Redbridge Council announce £50k funding for resident patrol groups
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Street patrollers can apply for a slice of £50,000 funding to put towards equipment and training to help keep their area safe from crime.
Redbridge Council said it has released the money in response to an increase in burglary and antisocial behaviour in the borough and “£1billion of police cuts” by central government.
The Comunity Safety Fund was announced by Leader of the Council, Councillor Jas Athwal at a budget meeting last week and he said that the local authority is committed to aiding and supporting vital community groups combatting crime and antisocial behaviour.
“We want the £50,000 Community Safety Fund to help support community safety initiatives such as training for Neighbourhood watch groups, Street Watch and other organisations who wish to apply,” he said.
“We want to promote good citizenship and support those in our community who feel they can assist in crime prevention and keeping an eye out in their community”.
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Participants in groups in the borough can apply for up to £3,000 for training and equipment to assist them in combatting crime in their area.
This could be anything from hi-vis jackets to dash cams and will be dealt with on an application by application basis.
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Redbridge Council said it has been trying to create a more “citizen-participatory borough” in recent months and this fund will aid in this goal.
Cllr Athwal has already agreed to give funding to the Street Watch group pending proper formation of their organisation and funding proposals.
Street Watch is a police backed initiative and under the scheme, participants are shown by the police how to patrol nearby roads and become the eyes and ears of the community.
Grant funding applications for other groups will be available later in the year.
The Met Police, however, are concerned about the number of residents “taking things into their own hands” and patrolling the street at night in response to a spate of violent burglaries.
They are encouraging residents to join the police backed scheme, which has insurance just in case something happens, rather than running their own patrols.