A hospital worker who was left anxious and afraid after an attempted break-in says she finally feels safe in her home again after receiving free Safer Streets security upgrades.
Louise Elvin was at her Top Valley home watching TV with her husband when a suspicious man walked down their garden path and tried their door handle.
Luckily her husband saw what was happening and chased the man off before he could get into the property – but the incident just over two years ago left Louise nervous that it could happen again.
“I have anxiety so I started to get nervous about it. I didn’t feel safe, especially when we are out of the house,” said Louise, a theatre support worker at the City Hospital.
“We work long hours. I work 12 hours a day at the hospital and you just want to feel your home is protected.”
When Louise received a leaflet through her door informing her she could receive free security devices through the Safer Streets scheme – 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 fitted and is due to receive 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 I’m not going to get burgled and I’ve done everything I can to secure the house, thanks to the Safer Streets scheme,” she said.
“I really appreciate it because we don’t have lots of money and we have got all this for nothing. It has made me feel happy and that I don’t need to worry.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire was successful in securing £3 million of funding through the Home Office’s Safer Streets programme in July 2022.
Since then it has been working alongside Nottinghamshire Police and each of the local authorities across 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 more secure when they are out and about, installing automatic number plate recognition cameras to allow police to track vehicles linked to criminality, Safe Spaces scheme in businesses to give people in distress a haven of safety, and allowing councils to employ Safer Street Wardens to conduct high visibility patrols.
In some specific areas where the funding has been allocated, including parts of Top Valley, burglary prevention officers are also able to offer free security devices to burglary victims to prevent repeat offences.
Match funding from police and council partners has also allowed for extra high-visibility police officer patrols in the Safer Streets areas.
The aim of the Safer Streets scheme is to tackle neighbourhood crime – such as burglary, theft and vehicle crime – as well as deter antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls.
Burglary prevention officers PCSO Amardeep Sandhu, of Nottinghamshire Police, and Julian Best, of Nottingham City Council, work together on the project to secure people’s homes.
PCSO Sandhu has visited dozens of homes to make them aware of the scheme and assess them for potential security installations.
“People have been very positive. It is something Top Valley has needed for a long time. They have not had anything like this before,” he said.
“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 puts them off because it’s not an easy grab.
“It is a visible deterrent and we know from other areas where this has been done it has reduced burglary and made people feel safer.”
Burglary victims in the defined area of Top Valley where the scheme is operating can still take advantage of the scheme for a limited time.
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said:
“Safer Streets has a real impact on people’s feelings of safety. We are achieving this by working in partnership with police and councils to put more uniform presence on the streets and more security measures in people’s homes and in public areas.”
Councillor Neghat Khan, the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “Break-ins and burglaries are a deeply upsetting crime which undermines people’s confidence and ability to feel comfortable in their own properties. It’s great to hear that these measures are helping to restore that confidence and comfort and deter further incidents in those neighbourhoods.”
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