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North Devon Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have secured more than £500k to tackle antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls in Barnstaple, it was announced yesterday (Monday, July 25).

The Home Office will provide £348,632 from the fourth round of its Safer Streets fund for a raft of projects, with £179,126 of match (additional) funding from the PCC and North Devon Council.

Barnstaple residents and visitors to the town can expect to see graffiti removed, improved street lighting, additional CCTV cameras, a new street marshal team created, extra specialist staff being deployed to work with people who cause antisocial behaviour as well as training for school pupils and workers in the hospitality trade on staying safe.

Barnstaple Town Centre Manager, Hannah Harrington says: "Antisocial behaviour can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, not to mention the detrimental impact it can have on local businesses. We are thrilled to have secured this funding, which will help us to ensure Barnstaple is a place everyone enjoys and feels safe in. Our officers have been working hard to stamp out ASB in the town centre, but this additional funding will give us scope to make practical improvements to increase safety, as well as improving the look and feel of the town centre and providing educational programmes to change negative behaviours.

“The success of this bid is a great example of local partners working together and we will continue to work together with the police and PCC to reduce antisocial behaviour and crime. By taking a partnership approach, we aim to improve the quality of life and experience for all residents, businesses and visitors to Barnstaple town centre."

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “This represents the most significant investment in crime prevention in Barnstaple that I have been involved in.

“Antisocial behaviour is one of our communities’ top priorities. It blights lives, reduces the appeal of our town centres and can escalate to the point where serious crimes occur. In partnership with our business community a great deal of work will take place to make these towns safer and more appealing to people who want to enjoy them without feeling threatened. The Violence Against Women and Girls agenda has started a national conversation about this issue and it is right that we put in place resources to tackle those legitimate fears.

“I am pleased to be working with police and councils on this issue and delighted the Government has listened to our arguments to provide substantial funding for these projects.”

Bids co-ordinated by the Commissioner for Torbay in South Devon and Truro in Cornwall were also successful.

Last year the Commissioner worked with Exeter and Plymouth councils to secure more than £900,000 of Safer Streets funding.