PCC secures nearly £900k for safer streets in Eastbourne & Hastings


Nearly £900,000 of funding has been successfully secured by Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne to help tackle anti-social behaviour, theft and burglary in targeted areas of Eastbourne and Hastings deemed to be disproportionately affected by these offences.

PCC Bourne worked closely with Sussex Police, Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs), local councils and community safety organisations to bid for targeted resources from the Home Office's 'Safer Streets Fund' in April.

The fund - a national scheme which aims to help reduce burglary, vehicle crime and other theft-based offences in harder-hit residential areas - will provide targeted crime prevention initiatives in two Sussex areas that are disproportionately affected.

A total of £892,000 has been successfully secured for projects in both Eastbourne and Hastings, with the Devonshire area of Eastbourne benefiting from £419,000 of this, and the Lower St Leonards and Warrior Square areas of Hastings receiving £473,000.

The funding will be used to improve the physical security of residential and business premises by installing CCTV, locks and new street lighting and providing local crime prevention awareness and supporting smaller businesses in becoming members of Business Crime Reduction Partnerships.

Building on the recognised impact of the “broken windows” theory, funding will also be available to remove graffiti and help to restore pride, giving residents a sense of ownership in community development.

Mrs Bourne said: "I am pleased to have co-ordinated and secured this funding with partners for areas of Sussex. It means that we are now able to make lasting positive changes to the safety of the communities affected the most by these intimidating, invasive and sometimes traumatic crimes.

“As a partnership we will be working together to target-harden these areas and engage with residents there to address their biggest safety concerns by using innovative community safety tactics.

"I will be talking to residents, local businesses, our partners and police to gauge the impact of this range of measures over the coming year.”

Assistant Chief Constable for Sussex Police, Janye Dando said: “We are so pleased that the Home Office has agreed to award funding to support areas of Hastings and Eastbourne with higher levels of acquisitive crime.

"Crimes such as burglary and robbery can have serious emotional and financial impacts on their victims, and as a force we do all we can to support those affected and to prosecute those responsible.

"This money will support the work already ongoing by Sussex Police to prevent acquisitive crime in our communities, including measures to help residents make their properties more secure against criminals. The money will also be used for prevention initiatives to design out crime in localities, such as more CCTV and improved street lighting.

"There are Business Crime Reduction Partnerships up and running in both Hastings and Eastbourne, and we will continue to work closely with these to make sure our communities are safe and enjoyable places to live, work and visit."

Councillor Whippy, Lead Member for Equalities and Fairness and Community Safety for Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils said: “Securing this money is great news for the Redoubt area of the town. This funding will help build on the good working relationships we have with partners and we will now begin engaging with local communities and businesses, to agree how the money can best be used to design out crime and reduce anti-social behaviour. Improving the experience of living and working in this area will help make Eastbourne an even safer place in which to live, work and visit.”

Adam Godden, Specialist Advisor - Business Crime and member of Eastbourne BCRP said: “This bid outcome is welcome news for the local business community. The available funding will help the town’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership support local shops and business by offering more patrols, providing advice and delivering improved security measures. We will now begin working with local shops, hoteliers and business owners to identify how the funds can best deployed over the coming months.”

Cllr Paul Barnett, Hastings Borough Council lead councillor for Urban Environment and Community Safety said: “I am delighted that Hastings has been allocated this significant sum to help us tackle street crime, which is a real problem for many of our residents and businesses.

“We have all seen how appalling local drug criminals are supported by theft, both of personal items and identity theft. Our Safer Hastings Partnership will be working hard with residents and business owners to deliver real improvements across the borough.

“This funding will enable us to improve the security of more vulnerable properties and local businesses.

“We want to see as a result a significant decrease in acquisitive crime and for residents to feel safer on their streets. We can all play our part too by securing property better, and this funding will include awareness support for measures we should all be taking to help make Hastings safer.”

John Bownas, Manager of Love Hastings and member of the local BCRP said: “We're absolutely delighted to be able to use this funding to bring the St Leonards business community together in the fight against retail crime. At a time when all high street shops are struggling to recover from the Covid lockdown it's great news that we can provide St Leonards with the tools they need to cut down on shop theft and other criminal behaviour. By extending our radio network and the reach of our intelligence database, plus installing community-monitored CCTV, we can help businesses to protect themselves and make the town a safer place."