Central St Leonards Cleans Up Its Act
Over many months the Safer Streets Project in Central St Leonards, which is coordinated by Hastings Borough Council's Community Safety Team has provided support and funding for a number of crime reduction schemes.
The Safer Streets Project began when it became clear that there was a significant problem with acquisitive crime (theft and burglary) in Central St Leonards. Following a successful initial grant application from the Sussex Police Crime Commissioner to the Home Office £476,000 was allocated to preventative measures to help reduce local crime rates, followed by a further £72,000 which was awarded in November 2020.
This project has so far helped over 100 residential properties and 40 local businesses to improve their security. As well as security measures the team are also making improvements to the area's appearance, with Tidy Up St Leonards recently coordinating clean ups at areas including Church Road, Decimus Burton Way and the 'wiggly path' adjoining Ocean House, helping to create spaces that can be enjoyed by the local community.
The Safer Streets Project has allocated £5,000 of funding to Transition Towns. This will be used to create micro-meadows, small forage garden spaces and create a map to encourage people to explore and enjoy the footpaths and biodiversity. These planting schemes will be located at areas across Central St Leonards including the 'wiggly path' next to Ocean House.
The funding will also help to provide community events, including workshops on planting and seed-harvesting, and guided discovery walks. Helping local individuals understand the value of maintaining green spaces, enhancing community pride, social interaction and reducing anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Judy Rogers, Hastings Borough Council's lead councillor for community safety, said,
"It is great to see the dedicated team working hard to combat the issues St Leonards has faced. With residents, they are bringing a new lease of life into the area. The continued work is a huge step in the right direction, creating a space that feels safe and inviting for everyone whether you are a visitor, resident or business owner."
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, explained,
"I am so pleased to have secured this funding with partners so that a lasting positive change can be made to areas like St. Leonards.
"It's fantastic that the community are rallying together to put this funding to good use and make it an even nicer, safer area to live, work and visit."
John Funnell, Tidy Up St Leonards (TUSL), added,
"Tidy Up St Leonards have been an important contributor towards the success of this fantastic project. Managing three significant improvement projects in neglected areas of St Leonards including Decimus Burton Way, the Warrior Square to Station Approach 'Wiggly Path' and the grassed area by Church Road and De Cham Road.
"Since the improvement works at Decimus Burton Way were completed, which included cutting back neglected overgrowth. The high occurrence of antisocial and drug related behaviour has been reported by neighbours to have significantly reduced. We are happy to see the hard work put in is making a difference to this neighbourhood and hope to see a significant decrease reported in other areas also."