MORE patrols, more interventions and more education – these are just some of the plans announced by Police Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, after securing millions in what she describes as a “win for public safety in the North East.”
Whether on the bus or at the bar, the vision set out for the region, by PCC Kim McGuinness along with the local councils and Northumbria Police, is to make public places across our region safer and feel safer for everyone, particularly for women and girls.
The cash-injection for the region will fund enhanced police operations that identify and crackdown on potential offenders, as well as making sure women feel safe and get the best support when needed.
As well as an array of street volunteer, wardens and youth engagement projects, there will also be behaviour change programmes for young men who show inappropriate behaviours and attitudes towards women. People can expect to see more from the popular Fun without Fear campaign which promotes safer nights for women and the Safer Transport Northumbria reporting app will also be developed further.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “We have to accept people don’t always feel safe in some public spaces.
“It’s everyday thoughts – ‘I best not walk through that underpass; I best move carriages to avoid that intimidating bunch of guys’.
“These aren’t paranoid thoughts these are normal thoughts. They race through women’s minds. So, let’s make that underpass brighter, let’s educate that bunch of guys. We need to be doing these things and now we can. It’s full steam ahead now with rolling out this really important work alongside our local authorities and transport networks partners.”
“There is no simple fix -so our plans are about using every tool we can to keep people safe and drive ASB down. We’ve already made a start with a lot of this and I’m excited to build on it.
“Northumbria Police have had great success with Operation Cloak and my Fun without Fear campaign received brilliant support region-wide working closely with our councils and Rape Crisis. Our Safer Transport Northumbria app is now fully established for reporting concerns and flagging ASB on our transport networks. We know what works now and we are all set to build on it now. For me, securing this investment is a real win for women’s safety here in the North East.”
|What does the funding secured look like?
WOMEN’S SAFETY IN PUBLIC SPACES BID APPLICATION: SUCCESSFUL
· Enhanced night-time economy policing (Northumbria Police’s Operation Cloak)
· Street volunteer and warden projects – reassuring presence in public spaces
· Safer underpasses
· Behaviour change programmes for young men exhibiting inappropriate behaviours and attitudes
· Disclosure, awareness and active bystander training
ASB ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT BID APPLICATION: SUCCESFUL
· Continue developing and promoting the Safer Transport Northumbria APP
· Youth provisions and days of action to engage with transport users
· Working with partners to identify peak times and hot spots and deterrents
· Overtime local authority, Nexus and police staff
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison said: “As with previous successful funding bids, we very much welcome this latest announcement as it means we can build on the considerable work already under way to keep our communities safe.
“We are always keen to expand on these initiatives and ultimately want everyone to feel safe, whether that is while on a night out or enjoying the region’s beautiful parks and open spaces.
“We are committed to listening to the communities we are privileged to serve and working with our partners as we all come together to help ensure this region remains one of the safest in the country.”
Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “We have worked in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner on the Safer Streets bid, and we’re delighted that more funding has now been secured to boost safety and security on the public transport network.
“It is vital customers feel safe on public transport at all times and we look forward to working with Kim McGuinness and our police force on taking the scheme forward.
“Nexus has invested in new CCTV and body worn cameras, and have increased the visibility of customer support staff and put in place a dedicated 24-stong security team to provide an extra presence in the evenings. The Safer Streets funding bid will really help us to build on all of this this work.
Plans are being funded following a successful bid to Round 4 of the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.