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Successful bid for money to help make Weymouth streets safer

Dorset Council was recently awarded around £380,000 for projects to help women and girls feel safer on our streets as part of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund.

The money will go towards the installation of CCTV cameras in areas around Weymouth, additional support for a Stalking Clinic and a series of workshops, including a photography exhibition.

The bid was supported by the Dorset Police & Crime CommissionerWeymouth Town CouncilNeighbourhood Policing, and three key local service providers; Paragon (formerly known as You First)Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services Dorset (STARS) and Dorset Domestic Abuse Forum.

The latest round of the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund has a particular emphasis on the safety of women and girls. The £23.5 million investment will go to local authorities and police forces across England and Wales to spend in the 21/22 financial year.

Dorset Council won its bid by submitting innovative plans to increase the safety of public spaces, especially for women and girls, including projects which emphasise changing attitudes and behaviours in local communities. The successful application proposed the introduction of: –

  • Five new CCTV cameras at Weymouth Swimming Pool/The Marsh
  • Five new fibre optic CCTV cameras on Rodwell Trail, Weymouth
  • Enhancement of public space CCTV cameras, with an additional 10 CCTV cameras in Weymouth Town Centre
  • Two daytime CCTV monitoring officers
  • Expansion of the Dorset CCTV Control Room to accommodate the additional cameras.

Dorset Council will also work in partnership with Paragon’s Stalking Clinic, providing support and risk assessments for vulnerable people across Dorset, providing a full-time worker to process enquiries and referrals into the Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker and the Stalking Clinic, as well collect data to support the review of outcomes and demands.

The application also proposes working in partnership with STARS and Weymouth College to provide interactive empowerment and bystander intervention workshops, and a photography exhibition during National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week (7 to 13 February). This is to help increase awareness, change societal attitudes, and empower women and girls to feel safer.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety, said:

“I am delighted that we have been granted much needed support from the Safer Streets Fund.  We welcome the focus on enabling women and girls to be safe, and feel safe, on our streets.  These proposals focus on building our CCTV network in Weymouth to help deter crime and make residents feel safe.  We also support victims of crimes such as sexual harassment and stalking, as well as help tackle the attitudes and behaviours that allow these crimes to happen in the first place”.

I’d like to thank our Community Safety officers for securing this funding, as well as our partners at Dorset PoliceWeymouth Town CouncilParagonSTARS and Dorset Domestic Abuse Forum for their support. With everyone working together to address this growing concern, we can make a positive impact for the people of Weymouth and the wider Dorset area.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, David Sidwick said:

“This funding is great news and yet another example of successful partnership working to improve the lives of our residents.

I am proud of the way in which my office and the local authority have worked with central government on this bid and that the residents of Dorset will now benefit from almost £380k worth of government funding on projects such as bringing in more CCTV coverage for Weymouth. I am particularly pleased to see that there will be funding available to tackle Stalking, an issue which I pledged to address when I was campaigning to become Police and Crime Commissioner.

This is another brick in our wall of protection for Dorset to become the safest county in England and Wales.”

Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby