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Residents will soon have a more pleasant and safer walk through the alley just off Elm Grove as part of the Safer Streets project.

Portsmouth City Council and the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner have worked together to redesign areas where high levels of crime have been reported in a number of locations across the city. Belmont Path, located between Scoops and Woks Wong in Elm Grove, is one of the areas benefitting from the scheme.

The council is working with local businesses to remove all the bins as they make it difficult and unpleasant for people to walk through. To make it safer for everyone, additional lighting has been added along with new CCTV cameras early next month. The alley is also being made more pleasant with greening and professional street art.

Talented artists Anna Potten, Clare Jefferson-Jones, and Amber Jefferson-Grant developed the new digital street art by working with over 200 local people. This included year five students from Cottage Grove Primary School, nine ex-students, twelve local traders and six dogs. The new artwork, which was revealed to Councillors today, was based on photographs taken by students at Cottage Grove Primary School. The local community then used these photographs to create a unique set of collages. The new art work will be on display for all to enjoy by the end of the month.

These improvements are being delivered in partnership with the Hampshire Police Crime Commissioner, funded through the Home Office’s Safer Streets Three funding. It is one of several initiatives aimed at tackling violence against women and girls in the city.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Travel and Transportation, said: “I’m so pleased that this alley is being cleaned up and given a facelift. It’s an easy shortcut for so many people including parents and carers of pupils at Cottage Grove Primary School.  I hope the improvements will mean that they can feel safe and secure using this route. All the bins will be moved soon, which means people won’t struggle to get buggies down there. We want residents to be proud of this city, and to move around it freely. I look forward to seeing the new artwork on the wall.”

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment said: “Belmont path is right by the popular bars and restaurants along Elm Grove. By improving lighting and adding CCTV, we hope that people will feel more confident when travelling through this area. We want residents to be proud of this city, and I love the fact that we will have modern new street art that celebrates the local people of Portsmouth.”

Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is another important step in making Hampshire and the Isle of Wight a safer place to live, work and visit. I will be doing everything I can to tackle areas of crime, such as this one.”

You can find out more about what the council is doing to reduce crime at www.saferportsmouth.org.uk.