A VILLAGE square in Coventry has been transformed into a fun play area for children as part of a pledge by the police to improve communities and help families.
Hillfields Square now has games, such as hop scotch, mazes and snakes and ladders, painted on the floor.
A bike and scooter track has also been added thanks to Safer Streets funding which uses cash for community and crime prevention schemes.
Officers from St Michaels Neighbourhood Police Team prepared a detailed bid for cash to fund the improvements and received £549,040 from the Government.
PCSO Lauren Galloway, who drove the project forward along with Coventry City Council and Citizen Housing, said: “Around 1,000 local residents overlook Hillfields Square and many of them are young families living in the five high-rise tower blocks.
“The nearest park is about half-a-mile away so we consulted with local people about ways we could help and there was overwhelming support for this painted play area.”
As well as providing fun for bike and scooter riders, the painted track will also help promote road safety.
Wording is in six different languages to reflect the area’s diversity.
It is already available but a special bike and scooter marking session to help children protect their Christmas presents will be held on January 9 to officially open the area.
More of the Safer Streets money will be spent in Hillfields on schemes aimed at reducing crime, including more CCTV cameras, improved lighting and supplying residents with home security packs.
West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Waheed Saleem, said: “I am pleased to see this funding is being used to provide a place for young people to come together in a safe environment.
“Young people who live in this area have limited options when it comes to getting involved in positive activity and I am pleased to see this funding is providing somewhere safe for children to play.
“Ensuring young people have positive activities to get involved is key to preventing crime.”
Hillfields councillor David Welsh, who is also Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, added: “This is the first stage in a series of improvements to the area.
“We want the square to be a place the community can enjoy.
“By giving it a makeover we hope children and young people who helped suggest ideas for the artwork will be encouraged to play and meet outside.
“I’m really looking forward to other schemes being rolled out in the coming months that benefit residents and have a positive impact on the quality of life in the area.”