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Local News

Funding secured to help women and girls feel safe in South Yorkshire’s public places


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The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has announced that he has managed to secure over half a million pounds to help women feel safer in public spaces.

£550,000 has been allocated as part of the Safer Streets Fund, for projects that have an emphasis on the safety of women and girls.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe and to be safe in their communities and I am pleased that the Government has also recognised this and is providing us with opportunities for additional funding to make public spaces safer.

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The majority of the funding, £460,000, will be used to install innovative lighting and CCTV within four parks, one in each district.

Dearne Valley Park, Barnsley, Edenthorpe Park, Doncaster, Clifton Park, Rotherham, and Ponderosa Park, Sheffield, were selected following a public consultation which received over 2,000 responses.

Dr Billings said: “This is the third pot of money we have successfully bid for this year under the Safer Streets programme, bringing our total for South Yorkshire to in excess of £2 million.

Dearne Valley Country Park in Barnsley

“Making the streets a safer place for women and girls is a top priority for me and has been highlighted in my transitional Police and Crime Plan for this year.”

A further £70,000 was awarded to develop a countrywide communications and education campaign to target perpetrator behaviour and attitudes. The work will be supported by the final element of the bid, with £15,000 provided to undertake a wider consultation.

Dr Billings added: “The clear message from the consultation work undertaken is in line with recent national headlines following the sentencing of Sarah Everard’s killer. Those surveyed told us that more needs to be done to target the perpetrators, instead of asking women to change their behaviour and take precautions.

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“We will be working with our partners to develop clear messaging and educational information to challenge behaviours and instigate cultural change to ensure women and girls feel safe on our streets and in public spaces.”

A further bid has also been submitted to increase plain clothes and uniformed police presence in Sheffield city centre on weekends.

The news comes after a Sheffield-based campaign group launched a petition calling for improved lighting in the city’s parks earlier this year.

Our Bodies Our Streets also installed a sculpture promoting women’s safety in Ponderosa Park but it was destroyed in an arson attack in August.

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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