A victim of a vandal attack on her home says she can finally sleep normally after having free security devices fitted on her house.
Tracy Hunt was so frightened after her front window was smashed that she slept downstairs for months so she could react quickly if her house was targeted again.
The 55-year-old has since had a Ring video camera doorbell fitted as well as CCTV at the back of her home, thanks to the Safer Streets scheme, and says she now feels much safer.
She is one of dozens of victims of burglary and other neighbourhood crimes in Netherfield and Colwick who have been offered free security upgrades to prevent repeat incidents.
It comes after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire secured £3 million of Home Office funding for Safer Streets projects that help reduce neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour, as well as violence against women and girls. These are being delivered in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and local authorities, including Gedling Borough Council.
The mother-of-four, of Carnarvon Street, Netherfield, said the incident happened last October, close to a year after her partner died following medical complications.
“It was about 10.45pm and I heard this bang. When I looked, somebody had thrown a glass bottle at the window and it had broken the outside window pane,” she said.
“Two hours later they came back and did it again and a Prosecco bottle came flying through the living room and it smashed right through.
“I slept downstairs until it was fixed because I didn’t dare go to bed. I didn’t leave the house because I was too frightened to go out. It just added to the extra stress that I was already going through with losing my partner.”
But help came when Tracy heard she could be eligible for free security devices through the Safer Streets scheme.
She was visited by burglary reduction officer PCSO Verena Mawer, of Nottinghamshire Police, who arranged for contractors to install the gadgets.
“It has definitely given me peace of mind,” said Tracy. “I feel a lot better.
“It is just nice to know that if anyone did anything again I’ve got the footage which gives you evidence.
“It is brilliant. They came out pretty quickly, they were friendly, and I would definitely recommend it.”
As well as devices to protect people’s homes, Safer Streets has also funded a CCTV camera on the edge of the Victoria Retail Park to deter car cruisers causing nuisance, as well as automatic number plate recognition cameras, a Shop Watch radio scheme to deter shoplifting, Safer Streets warden patrols and environmental improvements to make people feel safer.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said Tracy was a prime example of how much of a difference Safer Streets could make to people’s lives.
“No one should feel unsafe in their own home, but through a variety of innovative projects, Safer Streets is starting to help,” she said.
“It is always great to hear the real impact this scheme can have on people’s safety – and their feelings of safety.”
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said: “Our Public Protection Team referred Tracy to the Police at the time when the anti-social behaviour took place so we are very pleased to see this swift action to support her and prevent it from happening again.
“This is a great example of the partnership work taking place on this Safer Streets Project in Netherfield and Colwick with Gedling Borough Council, Nottinghamshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner.”
Inspector Mark Stanley, District Commander for Gedling, said: “To hear first-hand that the Safer Streets project is having a real impact on people’s lives is great.
“Reading Tracy’s story and how she was afraid to even leave her home because of what happened is awful and I am so thankful she found out about the scheme and got in touch with us.
“The scheme is there to help reassure you and make you feel safe so if you have also been a victim of burglary please do get in touch and let us and our partners help you.”
- If you live in the qualifying area of Netherfield and Colwick and have been a victim of burglary, email@example.com to see if you could be eligible for free safety equipment.