More CCTV and lighting will be installed in dangerous areas of Reading after the town received £429,000 in funding

The money is set to be spent on preventing anti-social behaviour, theft-related crimes and violence against women and girls.

The Council, Thames Valley Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner are to provide an additional £214,500.

“The award of this funding is great news for all who enjoy our vibrant town centre, as it means we can do more to improve safety and ensure our residents also feel safer,” said Karen Rowland, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environmental Services and Community Safety.

“Focusing on the creation of a Community Safe Space Hub for the town centre and working with young people in developing positive outcomes will help to give residents an increased sense of security whilst taking advantage of all our town centre has to offer.”

The opening of a Community Safe Hub at a location is to be decided, which will be a permanent home for First Stop, a town centre first aid and welfare service currently based in Reading Minster.

The Hub will also be a community safety drop-in centre, providing personal safety and crime prevention advice and offering a safe space for young people.

Safer routes for women at night, dedicated safe spaces, and training programmes for staff working at late night venues in Reading will also be expanded.

“We are committed to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in our town through successfully applying for funding grants such as this through our Community Safety Partnership work,” said Cllr Rowland.

“We very much want to hear from residents about their concerns and ideas surrounding safety and crime.”

Last week Reading Borough Council launched public consultations on its community safety, serious violence and domestic abuse strategies, with residents invited to provide feedback and their opinions to help shape future responses to crime and violence.

In 2021 Reading was successful in a bid for £402,000 to tackle neighbourhood crime issues such as robbery, burglary and vehicle crime, specifically in parts of Coley and Oxford Road. This included installation of CCTV, improved street lighting and provision of community crime training.