As safe as houses ...
PUBLISHED: 16:32 22 June 2007 | UPDATED: 22:53 28 May 2010
A FENLAND safe house has been equipped with reinforced doors, windows and supported by an alarm system directly lined to police as part of a campaign against domestic violence. The initiative is one of many developed in the Fens to tackle crime and vio
A FENLAND 'safe' house has been equipped with reinforced doors, windows and supported by an alarm system directly lined to police as part of a campaign against domestic violence.
The initiative is one of many developed in the Fens to tackle crime and violence.
A report from the multi-agency Safer Fenland Partnership says a special domestic violence advocacy service has also been set up to advice victims of domestic violence.
"Working from community locations the advisors can assist with practical and emotional support," says the report.
The partnership also reports the success of The Sanctuary Project, which offers domestic violence victims a 'safe' room in their own home, allowing them to stay close to family and friends.
"To date, we have installed three such rooms, and one has already provided successful protection for the user," says the report.
"Through raising awareness of this issue we have seen a huge 21 per cent increase in the reporting of incidents against our 2008 target of 20 per cent."
Publicity campaigns to raise the awareness of domestic violence have also been launched which is mainly caused by drugs and alcohol.
Tackling drug sales has also increased, says the partnership, through an increase in stop searches and arrests.
'Button-hole' cameras have been bought to gather evidence of illegal alcohol sales to minors, and extra funding has been found to work with young people who are at risk of getting into crime.
The report presented to Fenland District Council's yesterday (Thursday), says overall crime has been reduced by 13 per cent and they are on target to meet a 20 per cent reduction by next year.
Councillor Fred Yeulett, the partnership chairman, says while they have seen positive results in some areas, others such as violence, racially motivated crime and criminal damage related to anti-social behaviour have been increasing "and will be the key focus of future actions."
Sandra Claxton, deputy chief executive, said the partnership was planning to expand to include magistrates, and representatives of the voluntary and private sectors.
New initiatives for the future including the 'bobby scheme' which supports elderly people and a campaign to encourage to more use of personal alarms.
"Anti-social behaviour remains a major problem," said Ms Claxton. "A lot of it revolves around drugs and alcohol.
"Our biggest problem is the lack of diversions to stop young people getting into bad habits."
Fenland Council has also recruited two part time migrant workers for their Wisbech one-stop shop to advice Eastern Europeans on crime related issues.