The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has submitted a two-part bid for cash to make Cleveland’s streets safer for women and girls.
The bid forms part of the third round of the Home Office’s Safer Streets programme.
This round focuses on addressing concerns about violence against women and girls (VAWG) and putting practical measures in place to make them feel safer in public spaces.
If successful, the OPCC could be working in partnership with a number of agencies to provide a range of security measures prior to April 2022.
Main Focus of the Bid
The main £381,771 bid will be focussed on the town centre and Newport, in Middlesbrough, with a secondary bid, worth £211,285, for Redcar town centre and Skelton.
Both bids contain proposals to install extra CCTV and lighting in key locations and work with charity Crimestoppers to encourage more women to report incidents.
Proposals contain a number of education programmes. In Middlesbrough, staff will work with Teesside University students to educate them about staying safe.
In Redcar and Cleveland, an education programme will outline what is appropriate and acceptable behaviour to both girls and boys of secondary school age.
An Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) will work with victims of stalking and harassment in Middlesbrough.
And in Redcar and Cleveland, an innovative research project will see the council looking at how it can make the safety of women and girls an integral part of any design in the built environment.
Prior to submitting the bids, the OPCC asked women and girls in Cleveland how safe they felt in various situations.
An online survey revealed that more than 81 per cent of female respondents felt unsafe in Cleveland’s town centres at night.
Almost 48 per cent of respondents said they felt “very unsafe” with a further 33.6 per cent feeling “fairly unsafe
PCC Steve Turner quote: “The results of our consultation with women and girls across Cleveland were truly shocking.
“They demonstrated that we needed to do something quickly to restore women’s confidence and make sure they felt safe enough to take a full and active part in our region’s life.
“More needs to be done – and urgently – to make women feel safe particularly in our town centres at night.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Women and girls have an absolute right to feel safe in their communities, and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen.
“Safer Streets cash is already making a real difference in Middlesbrough, with new CCTV systems helping to deter those who prey on vulnerable and catch those responsible for such vile crimes.
“Funding like this changes lives, so this latest bid has our full backing.”
Councillor Steve Kay, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare, said: “These figures from survey are appalling.
“Everyone should feel completely safe on the streets and we must do everything we can to ensure that is the case.
“As well as practical suggestions to make the streets feel safer for everyone, particularly women and girls in this instance, I also approve of the idea to go into schools and educate our young people about appropriate behaviour in order to help improve this situation for the next generation.”
Background to Safer Streets 3
Safer Streets 3 was launched by the Government in March as a response to the death of Sarah Everard in London.
Sarah’s killer Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to her murder last week.
Couzens is due to appear at the Old Bailey for sentencing on 29 September 2021.
The Government is anticipated announce successful bids by the end of August.