Norwich residents are benefitting from funding aimed at enhancing security and safety in the city.
Four alley gates have so far been installed to help protect homes in the city by Norwich City Council through its Safer Neighbourhoods Initiative which has been set up to help find practical solutions to problems relating to crime, anti-social behaviour and community safety.
As well as the funding from Norwich City Council, this year the scheme has benefitted from support from the Home Office Safer Streets Fund, in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN). This has paid for three alley gates.
Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership this year with the OPCCN to help make safety improvements and deliver projects that will benefit our residents and communities.
“The council funding will be available for this coming financial year and we would encourage individuals and community groups to find out more about it on our website. Applications need to be submitted by 31st January 2022.”
Four more gates are currently on order which will mean more than 45 properties will have had their security improved this year.
The council’s Safer Neighbourhoods Initiative £50,000 Community Fund will continue into 2022.
The fund can pay for 100% of the cost of alley gates and up to 95% of the cost of other measures that help to reduce or deter crime and antisocial behaviour, increase residents’ feeling of safety in the neighbourhood and support the detection of crime.
Norwich City Council will also continue to advise residents to report crime and anti-social behaviour to the relevant authorities.
Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Lorne Green, said: "It is really positive to see residents in Norwich benefitting from this initiative, which I am pleased to have been able to support through the funding secured by my office.
"Burglaries, robberies and thefts are crimes which can have a huge impact not just on those directly involved but also on the wider community. This is a great example of partnership working for the benefit of our local communities - helping to improve security, reduce crime and help residents feel safer."
Michele Emrick has had an alley gate installed through the scheme, which serves her home and the six neighbouring properties.
She applied to the council’s fund after joining the Sewell Community Group and Friends and speaking to her local councillor, Julie Brociek-Coulton, who helped with her application.
“Without the security of an alley gate, the alley was being used for all kinds of things that were unhygienic, antisocial and dangerous,” said Mrs Emrick.
“It’s great that Norwich City Council have been able to offer these alley gates – I would encourage people to apply for them and to get involved with their local community groups if they can. Schemes like this are a rallying call to communities, which is especially important at the moment.”
Norfolk Constabulary’s Temporary Chief Inspector Bruce Clarke said: “We are fully in support of this funding which will help to provide improved safety and security measures across those areas most effected by crime.
“We remain committed to working alongside our partners to reduce crime rates across Norwich and the rest of the county. We hope this funding will help to deter criminals and reassure those communities who have felt the impact of crime.”
Applications are invited from residents and community groups and the work must benefit more than one household or property. If it relates to crime or anti-social behaviour, the issue must also have been discussed with their local police safer neighbourhoods’ team before an application is made.
Anyone who would like to bid for funding should visit www.norwich.gov.uk/communityfund to read through the guidance documents and complete an expression of interest form.