Projects that have cleaned up neighbourhoods and made streets safer have been awarded extra funding from Derbyshire County Council. A total of £65,000 will be shared between two community safety projects which focus on cleaning up graffiti and providing street lighting in areas with high levels of crime and disorder.
The clean-up work took place across 52 sites last year and further places have been earmarked for improvement with the new funding. Work has included removing vegetation and bushes, cleaning general debris and litter, removing fly tipping, painting and decorating. Graffiti has been removed around the county including on bridges, subways, signs, railings, fences and walls.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “Local eyesores are a daily punishment to people who take pride in their community. “It’s an immediate relief for the whole neighbourhood when we clear up graffiti and improve the environment.”
The aim of the street lighting initiative is to make people feel more secure in areas with higher levels of crime and antisocial behaviour. At the same time the lighting is intended to deter criminals who are more likely to be identified or witnessed committing crimes. An evaluation of the project showed that crime rates fell by 13% since the extra lighting was installed, assaults fell by 19% and damage and arson by almost 16%.
Councillor Allen added: “In areas where there are high levels of anti-social behaviour we have found more street lighting to be an effective deterrent.”
When the project started in 2012, communities were invited to nominate trouble spots where street lighting could deter criminals.
The council has received 41 nominations. Nine met the criteria and have been approved while a further three schemes are still being considered. The clean-up works and street lighting project have been awarded £20,000 and £45,000 respectively.