On Wednesday 10 November 2021, the Home Office announced the successful bids across England and Wales for projects from the Safety of Women at Night Fund.
The fund was launched in July 2021 with up to £5 million made available for projects and initiatives to improve the safety of women in public spaces at night.
Successful bids will build on the efforts already underway through the £25 million third round of Safer Streets funding which included a range of interventions including educational programmes to raise awareness and more streetlights and CCTV.
The 22 successful bids are from civil society organisations, local authorities and police and crime commissioners across England and Wales. These include:
o Bristol City Council will receive funding for a trial rollout of kits to detect drink spiking which will be made available to all police officers and at 60 night-time economy venues. This will enable officers to test drinks on the spot preventing assaults and helping them to gain early evidence for any investigation.
o Cheshire PCC will improve the current call handling technology to provide an instant visible and reassuring response to a female calling for police support from any urban area. Call handlers will be able to have direct visual access to callers/victims and view any evidence of an offence.
o Sussex PCC, Northamptonshire OPCC, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and North Wales OPCC will pilot schemes introducing volunteer ‘taxi marshals’ who will be trained staff at taxi ranks to provide support and prevent pick-ups from unregistered taxis so that women and girls can access safe transport home.
o West Yorkshire Combined Authority will launch a Train Safety campaign to promote access to an online link with safety information for public transport users, such as bus tracking, so there is no longer a need to stand at a bus stop alone waiting for a delayed bus.
We’ll publish a full list of all 22 successful applicants to the Fund as soon as it’s made available on the Home Office website.
The Home Office, with the support of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, has also launched a new online tool called StreetSafe, piloted across police forces in England and Wales. It allows the public, particularly women and girls, to pinpoint areas on a map where they feel unsafe and say why. The information is used by police forces to better work with communities to improve local safety.