Communities prone to anti-social behaviour across County Durham and Darlington have been treated to floral makeovers thanks to funding from Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen.
The County Durham and Darlington PCC secured Government funding, some of which has funded a bulb planting scheme in ASB hotspots across the country as part of her plans to build pride in the local community and deter crime and nuisance behaviour.
The planting was carried out by people who have offended and are currently subject to Community Payback. This is part of a programme of reparative activity which encourages the volunteers to give back to their communities and make amends for their past behaviour.
Durham County Council’s Clean and Green team and Darlington Borough Council’s Street Scene Service worked alongside the National Probation Service to enhance the entrances to 34 locations and specific areas where ASB occurs.
The bulbs, sourced from suppliers based in Amsterdam, were planted in mixed designs to achieve longevity of colour over a longer period, typically from February to July.
Three specific mixes, containing a selection of Narcissi (daffodils), Alliums and Camassias, were used. The different varieties flower in sequence and provide a change of colour and height throughout the flowering months.
Commissioner Allen said: “I am proud to back this project which not only supports the rehabilitation of people who have offended, but also helps to discourage and prevent further unwanted behaviour in these areas. I know that floral displays enhance and improve the quality of life in communities in so many different ways. This continues my well-known support for bloom. When I was a County Councillor I drove the project which saw us win Best Large Town Category in the Northumbria in Bloom competition.
“Reducing ASB is a key priority for me and helping to restore a sense of pride in our neighbourhoods is one of many strategies we are employing to improve safety. If we don’t care about our public spaces, then we are unlikely to care about other issues that impact negatively on people’s lives and will invite others to treat those areas with contempt. Residents are in for a real treat in the coming months as these displays bloom.”