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Environmental Action Day at Newark estate “a success”

Posted onPosted on 22nd Feb

AN extensive range of activities, including litter picking, street sweeping and tree planting, to make an area of Newark Cleaner, Safer and Greener has been described as a fantastic success.

Staff from Newark and Sherwood District Council undertook environmental work at an action day at the Chatham Court estate, Newark, tackling physical issues that could encourage further crime in an area.

Extensive evidence suggests that visible signs of disorder ­— such as anti-social graffiti, fly-tipping and litter — can lead to and encourage further criminal activity in a community.

Enhancing the look and feel of an area by tackling seemingly minor issues, helps communicate pride and expectations of the community, while helping prevent issues from escalating into more significant problems.

The programme is part of the Safer Streets project, a crime fighting and safety improvement initiative, led by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Paddy Tipping.

The project is a partnership between the PCC, Nottinghamshire Police, Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to improve security in two areas particularly affected by crimes such as burglary, vehicle theft and robbery — the Chatham Court and Northgate areas of Newark.

As well as litter picking, three mattresses and two divan beds were taken off the Chatham Court estate, while bin storage areas were swept and pressure washed, with any debris removed.

Eight new trees ­— four oak and four goat willow — were planted around Chatham Court, while hedges were trimmed, grass was cut, weeds removed and play areas cleaned.

The door entry systems at Chatham Court are also being upgraded as part of the Safer Streets project. A new video entry system is being installed within all flat blocks, replacing the previous intercom system, to improve security in communal areas.

Magnetic locking mechanisms are being upgraded as a further preventative measure against crime. Improvement works to the inside of flat blocks are also taking place in corridors and stairways, including repainting, improved interior lighting and new hard-wearing vinyl floor.

Since the launch of the Safer Streets campaign in September 2020, considerable progress has been made in reducing crime and increasing public safety. More than 100 street lights have been upgraded in both the Chatham Court and Northgate areas, from older sodium lanterns to new LED bulbs which emit white light with improved colour rendering.

On-street cycle stores are being upgraded to more secure designs and work is underway for new, top of the range, cycle ‘pods’ for bike owners to take advantage of.

Newark and Sherwood District Council leader Coun David Lloyd said: “The day has been a fantastic success. One of our aims as part of the Safer Streets project is to deter crime from happening in the first place and tackling environmental concerns is more significant in doing that than people may realise.

“An area with visible signs of disorder can, and does, lead to further crime being committed in the same area. We want to instill a sense of pride and help residents to feel proud and safe. A great deal has been achieved, not just today, but since the start of the project and feedback we are receiving from residents has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “The Safer Streets project has delivered a series of improvements in an ambitious time-frame and we are delighted local people are already feeling the benefits.

“I would like to thank the environmental teams for delivering this clean-up and helping to improve the look and feel of these areas for local residents. By working proactively with our partners, we can achieve so much more and make a stronger impact on community life. We are determined to make the Chatham Court and Northgate estates an inhospitable place for criminals and together we are achieving this ambition.”

Inspector Heather Sutton, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: “This is just the latest example of how the Safer Streets initiative is having a real impact on people’s lives. This kind of activity really does help to improve our communities by preventing wider crime and disorder.

“Residents should also be reassured by the recent boost we’ve had to our front-line policing numbers with the launch of our new Operation Reacher team, whose members are working hard every day to tackle issues of local concern.”