A mum-of-two who was targeted by burglars as her children slept upstairs has spoken of her relief at having a free home security makeover worth hundreds of pounds – all thanks to the Safer Streets project.
Tanya, an NHS administrative worker who lives in the city centre, was burgled two years ago in the early hours of the morning as the family slept peacefully upstairs.
The offenders broke in through the back door of her home and stole her son’s mobile phone, a PlayStation console and television. They even tried to remove her cooker from the wall and took her milk from the fridge.
The experience has had a devastating emotional impact on the 34-year-old mum who has suffered with anxiety for the past two years and finds it difficult to sleep.
Now, thanks to a £432k funding grant secured by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, Tanya’s home has been fitted with state-of-the-art security including CCTV cameras, Ring doorbell, window locks, lamp timers and motion-sensor lighting to reduce her risk of becoming a victim again.
The multiagency project, which is being delivered by the PCC in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, is set to fund security upgrades at more than 400 residential properties in the Aboretum and Lenton Triangle areas of Nottingham and free Ring doorbell devices for almost 200 other City properties.
“I am so happy to benefit from this project and be able to sleep in the dark again, knowing I have a CCTV camera and window security locks. It will make me feel safer and I know it will be the same for my kids too,” said Tanya.
“I’ve always told my children never to answer the door but to look through the peep hole. To have a Ring doorbell for when I’m at work and my daughter is off college is amazing.
“When I think about what happened with my children asleep in the house I can’t help but think about the worst that could’ve happened.
“I did hear some noises during the night but because it’s a new build I assumed it was my neighbours moving about. It turns out it wasn’t.
“They got in through the back door and let themselves in and took my milk out of my fridge which was weird. They took my son’s mobile phone, a PlayStation and a TV. They even tried to take the cooker.
“I knocked on my neighbour’s door in the morning and they said they had heard the back gate flapping and thought it seemed strange. It must’ve all happened early morning. They left the light on upstairs and must’ve gone up but seen that we were in, which is really scary.
“My children are now teenagers but we all now make sure we always leave a light on. They’ve not felt safe since it happened and they don’t want to stay at home when I go to the shops. I’ve suffered with anxiety. It has made me feel so nervous.
“I’ve not slept in the dark since. I sleep with my TV on in my bedroom and if I hear a noise I shout to my children straight away and go downstairs to check everywhere is still locked.”
The project has funded a specialist Burglary Reduction Officer; Julian Best, from Nottingham City Council, and Nottinghamshire Police has seconded Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Amardeep Sandhu who are both undertaking free assessments and security upgrades at properties vulnerable to burglary in Nottingham – including those that have fallen victim to crime before.
Eligible residents are benefitting from a range of security upgrades including window and door locks, window alarms, external PIR lights, external PIR activated CCTV, repairs or security improvements to doors and windows, and where beneficial repairs to gates/perimeter fencing.
Commissioner Henry said: “Hearing the stories of local people like Tanya whose lives have been changed by this project is hugely rewarding for the whole team.
“When we initially set out on the Safer Streets project, we wanted to make a difference and help people grow in confidence again after such dreadful experiences. This is what it is all about and I am delighted we have been able to help people like Tanya feel safe again.
“Our hardworking Burglary Reduction Officers are still looking for people to benefit from this scheme – but for a limited time only. Please don’t hesitate to take up this fantastic opportunity and make life difficult for criminals to strike in your neighbourhood.”
Sergeant Matthew Ward, of Nottinghamshire Police, added: “Hearing stories like Tanya’s in which she and her family have been left feeling anxious due to the actions of someone else breaking into their home and safe place is heart-breaking.
“We know that burglary can have a devastating impact both emotionally and financially on victims – not only in the short-term but long-term as well.
“The Safer Streets initiative is all about making things as difficult as possible for criminals and that is exactly what these measures are all about.
“I am delighted that these security improvements are being made to Tanya’s home and will hopefully make her and her children feel safe again.
“The force already has two dedicated teams of detectives investigating burglary offences and we also have a specialist burglary reduction officer to prevent offences from happening in the first place.
The project has also funded a new CCTV camera in Bridlington Park Play Area which is being live-monitored at the City’s CCTV control room, enhanced policing focusing on key crime types by local neighbourhood policing teams and a ‘day of action’ every month to disrupt crime and a Community Champion scheme to encourage local people to get involved in crime prevention efforts in their areas and increase the network of support available for residents.
For Tanya, the project is giving local people their confidence back, particularly those who have suffered at the hands of burglars.
“This new security will make us all feel much more at ease,” she said.
“To feel safe and secure again after what happened is amazing and I cannot thank the team enough.”