More than £700k has been secured by police to "build a better Bedwell" in Stevenage, with officers set to take "a robust approach" to reducing drugs, anti-social behaviour and violent crime in the area.

The funding - from the Home Office and local partners - will see a range of measures including CCTV, secure-by-design door entry systems, and garage defenders installed.

Eleven warrants and 50 arrests were carried out in connection with drug crime over the past year in Bedwell, disrupting 11 county lines. 

The 'Build a Better Bedwell' scheme, which has been named by children from Brooms Barnes Primary School, aims to clear an area of drugs and neighbourhood crime through proactive warrants and arrests.

The funding will also see Harrow and Brent Court supported with new community wardens during the daytime and patrols from private security company Parkguard, during the night-time to tackle drug dealing, violence and vagrancy.

A portion of the £765,000 will be used by charity Sports Traider to set up a sports shop in the area, giving young people "the opportunity to participate in sport and divert from the lure of county lines".

This comes as part of a new partnership initiative between Hertfordshire Constabulary, Stevenage Borough Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Stevenage chief inspector Graeme Walsingham said: “This new initiative aims to take out county lines gangs, prevent violence, prevent the flow of harmful drugs and cut down on antisocial behaviour.

"It is an excellent example of partnership working with the local community at the heart of it all.

"If it is successful, we will be rolling it out to other areas of Stevenage with the aim of building resilience in communities, keeping out drugs and drug related crime and preventing those most at risk from being drawn into criminal behaviour.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd added: “This area has been affected by higher levels of anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and violent crime.

"I am glad to see additional measures being put in place to tackle this.


"We have seen from previous projects that Safer Streets initiatives can make a real difference in people’s lives.

"The additional CCTV combined with increased patrols and targeted police operations can successfully reduce fear of crime in communities.”

Lastly, Stevenage Borough Council's Cllr Jackie Hollywell commented:  “Build a Better Bedwell will regenerate the area, reduce crime, and tackle anti-social behaviour, all of which will improve the neighbourhood and ensure that our communities feel safe.”