and expertise. That is where charities like the Samaritans come in as they can provide vital help and a signposting service to specific support organisations.
Earlier this year, you may have read that I awarded the Horsham & Crawley Samaritans branch £3,500 from my Safer in Sussex Community Fund.
It was great to hear from them this week explaining how the money is being utilised. With the funding, they have now been able to train 33 new volunteers from the local community, allowing the branches to be a step closer in being open 24/7 for people who call in from across the nation.
It's always great to hear from recipients of my Safer in Sussex Community Fund, especially how the money has truly made a difference. The next round of funding will be available mid-April and you can read more on my website.
Today, I held my monthly Performance & Accountability meeting with Chief Constable Shiner which you can watch on my webcasting site.
Katy Bourne OBE
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner