Sticker drive to make people feel safe on streets
MORE than 20 businesses in Queen Street, Newton Abbot, have backed a new scheme to make people feel safer on streets in the town.
Firms can display 'safe zone' stickers in their windows to let people know their premises are a safe place to go into if they feel threatened or feel in danger.
The idea has been backed by Newton Abbot MP Anne-Marie Morris.
Cllr Neil Wilson, representative for Bushell Ward on Newton Abbot Town Council, has spearheaded the sticker idea.
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He said: "This way we can help snuff out anti-social behaviour by creating a positive town centre environment for shoppers to enjoy and an environment for businesses to thrive in.
"Town centres, during the day or night, can be intimidating places for some and that isn't conducive to a healthy town centre."
Cllr Wilson visited Newton Abbot town centre last week with Mrs Morris and 24 businesses supported the sticker campaign.
He added: "People seemed to think it was positive and we'll now go on to give out stickers in other streets in the town centre.
"This isn't scare mongering, it's just an initiative to make sure Newton Abbot remains a safe place. It just welcomes people inside if they feel intimidated.
"I'll use the example of people feeling uneasy if there is a big group of young people approaching them. Shop owners seemed only too happy to get involved."
Mrs Morris said the police do a great job to keep people safe, but more needs to be done.
"I believe we all have a duty to help make our communities safer and we should do what we can to assist efforts in combating anti-social behaviour," she said.
"That is why I was delighted to join Cllr Wilson in Newton Abbot to launch the Safer Streets Campaign. I have no doubt this will help make an already safe town even safer."
Despite, traders supporting the idea, Newton Abbot town development manager, Sally Henley, is sceptical.
"One of the town centre's many strengths is its safe environment and so I am rather perplexed as to why our town has been highlighted as a place in need of this Government 'Safer Streets' campaign," she said.
"Instead of addressing a non-issue, it would be wonderful if our local MP could lobby government on their behalf regarding the current state of artificially high business rates."