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Women and girls offered Safe Spaces by shops

Warsop safer streets

From left: Rachel Dunlop, of Warsop Computers, hears from PCC Caroline Henry and Inspector Kylie Davies about what Safer Streets will bring to the town.

Women and girls who feel they are in danger will be offered a haven by shops – as part of a huge package of measures to make people safe in Warsop.

Around 25 businesses could take part in the Safe Space scheme, which would see them given CCTV cameras and staff training in how to support people who come through their doors looking for help.

They will also display Safe Space signs to make them visible and give women the peace of mind that help is close at hand while they are out and about.

The scheme is just one of a series of safety measures that will be paid for by national Safer Streets funding, after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire was successful in a bid for £3 million for projects across the city and county.

Other projects that will be funded include installing refuge point cameras at key locations – yet to be confirmed. These cameras are monitored 24-hours a day and allow people in distress to press a button on the camera column which gives them direct access to the CCTV control room to ask for help.

Money has also been set aside to give 190 women free access to the Hollie Guard personal safety mobile phone app. A simple shake or tap can active the app when people are in danger, immediately notifying their chosen contacts, pinpointing their location and sending audio and video evidence directly to contact’s mobile phones.

Warsop will also benefit from new CCTV cameras, street lighting and environmental improvements to make people more confident that they are safe in public.

It will also pay for automatic number plate recognition cameras to help police catch criminals using the town’s roads.

And it will fund youth work and diversionary activities to prevent anti-social behaviour.

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said she was proud to be bringing funding to Warsop from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund, and her Office was now working closely with Mansfield District Council to implement the plans.

“The Safer Streets fund is all about complementing the work that the police, local authorities and other partner agencies already do to tackle neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls,” she said.

“The project in Warsop has a particular focus around violence against women and girls, which is something I feel passionately about and is a priority in our Make Notts Safe Plan. 

“The Safe Spaces scheme is predominantly aimed at women and girls as they are the people who are most impacted by feelings of safety in public – but anyone who needs help can use the scheme.

“People should never be afraid to go out in our public spaces and with such a comprehensive package of safety measures, this should provide a noticeable difference to people’s feelings of safety in the town.”

The plans for a Safe Space scheme and refuge point cameras follow a similar scheme that was pioneered in Sutton-in-Ashfield earlier this year through a previous Safer Streets funding round. This scheme was so successful it has led to towns and cities across the country starting their own versions.

Cllr Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing at Mansfield District Council, said: “The focus of this new funding will be to ensure that the community can feel safe and stay safe. We are working with the police and other partners, including local schools and charities that support survivors of domestic abuse. 

“We are also looking to deliver support to help people who work in local businesses to ‘be prepared not scared’ to enable them to feel empowered to take positive action if they witness an incident in public. 

“We are very lucky that there is great community spirit and local organisations in Warsop which we can tap into and build on to improve the quality of life for people there.”

Inspector Kylie Davies, District Commander for Mansfield, welcomed the Safer Streets funding, which comes on top of the existing police resource in the area.

“The training and cameras inside of businesses in Mansfield will be an asset in helping women and girls have that extra security and safety net if they ever need it. They will also have that knowledge if they’re out and about those everyday shops will be a secure place for them to seek refuge,” she said.

“I want to reiterate the PCC’s comment in that these spaces are not just for women and girls – anyone who feels they are in danger can use the scheme and know the business and officers will always be on hand to help.

“Through our partnership working and the Safer Streets funding we are continuing with our efforts to make the people of Mansfield feel safe and supported.”

Rachel Dunlop, of Warsop Computers in High Street, Warsop, said she would be interested in joining the Safe Space scheme and was happy to see the Safer Streets investment coming to the town.

“It sounds like it’s definitely something that Warsop needs,” she said. “If you’ve got fellow shop workers keeping an eye out for people and working together then that’s got to be a good thing.”

Posted on Thursday 1st December 2022
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