Nearly £1 million of extra funding will help tackle crime in Swindon and Wiltshire.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has successfully bid for £998,251 from the Home Office’s £42m Safer Streets Fund.

The money will be invested into reducing violence against women and girls as well as supporting community projects that tackle neighbourhood crime such as burglary, robbery, theft and vehicle theft.

The OPCC worked with Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council as well as community safety partnerships which include representatives from the fire service and NHS to identify areas where investment was needed and the organisations who could provide the services to meet those needs.

The funding will be used across three projects and split between 12 schemes in Wiltshire that focus on a safer night-time economy, preventing burglary and anti-social behaviour, and improving mentoring services for young people.

Proposals for the uses of funding include Welfare And Vulnerability Engagement training for staff in licenced premises across Swindon and Wiltshire, support for vulnerable people in burglary hotspots through the Bobby Van Trust, a large programme of detached youth work and mentoring in Swindon, Chippenham and Salisbury.

Further funding proposals include funding for night-time economy wardens in Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge on Friday and Saturday evenings, four deployable CCTV cameras in Salisbury, additional CCTV cameras in Chippenham town centre, as a grant to make changes to the area surrounding the Salisbury Playhouse to prevent antisocial behaviour, and improving the reporting of crime and antisocial behaviour in hotspot areas around the county.

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “The latest figures show we’ve seen a 15 per cent increase in knife crime in Swindon and Wiltshire compared to a three per cent rise nationally “We need to get to the root cause of these offences and engage with young people before they’re dragged into situations they find difficult to get out of.

“This latest investment will allow my office, our new Serious Violence Duty Co-ordinator and our partners to work towards that goal through these projects.

“The projects address the issues that matter to people, such as anti-social behaviour, making the streets safer for women and girls, and burglary and robbery. This focus on prevention backs the work of Wiltshire Police as they get tough on offenders, reducing the number of innocent people becoming victims.

“By using this funding from Government efficiently and effectively, working in partnership, we will see projects that make a positive difference in these areas, delivering the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan to reduce violence and serious harm and to tackle crimes that matter to local communities.”

So far, Safer Streets funding has seen money invested in Swindon town centre to increase CCTV coverage and improve lighting to make the streets safer for women and girls, and in Devizes where over £100,000 was spent on tackling youth anti-social behaviour.

Andy Malcolm is the CEO of SMASH, a youth mentoring service in Swindon and Wiltshire which is set to receive a grant of £497,000.

He said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Safer Streets Round Five partnership with the OPCC, leading a collaboration of brilliant youth work organisations across Swindon and Wiltshire to provide Street-based mentoring and interventions.

“Working with The Bridge Project, The Rise Trust and Iprovefit, this funding will allow us to increase the presence of high quality youth workers on the streets of Swindon, Salisbury and Chippenham, as well as provide exceptional one to one mentoring for those young people most at risk of engaging in crime.

“We know this funding will not only lead to safer communities, but also create opportunities for young people to thrive across Swindon and Wiltshire.”