PEOPLE in Sunderland are continuing to feel safe thanks to the continued success of partnership working in the city to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and substance misuse.

Ninety seven per cent of residents said they feel safe where they live, while the number of people reporting anti-social behaviour to the police has fallen by 12 per cent in the last year.

Those are among the findings of a report considered by the City Council’s Scrutiny Committee.

The Safer Sunderland Annual Report also noted that:

• The percentage of residents who think anti-social behaviour is a fairly or very big problem in their local area has dropped from 16 per cent to 12 per cent in 2016-17.

• The percentage of residents who think crime is a fairly or very big problem in their area has fallen from 9 per cent to 7 per cent.

• Recorded anti-social behaviour in Sulgrave and Concorde has reduced by 7.8 per cent and 25 per cent in the two years since a neighbourhood management project was set up there.

• The top three community safety issues raised by residents in 2016-17 were:

– Young people being rowdy or a nuisance

– Litter or rubbish lying around

– Dog fouling

The Safer Sunderland Partnership is made up of Sunderland City Council, Northumbria Police, Sunderland Clinical Commission Group (CCG), Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), National Probation Service and Northumbria Community Rehabilitation company (CRC).

It also works alongside a number of other public, private and community and voluntary organisations who are helping to tackle crime, disorder, fear of crime and substance misuse to ensure that people in Sunderland are safe, and feel safe and secure.

With key priorities of preventing crime and disorder and reoffending, maintaining high levels of people feeling safe and protecting the city’s most vulnerable people and places from harm, its work this year has included:

• Tackling substance misuse
• Taking action against domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls. This has included 770 multi-agency staff being trained around recognising and responding to domestic violence and abuse.
• Citywide and local area problem solving with a focus tackling repeat community safety problems impacting on local communities
• Improving safeguarding and feelings of safety with a key focus on sexual exploitation, trafficking and preventing violent extremism and radicalism
• Developing partnerships and collaborating on exiting issues and new and emerging threats like novel psychoactive substances, serious and organised crime, cyber related crime and public space protection orders.

Councillor Harry Trueman, Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, who is also the council’s Deputy Leader, said: “It’s heartening to know that 97 per cent of our residents continue to feel safe where they live and I’m delighted that the number of people who think anti-social behaviour is a problem in their area has also dropped in the last year.

“Reducing the fear of crime is as important as reducing crime itself if we are to create a city where people feel safe and secure and improve everyone’s quality of life.

“While we’re pleased with the improvement, we recognise that there are still local concerns and over the next year we’re going to be focusing on among other things protecting our most vulnerable people and places from harm.

“Residents can be assured that we’ll continue to keep up this good work which is helping to create a safer Sunderland.

“As a partnership we’re committed to continuing to work together to ensure that Sunderland not only remains a safe place to live, but that people feel safe here.”

Commenting on the report, Norma Wright, Chair of the Scrutiny Co-ordinating Committee, said: “In many respects this is an excellent report. I’d like to congratulate the Safer Sunderland Partnership on their sterling work over the last year in helping people in Sunderland to be safe and to feel safe, however there is no room for complacency. We will be continuing to monitor the work of the Safer Sunderland Partnership over the next year.”

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