'HALO' project awarded £250,000 extra cash to help drive down crime in Hetton

Community crime-fighters have been awarded an extra £250,000 to help them stamp out trouble in a Wearside neighbourhood.

The HALO (the Hetton Aspirations Linking Opportunities) project launched in February 2022, seeing Sunderland City Council, Northumbria Police, Gentoo, the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue (TWF&R) working more closely together for the community.

It follows successes seen on a similar project in Southwick called SARA (Southwick Altogether Raising Aspirations).

As part of a Northumbria Police area partnership, Sunderland City Council applied to the national Safer Streets Fund in May this year.

More CCTV is included in the plans after the funding announcement.

The successful bid will see £261,458 put into Hetton’s HALO project, including a new CCTV network.

Hetton’s crime and anti-social behaviour work includes moves to tackle youth crime and gangs, including motorbike disorder; building up community engagement and resilience, and the CCTV investment.Councillor Claire Rowntree is Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cabinet Member for Clean Green City and a Hetton ward councillor.She said: "Hetton residents want greener, safer and cleaner streets. While we've seen a continual squeeze on our resources in recent years, we are a listening council and this funding is a welcome boost to our continued work with residents on tackling the issues that we know are important to them."Work in HALO is a mix of enforcement, prevention and education."Recognising and listening to what residents say, extra CCTV cameras will act as a deterrent to offenders by providing further evidence and intelligence that anti-social and criminal behaviour is not acceptable and offenders face prosecution."I know the vast majority of residents will join us as we 'up the game' in and around Hetton and continue with our work on making all of our city and neighbourhoods better and safer."If you know or see problems around Hetton whether it is littering or fly-tipping or other criminal activity it is always important to report them and this can always be done confidentially."Work programmes on CCTV locations and installation are being readied for coming months.

The bid for Hetton was part of a wider Northumbria Police area award of £731,516 that will see similar schemes in Birtley, Gateshead) £208,600 and West Denton in Newcastle (£261,458).

Neighbourhood Inspector Steven Passey, of Northumbria Police, said: "This is welcome news as we continue to work successfully in collaboration with our partners to fight crime and keep people safe in Hetton and the surrounding areas.

"We are already seeing great results through the HALO project – and this funding will go a long way to support us to take further positive action on resident’s concerns and build on our success going forward.

"CCTV continues to be a vital resource to policing – not only does this technology help us to identify vulnerability at an early stage – we can also use it to detect, deter and disrupt criminality on a daily basis.

"So often it is CCTV footage that means we can deliver effective justice for victims of crime through the crucial evidence it provides in criminal investigations.

"We will continue to work together with our partners to ensure Sunderland, and the wider region, remains as safe as it possibly can be."

The extra funding and on-going work in Hetton and with HALO has been welcomed by the Northumbria Area Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

"There’s been a lot of good work happening in Hetton around fighting crime and improving lives for local people. I’m pleased to hear it’s been paying off too – there’s been a notable fall in crime, something all neighbourhoods want to hear.

"For me, this funding is a great boost and means recent successes can be built upon. I look forward to seeing yet more improvements made that will benefit the whole community and help make sure people feel safe where they live and work."

To report issues please contact HALO’s Community Engagement Worker, Kellie Richardson on 0788 1202 026 or [email protected]

You can follow HALO on their LetsTalkHALO Facebook page to keep up to date with its work.