A crime prevention pilot scheme is set to be launched in Northampton towards the end of May which will offer free practical support to a group of residents living in sheltered housing.
The project has been set up jointly by Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team and Northamptonshire Partnership Homes, to improve home security for residents living in Dallington Haven.
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Maz Stretton will be working jointly with the housing association to ensure residents have the right crime prevention tools and advice to help prevent them from becoming a victim of crime and ensure their wellbeing needs are being met.
This will include issues around mobility within the home, which will be assessed by Northamptonshire Partnership Homes. If additional support is required, it will look to carry out the minor adjustments to the property such as fitting ramps and hand rails where necessary.
Checks to the outside of the property will also be made to ensure there is nothing which causes poor visibility for residents or provides a hiding place for criminals. If there is, the ground maintenance team will look to prune any overgrown bushes.
In addition to the practical support, Northampton Police are looking to produce Easy Read crime prevention literature to meet the needs of those who may have Down Syndrome, learning difficulties, suffered a brain injury or are deaf.
PCSO Stretton said: “The aim of this project is to make residents feel as safe and secure as they possibly can both at home and in their local community by providing crime prevention tools and advice, which meets their individual needs.
“We do this by using the ripple effect, which means looking at all aspects of the community from the needs of the residents, their home environment, the immediate area where they live as well as its boundaries.
“This includes simple things like fitting window shock alarms, new security door chains which are easier to use as well as chain mirrors so residents can see who is at their door, no cold calling stickers, security lights, personal attack alarms and bells for handbags.
“We will also be checking the surrounding area outside to make sure there are no overgrown trees or bushes where people can hide, there is adequate street lighting in the area and there is good visibility between the properties so residents can look out for each other.”
Assistant Director for Property Maintenance and Compliance at Northamptonshire Partnership Homes Gary Duckmanton, added: “We are committed to making our tenants feel safe and secure in their homes. We are delighted to be working closely with the police on this initiative, which will help to reduce crime and the fear of crime.”
The pilot scheme is one of 12 community safety initiatives across the county which has received funding from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
“This scheme will help to make the people who live in Dallington Haven be more secure and feel more secure in their homes. The work Maz is doing to tackle crime and improve the confidence of a particular group of residents in this area is an excellent example of neighbourhood policing and I am pleased to be able to support it,” Stephen said.
PCSO Stretton added: “We have received just under £934 from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for this project, which works out at about £26 per head. For a small amount of money we can make a huge difference to the lives of the residents.
“In 2013, we organised a similar scheme for residents living in sheltered housing at Spencer Haven, which reduced crime in the area dramatically. We hope this will have the same affect in Dallington Haven.
“Last year there were 97 crimes reported by residents in Dallington Haven. By providing simple crime prevention measures we hope this will make this area less desirable for criminals.”
Supporting Communities Fund was set up by the PFCC in October last year, to help frontline police officers and staff to carry out small projects which benefit the public and make Northamptonshire safer.