Crimes against women and girls are abhorrent and still all too prevalent in our society. We are determined to ensure women feel safer going about their daily lives.
That is why earlier this year we launched the Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, informed by the largest ever public survey of women and girls on this issue. As part of this, the £25m Safer Streets Fund will invest in crime prevention initiatives across the country where women and girls say they feel most unsafe.
The funding will go towards local projects aimed at increasing the safety of public spaces for all, but with a particular focus on tackling violence against women and girls.
The tragic cases of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman touched us all. As we Build Back Safer from the pandemic, tackling violence against women and girls is our priority.
A large proportion of violence against women and girls takes place within the victim’s or offender’s home, but increasingly these crimes take place in public spaces. The responses to our Call for Evidence to inform the new Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy highlighted concerns about women and girls’ safety in public places in relation to public forms of harassment.
Police forces and local authorities across England and Wales, and the British Transport Police, are to receive a share of that £25 million, to spend in the 21/22 financial year, as we take our total investment in the Government’s Safer Streets Fund to £70 million.
Some Safer Street funding has already gone towards some measures proven to cut crime, including simple changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting, and the installation of CCTV. This additional funding will make even more of these kinds of projects possible.