Organisation supported by Wyre Forest Community Housing has been credited with fall in crime
Published - Thursday, 02/06/2011
Crime has almost halved in an area of Stourport since a community organisation was launched in 2003.
Crime in Newtown fell from 130 in 2003 to 69 in 2010 – a fall of 47 per cent.
The most notable decreases have been in vehicle crime, which fell from 21 to 13, violent crime which fell from 29 to 15, and criminal damage to vehicles which fell from 44 to just 9.
Community Action Newtown (CAN) was formed under West Mercia’s Urban Safety Initiative in 2003 with the assistance of the late councillor Jill Fairbrother Millis. A voluntary group made up of residents, young people, the police, clergy, and representatives from schools, the youth service and housing, it aimed to improve leisure facilities for young people, reduce crime and anti social behaviour and improve the environment.
In 2006 CAN won the government Respect award and Mrs Fairbrother Millis was introduced to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
A new bench in memory of Mrs Fairbrother Millis has now been located on the Manor Farm play area as part of a series of improvements there.
The existing play area has had new swings and rockers for young children added, and a new multi use games area has been created. The improvements have been jointly funded by Wyre Forest Community Housing (part of The Community Housing Group) and CAN.
Marina Banner, Executive Director Vestia & The Community Housing Group Corporate Services, said: “We are really pleased to support the work of CAN and through Wyre Forest Community Housing, have jointly funded the refurbishment of the play area.
“We recognise how important it is for children to have a safe place to play and to have opportunities to enjoy more positive activities such as sports and ball games in the new facilities, rather than take part in anti-social behaviour.”
Local Policing Officer PC Jon Harris said: “CAN goes from strength to strength. There are now youths clubs open in the Newtown area four nights of the week, social events for pensioners, and an annual community fun day in conjunction with Wyre Forest Community Housing and the Tenants Consultative Committee.
“In addition to the improvements to the play area and creation of the new multi use games area, CAN recently purchased some roller skates to support a voluntary-run roller disco, and a portable CCTV system which can be loaned out to residents experiencing anti social behaviour or crime.
“However the real measure of success is crime figures. A fall of 47 per cent in seven years is an incredible achievement, and I know Jill Fairbrother Millis would have been absolutely thrilled.”