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Wednesday January 26th 2022

Safer streets funding to boost crime prevention in Bletchingley.

In April 2021 Surrey Police were successful in securing over £300,000 in funding from the Home Office to help tackle burglary and neighbourhood crime in Tandridge.

This was the result of the Police submitting a bid for ‘Safer Streets’ funding for the Godstone and Bletchingley areas of Tandridge in order to support a reduction in incidents of burglary, particularly from sheds and outhouses.  This area was chosen following completion of an Environmental Visual Audit (EVA) together with analysis of crime review hotspots in the area. Bikes and garden equipment have been the main items targeted, and this was causing misery for our local community.

The funding will not only improve the safety and security of residents living in the area, but will also act as a real deterrent to criminals who have been targeting their properties. It will act as a boost to the prevention work our police teams are already carrying out, and has provided us with a great opportunity to engage further with our community and work with our partners and extended police family.

So how are we spending the money?

Our aim is to use the funds to ‘target harden’ the areas being hit. Target hardening is about making a building or area into a more difficult, or less attractive, place to target.

  • Over 150 repeat victims of burglary/theft within the target area have been directly contacted to complete an eligibility assessment for crime prevention kits. These kits contain Cube Portable Security Cameras, Secure Shed Shackles, Wireless Shed Alarms and Crime Prevention Stickers. It’s all about making the premises less attractive to the opportunists. The roll out of the kits commenced early November and is ongoing.
  • 9 ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Reader) cameras are to be installed around the borough of Tandridge by the end of January 2022. These will make Tandridge a less attractive area to criminals who are travelling in to the area to commit burglary and other crimes. This ANPR system provides investigators potential lines of enquiry.
  • A defensive planting project is underway on a garden within the area . Defensive planting is ideal for those rural areas adjacent to open land which are difficult to make secure. The use of defensive planting can help provide a nature barrier to these type of locations. In the next few weeks we will be producing a media video which will be shared via social media throughout the borough, to provide education and ideas on how you can do this yourselves.
  • We have purchased 500 SelectaDNA kits which are going to be rolled out with the help of our volunteers to  identified premises within the area. SelectaDNA is a powerful crime deterrent and has been proven to reduce crime and property theft, it also helps us to link criminals to crime scenes and secure convictions.
  • Our Neighborhood Watch partners will be invaluable in assisting with the remainder of the roll out of the project. Part of the funding will provide them with refreshed signage which will serve as a reminder to offenders that residents are on the lookout and deter offending whilst increase the community feeling of safety.

Have we seen any benefits so far?

We have just completed the third stage of the project which is already proving to be reaping the benefits with a distinct reduction in domestic burglaries compared to this time last year. This is excellent news.

Borough Commander for Tandridge Inspector Karen Hughes said “The project is massively underway now and I’m delighted that we have already seen some reduction in our burglary statistics compared to this time last year. Community Engagement is our key focus moving in to 2022 and my team is working hard with our partners to ensure that the residents of Tandridge feel as safe as possible. This initiative is helping us to make a real and tangible difference”.

Designing Out Crime Officer for Surrey Police Simon Evans said “This project is aimed at target hardening properties within the wards of Bletchingley and Godstone as well as enhancing engagement within the local community”.