THREE of Cleveland’s most at-risk areas for thefts will benefit from increased crime prevention measures such as alley gates, increased CCTV and street lightening in a major overhaul.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has secured £1,034,696 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which aims to prevent acquisitive crimes like theft, robbery and burglary.

The project will target the Newport area of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool’s Burn Valley, including Oxford Road and adjacent ‘ladder’ streets, and South Bank in Redcar and Cleveland – areas selected due to their disproportionality high levels of crime.

A range of measures will be implemented to protect communities from crime, including enhanced CCTV coverage, alley gate improvement schemes, metal shutters and improved lighting. The project will be finished by March 2021.

The most vulnerable households will receive home security provisions and funding will be provided for Neighbourhood Watch schemes and dedicated Victim Care Officers.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were invited to make a maximum of three bids to the fund.

Cleveland’s bid was led by the Commissioner’s Office in partnership with local councils, Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade and Victim Care and Advice Service.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “I’m delighted that we’ve successfully worked with our partners to secure this sizeable investment in crime prevention measures for our most at-risk communities.

“To have successfully pulled these bids together as we were coming to terms with a global pandemic is testament to the dedication of those working to keep our communities safe.

“This project is all about preventing acquisitive crime before it happens. This funding will allow us to refresh existing crime prevention measures and to install new equipment to deter criminals from victimising communities.

“Through Neighbourhood Watch and community cohesion programmes, we want to foster good relationships between neighbours, ensuring residents feel they’re part of a safer and stronger community.”

Councillor Shane Moore, chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership and leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “This is brilliant news and a huge boost for our efforts to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and to improve the lives of law-abiding residents.

“Oxford Road and its adjacent 'ladder' streets, in particular, have been identified as a priority for action, and the Safer Streets Fund money will enable us to build on work already carried out through the provision of a range of physical security measures, including CCTV, additional and improved street lighting and anti-climb roll bars on top of alley gates.”