As part of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, West Sussex County Council has been awarded a share of nearly £1 million to help women and girls feel safer on the county’s streets.
Working in partnership with the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex County Council, the money will be used to campaign, educate and train individuals to help support resident’s safety in West Sussex and in the wider Sussex area.
The full programme of support will include:
- A whole school, preventative approach for West Sussex educational settings to facilitate learning that underpins healthy relationships, gender stereotyping and protective behaviours.
- Developing and launching a Safe Space Sussex app which will allow people to find safe spaces, record sound and video and generate contact with a friend or family member.
- ‘Bystander to upstander’ sessions targeted in key locations to support members of the public to feel more confident in recognising and challenging misogynistic behaviour in their everyday lives.
- Running schemes to provide volunteers, such as street pastors, street angels and beach patrols with equipment to provide safe spaces and a presence in key locations to reduce offences. In West Sussex, these schemes will take place in Crawley, Worthing, East Grinstead and Billingshurst.
- A Sussex wide ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ campaign targeting men and boys which will be run by the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner in partnership with Local Authorities and Sussex Police.
- Provision of eight re-deployable CCTV units for crime hotspot locations which are considered areas where incidents are more likely to take place.
- Three Violence Against Women and Girls Community Navigators who will provide each Local Authority area in Sussex with a dedicated individual to support the Safer Streets programme in that location.
Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Our Communities Team has been working alongside Sussex Police and the Police & Crime Commissioner for the last six months to put together a bid for the latest round of the Safer Street Fund which has a particular emphasis on the safety of women and girls. From this bid we are really pleased that the partnership has been awarded nearly £1 million.
“We all know the importance of women and girls feeling safer in their own communities, but we must keep the focus on unacceptable violence by men. This is a really important piece of work for us and something that has become even more vital since the appalling murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, that have highlighted the fears that so many women and girls around the country face.
“Safeguarding our residents has always been a key priority for the council and this money, and the activities planned with it, will go a long way to making sure that our county, and the whole of Sussex, can help make women and girls feel as safe as possible in their own neighbourhoods and surrounding areas.”
Alongside the wider work across the county and Sussex, the bid to the Safer Streets Fund also included money for a project in Mayflower Park, Angmering where new lighting will be installed.
At the moment the location has no lighting and a village wide survey conducted in November 2020 showed that people felt unsafe using the park.
Nikki Hamilton-Street, Chair of Angmering Parish Council, said: “The issue of a dark path through Mayflower Park has been a concern to the Parish Council for a number of years, however funding was an issue, as quotes were coming in at nearly £90,000.
“After a chance conversation our Parish Clerk, Katie Herr, identified that solar streetlights may be an alternative source of lighting in this area.
“We are delighted that the £41,500 funding will enable the installation of this sustainable lighting and we look forward to a brighter and safer walk through Mayflower Park this winter.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne also said of the Angmering project “My office’s recent listening exercise - which involved Angmering Parish Council - highlighted longstanding concerns about lighting and lack of safety, particularly for women and girls, around Mayflower Park. Therefore, it’s gratifying to be able to allocate this funding towards improving lighting in the area and helping to provide reassurance for local residents.
“The Safer Streets scheme focuses on bringing about improvements for local communities and this project in Angmering will really help to improve the quality of life for people in the village. If residents feel safer walking through the park at night or on dark winter evenings, that will be money extremely well spent.”
For more information on the Safer Streets Fund visit the GOV.UK website.