The success of a Washington community safety project has earned it a funding extension from Sunderland City Council.
The Sulgrave and Concord Neighbourhood Management Team was set up in 2013 to bring partner agencies together to help tackle housing decline in an area badly effected by crime and anti-social behaviour from a small number of problem tenants and landlords.
A multi-agency partnership team of council staff, police, probation, Gentoo, drug and alcohol services and Wearside Women in Need has been operating from a base on the estate for the last six months with initial funding from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Neighbourhood Inspector for Washington, Paul Stewart said: “It’s excellent news that we can continue the good work already being carried out at the base with this funding extension.”
Working with residents to identify local concerns, and then combining resources to address them, the project has achieved a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour and improvements to previously neglected properties.
Councillor Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership said:”Having a community base really helps form closer working relationships with local residents and landlords and has encouraged more people considered as ‘hard to reach’ to come forward and share their views, concerns and problems with us.
“This has given us the chance to tell them more about the advice and support available. Helping people with things like drug and alcohol dependency, health and welfare issues can hopefully improve their quality of life.
“The Sulgrave and Concord Neighbourhood Management team is helping to turn around a community that was facing continual decline with extremely high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour including domestic violence and re-offending which are now being reduced.”
Councillor Jill Fletcher, Ward councillor for Washington North and member of the Place Board on Washington Area Committee who support the project added: “The council has been instrumental in the developing, setting up and day to day management of this project.
“The team constantly strive to go above and beyond to support residents and landlords in the area and change the attitudes and behaviours of many local residents.
Vera Baird, Northumbria Police, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Tackling domestic abuse and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour are priorities in my Police and Crime Plan for Northumbria.
“This multi-agency partnership is a good example of police and partner agencies working together to tackle issues raised as a concern by local residents.
” I would urge people not to suffer in silence and report any incidents to their local officers so that it can be dealt with.”