Safety of women and girls continues to be a top priority for Staffordshire Police and partners
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Staffordshire Police and partners under the Violence Reduction Alliance of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are continuing to tackle violence against women and girls after the successful introduction of a number of local initiatives.
Last year, after a number of tragic events including the murder of Sarah Everard, Staffordshire Police and forces nationally committed to making the streets safer and to ensuring there is a robust approach to both the prevention of violence and the protection of those who don’t feel safe.
Since then, the Violence Reduction Alliance - backed by successful Safer Streets and Safety of Women at Night Commissioner funding bids, have made headway by; improving open spaces and walkways with additional lighting and CCTV; developing educational and campaign materials to drive public awareness; and encouraging businesses to sign up to a Safer Places Charter as well as vulnerability training for night time economy staff.
The funding has also enabled designated safe places within Hanley, Newcastle and Stafford to be established, where the public can seek advice, first aid and support on a regular basis under the Alliance’s broadest aim of reducing violence and driving public safety.
Temporary Detective Superintendent, Victoria Downing, co-ordinating the force response to violence against women and girls, said: “Our approach to tackling violence against women and girls is very much entwined with our partners – it is not a problem any single agency can solve in isolation but the progress we’ve made collectively is really encouraging.
“We are really striving to ensure women and girls feel safe and are confident in reporting to the police. We must continue to listen to feedback and concerns in order to keep building on the success of these early local initiatives.”
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “Through our partnership approach we have quickly made significant improvements that directly support the safety and security of women and girls in our city. We want our residents to feel safe, especially those that are considered more vulnerable. I have seen first-hand the difference the introduction of designated safe spaces have made. We really value of help and support of partners and will continue to introduce community safety measures to support this.”
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: “Protecting people from harm is an absolute priority in my Police & Crime Plan. In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the Violence Reduction Alliance has made significant progress to reduce the threat of violence against women and girls, and tackle anti-social behaviour that damages our communities.
“Overall crime rates in Staffordshire are well below the national average and are the lowest in the West Midlands region, but there is still more to be done. By taking a coordinated partnership approach, combining practical measures like CCTV and improved lighting with awareness campaigns and education programmes to challenge negative behaviours, we aim to not only make our communities safer, but also ensure that they feel safer too.”
Throughout September, the force has a number of engagement opportunities taking place where the public can speak with local officers to ask questions and/or raise concerns. For any questions around safety of women and girls, or any other matters, details of the events can be found on the website, here: Local engagement events | Staffordshire Police
For businesses wanting to know more about how they can support the Violence Reduction Alliance and its projects, including how to sign up to the Charter and have access to vulnerability training, visit: Resources - Violence Reduction Alliance