Officers from Avon and Somerset Police local neighbourhood teams have been working with North Somerset Council to identify areas in which women and girls feel unsafe by promoting and utilising an app called StreetSafe.
As a result, local neighbourhood teams have carried out extra patrols across North Somerset in areas where residents used the app to report feeling unsafe. This has included Backwell, Blagdon, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare.
StreetSafe is a national app and website, created by the Home Office, for people to report public places where they have felt unsafe. This could be due to environmental issues such as poor street lighting or abandoned buildings, or due anti-social behaviour.
People can report locations and issues easily and anonymously using the app or online via StreetSafe. This information is then shared with neighbourhood policing officers and North Somerset Council.
Police Sergeant Jack Roth explains how his team are utilising the data to make positive changes in North Somerset: “The data we are gathering from the StreetSafe app means we’re able to get a clearer picture of certain areas that may be causing people to feel unsafe. We work closely with our partners at North Somerset Council to identify issues and provide solutions, such as deploying police and council neighbourhood officers to increase patrols in those areas to provide reassurance and deter crime or antisocial behaviour. We can only act if we know what’s happening, so I would encourage everyone to download the app and let us know if you have any concerns in your local neighbourhoods.”
Following funding from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund secured jointly by North Somerset Council and Somerset Council to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), North Somerset Council has also teamed up with local police officers to develop a training package on creating safer streets. This education and training programme involves public engagement, women’s outreach programmes and funding for additional CCTV cameras as well as increased police patrols in identified areas of VAWG-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
Councillor James Clayton, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Safety in the community, said: “As a council, we’re fully committed to changing behaviour and increasing the feelings of safety for women and girls. I’m therefore delighted to see increased effort to encourage the use of the national StreetSafe app and website here in North Somerset. These are very practical tools that give people the power to directly influence our work, in partnership with the police, to help us achieve positive outcomes in tackling Violence Against Women and Girls crimes across the area. Please do use the app and website to report feeling unsafe, it really helps us to know where best to target our resources.”
StreetSafe is not a place to report crimes or incidents. In the event of a crime, please report to Avon and Somerset Police through the normal routes online or by dialling 101. In the case of an ongoing crime or an emergency, dial 999.