05/02/20: Council announces £235k investment to tackle crime and boost local towns

05 February 2020

Breckland Council is to invest almost a quarter-of-a-million pounds across three projects which will help disrupt organised crime in the district and support local towns to thrive. The projects were all given the green light by Breckland's Cabinet at their meeting held in Dereham this week (February 3).

The first of the schemes will see £60k invested in the installation of new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology in Breckland, to support Norfolk Constabulary detect, deter and disrupt criminal activity. ANPR cameras are able to read car number plates so criminals can be tracked and Police forces notified if a criminal's vehicle comes into the area.

The one-off spend is in addition to funding allocated by the Police and will see additional cameras put in place to help further widen the coverage of the ANPR scope in order to help keep Breckland safe.

As part of a separate scheme, up to £75k will be spent on promoting Thetford to ensure it is a destination of choice for residents, visitors and businesses. The money will be spent on a campaign to raise awareness of the many leisure, heritage and business opportunities in the town, to help attract people and further investment. This will also create a clear and consistent message about the town's assets, which will help with future regional and national funding bids and project development.

Members also gave the go-ahead for £100k to be ringfenced to support a project in Swaffham, which will see the centre of the town become a recognised heritage zone. In total, the initiative is expected to cost around £340k and will help protect the historic high street, but the plan is subject to further funding being secured from other sources and this is currently being sought.

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Breckland's Leader, commented: "These investments will benefit residents across the district. We are strengthening our partnership with the Police and ensuring criminals see Breckland as a no-go area, we're helping to protect Swaffham's historic high street for future generations, and looking at new ways to champion Thetford, its assets and opportunities."

At the meeting, Breckland's Cabinet also discussed proposals to invest a further £1.75m over the coming three years on initiatives which will boost all of Breckland's towns and support some of the most vulnerable in local communities. This includes schemes to help older people at risk of becoming isolated, people potentially vulnerable to drug or people trafficking, those experiencing domestic abuse, and people who need support with their mental health.

The plans were fully supported by Cabinet, but are subject to final approval by Breckland's Full Council. Further details on these plans will be released if they are agreed by councillors at their meeting later this month (February 27).

Last updated: 05/02/2020 10:21:02