Nearly £200k to make Southwark’s streets safer for women and girls

5 August 2022

  • Southwark Council is scaling up their ongoing work to prevent male violence against women and girls.
  • Nearly £100,000 has been awarded to Southwark Council following their successful bid to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which they are match funding.
  • This money will help set up a network of local businesses who will act as 'safe havens'; women's safety training for street-based staff; and a campaign aimed at men and boys in Southwark.

Southwark Council is pleased to announce further investment into making the borough a safer place for women and girls.

A new communications campaign tackling misogyny in Southwark will be launched by the council with grant funding. National research and the council's own survey shows that street harassment is one of the most common forms of gender-based harm. The council's campaign will show how 'everyday' sexist behaviour props up a culture where men and boys are violent towards women and girls. It will inspire men and boys to challenge their own behaviour and that of others.

Girls and women will be able to say where they feel safe or unsafe in the borough using a new reporting channel set up by the council. Users will be able to highlight locations on a map via Commonplace's website. Feedback will help focus the council's work with the police and other partners on areas that need extra attention.

Southwark worked together on a bid to the latest round of the Home Office's Safer Streets Fund with Lambeth Council. Crime data mapping showed a need to work together to improve safety along their border. Almost £200k is being spent in Southwark, including the council’s match-funding.

Under the partnership, Southwark and Lambeth Councils will be creating a network of 'safe havens' across both boroughs. This is where businesses are trained to offer support to anyone who feels unsafe or has been harassed. A Safe Haven sign in their window tells people where they can get assistance. This links into Southwark Council's pledge to get licensed premise signed up to their Women’s Safety Charter.

Street-based staff in both boroughs, such as street wardens and the council's new town centre task force aimed at reducing crime, will be trained on how to make sure women are safe.

Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle MBE, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Women and girls should be able to walk our streets without fear or intimidation. It is not for them to adapt their behaviour to avoid unwanted attention or to feel safe. With this funding, we are looking at all the ways we can strengthen our work to make Southwark a safer place to live and visit. We know bad behaviour is not bound by borders, so working with Lambeth is vital.

“In Southwark, we are getting to the root of the issue by speaking directly with men and boys as vital allies. We are asking women and girls to report their experiences so we can better understand the problem. We are working with local businesses to turn them into safe spaces where people in distress can turn. We are training street-based staff so they know how best to respond to and support women's safety.”

The Safer Streets Fund was launched in 2020 by the Home Office. It offers councils and Police Commissioners the chance to apply for funding for crime prevention plans.

Page last updated: 08 August 2022

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