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Successful Safer Street funding bid for Ashford town centre

Published: 06/10/2021
Lower High Street Ashford

Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, has been awarded £741,548 to make the streets of Ashford, Rochester and Chatham safer, particularly for women and girls.

Awarded through a bidding process, Ashford town centre is set to receive almost £550,000. This will provide personal safety equipment, such as drink testing kits and personal alarms, as well as creating safe havens and installing more CCTV.

A digital app will be developed which will show safe routes between key locations such as the lower high street and international train station.

A proportion of funding will also go towards improving the visual appearance of our town centre for those who live, work and visit there by removing graffiti, litter and fly-tipping and expanding programmes to keep shops and businesses safe.

Another initiative includes educational sessions within schools to better safeguard young people by improving their knowledge, skills, and awareness of violence and abuse.

The funding is part of the Home Office Safer Streets initiative and complements three similar projects already running in Gillingham, Canterbury and Ramsgate.

Matthew Scott said: “I’m delighted my team has secured funding for these initiatives. 

“I’m hoping they’ll provide extra security for women and girls out enjoying what our town centres have to offer. Tackling violence against women and girls is one of my priorities and I’m confident these schemes will make a difference and I encourage people to get involved.

“This funding will complement our investment in more Town Centre Police Officers and PCSOs and help drive down unacceptable anti-social behaviour in our communities.”

Cllr Peter Feacey, portfolio holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing said: “This is a substantial amount of funding and enables us, along with the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and our Community Safety Partnership colleagues, to instigate a range of initiatives.

“Recent tragic events have brought to the fore concerns many women and girls face. The extensive plans we have for this funding will make real improvements to our town centre and, I hope, will result in helping all our visitors feel safe within our town centre spaces.”