£550,000 pledged to make woman and girls feel safer in South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire has been promised £550,000 to help make women and girls feel safer in public spaces.
The third round of the Safer Streets Fund was launched earlier this summer, making available £23.5m of funding to police forces and local authorities for projects that have an emphasis on the safety of women and girls.
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, Alan Billings, has announced that the money means the region has now received a total of £2 million.
The majority of the funding – £460,000 – is to install innovative lighting and CCTV within four parks: Ponderosa Park, Sheffield; Clifton Park, Rotherham, Dearne Valley Park, in Barnsley and Edenthorpe Park, Doncaster.
These were selected following public consultation about experiences and feelings of safety in public places. Over 2,000 responses pointed to a sharp drop in feelings of confidence at night and highlighted that parks and woodland areas were the areas where women felt most unsafe.
The work to make improvements and install the lighting and CCTV will be undertaken by the four local authorities in South Yorkshire over the coming months. This will be undertaken in consultation with local communities to agree on the final designs.
Mr Billings said: “Making the streets a safer place for women and girls is a top priority for me and has been highlighted in my transitional Police and Crime Plan for this year.
“Everyone has a right to feel safe and to be safe in their communities.”
A further £70,000 was awarded to develop a countywide communications and education campaign to target perpetrator behaviour and attitudes. This work will be supported by the final £15,000 to undertake a wider consultation to capture the voices of people from all backgrounds and cultures.
Mr Billings said: “The clear message from the consultation work undertaken is in line with recent national headlines following the sentencing of Sarah Everard’s killer (former PC Wayne Couzens). Those surveyed told us that more needs to be done to target the perpetrators, instead of asking women to change their behaviour and take precautions.
“We will be working with our partners to develop clear messaging and educational information to challenge behaviours and instigate cultural change to ensure women and girls feel safe on our streets and in public spaces.”