TWO MILLION pounds worth of force-wide projects to improve public safety and tackle anti-social behaviour on nights out and on public transport, will be rolled-out across the region if a funding bid made by Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness is successful.

Last week, Kim McGuinness’s office applied for Home Office Safer Streets funding outlining detailed initiatives to make people feel safer.

These plans include enhanced police patrols on nights out and more overtime for officers on the Metro. Policing will be supported with more street pastors across transport networks, youth diversion schemes, improvements to underpasses, safe-haven and victim support and programmes and campaigns to change views and behaviours as well as raising awareness.

Since securing previous Safer Streets funding, a lot of work has been underway to help people feel safe. There have been more Northumbria Police officers out in the night-time economy as part of Operation Cloak, a Fun without Fear campaign has been launched with local authorities and a Safer Transport Northumbria reporting app has gone live.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Over the years we’ve seen this Government let the North-East down with cuts after cuts and so I am appealing to them directly with this. There’s too much at stake here. Our needs in Northumbria simply can’t be ignored.

“If there is any real care, any truth in their intentions of improving women’s safety and bringing crime like ASB down, Government will hand over the cash we need to keep building on the good work we have started around prevention, changing behaviours, raising awareness and supporting those who need it.

“We know the investigative response to awful crimes like sexual offences is good but this is reactive. I want to see a really proactive approach, where we get ahead of these problems – there has to be a focus on preventing these things from happening at all.

“Northumbria needs support with this work if we are going to bring about real change though and I hope this time round we find out if we have been successful without delay. The delays last time only added to our frustrations and held up crucial work that can have a real impact.

“We know what we’ve got to do and we just want to get on with the job – but it’s over to the Government to not let the people of the North East down. We’ve got a strong bid in, it’s in their hands now.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has worked on the funding bid with all six local authorities in the force area, with the aim of improving the safety of public spaces for all.