Camera and lighting schemes aim to make streets of Sutton safer

News anti-social behaviour in Ashfield has dropped 23.85 per year in the last year is of no surprise to Ashfield Council.

By Jon Ball
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 9:34 am

The council, along with its partners that make up the Ashfield Community Safety Partnership, has been leading the fight for safer streets.

The council and Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner, were successful in a bid for £550,000 of funding from the Home Office Safer Streets initiative.

The funding is being used to tackle ongoing problems in the New Cross area, as well as other areas of Sutton.

From left, Wayne Bennett, of Ashfield Council, council community safety manager Antonio Taylor, Sewilicious Fabrics owner Jenny Tindall, Coun Helen-Ann Smith, Sewilicious manager Fiona Asbury and Andy Sheppard, from Action Alarms.

It is part of a determined effort to make women and girls feel safer, reduce their vulnerability, prevent and detect sexual violence and other crimes in public spaces.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, said: “The council is determined to lead the fight against crime and ensure our communities are safer places to be.

“The council has led partnerships with the police and others – and is delivering results.

“Improved CCTV, action to ensure women and girls feel safer and giving retailers the tools to protect and enhance their business and wider community are just some of the key initiatives we are leading on.

Coun Helen Ann-Smith at Sutton Bus Station.

“We are leading the fight against crime and this is just the start.”

CCTV cameras

More than 40 businesses have signed up to the Safe Spaces scheme.

They have had ultra-high-definition CCTV cameras fitted to their premises on Outram Street and the surrounding area in Sutton.

Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner, left, and Coun Helen-Ann Smith, Ashfield Council deputy leader, trialling the Safer Streets app.

The Safer Space Scheme provides 4K, high-definition, colour CCTV systems on the shop premises and a ‘Safe Space’ sign for the shop windows.

All the shops involved have received police training on vulnerability and are in a perfect position to offer help and support to anyone that feels unsafe.

All the shop CCTV systems have night vision and 24-hours-a-day recording ability, alongside further coverage from the 13 upgraded cameras and six deployable cameras installed across various

locations across Sutton.

Coun Jason Zadrozny with a CCTV camera ahead of installation, watched by Coun Helen-Ann Smith, left, and Coun Samantha Deakin.

Bus stop safety

The council, alongside Nottinghamshire Council, has carried out an audit of CCTV coverage and lighting at bus stops in Sutton.

CCTV coverage and the lighting were checked at bus stops in the centre of Sutton, including the main bus station, with CCTV coverage found to be good and the bus stops well lit.

New measures will see the county council increase its regular checks of lighting in bus shelters and making it easier for the public to report faults with lighting.

Safety app trial

A pioneering trial is under way to test the effectiveness of a series of smart phone safety apps to help protect women and girls while out and about.

Improved lighting has been installed along the footpaths at Sutton Lawn.

The apps provide varying features from enabling users to make a voice or touch-activated SOS call to live streaming when a call for help is made through to fake calls.

Five apps were trialled by female volunteers and the two strongest-performing apps were then subject to a further trial involving more than 60 women.

Feedback from users is currently being gathered by Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Services, which is managing the trial.

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Improved lighting at Sutton Lawn

Improved lighting has been installed along the footpaths at Sutton Lawn.

The lights provide improved visibility for those out walking their dog, or walking through the park in the evening and early mornings.

Feedback from park users has been positive, with many saying the lights have increased their feeling of safety.

Street Lighting

Some £70,000 is being invested in street lighting in target areas in Sutton town centre, alongside £15,000 for enhanced street lighting along routes used by school children.

A network of new and upgraded CCTV cameras and automatic number plate technology cameras to detect crime are also being put in place.

Coun Helen-Ann Smith, council cabinet member for community safety said: “These are just some of the innovative projects we are delivering as part of Safer Streets.

“We also have an initiative to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour through the use of positive activities.

“We have also delivered a healthy relationship programme in local primary schools.

“Days of action and community events have taken place to build and foster positive relationships with members of the public.

“We are working with local businesses to run initiatives such as Power Hour which gives women and girls the opportunity to get fit and learn self-defence.

“We have many more projects in the pipeline, and will continue to work closely with partners to deliver initiatives that reassure residents that Sutton is a safe place to live, work and visit.”

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Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner.