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commended businesses and Council officers outside the Council building

Businesses honoured at awards ceremony

Over 40 Ashfield businesses have been commended for becoming a place of refuge for residents as part of a scheme to make people feel safer.

Ashfield District Council hosted a presentation evening on Wednesday 21 June where Ashfield CEO Theresa Hodgkinson, PCC Caroline Henry and Police Superintendent, Claire Rukas presented awards to businesses who have signed up for the Safer Streets scheme.

A network of businesses in Kirkby and Hucknall have been kitted out with state-of the-art CCTV systems, signage, lighting and training for staff to enhance security and safety across the District. Residents and visitors to the towns can access the stores if they feel they are at risk or need help.  

The cameras will also be used to help deter retail crime and other offences as well as being used by the Police to assist with criminal investigations. The CCTV devices will be filming 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and are equipped with sensors and night vision.

The Safer Streets scheme has already achieved a number of positive outcomes in Kirkby in Ashfield and Hucknall such as Safe Spaces in shops, Shop Watch radios and youth diversion activity from ‘Switch Up’ with the overall aim of reducing antisocial behaviour. The scheme is delivered in partnership between the Council, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Nottinghamshire Police.

Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Crime Reduction, said:

“It was a pleasure to be joined by all the businesses in Kirkby and Hucknall so we could show our appreciation to them for their enthusiasm and commitment to the Safer Streets scheme. Without their support, we couldn’t have implemented so many successful projects to make the Ashfield District a safer place for all. Including the work undertaken in Sutton last year, we now have over 80 businesses across the District accredited which means women and girls, and those vulnerable can seek support from any of these businesses.”


Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said:

“Safer Streets is all about coming up with innovative ways to make our public spaces safer. That trailblazing principle is something that has been absolutely grabbed with both hands here in Ashfield, with some pioneering projects such as the Safe Point refuge cameras – which was a world first in in Sutton-in-Ashfield and is now being replicated in towns and cities across the country, as well as being expanded here into Kirkby.


The Safe Spaces scheme in shops is also a great example of thinking outside the box to improve safety and feelings of safety. These awards pay tribute to the hard work and innovation that has gone into these schemes and many more Safer Streets projects that are helping to prevent neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls.”


Superintendent Claire Rukas, County Area Commander for Nottinghamshire Police, said:

“When it comes to reducing crime, lots of little things can make a very big difference to making communities feel safer. For every business that has benefited from additional training or targeting hardening measures like CCTV, a potential opportunity for criminals is taken away. This kind of work has been going on for a while but the Safer Streets initiative and the very significant sums of money that has come with it has really taken it to new level and allowed us to do things that would not previously have been possible. It really is an effective and exciting initiative and I am delighted to help celebrate its success.”