Successful bid for safer streets funding in Somerset
In 2021 Somerset County Council and North Somerset Council ran a campaign to raise awareness of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls. Now the two councils have jointly secured an additional £317,694 from the Home Office Safer Streets Fund to make public spaces and streets safer for women and girls.
The national Safer Streets campaign is aimed at changing perpetrator behaviour. It encourages a conversation in society that challenges misogynistic attitudes. It seeks to discourage inappropriate behaviour towards women and girls.
The campaign already provides a program of prevention and response activity to help reduce the impact of those attitudes. This includes delivering education and training programs and public engagement events. It also provides women’s outreach services and saw the deployment of 18 additional CCTV cameras.
The additional funding will allow the councils to focus on concerns at four locations – Taunton, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare and Yeovil. The areas identified, experience violence against women and girls. As well as related crime, anti-social behaviour and low feelings of safety for people within those communities. However the fourth largest town in the Somerset County Council area, Frome, has not benefited from the project.
Speaking about the Safer Streets campaign, Somerset County Council’s Lead member with responsibility for public health, equalities and diversity Cllr Adam Dance said, “This significant extra funding will enable us to continue to tackle sexual harassment and violence against women and girls across our county. The Safer Streets campaign is so important – inappropriate words or actions against women and girls are simply not acceptable. We want perpetrators to think about how their behaviour makes people feel, and we are committed through this campaign to help reduce Violence Against Women and Girls and improve safety for women and girls in public places across Somerset.”