Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will receive £271,712 in government funding for a project to improve safety for Epsom town centre’s night-time economy.
The Home Office’s Safer Streets funding was secured in partnership with Surrey Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Business Improvement District, Go Epsom.
These improvements are aimed specifically at supporting the safety and vitality of the night-time economy, including reducing violence against women and girls.
The funding will help the following items:
- Upgrade of CCTV in Epsom town centre
- Support businesses operating in the evening with training and accreditation
- Support the existing Street Pastors with equipment and training
- Develop a further night-time presence to build on the work of the Street Pastors
- Provide anti drink spiking equipment to licensed premises and customers
- Deliver a communications package promoting the safety of patrons in the town centre and promote personal safety
In response to ongoing issues in and around Epsom town centre, Surrey Police worked closely with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to draw up an application for Safer Streets funding.
A survey was sent out into the community and the results were closely consulted when drafting the application. Among the concerns raised were drug use, threatening behaviour, extreme drunkenness, and violence within Epsom town centre, closely linked to the night-time economy.
The survey highlighted a desire for better signposting to help and support, and a need for increased confidence in the police response to issues within the town centre.
The application was drafted by the police and council, then approved and submitted by Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend. Other areas in Surrey to benefit from successful funding bids are Sunbury Cross and the Surrey Towers development in Addlestone.
The money will be used, among other measures, to modernise CCTV use, deliver training packages for licensed premises, and to provide free anti-drink spiking and spiking detection devices within Epsom town centre.
Councillor John Beckett, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee, said, “It’s great to hear Epsom has received the Safer Streets funding, we are particularly proud of the partnership working that took place to bring this resource together for the benefit of local residents and businesses.
“Supporting the night-time economy while ensuring the safety of residents, particularly female ones, is an important priority and we will continue to work with everyone involved to ensure this money is spent effectively. Epsom town centre is a vibrant evening economy and we are delighted to enhance safety and boost confidence for every business and visitor.”
Inspector Jon Vale, Borough Commander, said, “This is fantastic news. Surrey Police and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council have worked tirelessly as a partnership in the submission of this bid.
“The community have told us their concerns, and we have listened. The funding made available will allow the partnership to implement numerous measures that would not otherwise been a possibility.
“This will help to make Epsom town centre an even safer place for users of the night-time economy, in particular women and girls. Tackling violence against women and girls is a specific priority for the Epsom & Ewell Community Safety Partnership and this work demonstrates our shared commitment in this respect.”
Rod Brown, Chair of the Epsom and Ewell Community Safety Partnership, said, “We know from speaking with residents that the safety of their environment is of great importance. I am delighted that this award will allow us to deliver lasting benefits to the late-night economy in Epsom to allow business to invest with confidence and secure safety improvements for the town.”
Adam Kick the Chairman of Epsom and Ewell’s Pubwatch enthuses: “This is amazing news for the borough and has most certainly been achieved as a result of tireless work by all parties involved in the proposal. This funding will most certainly help towards supporting the aim of providing a vibrant nightlife where customer safety is paramount.”
Karen Pengelly, BID Manager at Go Epsom, said, “Since Epsom’s businesses reopened after Covid lockdowns, the BID has been doing lots of groundwork on safety and security, engaging with our local licensed premises and retailers and working with security experts to reduce offending.
“This fresh investment in a modern and much improved CCTV system provides Epsom with the tools that are needed to reduce theft and anti-social behaviour. It’s wonderful news.”