£1.5 million has been successfully secured from the UK Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund for projects that will tackle violence against women and girls and increase the feeling of safety for residents.
Safer Streets Funding
A funding pot of £23.5 million to make public spaces safer for all across England and Wales was announced earlier in the year by the UK’s Home Office. Select organisations such as Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities could bid to have access to the funding by submitting a bid.
Safer Streets is just one of the ways government is working to tackle violence against women and girls. It was created with the objective of tackling local acquisitive crimes like car theft and burglary, however the latest round of the Safer Streets Fund has a particular emphasis on the safety of women and girls.
Cheshire has secured £1.1 million for two projects!
The first project focuses on Warrington town centre and will provide a training package of guardianship programmes for people involved in the night-time economy, increased CCTV and street lighting, and a safer taxi scheme to create a network of accredited drivers. It will also provide funding for an educational behavioural change programme in Warrington’s High schools and Colleges. This programme will educate students about harmful behaviour, and will specifically shift the focus away from victim-blaming to accountability for perpetrators. The programme will also look at giving young people the confidence to challenge and recognise inappropriate behaviour.
The second successful bid will see a partnership with the University of Chester, working to support students on campus at four sites in Chester, as well as in Warrington and at University Centre Reaseheath. There will be behaviour-change education for all students alongside training for staff on how to support victims and manage disclosures. Additionally, there will be a dedicated Independent Sexual Violence Advisor who will be appointed to provide a single point of contact for victims.
There will be improvements to physical infrastructure through the installation of more CCTV cameras and better street lighting covering mapped routes for students so they feel safe around University sites. There are also plans to enhance the current University of Chester app to allow for crime reporting and referral to support services. To reduce vulnerability, it is intended that the app would allow live location sharing with staff and the police for those students who are walking alone. Importantly, all the ideas have come from those who have lived experience, or organisations who support victims.
Merseyside will receive £270,000 to improve safety on its transport network and create safer routes from the city.
The new funding will be used to improve CCTV coverage particularly at city centre bus stations in Liverpool One, Queens Square and Sir Thomas Street, create new ‘help points’ connected to the CityWatch control room and better links with emergency services. Travel centres at each of the bus stations will also become ‘safe spaces’ for anyone who feels vulnerable.
Bus drivers, frontline bus station staff and taxi drivers will receive ‘bystander training’ to better understand and know how to prevent sexual violence. The training will equip them to act as ‘guardians’, to make passengers feel safer.
The money will also be used to launch a text message service, specifically requested by young people, which can be used to report concerns and help to identify offenders. It will also fund a new educational resource for up to 70 schools across Liverpool raising awareness of sexual harassment and misogyny.
The funding will also be used to provide an increased police and uniformed presence on the transport network through monthly awareness days at transport hubs, partnership days and use of the mobile police unit in hotspot areas and at times when women feel most unsafe. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service will also support the campaign by directing their fire engines back from emergencies along any area identified as having a problem through the text message service to provide additional reassurance.
All this work will be supported by the launch of a new communications campaign which will highlight the work being carried out to make the network safer and increase awareness of the ways to report any concerns.
Cumbria will receive £191,583.96 to help make Whitehaven a safer place.
The funding will be used to introduce lighting and CCTV within Castle Park. Thorn ‘Night Tune’ lamp will be installed to light the routes in the park and behind the bandstand to enhance visibility and feelings of safety. CCTV will be attached to the lampposts to monitor the park paths and provide surveillance opportunities for the Police. The cameras will increase the chance of an offender being caught and will provide evidence for the Police with the aim to help secure convictions.
Active bystander training will also be provided to a range of groups in Whitehaven to influence the culture that violence against women is unacceptable. The aim of the training is to prevent sexual assaults, where possible, as research has shown that bystanders play a key role in preventing, discouraging, and intervening when an act of violence is likely to occur. Just under 1000 people will be invited to attend the training, including pub door security staff, taxi drivers, the Women out West centre staff and users; Whitehaven Academy; St Benedict’s secondary schools; and all youth groups in Whitehaven.
A county-wide campaign will be launched as part of the funding to tackle the myths and misunderstandings around rape, consent, sexual harassment and what constitutes as inappropriate behaviour. The campaign will cover: Promoting a healthy and positive understanding of consent; encouraging individuals to recognise their own boundaries and to respect those of others; encouraging the reporting of unwanted behaviours to the police or other support agencies; and promoting support services available.
£1.5 million Safer Streets Funding announced across the North West to tackle violence against women and girls
£1.5 million has been successfully secured from the UK Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund for projects that will tackle violence against women and girls and increase the feeling of safety for residents.Read More
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, explains his role and the commissioned services across the county.Read More
This website was developed in collaboration with North West Police Crime Commissioners, NHS England, and Sexual Assault & Abuse Services.
The North West SAAS Partner Network (Strategic Direction for Sexual Assault and Abuse Services) is led by NHS England and covers Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.