Commissioner Caroline Henry chatting to a young woman on a night out in Nottingham
In a recent survey, women and girls reported that they felt most unsafe on the public transport system in Nottingham. In response high-visibility policing operations have been put in place on Nottingham’s tram network as part of a wider campaign to increase the safety of women and girls.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry attended the latest Police Action Night and talked to police officers and members of the public about the work underway to reduce the vulnerability of women visiting the City’s night-time economy.
The operation has been funded by a grant of over £250,000, secured by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and a number of other key partners as part of the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) Fund.
During the most recent operation, Commissioner Henry chatted to Hucknall resident Emily Gascoigne, 21, as she travelled through the city to meet her sister.
She said: “I had a really good chat with the Commissioner. It was nice to know the police were there and it did make me feel safer.
“Forest had been playing that day and I’m always more concerned on match day because of the fans drinking. It did really make me feel better to see the police as I’m always more concerned on the trams.
“Women are being listened to now. I’ve always been a massive advocate for doing more to protect women. I think we’re getting to a better place but I still don’t feel like we are there yet. With the continuation of worrying crimes and the rise in domestic violence, I’m really grateful that someone is putting these things forward and doing more for us as women.”
Commissioner Henry said: “I wanted to see my funding making a tangible difference. Meeting Emily and hearing her say that she feels safer thanks to these night-time operations meant a lot to me. Reducing the fear of crime is just as important as reducing the risks and the presence of extra officers is clearly giving women more confidence to go out and enjoy themselves.
“We are doing everything possible to make our city an even safer place to live and visit. I want to see people having a great night out, which in turn boosts the local economy. A stronger police presence not only gives women increased opportunities to seek help if they need to, but also helps to deter crime.”
Inspector Arnie Ahmed, of the City Centre neighbourhood policing team, said: “Keeping women and girls safe within the night time economy is a key priority for us and so it is great news that the Police Nights of Action will be continuing.
“Since stepping up patrols on the city’s transport network, we have received extremely positive feedback with many women and girls saying the additional presence of officers helps them to feel safe.
“That is what the Safety of Women and Girls at Night Fund set out to achieve and I am delighted it is already making a real difference within our city.”
The SWaN funding is part of a sustained effort locally and by the Home Office to tackle violence against women and girls and make a difference to their lives by reducing their vulnerability.
Officers are working with Nottingham Express Transit (NET) to build on the existing partnership approaches to transport safety, delivering increased patrols at taxi ranks and bus stops as well as on board trams to offer women reassurance and protection if they find themselves at risk. They are also providing on-the-spot enforcement where necessary.
The dedicated action nights come in addition to a late-night safety refuge in Nottingham put in place by Commissioner Henry.
‘Safe Space’ in the Market Square, delivered by first aid charity St John Ambulance, is available anyone who needs help or medical assistance on a night out or who feels at risk.
Posted on Friday 4th February 2022