D&G Community Safety Survey Shows People Feel Safer

Members of Dumfries and Galloway’s  Council’s Communities Committee will hear later this week that people feel safer in their communities.

Councillors will convene on Thursday 19 May and will be asked to review the results of the annual survey and also note the allocations to the Comm6unity Safety Fund for the forthcoming year.

The survey pulled in a superb 1,117 responses, a figure that is more than a 75% increase from the same survey last year.  Running for 12 weeks and closing on 24 December 2015, the survey demonstrated that 98% of respondents feel safe in their own neighbourhoods during the day, and 81% feel safe in their neighbourhood at night.  Respondents also identified Dog Fouling and Littering and the two biggest problems in their neighbourhoods.  More than half of the total number of responses identified dog fouling as the number one problem in communities.

The data collected will be used by the Community Safety Team do plan their workloads and will allow them to focus in on areas of concern to the public.  Increased patrols by Officers are already taking place, and last month after a ‘blitz’ in Annandale and Eskdale several littering fines were handed out over a week long period in and around Annan.

Councillors will also be asked to note allocations made to the Community Safety Fund as part of the report.  The fund welcomes applications that aim to address to priorities of the Community Safety Partnership;

·         Antisocial Behaviour

·         Road Safety

·         Substance Misuse

·         Public Protection

·         Violent Crime

·         Emergency Planning

·         Terrorism

Over 30 applications have been received for the 2016 fund, which closed for applications at the end of March.  These applications will be heard and decided upon by Area Committees in July. Members agreed to be fixed amount being available to communities through the scheme, and over 60% of the fund is still available for communities to apply for.  Community organisations and individuals have identified that the match funding aspect of the process can be problematic, so officers in our Council are looking at ways to make the process more effective and efficient to allow funding to be more readily available to applicants.  However, it is also worth noting that 87% of applications received in the Wigtownshire area of the region have been approved and schemes have been put in place that have seen a marked improvement in areas across Wigtownshire in relation to community resilience.

The next round of funding is now open, and will remain so until 30 September this year.  You can find out more by visiting www.dumgal.gov.uk

Communities Committee Chairman Councillor Tom McAughtrie welcomed the report.  He said;

“The report demonstrates that there’s a lot of excellent work being done by the Community Safety Teams across Dumfries and Galloway.  I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey, it really is a wonderful response rate and shows that our residents care about their neighbourhoods.  The results allow us to see what we do well, but also what we need to improve on.  A particular problem across the region is dog fouling, and we have taken steps to put in extra patrols in this area.  We are only as good as the information we receive though, and I would encourage anyone to report persistent offenders to the Community Safety team, either by giving us a call or visiting our website.  It’s good to see 30 applications coming into the Community Safety Fund and look forward to Area Committees reviewing these applications later in the year.  It is vital that we utilise funds like this to better protect and enhance our communities right across Dumfries and Galloway.”

To view the full report ahead of the meeting on Thursday 19 May go to http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/users/public/admin/kab71.pl?cmte=MUN

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