GWENT Police has been given more than £700,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund to support initiatives tackling crime across the area.  

Half the money will go to tackling community crime in the Maindee area of Newport, as well as Ebbw Vale, and the other half will finance a project to improve women and girls’ safety and support sexual abuse survivors in partnership with Gwent’s colleges and universities.  

The projects will be delivered in partnership with Gwent Police, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Newport City Council, New Pathways and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The funding will enable Gwent Police to provide more than 2,500 crime prevention packs, including home alarms, and will pay for CCTV cameras to help tackle anti-social behaviour.

Chief Superintendent Carl Williams said: "Making our communities safer, and feel safer, for women and girls will always be a key priority for Gwent Police, and the funding we receive will support officers in our work with partners to protect women and girls from violence, unacceptable attitudes and behaviours.”

Other improvements will include better streetlighting infrastructure, growing Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and appointing a dedicated e-scooter response worker at Newport City Council.

Cabinet member for place and environment at Blaenau Gwent Council Cllr Helen Cunningham, said: “We’re delighted that there has been a successful bid for further Safer Streets funding and that this will be used to support schemes here in Blaenau Gwent which have been designed to help people feel safe in their homes." 

Volunteers on Neighbourhood Watch schemes will be offered full training and support to deal with the community safety issues in their neighbourhoods.

Leader of Newport City Council Cllr Jane Mudd said: “Strong, safe communities are the foundation of any thriving town or city. This funding will help us expand our work, and I’m particularly pleased that we will be able to offer a dedicated resource to tackle issues caused by the illegal use of e-scooters.”

New Pathways, the largest sexual violence support provider in Wales, will work with Gwent’s colleges and universities to provide vulnerability training to all who need it.

The training, including workshops on addressing inappropriate behaviours and interventions, will help students, and those working closely with them, to recognise signs of abuse and understand how to deal with disclosures from victims.

Deputy chief executive of New Pathways, Mike Wilkinson said: “Our communities should be places where people feel safe, but sadly each year in Gwent we support thousands of people who have suffered sexual violence, with one of the highest risk groups being women and girls of further and higher education age.

“It is also a regular occurrence that women and girls in Gwent are subjected to sexual harassment and misogynistic attitudes, particularly within night-time economy venues.

"Through this project we will again work with our partners to challenge these attitudes and behaviours by educating people about the harm that is caused, with the aim of making our communities safer places which are intolerant to abuse against others.”