Published: Monday 7 June 2021

More than £500,000 has been secured by Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to crackdown on a range of crimes including burglary, vehicle crime, robbery and theft in Chester City Centre.

PCC John Dwyer has been awarded £432,000 from the government’s Safer Streets Fund and has secured further match funding to take the overall investment to more than £500,000.

The funding will be used for projects which reduce burglary, vehicle crime, theft and robbery but it is anticipated the interventions will reduce other types of anti-social behaviour. It will enable Cheshire Police to work with key partners including Chester West and Chester Council to cut crime and improve safety in the city centre.

The funding award follows a detailed analysis of problems in the area involving community feedback and consultation Constabulary and the local authority; and the development of a suite of interventions judged to have a high likelihood of success.

The funding will go towards measures proven to cut crime, such as highly visible activity including property marking, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV in the areas where the community feels less safe.  Work will be undertaken around car parks and the subway system to ensure the public can use these safely and with confidence.

PCC John Dwyer said: “I am delighted to have secured this funding to ensure people who live, work in or visit Chester feel safe in their surroundings.

“It will make a real difference to the city centre, which is usually a hub of thriving activity but has unfortunately been subject to an increased level of crime and anti-social behaviour in the last 12 months.

“This funding will aid Cheshire Police and partners’ efforts to improve community safety and will enable us to put in place relatively quickly some long-term measures that will make a real difference.”

Superintendent Gareth Wrigley said: “This is great news for the people of Chester

“The funding will help make Chester an even safer and more enjoyable place to live, work and visit by shining a light on key issues that we are already working hard to address, such as anti-social behaviour, burglary and theft. This funding will build on that work and increase our ability to tackle these serious issues head on with a problem solving, preventative and deterrent approach.

“We will be working closely our local partners to help bring a real change to the community in the hope to drive down crime in the area and make the city a hostile place for those who are looking to commit crime, disorder or behave in an anti-social manner.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel added: “I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities, which is why I launched the Safer Streets Fund to improve security in areas blighted by crimes like burglary, robbery and theft. 

“But it’s more than just environmental change – we need to prevent people from committing these offences in the first place as we build back safer.

“That is why the next round will rightly look at behaviour change, with a primary focus on women and girls who are disproportionately affected by crimes like harassment in public places.”

This is the second round of Safer Streets funded to be awarded to Cheshire. In the first round of the government funding, launched in 2020, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Cheshire secured £550,000 to tackle burglary in Bewsey and Whitecross in Warrington. This funding saw more than 2,000 homes fitted with additional security devices to deter intruders, supported by extensive property marking activity.

Following analysis of issues across the county, Chester was chosen by the OPCC and Cheshire Police to benefit from this round of funding. It is one of 40 areas across England and Wales to have benefited from the £18.3 million in funding.