Commissioner Henry with Cllr Helen-Ann Smith
A new survey measuring the impact of a £550k safety improvement project in Sutton in Ashfield has revealed more than nine in 10 women feel safe when out in their local area during the day.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry launched the snapshot survey following the conclusion of the Safer Streets 3 project across Sutton town centre.
The multiagency scheme, which saw Commissioner Henry work alongside Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire County Council and specialist support providers for victims of abuse, delivered a network of pioneering CCTV refuge cameras across the town where members of the public – especially women and girls – can instantly alert CCTV Control Room staff when they feel threatened or at risk.
In addition to upgraded street lighting, a safety app trial, environmental cleaning work and increased police visibility patrols, it also saw the launch of a new Safe Spaces Accreditation Scheme providing free security including CCTV and PIR lighting for up to 58 businesses in the town centre.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with 74 per cent of women saying they feel safer as a result of this type of strategy.
One resident commented: “I feel so much safer using the app funded by Safer Streets. I saw the safety app advertised on the NIDAS Facebook page and thought I would give it a go.
“I am loving the app and feel a lot safer with it. I check in when I go anywhere and check in when I get back home so my family and friends know where I am. I know I can press that button, and somebody will be there if I need help. I feel 100 per cent safe. Thank you for letting me be a part of this.”
As a result of the scheme’s success, Commissioner Henry has already submitted a bid for further ‘substantial’ funding for the Kirkby in Ashfield area in the Home Office’s forthcoming Safer Streets 4 project.
Commissioner Henry said: “The Safer Streets initiative has been a resounding success, delivering permanent, practical resources that will help us deter and detect crime now and in years to come.
“The results of this survey show that investment in innovative measures such as Refuge Cameras and safety apps, as well as street lighting, CCTV and Safe Spaces, has made a difference to both women and men and increased feelings of safety. Importantly, the vast majority of people we spoke to also believe this investment to be a good use of resources.
“The plan now is to build on this strong foundation and secure Ashfield and other areas of Nottinghamshire the money needed to keep on making our public spaces even safer.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The survey was completed by SMSR Research and involved 201 face-to-face interviews and 16 online submissions.
The headline findings show:
94% of females say they feel safe when out during the day in their local area
76% feel unsafe when out in their local area during the dark
The majority feel safe in their home during the day (99%) and during the night (88%)
59% feel safe on public transport during the day; 24% feel safe travelling during the dark; 24% feel unsafe travelling during dark
90% believe that engaging with local residents and businesses about female safety is a good use of resources
74% say this strategy makes them feel safer
90% say that creating safer spaces is a good use of resources; 82% feel safer due to this action
89% recognise visible patrols as a good use of resources
93% believe that improvements to streetlighting and the environment is a good use of resources
83% agree that improvements to streetlighting increases safety amongst females
Posted on Monday 30th May 2022