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Making your streets safer

25 July 2022

Making your streets safer in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Havant and on the Isle of Wight. 

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been awarded £733,551.19 by the Home Office in the fourth round of the Safer Streets funding to help tackle anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Havant and on the Isle of Wight.

The funding will support the successful ‘Solent Stands Together’ bid which will be a coordinated approach by the five local authority areas to create a consistent response to tackling violence against women and girls and anti-social behaviour over the next 18 months.

This funding is part of a total of more than £1.3million that has been awarded to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to support local initiatives in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

The funding analysis of local crime data together with community safety surveys and feedback from Community Safety Partnerships, Health and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) groups helped inform the bid.

Whilst there weren’t any strong geographical patterns for crimes, like harassment and stalking, highstreets and hospitality venues showed a higher numbers of reports.

In addition, local hot spots where anti-social behaviour reports were high were found to decrease feelings of safety making some public spaces ‘no go’ areas for fear of harassment or assault.

In looking at behaviour, the research for the bid found that locally, gender inequality, racism and discrimination feed into and collude with misogynistic and abusive behaviours.

Now, the five local authorities pledge to have these issues addressed. The £733,551.19 will be used to build upon existing partnership working arrangements and the work undertaken in the previous funding round to ensure women and girls living, visiting and travelling between these areas in the Solent have a consistent offer of support, response and service.

The types of crime the money will help reduce include:

  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Rape
  • Exposure and voyeurism
  • Possession of drugs
  • Anti-social behaviour

The funding, secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, will help the organisations deliver the following initiatives to reduce crime and increase safety:

  • Mentoring in Violence Prevention: addressing unhealthy attitudes towards women and girls, and creating a peer owned support network within 15 secondary schools (three per authority). This work will complement existing efforts in schools enabling more of a focus on underlying issues and empowering young women and men to break free of traditional stereotypes. Supported by existing domestic abuse providers, it will build upon established relationships and ensure young people have a continuum of care.
  • We Stand Together, Safe Space Network: the implementation of 50 Safe Spaces (10 per authority) to provide women and girls with a network of safe places they can walk into when they feel unsafe. Specifically, to report issues and receive support when they are experiencing sexual violence and harassment in or around public spaces. This work builds upon and extends existing work to co-ordinate Safe Spaces in Portsmouth and on the IOW.
  • A Community In Motion (CIM): Develop a positive bystander model that can be delivered to Night Time Economy (NTE) venues, like pubs and bars, as well as hospitality locations and key organisations servicing the NTE. Building on the success of CIM to date in Portsmouth and on the IOW the project will aim to train up to 500 professionals working in and around the NTE across the five authority areas. This will include street pastors, taxi drivers, public transport staff & bar staff.
  • You Project: Build upon work to engage marginalised women working in the sex industry with an outreach-based and trauma-informed service. This will specifically target late night venues to build local intelligence, challenge industry norms and provide information and support, further coordinating a partnership response that creates a step change to reduce violence experienced by sex workers, and improve reporting of crimes and access to justice.
  • Increase safety measures on the streets: Situational measures including CCTV, upgrading lighting and removing offensive and demeaning graffiti will improve access and surveillance, and reduce opportunity for sexual crimes and ASB which women report has made some places ‘no g’o areas due to drug use and harassment.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Terry Norton said:
“The Commissioner Donna Jones and I really pleased to be supporting the Solent Stands Together bid to reduce Violence Against Women and Girls and related anti-social behaviour across the five local authority areas.

“The money will go towards a clear and coordinated effort to make areas safer for women and girls, eradicate ‘no go’ areas and ensure anti-social behaviour is dealt with.

“These are two key parts of the Commissioner’s More Police Safer Streets, Police and Crime Plan, and being awarded this money to support local projects means we are delivering on our promises to prevent crime and make the streets safer.

“Providing community interventions, education and equipment to improve safety alongside the work of the police is vital for finding long-term solutions to crime reduction.”

Cllr Jason Fazackarley, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Safety in the Community, said: “We are delighted to be part on another successful bid to tackle sexual violence across the region, in particular crimes affecting women and girls. We look forward to sharing the great work we have already been doing in Portsmouth with other authorities as well as delivering even more training and workshops in the city on this important issue.”

Cllr Sue Ballard, Chair of Gosport Community Safety Partnership, said: “Our streets and public places must be spaces where women and girls do not have to face violence, the threat of violence or any behaviour that makes them feel unsafe. I’m very glad that we’ve secured this money by working in partnership and that local organisations can strengthen their response to this issue.”

Cllr Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council said “This funding will provide critical support and initiatives to protect women and girls, and I’m delighted to work in partnership to achieve positive change against anti-social behaviour and violence. By addressing root causes – and providing dedicated support just where it is needed – we can truly help people feel safer on our streets.”

Cllr Joanne Bull, Executive Member for Health and Public Protection at Fareham Borough Council said: “The Solent Stands Together bid is a fantastic example of how different authorities can work together in partnership to tackle the issues that matter most in our communities. We are delighted to be working with other local authorities to help make our Borough, and the whole Solent region, a safer place to be for women and girls.”

Councillor Karen Lucioni, Cabinet member for community protection at the Isle of Wight Council, said: “We are working hard to make the Isle of Wight streets and public spaces a safe place for all, and are passionate in preventing unacceptable behaviour, harassment and violence experienced by women and girls. It is incredibly important to me that the good work of Safer Streets achieved in 2021/22 is continued and I am elated to hear that this successful bid will mean that we will achieve much more by working in partnership with others.”