More detail can be revealed about the improvements that will be made following the successful funding bid from the Safer Streets programme for Paignton, first announced in October.
The scheme, delivered by Torbay Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, sees Paignton getting funding to confront anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence against women and girls (VAWG).
Plans include more CCTV, environmental improvements, street marshals, extra police patrols and the setting up of Restorative Circles. There will be continued promotion of the Safety of Women at Night (SWAN) Charter, introduced last year in Torquay as part of its Safer Streets work.
The council’s main CCTV control room will get a reviewing suite, meaning footage can be played back without interfering with the main CCTV operation. The review station is system wide so Paignton, Brixham and Torquay will all benefit.
An additional eight cameras will be installed in areas of Paignton that experience higher levels of ASB.
Victoria Park will benefit from new lighting and foliage will be cut back to reduce dark areas and make the park feel safer and more welcoming.
Lighting will be repaired in the grounds of Parkfield House and there are also plans to tackle ASB in Victoria car park.
St John the Baptist Church, also known as Paignton Parish Church, will benefit from new lighting, fencing, CCTV and signage.
Teams of marshals will go out on patrols in the town centre on selected weekends and they will be complemented by officers from Devon and Cornwall Police’s Project Vigilant.
Project Vigilant aims to prevent sexual offences by identifying predatory sexual behaviour and intervening to stop it from escalating to an offence.
A mix of uniformed and non-uniformed officers will be on patrol and more officers and partners – including door staff, event stewards and street pastors – will be trained over the coming months to identify it.
More than 60 night-time economy businesses in Torquay – including bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants – have so far signed up to the SWAN Charter and businesses in Paignton will be encouraged to sign up too.
They will be pledging to ensure their premises are safe and welcoming for all customers, particularly women.
Safer Streets also includes plans for Restorative Circles. These will be meetings of groups of people bonded by a common experience – for example residents who have experienced ASB or perhaps traders affected by shoplifting.
The circles are run by Make Amends, the accredited restorative justice service for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The first one began last week and involved more than 20 families from one community who all experienced ASB.
The circle gives them a chance to get together and talk about how it’s affected them and explore how things could be made better. They are also signposted to partners for further help.
Councillor Hayley Tranter, Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, Public Health and Inequalities, said: “It’s great to see all this activity getting underway in Paignton to address issues of anti-social behaviour.
“This work will allow us to use lots of different tactics – be it designing out crime by making streetscene improvements or giving residents a voice through restorative circles.
“We’ll be working closely with partners at all stages – by encouraging businesses to sign up to our popular SWAN Charter and working with the police, who will be training up professionals to spot signs of criminal activity.
“This work sits perfectly alongside our newly-launched Operation Town Centres – our vision to improve our town centres by engaging with local business and the police.
“We’re doing this by introducing more engagement and enforcement officers and using Public Space Protection Orders.”
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